3rd Annual Pinball Expo
I went to the 3rd Annual Pinball Expo yesterday and played for a glorious 12 hours of free play. I went with my friend Allen and he was nice enough to drive us out to Oakland College for the event. I want last year, so I knew what to expect. We went up to the second story room and lobby which were filled with a large portion of pinball history.
The best part of the event is that people bring their tables which are kept up relatively well, so you get to play many of them without any game altering flaws. It was really great. More so if you ever had a thought about getting a table, this is a great opportunity to meet people in the community, get a deal on a table, or just play on a lot of them and get an idea of what you want to play vs what you want to spend.
I played tables from every era, from amazingly old to the latest and greatest (AC/DC, which if you know me you’d be surprised that I wanted to play it, but it was such an amazing work of technology and pinball that it was worth the play). There was a ‘JOUST’ head to head pinball game which was kind of neat, but more of a novelty than something you’d want to play a lot. There was virtual pinball, which I did not play as it arrived late in the day and wasn’t around. There was even a couple homemade tables. A Juicy Mellons one, and a Predator one from the movie.
My favorites were Circus Voltar, Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones, Mideval Madness, Transformers, Fireball II, Twilight Zone, Tron, and StarGate. Plus whichever I’m forgetting about right now. I like the more modern objective based games where you have to complete things and such to get multiball and big scores and special in game things.
A guy was working on a licensed Predator game. I played it without any of the graphics on the table. It was just wood and lights. Guy had some really innovative ideas of game play I hadn’t seen on a pinball table before. Very cool and worth going out to see and play. All scratch built. The programming was python, which I thought was cool. He wrote the APIs. Has a Video to Dot Matrix converter for the video stuff. It makes me want to get one of the LCD screens and do some cool PC integration just for fun. I might actually do that after I move in May.
Here I am tearing it up on this super loud (and awesome) transformers table. New tables are really sweet, but so much faster and more difficult than the 90′s era tables I love. They also love to give you multiball… a lot. The new video to LCD technology and components really make the tables do crazy things. All and all. It’s worth the trip and I hope to return next year.