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news & gossip

Skill Shot #3 News & Gossip

Originally published in Skill Shot issue 3, Spring 2008

The first Northwest Pinball and Game Room Show will be at the Seattle Center June 6 – 8. Word is that there will be over 100 games (all set on free play!). Tournaments, special guests and more! Check out their web site for more details: (

While we are on the subject of web sites, be sure to check out the Skill Shot page on mySpace. We’re posting most of our reviews and such there, but more importantly, this is the place to find our most up-to-date Seattle Pinball Guide!

The new Stern pin Wheel of Fortune made it’s much anticipated debut at Shorty’s recently! It is loads of fun and quite challenging to play. We have got to give props to Shorty’s for creating a unique pricing scale for this game, since it is a lot tougher than the similarly priced Spiderman.  Its 75 cents per game, 4 games for $2, and 11 games for $5!  Sweet.

While it doesn’t look as if Madison Pub is going to get a WoF after all, at least the Lord of the Rings is (mostly) fixed. Just watch out for the bum Balrog!

Capitol Hill has recently gained three more pins this winter with the openings of the (new) Elite and King Cobra. King Cobra is partly related to the recently closed Kincoras and we were really hoping that No Fear was going to relocate along with many of the employees, but no such luck. At least the Fun House isn’t turned up to a disturbing volume like the one at Jules Maes!

Speaking of Jules Maes, we were shocked to find out that the beloved White Water had been replaced with Fish Tales! However, we were happy to see the Redwood has replaced their broken Fish Tales with a working Attack from Mars.

A big thumbs up goes to the Hurricane Café for fixing the dot-matrix display on their Terminator 3! Meanwhile, their South Park is often on the fritz, sometimes giving 30 credits on a non-stop 6 player game, complete with surprise (and undeserved) multi-balls! Crazy!

Finally, according to, there will be a new Shrek pin coming out in March.  It’s geared towards kids, but is built exactly like Family Guy, including the small playfield in the top corner. Sounds like fun!

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news & gossip

Skill Shot #2 News & Gossip

Originally published in Skill Shot issue 2, Autumn 2007

A sad day here at Skill Shot, two games are leaving the hill; Monster Bash, and No Fear (which just replaced Elvira’s at Kincora’s). As they begin to tear down that whole block on Cap Hill we can only hope that No Fear finds a new home at Redwood. After all Fish Tales has seen better days. If that wasn’t enough, the word on the street says Twilight Exit is closing. Bye bye Med Madness and Junk Yard.

Ran across a pin at Gameworks the other day, High Roller Casino. For a fancy place like that it’s a shame to see a classic game in such disrepair. Come on game owners get those pins fixed. Nothing is worse then a broken game, unless you count The Hurricane’s South Park. Which gave us unlimited multi-balls, and no tilt (not for lack of trying).

Mad Pub finally fixed LOTR, only to have it break again. No matter those that are in the know say they will be getting a new pin soon. Can you say porcelain Dalmatian for $500?

Hey there’s a Pin Ball Machine at the 12th Ave Laundry on Capitol Hill: Taxi, one of the few games accessible to the under 21 crowds that’s actually fun to play.

Don’t forget to contact us if there is a game in your area, because knowledge is power!


A Family Affair

By Bernard Blvd.

“It seems today that all you see is violence on movies and sex on TV…” And in a pinball game! It’s Family Guy pinball, distributed by Stern. If you are familiar with the show that the game is based on, you are in for hours of fun with Family Guy pinball. If you aren’t familiar with the show, watch Fox on Sundays to see new episodes of the show that got cancelled and returned years later due to the demand of fans. The whole Griffin family is here: Peter, Lois, Meg, Chris, Stewie, and Brian. Many other characters show up to play, even Quagmire. Giggity-giggity!

The playfield is fun and very animated, with each family member represented by a plastic model that denotes their area of the game. Lois stands next to a ramp entrance that has a spinning picture of her face. Peter stands on a bumper behind Brian, who is on top of a Pawtucket Patriot beer can. Chris is directly next to his dad, behind the ramp that threatens to start the “Evil Monkey” feature. Stewie of course stands near Lois and Meg is alone on the left side, and if you hit the target beneath her, she usually gets hit in the face with something on the display and whines about it.

The game has four main features: TV modes, Beer Can modes, Fart Multiball, and Stewie Pinball. The TV modes are shown directly above the flippers, and include “Sexy Party” and “Chicken Fight.” These are activated by spinning the Lois picture and then sinking the ball into the TV “scoop”. The Beer Can modes are displayed directly below Brian on his beer can, and include “Happy Hour” and “Lard Multiball” (two balls). Hitting the beer will get these modes going. Fart Multiball (three balls) is activated by knocking down the four drop targets that spell out “FART” three times. Family Guy’s skill shot is hitting the “F” in “FART” after pulling the plunger, so practicing this skill shot helps to advance you toward Fart Multi-ball.

Stewie Pin-ball is the best feature of the game, utilizing a second, smaller playfield located in the top right corner. To get to this mode, you have to hit the two trapped balls that border the TV, or hit the scoop itself. When the lights that spell out “PINBALL” are all lit, putting the ball in the hole activates Stewie Pinball, and the regular play-field is temporarily turned off. To advance you hit the ramps or targets to spell out each family member’s name. Be careful, because the flippers are shorter, and the ball tends to jump over them into the drain, especially after rounding the Lois ramp. There is a 15 second “shoot again” limit, which can be extended if you hit the somewhat hidden Stewie targets before hand (look for them next to the word Stewie!). If you can keep the last ball in play, you have no time limit and once all the family members are lit, you have activated Stewie Multiball! This is a four ball multiball that incorporates both playfields, although it is wise to concentrate only on the main playfield and flippers. This feature looks like a lot of fun, but since I have yet to get to it (not for lack of trying…a lot), I have to rely on both of my talented Skill Shot collaborators to “show me how it’s done”.

The features, modes, and jackpots are plentiful. The music and sounds are a direct reminder of the reason this game is so much fun, which is Family Guy: the little TV show on Fox that could.

pinball sez

pinball sez #2

pinball sez

Pinball Sez #1


A Monstrous Good Time!

by DJ Boom

Nothing beats a good monster movie, and nothing beats a good pinball game. What happens when you combine the two? You get Monster Bash. (dramatic music) All the classic monsters from Universal Studios are here. Wolfman, Dracula, Mummy, Frankenstein’s Monster, his Bride, even that guy in the wet suit with zippers shows up. What are they up to? Well it’s the classic story, Drac is trying to get the band back together and he needs your help.(more dramatic music)

At first glance the play field seems pretty standard, but then you plop in that first quarter, hit the ball a few times, next thing you know your going to the bank getting a cash advance. Yep, it’s that good. Now most pinball games have two to three multi balls, and Monster Bash is no exception. Clocking it a three, you get Mosh Pit multi ball, Monster Bash multi ball, and the big one, Monsters of Rock multi ball. Rock is the hardest to get, but it’s worth it! I’m still picking at the blister.

Fast paced and addictive this game is a hoot. One of my favorite features is Phantom Flip. According to Williams web site, “Is the game haunted? Is it possessed? No, it’s Phantom Flip! Hit each of the blue Phantom Flip standup targets to light Phantom Flip. The ball return lanes will light, indicating the Phantom is ready to do its work. Phantom Flip will automatically decide which shot is the best, and try to make it for you automatically! Keep those hands away and watch the spooky action!” An auto shot from a flipper? Pretty cool stuff for 1998 when the game came out.

Style. This game has a lot of it. From the bobbing head of the Bride, to the lights in Frankenstein’s lab, this is one slick looking game. How can you argue with a game that has Dracula saying ‘ Jump back, kiss myself, blah! Or my personal favorite, which has Drac moving around the play field taunting you with “I will mesmerize you with my semi-circular movement!” Even the Mummy gets to take a shot at ya with “Back in my day we didn’t have Jackpots”

With solid game play, a sleek look, nice sound and music this game is hard to find fault with. However, it does have one very annoying habit of getting the ball stuck behind Drac. Then as the machine goes through the paces of finding it, Drac will move around the play field, releasing the ball. Directly down the center. Sigh, oh well, ya can’t win them all.

news & gossip

Skill Shot #1 News & Gossip

Originally published in Skill Shot issue 1, September 2007

Canterbury recently replaced Tales of the Arabian Nights with a Fish Tales game. The Fish Tales is nice and clean but we’re going to miss Arabian Nights just because there’s already a F.T. in the neighborhood. Speaking of beautiful machines: PONY recently got their first(?) pin and it’s Monster Bash! It’s never been our favorite game in the past, but the game at PONY is well lit and in excellent working condition which makes it fun to play. Yeah!

Over at The Cuff, the pins got moved to make room for the expanded “leather store”; two are next to the juke box, but poor Star Wars has been exiled next to the stinky back bathroom! We’re guessing that one of the games is going to go. Crikey! Word on the street (or in the arcades) says that STERN is soon to release a Crocodile Hunter game. Apparently this was in the works before his unfortunate man-ray incident. We have also heard rumors of a soon to be announced Wheel of Fortune pin! Both games continue the trend of movie and TV properties being the basis of new games. We hope Best in Show is being considered also.

Lastly, we had a fabulous time at the Pinball-Halo-Birthday Bash up in the hills of Redmond earlier this summer. Birthday boy’s Dave and Keith hosted this awesome event that featured 8 different pinball machines! Thanks guys!  xxoo