Pinball Hall of Fame visit: A much-needed redemption

Obviously, after the rather lacking performance I previously posted about, I felt in need of redemption. In an ideal world, I’d at least have made it to the finals or just missed the finals with at least a respectable showing, especially given Friday afternoon I was getting on a plane for Las Vegas. Now, the Pinball Hall of Fame isn’t the primary reason for attending, there are business reasons, but of course, there is a definite pleasure side to this trip.

We (mom and I) arrived at the PHOF relatively early in the afternoon. For a while, we beat most of the crowds. I got to play a few games I would likely never get to play anywhere else, one being Goin’ Nuts, of which only 10 are known to exist (PHOF has #3), another being Superman, a now-somewhat-rare Atari table. Unfortunately, I did not get to play Pinball Circus (it broke down right as I was in the queue to play), Q*Bert’s Qubes (I found it with 10 credits on it but it would not start a game), Mata Hari (one of my favorite Bally tables from the late 1970s), or Star Wars Episode I (one of the two Pinball 2000 games released).

The highlight of the visit was a score of 204.8M+ on CSI. I had never really played this game before, but it’s quite a fun one. This is definitely a game you do not want to rage tilt after anything resembling a decent ball: 180M or so of that 204.8M+ was my third ball bonus. Quite the SKQuashing, I must say…

Other scores from the visit (highest only):

  • Mustang: 16.5M+
  • Bad Cats: 895K+ (the 1.30M+ is my mom’s score, a lot of things on this game were not working properly)
  • Goin’ Nuts: 416K+
  • Superman: 118K+
  • Space Shuttle: 479K+
  • Cleopatra: 65K+
  • El Dorado: 11K+ (managed to tilt this one)
  • Strikes & Spares: 121
  • Black Knight 2000: 629K+
  • Arabian Knights: 3M+ (some of the score lights weren’t working I think)

I also played the remainder of a game of Transformers someone had given up on; I did not consider the score worth taking a picture of, there were quite a few things malfunctioning. There was also a Star Wars Trilogy (Sega, 1997) that was spitting out two balls at once.

Overall I not only had a great time, I also got to leave my mark behind for at least a few of the future players at the PHOF. If you want to visit the PHOF while you’re in Las Vegas, it’s at 1610 East Tropicana Avenue, just west of Spencer Street on the same side of the street as the 7-Eleven at the corner of Spencer. The OLC is 85864V29+HQ. The change machines can accept up to $20 bills and there is at least one change machine for breaking larger bills $5 at a time (i.e. you don’t need to get all of a $20 in quarters), however, there is no ATM on site.