World Cup Soccer ’94

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GOOOOAALLLLLLL!!!!!!

The attraction to this game by kids may be why grown ups don’t clamor up to this table but once they play it and figure out how much there is to do and how fun it is you’ll find parents patiently waiting for their kids to finish that “one more game.” Both my daughters love this pin and I don’t blame them a bit.

WCS’94 was designed by arguably the most artistic of famous 90’s B/W designers, John Papuduik. His titles include Cirqus Voltaire, Theater of Magic and Tales of the Arabian Nights, all three of which are aesthetically breathtaking tables. I have played all of his games and have owned CV. I personally think WCS’94 is the best of the tables and only for the theme did it not reach the heights of his other games. Fortunately this lack of interest in the theme has kept the game in the “affordable” bracket for years and has allowed people to stumble upon the game which rarely happens with a title that cost 3-6 thousand dollars. At 1k the game is a steal for what it is and would be my recommended table for anyone wanting to enter the hobby.

My game was routed and is easily in the poorest shape of all my tables having a small  amount of playfield wear by the right flipper. If the wear indicates anything it is the substantiation that this is one of the funnest pins to just walk up to and play. Wear often indicates neglect but in this case I think it simply demonstrates the utter playability of the title.

In WCS’94 the goal is to travel through the host cities until eventually playing Germany in the finals. Shots award ticket stubs that in combination will award the chance to collect travel by hitting the left orbit. Completing the skill shots will light the opportunity to collect three cities so should never be taken lightly. There are ample opportunities to score big on this game and there are several stackable modes that can create huge bonuses so keep that play tight as to not tilt away those 100s of millions to put your game over the top.

My daughters love this game so I keep the settings relatively easy compared to my other tables. Hearing them scream out GOOOOAAALLLLL is one of my favorite moments in the game room. The one issue with my game I need to look into is that it has weak saucer kick outs. I think it is just a matter of swapping in some new coil sleeves but the game plays decently and getting under the hood is my least favorite thing to do. Eventually.

So if you are looking to get into the pin hobby and need a pin with lots of playability that won’t kill your wallet WCS94 would be my first choice. It has certainly created more than one new player in my house, young and old.

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Game play video

Rule sheet

http://www.ipdb.org/rulesheets/2811/WCS.HTM

Monopoly

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Monopoly.

I bought this pin because my wife liked it at a pinball party we went to years ago. I am always looking for a table that will bring her to the dark side of pinball and this was my heroic attempt at doing just that, heroic in the sense that I added a table to the lineup that I could claim was a heroic attempt at bringing my wife to the dark side of pinball.

Monopoly was released by Stern Pinball in 2001. The game was designed by Pat Lawlor and of course utilizes one of the most iconic of board games as its theme. Theme integration is done very well as the player makes shots to advance their way around the play field.

The playfield seems very open but there is actually a lot to shoot for with four ramps, 6 pops, several saucers as well as a third rotating min-flipper. I don’t know what it is about this game but I really, really like it. I also think it makes for a great league or tourney table as the shots are very obvious and the game is very “playable” and by that I mean very responsive to nudges and passing. Strategy is pretty straight forward: advance around the board collecting all properties, once all properties are collected the wizard mode will begin which I believe is a timed, similar to the wizard modes in Twilight Zone and Safe Cracker.

I frankly have never sat down and read up on strategy for this game but there are  two MBs, one of which is the train MB which is accomplished by hitting a quick return wire ramp just above the left flipper. This ramp advances along the railroads in the game so after hitting it four times it starts a two ball MB. The main MB is achieved by use of a hard lock. Lock is lit once the player travels around the board game. Depending on the games difficulty both locks are available once the player passes go one time and then the right ramp is available to start the MB. Jackpot shots are accomplished by hitting the side ramp off of the upper right flipper.

Monopoly is certainly not a complicated game and with it’s iconic license it is probably one of the most approachable games in my lineup. There are certainly nuances to the rules that a seasoned player will enjoy exploring but the game is very “beatable” if the goal is to get to the wizard mode. Personally its is all about trying to bang out high scores more so than how “deep” you get into this table. Depth does not always equate to fun and Monopoly is certainly proof of that. Worth a couple of quarters in the wild.

rule sheet

http://www.ipdb.org/rulesheets/4505/monopoly.html