Houston Arcade Expo 2021

This post is a bit different. It’s also a bit out of order as there are still updates for most of September and October I will be posting shortly.

So, yes, I did attend Houston Arcade Expo 2021 and yes, I did get in a few rounds of pinball there. However, I spent most of my time there in the vendor area at my face painting table (thus the pictures of my setup). I did have quite a few takers for face painting, but that’s not the focus of this post.

I didn’t really put up a whole lot of particularly high scores during the time I did get to play pinball and video games while it was slow. However, of note, I did put up at least three notable and surprising (to me) high scores. One of these scores was on the Mattel Aquarius version of Astrosmash. The next was one on the Star Wars Mandalorian pinball (made high score #1, the slot just below grand champion) Finally, I put up a surprisingly high score on Atlantis (Bally pinball from the 1980s).

The first two of these scores represent the first time ever I played these specific games. As for Atlantis, I had played it before but, many years ago, not for very long, and not understanding the rules well if at all. A further note on Atlantis: there was an issue with the ball lock not working properly, which I had to work around. (For the curious: locked balls did not stay in the ball lock, the workaround was to not plunge the ball served to continue play, and “pool shark” the next ball into play if there were two or even three balls in the plunger lane. Ugly, but the game was still playable.)

Full list of highest scores (pictures below represent the highest score on each game):

  • Strikes and Spares: 198
  • Tri Zone: 210k+
  • Philina (Gorgar re-theme/new rules): 123k+
  • Dialed In: 63,580 (yuck)
  • Godzilla: 28.8M+
  • Astroblast: 51,380
  • Orbitor 1: 515k+
  • Barb Wire: 391.7M+
  • Vector: 322k+
  • Mandalorian: 147.5M+
  • Skill Ball: 1907
  • Gorgar: 168,000
  • Big House: 904k+
  • Checkpoint: 1.4M+
  • Satan’s Hollow: 18,685
  • Baby Pac-Man: 68,570
  • Fireball home version: 91,250
  • 1970s arcade video game I can’t remember the name of: 1086
  • Stargate (Gottlieb pinball themed from movie/TV series): 142.3M+
  • Starship Troopers: 24.8M+
  • Bad Cats: 1.03M+
  • Flash Gordon: 920k+
  • Super Score: 2919
  • Super Straight: 310,900
  • Space Invaders (Bally pinball): 165,100 (bleh)
  • Time Machine: 1.15M+
  • Genie: 117k+
  • Black Knight 2000: 1.52M+ (game still had my initials as loop champion from 2019!)
  • Fire: 783k+
  • Alien: 14.25M+
  • Fun House: 3.78M+
  • Star Trek (Stern): 6.78M+
  • Atlantis: 5.75M+
  • Ms. Pac-Man: 83,780

In conclusion, I had a great time and I consider it to be an honor to be part of the show. I am already looking forward to next year.