Hey Look Waterskiers!

Fish Tales tutorial by the current PAPA Champion and master of the tutorial, Bowen Kerins.  The bluegrass music seems to make Fish Tales a love it or hate it game.  I love the music and the various callouts.  As Bowen notes in the video, there is so much music and sound in the game that there is a separate music theme that only comes up when you enter your initials for an achievement.

Bowen also refers to the fact that many tournament players don’t try to lock balls for multiball because it so often leads to a drain.  Instead, many tournament players focus on the boat ramp.  Unless you can reach the super jackpot in multiball, there are many easier ways to come up with similar scores.  My favorite quote is “multiball in Fish Tales frequently just flames out with nothing on the board.”

Lots of pinball diehards don’t like video modes where you stop playing pinball and play a video game on the DMD.  Fish Tales has to be an exception to this rule. I challenge you to not enjoy shooting torpedoes at boats and waterskiers.


Trying to Play Better

Something Taylor said to me made me think about what I need to do to get better at pinball.  Taylor said that he is usually trying to think three shots ahead as he is playing.  This made me think that he is playing the machine like a chess player plays against an opponent.  He knows the rules and how to exploit them.  He considers which shots lead to what scoring and the risk/reward of each shot based on its difficulty.   Based on that knowledge of the machine and it’s rules and shots, he develops a strategy to maximize his score through a sequence of shots.

i often take an opposite approach especially if I am not in competition.  On a game like Fish Tales, I will take the first shot on the fly and then adjust my game depending on what I am able to accomplish.  If I lock a ball, I figure I am 1/3 of the way to multiball and will begin to focus on getting multiball.  If I hit the ramp or hit the captive ball, I will focus on those scoring opportunities.  

Given the difficulty of multiball and the fact that you can typically outscore the 30 million multiball jackpot by other easier methods – monster fish, rock the boat, video mode and feeding frenzy, I realize a more strategic approach will lead to higher and more consistent scores.  

Instead of walking up and plunging the ball and waiting to see what happens. I am going to try to approach the machine with a scoring plan.  Having a plan and executing it are two different things, but the plan is the first step.