Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Machine: The Bride of Pin·bot

For a little place up in cottage country, Georgian Grill has a really good offering of pinball. When my brother Shane mentioned swinging by the arcade, I was hopeful for a good line-up but remained a bit skeptical, thinking most machines would be in barely-working order due to being in a bit of a remote area. I must say, I was quite surprised! Every pinball machine was in fine working order and seemed to be well taken care of. One of the employees at Georgian Grill even gave the glass tops of the pinball machines a wipe-down!
One of the tables that I was most surprised about was The Machine: Bride of Pin·bot! It was the oldest table in the line-up yet it was looking pretty dang good!
The good looks aren't just because of the condition the table was in but the artwork. Bride of Pin·bot has to be one of Python Anghelo's finest works from head-to-toe. There are so many little details packed into BoP with all sorts of astronauts running around the playfield, a signature in Anghelo's work.
Take a look at tables like Taxi or Hurricane for other examples of Anghelo's "world building"
There is also a ton of innuendo which is par for the course with Anghelo. I'm not going to point it out because this is a family-friendly blog (well... relatively speaking) but take a look for yourself and see if you can spot it!

The backglass is a masterpiece of pinball artwork. It looks like a cover of Heavy Metal!
Part of the scoring is implemented into the artwork as well with the Jackpot level climbing up the Bride's legs. The cabinet, which is often overlooked, is decked out in a beautiful shade of purple and features the Bride lounging all along the side. Unfortunately, because this particular table was packed into a line-up, I wasn't able to snag a picture of the sideart but the front of the cabinet should serve as a fine example!
As the name implies, Bride of Pin·bot is the sequel to Pin·bot. Oddly enough, Barry Oursler and Python Anghelo, the team that brought you Pin·bot, were not together on BoP; In Oursler's stead was Williams newcomer, John Trudeau who teamed with Anghelo to design BoP. With the combined efforts of Anghelo and Trudeau, they created a table that really stands out from the rest of the 80's pack... although it was released in 1991. Bride of Pin·bot's big feature is the spinning Bride head that doubles as the ball lock. Similar to Hurricane and the Amusement Park series, the Pin·bot series builds upon the features of its predecessor. On Pin·bot, multiball was activated by locking each ball in Pin·bot's visor, thus giving him "eyes".
In the case of Bride of Pin·bot , your goal is to build the Bride into a real woman. First, you must lock a ball in her mouth, giving her the ability to speak.
This is where things get wild. After locking the ball, the Bride's head spins around to reveal another side! This time you must give her the ability to see, ala Pin·bot. This will activate multiball after which you must send the balls back up to the Bride and turn her into a real woman... I am not making this up.
Prior to Bride of Pin·bot, there were few tables with such an outrageous feature but BoP was a bit late to the game and within the year of it's release, the dawn of the DMD arrived with Gilligan's Island and Terminator 2 hitting the arcades months after BoP's arrival. In a short period of time, Bride of Pin·bot had become outdated.
There is another neat little callback to Pin·bot in the form of the pachinko-like mini-playfield.
Although Pin·bot has been relegated to the miniplayfield. He also throws out a few quips along with the Bride.

Unfortunately, as good as The Bride of Pin·bot looks, the gameplay is a little shallow. The gameplay essentially boils down to either hitting the left ramp to work your way up to multiball or hitting the center ramp to earn millions of points. The ultimate goal is to earn the Billion point shot which is activated either through multiball or lighting it on the big wheel.
If you earn the Billion point shot, you are placed in the Billionaire's Club. After that, there isn't much else to do on BoP besides earning another billion points.
The main strategy devolves into primarily hitting the left ramp as the center ramp is pretty small and has a quick U-Turn that tends to disrupt the ball's momentum. Due to the center ramp's location, any ball that doesn't get up the ramp will go flying right down the middle drain.

In today's pinball environment, where private collections are the norm, Bride of Pin·bot tends to fall short of its colleagues. The gameplay is not quite as diverse as previous tables and the spinning head ball lock feature was quickly overshadowed by the release of Dot Matrix Display tables. The table was moreso designed for the arcades where people would be spending all their change in hopes of reaching that elusive Billionaire's Club. The table loses its luster in free-play as you can keep trying until you get the billion points; there is no sense of urgency nor the feeling of making the most of your last quarter. In the case of Bride of Pin·bot at Georgian Grill, it feels right at home. The only problem is that a single game is a dollar which is a high price for a bit of antiquated game. Despite the less-than-stellar gameplay, Bride of Pin·bot is quite a looker. Everything from the cabinet to the backglass is dressed to the nines and can be considered one of Python Anghelo's finest works in pinball. If you find yourself at Georgian Grill, drop a dollar or two on Bride of Pin·bot but don't go spending all your dough in search of the Billion point dream; there's plenty of other tables to spend your money on!

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