Welcome to the fourth part of my continuing series of tips by a novice, for novices. This time I’m going to share with you my secret method for approaching any pinball game. Stepping up to a machine you’ve never played before? No idea what the rules are beyond “hit stuff”? Or just too nervous to try anything fancy? No problem. The only three words you need to remember are shoot the castle!
Most people learn this strategy first by playing every beginner’s favorite game, Medieval Madness. The reason this game is so friendly to novices is that it goes out of its way to help you identify the castle by making it look like a giant castle. Thus, people naturally fall into using the STC strategy. The secret I can now reveal to you is that nearly every game has a castle. The designers just try to cleverly throw you off by not making it look like a castle. So your job, stepping up to a new machine, is to figure out what the castle is.
Some tips for identifying the castle
The classic castle has at least some of the following characteristics:
- It’s near the center, and so can be shot from either flipper
- It’s large and easy to hit
- It’s near the back of the playfield
- Hitting it repeatedly gets you something, even if it’s not an optimal strategy
To get you started using this strategy, I have prepared a field guide for identifying the castle in the games at The Avenue.
|Game||The castle looks like...|
|Attack from Mars||The flying saucer|
|World Cup Soccer||The goal|
|Junk Yard||The crane/wrecking ball|
|Tales of the Arabian Nights||The Genie (alternate castle: the lamp)|
|Austin Powers||The time machine|
|The Simpsons Pinball Party||The garage|
|Lord of the Rings||The ring (secondary castle: the Balrog)|
|Addams Family||The castle is really hard to find in this one. It's probably up the center ramp somewhere.|
|Indiana Jones||WARNING: Indiana Jones has no known castle and thus should be avoided at all costs.|
I’ll see you next time… and remember, shoot the castle! You learned it here first!