Strange Science - opinions on buying?

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Matt Snook

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Nov 15, 1994, 5:03:27 PM11/15/94
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My basic question is "what do you think of Strange Science?" I am picking
one up this weekend and don't know much about it. Will it be fun long term?
Others I have considered in the same price range ($800-1000) are:
PinBot, High Speed, F-14 Tomcat. (How would you compare these?)

Any info on Strange Science as far as history, play description, vintage
year, production quantity (relative), play hints, maintainence/diagnostics
hints, etc?

Thanks,

Matt Snook sn...@hpmtlx.lvld.hp.com

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Details... If you are interested:

I have owned a Xenon that I bought for $400 fully reconditioned from
Colorado Game Exchange in about 1989 or so. I have been able to keep it
going until recently and it has been a lot of fun, but my family (kids 17 to
22) is ready for a different one (and I am having Xenon fixed).

So we went down there last weekend, looking for something better like a
Pinbot or F-14 (see list below), or maybe more money for Funhouse (more
than we were willing to spend, and ended up talking with a service tech
rather than a salesman. Any decent games they get sell in less than 2 or 3
days this time of year, as soon as they recondition them and put them out
on the floor. So we went back to the storage where the machines are folded
up awaiting service, and this tech was very friendly and he convinced us to
get a Strange Science (by Bally), (which I had never heard of), for $1000.
He thinks it has more long term challenge and harder shots to not get bored
with quickly, compared to Pinbot, F-14 or High Speed. What do you think?
They sell so many (20 to 30 pinballs a week) that you must tell them what
game you want (sight unseen), put money down, then when they get one in
they will recondition it and sell it to you. Otherwise, as soon as a
decent game is put on the floor it is sold immediately (they sold 12 games
by noon the Saturday we were there and only had about 8 left on the floor).

Are you familiar with Strange Science (circa 1988)? I am wondering what the
long term playability and challenge will be like? Which on this list do you
think is the best for our home use? Know any playing hints, service hints?


Game # Game Name Price (in order of decreasing personal preference)
---------------------------

Best Choices
549 Pinbot 1000
554 F-14 Tomcat 800
541 High Speed 900


More $$
50003 Funhouse 1400
568 Earthshaker 1300
574 Whirlwind 1200

Miscellaneous, less desirable but decent games <= $1400

Game # Game Name
---------------------------
540 Comet
552 Space Station 800
553 Taxi $ 950
563 Black Knight 2000 $1000
564 Cyclone $1100
571 Diner $1150

Joseph Francis Nebus

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Nov 17, 1994, 4:31:33 PM11/17/94
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sn...@lvld.hp.com (Matt Snook) writes:


> My basic question is "what do you think of Strange Science?" I am picking
>one up this weekend and don't know much about it. Will it be fun long term?

I enjoyed it a great deal... however... this was (I think) the first
pinball game I'd ever played (discounting possibly seeing a Pac-Man Jr.
in the A&P years and years ago or whatever) so I don't know if someone
with, you know, some actual taste in games would enjoy it. (You wouldn't
believe the number of people playing "Wipeout" when there's a perfectly
good, if (in my opinion) misaligned "Twilight Zone" and a fine "FunHouse"
right next to it.) And I only got to play it for a month or two before it
was replaced.

Joseph Nebus
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

AlbertSq

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Nov 16, 1994, 11:05:56 PM11/16/94
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In article <3abb7f$h...@hplvec.lvld.hp.com>, sn...@lvld.hp.com (Matt Snook)
writes:

> My basic question is "what do you think of Strange Science?" I am
picking
>one up this weekend and don't know much about it. Will it be fun long
term?
>Others I have considered in the same price range ($800-1000) are:
> PinBot, High Speed, F-14 Tomcat. (How would you compare these?)

Would buy almost any of the Williams games you listed before a Strange
Science, Matt. SS's cabinet is composed of pressed wood with contact
paper artwork. The later Bally games (before the Williams buy-out) were
poorly constructed. SS suffers from the cost-cutting measures the company
must have instituted shortly before their sellout. The transformer is
hanging (yes, hanging!) inside the backbox which is illuminated by a
single light bulb (just like one you'd screw into a lamp) and has all of
three dangling flashers. The only innovation that's interesting is the
neon tube feature across the top of the backbox (be sure the game still
has it, I've seen it without!). Overall, I would strongly advise
purchasing a different game. I've worked on this turkey, owned it and
resold it, and think it's awful. Please reconsider your purchase!

Tom Capek @708-342-5639

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Nov 18, 1994, 6:29:18 PM11/18/94
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In article <3abb7f$h...@hplvec.lvld.hp.com> sn...@lvld.hp.com (Matt Snook) writes:
>
> My basic question is "what do you think of Strange Science?" I am picking
>one up this weekend and don't know much about it. Will it be fun long term?
>Others I have considered in the same price range ($800-1000) are:
> PinBot, High Speed, F-14 Tomcat. (How would you compare these?)
>
> Any info on Strange Science as far as history, play description, vintage
>year, production quantity (relative), play hints, maintainence/diagnostics
>hints, etc?

I played Str*ng* Sc**nc* at Expo '94. It has to be one of the most confusing
games I've ever played. It is dominated by the theme, 'light as many playfield
lights as possible to detract the player from the poor layout'. Never did it
suggest what shots to aim for like the lights on a TAF. Nor did it have
shot suggesting graphics or sound.

You would be MUCH better off spending the $900 on High Speed, which in my
mind, and the others on the Net, is a Classic. It's got tough targets to
shoot for, great multiball, good sounds for the technology of the era, a
revolving red light on the backbox that gets me going, and will not likely
bore you in a few weeks.


--
+--- O __ ---------------------------------------------------------+
| |\_____|| - 'Welcome honored guests' - 'Fifty Million!' |
| | |-----| - 'Triple Jackpot!' - 'Sorry old man' UGH! |
+--- / \| | ---------- Tom M. Capek e-mail ca...@cig.mot.com ------+

Matt Snook

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Nov 21, 1994, 3:06:07 PM11/21/94
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Thanks to those 10 or so people who responded to my Strange Science
question... Only one reply was in favor of buying it, several were very
much against buying it, several really didn't know it very well or at all,
and most people recommended High Speed or spend more for a (newer) game
by Pat Lawlor (maybe in a few years.. ;) )

When I went to pick up Strange Science, a Pinbot was also available, and
I played them both and eventually opted for....

PINBOT! (It was $1000, just shopped, 30-day guar., very good shape)

I didn't like the slow flippers on SS (normal for Bally type, I was told),
and it just seem too cluttered in the middle and didn't have a great variety
of shots. But I really liked the 5-ball lockup, the graphics and sounds, the
buttons below the flipper buttons, and the neon tube on top. In the end, the
resell ease/$$ and part availability won out.

I really haven't been to an arcade and played any pinballs for years, and
I did so last week, so now I know what some of the games are like that you
all have been talking about... So far I like ST:TNG, TAF, Whirlwind, and
would like to try WCS, TZ, Indiana Jones. I really didn't like the theme
of Funhouse, but Earthshaker was good.

P.S. I find it difficult to play in arcades due to the dark background
lights and all of the random and bright lights from other games reflecting
off the play glass.. Is this a ploy to get more tokens??? ;)

" ... I can see you ... " matteo...
--

Matt Snook sn...@hpmtlx.lvld.hp.com (303) 679-2492

... i'm the one that's gonna die when it's time for me to die,
so let me live my life . . the way i want to. jimi

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