- Texas Pinball Festival 2023, part 1: The drive up from Houston, hotel check-in, and settling in
- Texas Pinball Festival 2023, part 2: Friday qualifying and a brief trip onto the show floor
- Texas Pinball Festival 2023, part 3: Saturday
- Texas Pinball Festival 2023, part 4: Sunday and the drive home
- Texas Pinball Festival 2023, part 5: Miscellaneous closing thoughts that didn’t fit anywhere else
Sunday, as it usually does, went by pretty quickly seeing as it is the last day of the show. I got in a few quality games over the course of the day, more than the photo gallery would indicate at first glance (as I only post a picture of my highest score on each title).
The main highlight of the day was getting to play Big Bang Bar at the Wormhole Pinball booth. I still call it a highlight as it is noteworthy, even though I was not really wowed that by the game. However, I get that it’s a rare game that for a long time only existed as a small set of prototypes, and I appreciate the chance to get to play it.
I can best describe the theme and ambiance of Big Bang Bar as a weird combination of Star Trek, Party Zone, and Diner. The gameplay was reasonable, but the belches and vomit references were kind of a distraction. I have no idea how good a score of 46.6M+ is relative to expert or wizard level but I’d like to think it’s at least decent.
I also had a game of Sky Jump with a most unusual player benefit malfunction. One of the drop targets apparently kept registering hits, lit for 500 with the 10X light on it, so 5000 points per hit. And so, this is how I “scored” 584K+ or possibly more. (I lost count of the number of times the score counter rolled over, but it was at least five times.)
Finally, there was Baby Pac-Man, which I only rarely get to play. I never got into this game when it was new in the arcades. Even back then, it was hard to find. I realize my score is good but not that great. The pinball portion of the game is a lot harder to master than it would appear at first. It does take a combination of good video game and pinball skills to truly master.
I think it’s a shame that more video/pinball hybrid games like this were not made, as done properly this could have led to some very good games, or even some worthy of being called timeless classics. We have Caveman, Baby Pac-Man, and Granny and the Gators; that’s it. (I’m not counting the myriad video modes in so many pinball games made after 1990.)
The only multiplayer game in today’s play was on Banzai Run. I was the first of the three players taking first place in the game.
The drive home was relatively uneventful. I did make several stops along the way resulting in an arrival time much later than I had originally planned. Originally, my goal was to make it at least to Conroe or so by dusk. That didn’t happen, and the sun set while I was parked at the Buc-ee’s in Madisonville. To be fair about it, I am growing more familiar with more of I-45 each time I make this trip, and I have driven as far north as Huntsville for work.
I’ll wrap up with closing thoughts in the next and final post in the series.