Updated: Aug 26, 2021
Sound the trumpets and ring the alarm because…Location Pinball is Back! My youngest son and I made the hour trip to Middletown, NY to visit the World Famous Rock Fantasy music store, smoke shop and most importantly pinball venue.
Man how I missed playing pins on location. The silver lining of not having done so for so long is there’s lots of new (to us) games to play when you finally do. This afternoon we put our first ever games on Stern Pinball’s Mandalorian Pro, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Pro, Led Zeppelin Pro and Heavy Metal pinball machines. Not bad for one day!
I’m probably not the right person to ask for an opinion on those games because I love almost all pinball (besides Rob Zombie). I was very pleasantly surprised by how much fun Led Zeppelin and Heavy Metal were. Is the latter worth the eight grand that it sold for? No…but it was still fun.
And for those who are saying that The Mandalorian is a disappointment, Fooey. That’s a bunch of nonsense. The game plays great! Would it be nice if Baby Yoda was more interactive and more integrated, obviously. Also, the upper playfield seemed to suffer from the same lack of necessary ball hop to reach the flipper that Black Knight Premiums did before the kit was released. But overall Mando was the highlight of the new pins for us. It has tons of shots, tremendous footage from the show, great music and cool call outs from Carl Weathers. The center shot to bring the ball up top is a little tight and steep, but some shots on a game should be. Great game. I’d definitely buy one if I didn’t already have something else on order.
The TNMT that was at Rock Fantasy seemed to play SUPER fast to us. I’m not sure if they’re all like that or of it was just this one. Again I really liked it (no I’m not being paid by Stern, if anything it’s the opposite, so I can’t be called a shill). I can see how co-op mode would be a blast to play on it with four people. Stern has done a great job at adding other game types to its new pins, like Jurassic’s Escape Nublar Challenge.
Beyond the new games, Rock Fantasy had its usual awesome lineup. My sons and I put several games on X-Men because we haven’t played it much in the past. We also played quite a bit of Black Knight because for some reason I can never get enough of it. Here’s the whole lineup (according to the fantastic Pinball Map site):
AC/DC (Premium) (Stern, 2012)
The Addams Family (Bally, 1992)
Aerosmith (Pro) (Stern, 2017)
Attack From Mars (Remake LE) (Chicago Gaming, 2017)
Batman 66 (Premium) (Stern, 2016)
Beatles (Stern, 2018)
Black Knight: Sword of Rage (Premium) (Stern, 2019)
Cheetah (Stern, 1980)
Creature from the Black Lagoon (Bally, 1992)
Cyclone (Williams, 1988)
Devil's Dare (Gottlieb, 1982)
Dolly Parton (Bally, 1978)
Elvira and the Party Monsters (Bally, 1989)
Elvira's House of Horrors (Premium) (Stern, 2019)
Evel Knievel (Bally, 1977)
Fireball Classic (Bally, 1984)
Game of Thrones (Premium) (Stern, 2015)
Genie (Gottlieb, 1979)
Gorgar (Williams, 1979)
Heavy Metal (Stern, 2020)
Iron Maiden: Legacy of the Beast (Premium) (Stern, 2018)
Jurassic Park (Premium) (Stern, 2019)
Kiss (Stern, 2015)
Kiss (Bally, 1978)
Led Zeppelin (Pro) (Stern, 2020)
The Machine: Bride of Pin-Bot (Williams, 1991)
Medieval Madness (Remake) (Chicago Gaming, 2016)
Metallica (Master of Puppets - LE) (Stern, 2013)
Monster Bash (Remake LE) (Chicago Gaming, 2018)
The Munsters (Pro) (Stern, 2019)
Rob Zombie's Spookshow International (Spooky Pinball, 2016)
Rock (Gottlieb, 1985)
The Rolling Stones (Stern, 2011)
Rolling Stones (Bally, 1979)
Star Trek (Premium) (Stern, 2013)
Swords Of Fury (Williams, 1988)
Tales of the Arabian Nights (Williams, 1996)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Pro) (Stern, 2020)
The Walking Dead (Premium) (Stern, 2015)
World Cup Soccer (Bally, 1994)
X-Men (Pro) (Stern, 2012)
Man, what a list! I eliminated the game’s that weren’t there today or were off.
As much as I liked Rock Fantasy’s iconic first location, I honestly think that it’s new place is better. It seems like there’s room for more games now. Equilibrium Brewery just opened a new tasting room / brewery with food next door. Playing some pins then grabbing a few beers next door would make for one heck of a great day.
This trip to play location pinball again has completely energized me. I was getting tired of posting old retread pictures and news stories about locations struggling. I’m so happy that things are slowly getting back to normal. IFPA tournaments are even starting back up soon. Look for many more arcade reports here this summer. And now I have tons of cool pictures for the Knapp Arcade Instagram account (link below). If you haven’t checked it out already, stop by. That’s all for now. Thanks for reading!