The Pinball Podcast – Featured Machines by Rank 2.0

Introducing the new and more accurate TPP Featured Machine Rankings. We had several requests to rank our games, and for a long time it was a shoehorn routine (I like this more than that, so it goes here.)  Now, Jeff and Don rated all the featured games on Pinside, then took the average of their Pinside ratings to determine the overall rank.  Pinside allows the rater to determine how important various traits are to them (ie. art, sound, overall fun, etc.), so the rankings should be fairly ‘true’, based only on the opinions of two people though.

ANYWAY, here they are.  A perfect game gets a score of 10.000, and then downwards from there.  I’ve included our combined scores.

  1. Twilight Zone – 9.282 – Episode 2
  2. Judge Dredd – 8.866 – Episode 1
  3. Lord of the Rings – 8.863 – Episode 42
  4. The Addams Family – 8.518 – Episode 24
  5. Tales of the Arabian Nights – 8.38 – Episode 28
  6. Whirlwind – 8.2885 – Episode 23
  7. Elvira and the Party Monsters – 8.2775 – Episode 10
  8. Theatre of Magic – 8.228 – Episode 12
  9. Red and Ted’s Road Show – 8.158 – Episode 48
  10. Metallica – 8.112 – Episode 22
  11. Funhouse – 8.0995 – Episode 6
  12. Haunted House – 7.8925 – Episode 13
  13. Whitewater – 7.854 – Episode 18
  14. Medusa – 7.804 – Episode 25
  15. Champion Pub – 7.763 – Episode 37
  16. Congo – 7.736 – Episode 20
  17. Creature from the Black Lagoon – 7.7025 – Episode 35
  18. Revenge from Mars – 7.7015 – Episode 16
  19. Jacks Open – 7.6915 – Episode 32
  20. Bride of Pinbot – 7.6615 – Episode 3
  21. Taxi – 7.6615 – Episode 15
  22. NBA Fastbreak – 7.766 – Episode 9
  23. Doctor Who – 7.6195 – Episode 21
  24. Johnny Mnemonic – 7.5595 – Episode 29
  25. Mata Hari – 7.555 – Episode 19
  26. The Shadow – 7.3255 – Episode 7
  27. Bram Stoker’s Dracula – 7.2655 – Episode 40
  28. Sky Jump – 7.2595 – Episode 44
  29. Scared Stiff – 7.1165 – Episode 10
  30. Iron Man – 6.9775 – Episode 30
  31. Lights…Camera…Action! – 6.765 – Episode 47
  32. Maverick – 6.539 – Episode 4
  33. Shrek – 6.46 – Episode 14
  34. Fish Tales – 5.9235 – Episode 11

Pinball March Madness 2015 – Round of 8 Voting


We’re down to the Elite 8 in 2015’s Pinball March Madness. Again we saw some surprising results coming out the last round, especially with Scared Stiff beating White Water in the modern bracket and Centaur knocking off Bride of Pinbot in the classics. Voting is now open on the Elite 8 round. Voting will remain open until Thursday night, ending at midnight. Email your entries to pinballpodcast [at] or PM them to jar155 on Pinside or KLOV.

Modern Bracket

Wizard of Oz vs AC/DC
Monster Bash vs Indiana Jones (WMS)
Tron vs Cirqus Voltaire
The Addams Family vs Scared Stiff

Classics Bracket

Wirlwind vs Centaur
Elvira and the Party Monsters vs Fire
Funhouse vs Fathom
Pinbot vs Taxi

Pinball March Madness 2015 – Round of 16 Voting


It’s the Sweet 16! Another upset or two in the past round give us some match ups that I don’t think we’ve ever seen in previous years. Voting is now open on this round and will run until Monday night, ending at midnight (Pacific time). You can email your picks to pinballpodcast [at] or send a PM to jar155 through Pinside or KLOV.

Here are the match ups:

Modern Bracket

Theatre of Magic vs Wizard of Oz
Star Trek: The Next Generation vs AC/DC
Monster Bash vs Creature From the Black Lagoon
Metallica vs Indiana Jones (WMS)
Lord of the Rings vs Tron
Cirqus Voltaire vs Congo
The Addams Family vs The Simpsons Pinball Party
White Water vs Scared Stiff

Classics Bracket

Whirlwind vs Eight Ball Deluxe
Centaur vs Bride of Pinbot
Elvira and the Party Monsters vs Haunted House
Black Hole vs Fire
Funhouse vs High Speed
Fathom vs Black Knight 2000
Earthshaker vs Pinbot
Swords of Fury vs Taxi

Pinball March Madness 2015 – Round of 32 Voting


Round 1 has come to a close and we enter the round of 32. A few upsets should make for a pretty interesting round 2. Voting is now open and will run until Thursday night and closes at midnight Pacific time. All votes must be sent to either pinballpodcast [at] or sent via PM through Pinside or KLOV to jar155.

Here are the match ups for the round of 32.

Modern Bracket

  • Theatre of Magic vs The Champion Pub
  • Wizard of Oz vs Star Trek (Stern)
  • Bram Stoker’s Dracula vs Star Trek: The Next Generation
  • Dr. Who vs AC/DC
  • Monster Bash vs Family Guy
  • Spider-Man (Stern) vs Creature From the Black Lagoon
  • Guns N Roses vs Metallica
  • World Cup Soccer ’94 vs Indiana Jones (WMS)
  • Lord of the Rings vs Cactus Canyon
  • Iron Man vs Tron
  • Revenge From Mars vs Cirqus Voltaire
  • Congo vs Tales of the Arabian Nights
  • The Addams Family vs Road Show
  • No Good Gofers vs The Simpsons Pinball Party
  • High Speed 2: The Getaway vs White Water
  • Indy 500 vs Scared Stiff

Classics Bracket

  • Whirlwind vs Phantom of the Opera
  • Xenon vs Eight Ball Deluxe
  • Mousin’ Around vs Centaur
  • Sorcerer vs Bride of Pinbot
  • Elvira and the Party Monsters vs Comet
  • Haunted House vs Meteor
  • Black Hole vs Diner
  • Skateball vs Fire
  • Funhouse vs Embryon
  • Space Station vs High Speed
  • Mata Hari vs Fathom
  • Space Shuttle vs Black Knight 2000
  • Earthshaker vs F-14 Tomcat
  • Vector vs Pinbot
  • Swords of Fury vs Fireball
  • Rollergames vs Taxi

Pinball March Madness 2015 – Round of 64 Voting

Voting is now open for the first round of Pinball March Madness. You can vote by emailing your picks to pinballpodcast [at] or by sending a PM to jar155 on either or KLOV. You can still submit a bracket to compete in the contest up until round 1 voting closes on Sunday night at 11:59pm PST. After votes have been received for round 1, bracket submission will be closed. Brackets are available here:

Remember, you don’t need to have submitted a bracket to vote! Here are the Round of 64 match ups:

Modern Bracket

Theatre of Magic vs NBA Fastbreak
Judge Dredd vs The Champion Pub
The Shadow vs The Wizard of Oz
Star Trek (Stern) vs Corvette
Bram Stoker’s Dracula vs Ripley’s Believe it or Not
Star Trek: The Next Generation vs Kingpin (Capcom)
X-Men vs Dr. Who
AC/DC vs Safecracker
Monster Bash vs Stargate
Big Bang Bar vs Family Guy
Spider-Man (Stern) vs Terminator 2
Creature From the Black Lagoon vs Junkyard
Guns N Roses vs The Avengers
Metallica vs Black Rose
Fish Tales vs World Cup Soccer ’94
Indiana Jones (WMS) vs Star Wars (DE)
Lord of the Rings vs Who Dunnit?
Pirates of the Caribbean vs Cactus Canyon
Iron Man vs Tommy
Tron vs Johnny Mnemonic
Revenge From Mars vs Tales From the Crypt
Cirqus Voltaire vs America’s Most Haunted
Congo vs The Walking Dead
Tales of the Arabian Nights vs Batman Forever
The Addams Family vs Wrestlemania
Road Show vs Pinball Magic
No Good Gofers vs Maverick
The Simpsons Pinball Party vs Jurassic Park
High Speed 2: The Getaway vs Batman: The Dark Knight
White Water vs Mustang
Indy 500 vs Transformers
Scared Stiff vs Demolition Man

Classics Bracket

Whirlwind vs Pharaoh
Phantom of the Opera vs Magic Castle
Barracora vs Xenon
Mousin’ Around vs Flash Gordon
Centaur vs TX Sector
Sorcerer vs Gorgon
Bride of Pinbot vs Catacomb
Elvira and the Party Monsters vs Jokerz
Star Gazer vs Comet
Haunted House vs Flash
Cyclone vs Meteor
Black Hole vs Quicksilver
Diner vs Joker Poker
Skateball vs Grand Lizard
Black Knight vs Fire
Funhouse vs Harlem Globetrotters
Embryon vs Seawitch
Space Station vs Time Machine
High Speed vs Class of 1812
Mata Hari vs Flight 2000
Fathom vs Solar Fire
Space Shuttle vs Paragon
Black Knight 2000 vs Al’s Garage Band
Earthshaker vs Frontier
Medusa vs F-14 Tomcat
Blackout vs Vector
Pinbot vs Bad Cats
Swords of Fury vs Spirit
Banzai Run vs Fireball
Rollergames vs Firepower
Taxi vs Genie

Pinball March Madness 2015 Brackets


Pinball March Madness is back, and this year we’re doing two brackets instead of one. We’ve split modern and classics into their own fields of 64, so there are a lot more match ups to vote on.

As we’ve done in past years, you will download the brackets, fill them out, and return them to us via email. To enter you just need to get us a legible bracket back to us. You can edit the file and re-save a copy, print it and fill it out by hand and send it back by taking a picture or scanning it, draw your own bracket and send that to us, or sculpt it out of clay and send it via FedEx. Just get us a completed bracket that’s legible and you’re set.

Voting will begin on Friday, March 20th. Your completed bracket must be in before first round voting ends on Sunday, March 22nd at 11:59pm PST. Votes will be entered by emailing us at pinballpodcast [at] gmail [dot] com. We will also make voting via Pinside and KLOV available via private messages to username jar155. You do not need to enter the contest in order to vote.

The brackets (available via download at the top of this post) are in Excel format. They will open in Google Docs, Excel, OpenOffice, or several other spreadsheet programs. If you have issues entering, please email us for help.

Prizes will be awarded to the most accurate brackets and we will announce the full list of prizes soon.

Good luck, and have fun!

The Ra’s Al Ghul of Bingo

bountybackfront(image taken from via google image search)

Long-time contributor to the podcast, Nicholas Baldridge, wrote in with a detailed argument on why his Bounty bingo machine was an even deeper gameplay experience than the Twilight Zone pinball machine we all know and love.  The argument was so detailed, that we only touched on it in Episode 51.  Nicholas gave his blessing for us to copy and post his in-depth analysis of the game right here…

Subject: Bingo vs. Twilight Zone for depth?  Easy.

I’m going to use one of mine, as I am most familiar with their gameplay and features (since I fixed ‘em).  Bounty is the machine of choice.  It is a very highly rated and feature-packed game.

There are multiple games involved in every bingo.

1) Betting phase – this is where the machine pseudo-randomly awards increased odds or features based on the button pressed.  Press the green button, you get an increased chance of features being added.  Blue, and increased chance of increasing your odds.  Red, a fairly even mix of both.  Note that based on the features and odds already enabled, the machine will tighten down to eat more money.  Each button press costs a nickel.  If the stars (cams) are not in proper alignment, you will sometimes receive nothing at all.

2) On Bounty, there is a unique fourth button, used for a skill shot.  The skill shot can only be completed on the first ball.  After you get your features and odds to the appropriate level, you press the white button to increase the odds specific to the skill shot.   Again, this is a nickel a pop.  The nice thing about the white button is that it will always increase with each button press.  You will never get a ‘dead’ press.  Pressing the gold button on the lockdown bar will flash one or two lamps to tell you which numbers to shoot for on your first shot.

    For example, if I have increased my odds to 120 for the skill shot, then press the gold button, the machine will flash a lamp behind #1.  If I land in #1, I collect all 120 replays!  This is a separate meta-game from the normal bingo 3/4/5 in a row.

3) Normal gameplay – try to shoot for and land with three in a row for Green, Red or Yellow.  This allows you to press the R button to collect the replays.  But wait!  There’s more to do before that!

4) Extra ball meta-game.  You can wager replays to attempt to get up to three extra balls.  This may allow you to accomplish a goal that you have almost reached, or if you’re like me, it will cause you to wipe out and get nothing (TILT).  It essentially extends the game.  However, note that the ability to receive an extra ball is tied to the odds and features achieved and the number of replays already earned.  My machine currently operates as per factory.  This means that if I get on a winning streak, it usually tightens up until I have to put in a dollar or two to light the normally easy to achieve features and odds.

5) Magic Screen gameplay – if you have A-F lit on the magic screen, you can also move the screen horizontally.  The screen will reveal red, green, yellow and blue colored sections which are arranged differently than the typical vertical or horizontal line winners of the regular bingo card.  Having a section winner scores the same number of replays as if you scored a vertical or horizontal line in that color.

Wizard Mode – Blue section – three numbers, collectible in two positions, up to 600 replays on collect!

If that’s not enough, you can also light a feature that allows you to score 2 as 3 in a particular section.

6) Time tree: the machine will allow you to press the left and right buttons until the lit lockout. If you are lucky enough (or spend-y enough) to light before 5th or after 5th, you can score in multiple colors on the same play!

The machine starts at before fourth, meaning that you have to make your choice before shooting your fourth ball. There are rollover buttons that can be lit to light before and after 5th if a ball hits it.

7) red letter game – OK! – Bally bingos have a feature called a red letter game. Bounty has a special orange section that will give you the lit red letter game if you get two in the orange section.  Holding down the replay checker will start the red letter game. The red letter game is an entirely new game with guaranteed odds and features.

Bounty has something called super ok and extra ok. It allows you to move the orange section over an additional one or two spaces!  You’re still limited by the time tree.

Is that enough depth? Tz has many modes, but each has a different set of shots. Using the 26 possible trap/return holes, there are many variations on the same game. There’s technically only one way to win tz (or two if you count replay score).  There are several ways to win any bingo.

It should be noted that Bounty is the most complex magic screen game. It is the game that I play the most in my collection. Nothing beats running up several hundred replays, then wasting them all.

Two additional points:

1) The “2 as 3″ feature – there are two specially colored sections – a red with white stripes, and a yellow with black stripes – that have a separate feature light. Normally they score as normal red or yellow sections. This means you get three/four/five in that section, and you win the associated score highlighted on the backglass (chosen at betting phase). BUT! When the special “2 as 3″ for either colored section is lit, if you drop only two balls in that section, it will score as if you dropped 3. “Spotting” you the 3rd ball. Even better: 3 in that section will score as 4 and 4 will score as 5! Huge potential if you don’t choke.

2) The feature you’ve mentioned a couple of times about putting replays on as a bar owner. This was called a “kumbackey”. It was a special key that did just that. When you ” came back”, the barkeep would let you get your replays instead of having to pay you off. Neat stuff.

They only added kumbackey later in the bingo life cycle – around mystic lines. My mystic line game has a kumbackey, and a special separate cash box that allows the bar owner to get their take without accessing the inside of the machine!  Really cool, and the special diverter for this is normally removed (wonder why?) but I restored mine.

Now I access the secondary drop to get a nice slug of quarters without a key. :-)

Another note on the kumbackey – mine gave me fits as it has a switch that overrides the default reset behavior. If the lock cam pressure is not just right at rest, the whole machine breaks in interesting ways. I wonder how that worked on location?  It is also horribly tedious to add replays this way. On my machine, it is quite possible to score in the 1000s fairly easily. If you left and came back without a payout? Man, wait all day to play.


 Thanks for teaching us all a bit more about pinball’s first-cousin, the bingo machine!



Episode 51 – Real Détroit Fútbol

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The Pinball Podcast – Episode 50b – Interview with Barry Oursler

Jeff and Joe Zenkus got an opportunity to talk with Barry Oursler about his current projects, his return to pinball, and his possible future in the industry.


We’d like to thank Barry Oursler for joining us and hopefully we can have more opportunities in the future to get regular updates and insights from Barry as his projects get a bit deeper along in development.


Episode 50 – Between Two Sterns

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Quick Wrestlemania Pro video shot with MezelMods

Episode 49 – SFW Jodie Foster Pinball Discussions

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MEZELMODS Share the Luv Contest!  Four ways to win!  Check out this thread or for more info!  Support our sponsors!

You can now buy The Pinball Podcast Maverick Paddlewheel shirts too!  Email pinballpodcast at gmail dot com for information!  $16 shipped in the USA!