“Dipping” into a new pinball spot

The Little Dipper on Main Street in downtown Houston had been on my list of pinball places to check out for some time. The last time I was in the area, though, there was a rainstorm blowing through the city. Instead of hanging back to get in a few games of pinball I decided to just go home and return another day. I didn’t realize “another day” would be a few months later, though…

The first order of business was to get in a few rounds of pinball. To my amazement someone left a couple of credits on The Machine: Bride of Pinbot, a Williams classic from 1991. I ran into two main problems: a missing diverter/gate on the spinner lane, and a non-functional right slingshot. The missing diverter/gate leads to much shorter ball times and less satisfying games (though to be fair, the tilt is loose enough to save almost anything if you’re willing to play that rough); the dead slingshot is honestly more help than hindrance given the rather steep playfield pitch.

Next there was just enough time for a few games of Spider-Man. This one played a lot better. It took me a while to get the hang of the upper ramp shot, but I was able to benefit from my prior experience playing this game during league nights. In the end I was able to squeeze five plays out of one paid credit for 50 cents–not too shabby, if I say so myself.

Coinciding with my visit Monday night was the monthly trivia night. I’ve never really tried my hand at bar trivia. I found my way onto a team with a couple of women. One of those women came up with the incredibly wacky team name of “Scam Likely”. And with that, trivia night was on. We got a lot of questions right, and in the end we wound up winning by a point. Both teams still playing at the end–mine and the opposing team–missed a very tough question about state mottos.

Trivia ended at around 9:15 pm. That left  just enough time to get in a few quick games of Family Guy and The Walking Dead. Family Guy played comparatively well but did kind of show its age as there were a couple of burnt out bulbs and the plunger was inconsistent. As for The Walking Dead, I never really liked this game as much compared to other games released around the same time. However, this one played flawlessly and may well be my first choice when I return here to play more pinball.

Highest scores on the night:

  • The Machine: Bride of Pinbot, 1.15M+
  • Spider-Man: 27.13M+
  • The Walking Dead: 28.21M+
  • Family Guy: 20.99M+