One of the things us pinball enthusiasts love to do is tell stories about how we acquired games. Each game has its own unique provenance and history, and there’s almost always an interesting story behind them. This is the first episode in an ongoing series were we talk about the stories behind the games and how they came to be. I start the series off with the very first pinball machine I purchased, a Gottlieb “Genie” – before I knew anything about how to repair and restore games. It was the game that got me on this path. I hope you enjoy the story – be sure to subscribe on Youtube! Thanks for watching!
Here are some pictures from early on when I got the game and began to restore it.
I just pulled this game off route and decided to do a showcase video, so enjoy this quick overview and introduction to this really neat, rare, early WPC DMD game, “Party Zone” by Bally.
1991 Bally early WPC DMD game by Dennis Nordman with art by Greg Freres. Review and play overview and game introduction. This game also plays “Pinball Wizard” by the Who. It has lots of humor, is a non-licensed theme featuring a variety of characters from other pinball machines including Elvira and the Party Monsters, Dr. Dude, Monster Bash and others. Features cool 80s music and 2-ball multi-ball.
Start multi-ball and build jackpot. Special song plays if you hit the max jackpot (Purple Haze by Jimi Hendrix). Visit the club three times to qualify multi-ball (shoot the right orbit-like shot, which isn’t an orbit but deposits the ball in a kick-out to the right ramp). During multi-ball shoot left orbit or right orbit shots to build the “rock-it fuel” jackpot, then the left ramp to collect. There is no ball save.
Various interesting features including, Captain B-Zarr – an amusing comical DJ that will play different songs you can select by hitting the center saucer after qualifying by hitting the two targets flanking the saucer.
Supersonic Robotic Comic: Random award qualified by hitting the three stand up targets to the right of this saucer, which kicks to the right ramp feeding the right flipper (same kickout the club shot goes do). The robot talks backwards in random gibberish and awards things like multi-ball, laugh attack (all switches score extra points), random points, and bop-till-you-drop where the pop bumpers score 1m each and punk music plays.
Eat, Drink, Be Merry: Shoot green stand up targets on the left to qualify, then shoot the left ramp for Eat (1m), then the right saucer (Supersonic Robotic Comic) for 2m, then the center saucer for “Be Merry” for 3m – amusing animations.
Way Out Of Control: Shoot the lower right stand up targets to qualify, each time enables a different mode for the far right shot (5m, 10x playfield, special, etc.) – when not qualified shoot this shot for 1m and more each shot.
End Zone: Outlanes when lit, reward points; more points by hitting the football player targets
Great game with great flow and a fun, unique theme. Beautiful artwork. Ruleset is simple yet challenging. A great game to practice pinball technique including nudging. Reliable game on location, lots of playability in home use as well. Short ball times with lots of repeat playability. Great game for competitive pinball.
Gameplay: 8 – Fun, challenging game with a lot of repeat playability; a bit difficult/unforgiving for beginner players.
Playfield Design: 8 – Excellent flow and satisfying shots; cool and unique ramps; looks more simple than it is.
Ruleset: 7 – Shallow but fun ruleset that gets players shooting all over the playfield; a few modes stack with each other allowing strategic play for higher caliber players. But otherwise a short list of modes and features that interrupt each other. Scoring is well-balanced.
Art: 7 – Gorgeous day-glow art package that is fun and frivolous. People are likely to either love or hate the art, not because of the talent or quality but depending upon whether they appreciate the offbeat theme.
Music: 7 – Another hit-or-miss. If you can appreciate the intentionally kitschy 80s-style adaptations of popular songs which fit in with the theme, you’ll enjoy this.
Theme: 7 – Unique, non-licensed theme.
Creativity: 7 – Overall a very creative pinball machine that takes more chances with art and theme than playfield or mechanics.