Wednesday, June 17, 2015


Seeing as we covered a couple of Steve Ritchie tables in my previous House of TARG reviews, I think it's time to look at something a little different in the form of Hurricane!

The team of Barry Oursler and the late Python Anghelo are together again on their third installment of the amusement park series. The series started with 1985's Comet, followed by Cyclone in 1988, and finally ending with Hurricane. An interesting fact is that all the tables in this trilogy were released during different technology eras; Comet was a part of the short-lived System 9 alongside Space Shuttle and SorcererCyclone was System-11, and Hurricane being in the first wave of Dot-Matrix-Display tables in 1991, hot off the heels of Terminator 2: Judgment Day.
If you take a look at each of the tables in the Amusement Park trilogy, you will notice quite a few similarities throughout! It seems that Oursler used Comet's playfield as a basis for Cyclone and Hurricane and built more and more onto each installment. The most obvious influence is the center ramp.

There is even the target right next to the ramp!
One review on mentioned the zen appeal of hitting the ramp over and over and I have to agree with them on that. The Comet ramp feeds back to the right flipper so if you can dial it in, you can constantly hit that ramp and I find that so satisfying. It reminds me a lot of the ramp on Star Wars.

Another influence of Comet are the Shooting Gallery Targets found on either side of the playfield.  

Things got a little more wild on Cyclone with Oursler throwing in a Ferris Wheel as one of the big gimmicks. Hurricane follows suit, including not one but two Ferris Wheels for the ball lock!

The Amusement Park series has always had a bit of a strange layout while still having a somewhat cohesive flow. Hurricane continues the tradition though it's packed with a few more gimmicks than the previous two. as I mentioned, the Comet Ramp flows beautifully while the Hurricane ramp all the way around the playfield, going all the way down to the flippers!

It's a pretty neat sight but soon enough, the novelty begins to wear out. It can take a while for the ball to get back into play, seeing as it's going along a ramp that goes from one part of the playfield to the other. One issue I do have with Hurricane is that there are a few too many shots that tend to stop the momentum of the game. The Ferris Wheel is fun to watch once in a while but it takes a while to get through which can really slow down the game. Besides the ramps, there aren't many shots that flow into each other, instead favoring more of a stop-and-go style of gameplay.

Python Anghelo's artwork is in the same vein as Comet and Taxi; it isn't the most attractive but the amount of detail packed into the artwork is staggering! Also, Hurricane is covered with clowns so if you don't like clowns then stay as far away from this table as possible.

As the third and final installment of the Amusement park series by Barry Oursler, Hurricane builds upon its predecessors, Comet and Cyclone, while also being one of the front-runners of the Dot-Matrix Display era. Oursler's playfield design includes features from the previous tables while throwing in some new gimmicks like the ramp that loops all around the playfield. Hurricane has a nice flow to it but a few of the novelty shots tend to slow the game down. Python Anghelo's attention to detail is at full force, making the playfield look like something out of Where's Waldo? There's an obscene amount of clowns on Hurricane so if you have Coulrophobia then it might be good to pass on this table. Not to worry though, House of TARG, the home of Hurricane, has plenty of tables to choose from! Take your pick!

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