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Flash Gordon 1981

Starting a game on Flash Gordon brought me back to rainy afternoons at my grandparent's house and watching the cheesy Sam J Jones- Max von Sydow flick.  Those were the days.  The movie was bad, but we couldn't get enough of it.  The pinball machine is fairly generic, and to be honest, it could easily have had a title like UFO Invasion or Deep Sea Willakers.  It's a generic table, with some generic artwork, and actors' likenesses that resemble Campbell Soup Kids or cheap animation.  The display is, of course, early digital display, so there's not that much to it.  The machine came out around the same time as the movie, and that was almost 30 years ago.  It feels old, looks old, plays so-so, but the colors and lighting on the table are definitely inviting.  Up to four players can play in a multiplayer, while one plays, the rest can beat each other over he heads with fake bird wings and watermelon footballs (a poor reference to the football seen in the movie).  Verdict on this one:  Klytus, I'm bored...

 Voltan Escapes Cosmic Doom 1979

A couple of years before Flash Gordon was released, Voltan received a pinball machine with Voltan Escapes Cosmic Doom.  Sounds more like a comic book title than a pinball machine.  The artwork looks pretty nice in a retro sort of way, but there's so little to do on the table, that it's a pretty boring play.  As a matter of face, it's awful.  If it weren't for Baby PacMan, Voltan Escapes Cosmic Doom would piss me off more than it does.  Considering I played the Voltan machine only a couple of times, I've forgotten what I thought about it.  Come to think of it, most of the tables on this review page are bad, if not awful.  I really have nothing else to say about Voltan Escapes Cosmic Doom.  Even the title sounds like a cop-out.  Why wasn't it called Voltan's Balls, Flippers and Drains, or something cool like, Voltan Eats Blueberry Pancakes?  Then, not only would it be an oddity, it would have a cool name!

Baby PacMan 1982

Back in the 1980s, everything was cool, or so we thought and still do in hindsight.  Baby PacMan had 2 cool things rolled into one:  pinball and a videogame!  It worked for Abbott and Costello, Martin and Lewis, even chocolate and peanut butter!  Sadly, Baby PacMan took a cool idea and put a so-so pinball table and a so-so PacMan videogame into one big pile of "Meh."  The PacMan looked pretty bad, even for an 80s videogame, and that's bad.  The pinball table is one of those "stunted" pinball machines, a 1/4 size machine, a Toulouse-Lautrec if you will.  The bells were there, the whistles were there, but the fun was lost somewhere.  To make matters more "meh", the videogame didn't even have Power Pellets, the ghosts didn't have eyes, the colors were beyond boring and bordering on vomitous.  Namco didn't approve of the use of its PacMan franchise, and this helped seal the fate of Namco's deal with Midway for distribution of Namco games in the United States. Good move.  They're lucky this didn't do any more damage to the franchise.  This game sucks.

Millionaire 1987

To round out the page, we have Millionaire from Williams.  This is the best of the four tables featured here.  There's not too much to do on this table, but it does have a roulette wheel built into the playfield that spins and lands on what will be your "bonus".  The left and right ball poppers will spin the wheel when they are lit.  Even better, there's a chance you will get no bonus points at all!  Awesome!  There's a skill-shot on this one with a moving wall that will launch your ball up the left side of the field if you play it right, and hit the drop targets for bonus multipliers.  The light up banks of targets spell "MONEY" and "BANK".  There is a ramp in the middle left of the field for locking the ball and building to multiplayer mode.  There are two doors that can open in the outlanes, saving your ball and dropping it into the field of play or back onto the plunger.  The artwork is awful 80s looking silliness, the music is porn worthy, and the Zsa-Zsa Gabor-esque "hot chick" will make you pray for nuns.  An amusing table, but ultimately forgettable.