Location: Brighton is in Sussex on England's south coast. The A23 from London and the A27 from the west connect with Brighton and there are good train connections with London and along the south coast.

Reviews by Pinball News readers Dave Roberts (updated by Spencer Allen) and Andy Davies.

After leaving the Station, the first arcade you come to on your way to the
seafront is Regency Leisure in West Street.

Typical of arcades near town centres it is quite a small place, and mostly packed with fruit machines, with a few video games out front. However if you make your way inside you will find a Star Wars:Episode One Pinball 2000. (The Addams Family shown below has now been removed.)

The Star Wars machine is in a bad state - few working bulbs, a sticky right flipper and the plunger is very weak - in other words, desperately in need of an overhaul.

Another disappointment with this venue is that the game is sitting on a carpeted 'shelf', rather than on its legs. The front legs are still fitted to the machine, but they don't even reach the ground. This means that the machine sits a little higher than normal, and (unless you want to risk an injury) I would not recommend trying to nudge it, as it would take a lot of effort to affect the ball movement at all. This has been mentioned to the management, but the response is that the arcade is small and it is the only practical place to put them.

Down to the seafront and heading east towards the Palace Pier you come across Carousel Amusements. They had three pinballs here last year but now they have all gone, so it's time to move on.

Just before you get to the Pier there is an arcade in the seafront arches.

At the back of this arcade is a Jurassic Park and another Addams Family.
Again the Addams Family has quite a few cosmetic defects, in particular a
badly worn playfield which shows how many times this game must have been
played. Apart from the ramp diverter not working and some dead lamps,
it is playable, although there is a bright reflection of the light fitting
above the game right over the flippers.

Having not played Jurassic Park before I wasn't sure of the game rules.
Despite the game being quite dirty, the T-Rex was still working and a few
games didn't reveal any obvious faults.

On a subsequent visit, we found the usual problem of the Jurassic Park's Control Room not functioning, so you couldn't start modes. Also the TAF was missing the flipper rubber on the upper right flipper, and the display was on the way out. However, since the above picture was taken they seem to have found the backbox topper.

Back outside and a stroll down Brighton Pier, this used to be called the
Palace Pier, but despite residents protests it has been renamed.

Sadly the are now no pins on the pier, but it's worth walking down to the end just for the views.

Back onto solid ground and the next arcade we come to is 'Aladdins', just to
the east of the pier, and if you're a fan of Pat Lawlor's pinballs, then this
is the place to go!

Along with the obligatory Addams Family (There must be an obscure By-law in Brighton that says you cannot operate pinball machines in an arcade without an Addams Family!), we also find a Twilight Zone, Red and Ted's Roadshow, No Good Gofers, and just to provide a little variety there is also a Data East Batman in the line up.

New to the line-up is a Theatre of Magic.

The Batman looks a little dirtier than the others, but is still fairly clean
for an arcade pinball. Starting a game reveals a small problem with the
plunger, the external spring is broken, and this makes it difficult to get a
consistent attempt on the skill shot, but apart from this the game appeared
to be working. The wide mouthed ramp in the middle of the playfield seems
impossible to miss and it is quite easy to get respectable scores on this
machine by just looping the ramp. Although to get high scores, you will have
to start multiball.

Locking a ball for multiball reveals another fault, that the auto plunger
does not fire at all. Although this is not a real problem with this game as
the machine will wait patiently for you to manually launch the ball.

This game is also set for five games for a pound, which is unusual, as the
rest of the pinballs in this arcade are set to the more normal four.

The Addams Family is clean and in fairly nice condition. The only noticeable
problem was that sometimes a shot to the 'Bear Kick' ramp was registered as
'Millions Plus', although it never seemed to do it when I could get one of
the multiball jackpots. The only other flaws were cosmetic (A missing sign
over the bookcase, and metal 'protectors' covering damage to the ramp.).

The Twilight Zone looks like the cleanest example I have seen in an arcade,
but this is probably because it has only been about a month since it was
stripped down, cleaned and completely rebuilt. Despite this it seems to have
a flaky powerball sensor in the trough, but once the powerball was placed in
it's rightful home (the gumball machine) this wasn't an issue anymore. The
technician was aware of this (* see note at end of review) and it has already
been repaired.

The only real problem with this machine is that it, along with Roadshow, is
directly beneath a light fitting which is reflected in the playfield glass,
partially obscuring the middle of the playfield. The coloured tiles on the
ceiling help soften the reflection but it is still noticeable. The light that
was above the other three machines has been removed, but the owner doesn't
want to remove this one as he feels that it would make the area too dark.

The lighting problem is less noticeable on Roadshow, as it is a much brighter
machine. The game was clean and fast and played almost perfectly, the only
problem was that the diverter on the right ramp sometimes didn't fire quick
enough and the ball was returned to the lower flipper, rather than looping
round to the mini flipper.

The ToM played well although the Basement kickout did send the ball straight down the middle a few times. Apart from that, no problems cropped up.

Which leaves only one more game to play, No Good Gofers.

This is my all time favourite game and I have played this particular machine several hundred times, but today I just couldn't quite get the hang of it.

The machine is very clean and in almost perfect condition and for this reason it plays really fast and my reactions were not quite up to it. I did manage to start the multiball, which is worth it just for the light show leading up to it, but failed to get much more than that.

One thing to note about Gofers is that the floor it is standing on starts
to slope down next to it, and if the machine has wandered a bit to the right it will not be quite level, and making some of the shots will be harder.

With Buzz's voice still fresh in my mind "This must be embarrassing for you",
I left Aladdins for my final destination.

Peter Pan's Playground was always a good place for the pinball player. The
machines might not have been the cleanest and best maintained, but there was
always a good selection (last year they had eight machines), and with this
in mind I was hoping for something similar this time.

But I was very disappointed, the arcade is 'Under New Management' and has
been extensively remodelled, and all of the pinball machines have gone.
Still reeling from the shock, I make my way back along the seafront with
one intention .... this time I'm going to show those gofers who's the boss.

Reviewers Note: Before making a trip down to Brighton remember that it is a
seaside resort and that the seafront arcades are closed during the winter
months (November to March), the Pier and the West Street arcades (Regency &
Family Leisure) are open all year round.

Review by Dave Roberts

In his spare time Dave works as an arcade technician in Brighton. He is
responsible for the maintenance of the pinball machines at 'Aladdins',
and occasionally helps with repairs at some of the other Brighton arcades.
Despite this he has approached this review from a player's point of view,
and hopes that readers will find this review fair and unbiassed.


Update by Andy Davies, April 2005

Another week off work, another day out! This time a trip east to Brighton.

It's been at least 8 years since I visited this resort and I recalled from that visit the pier was the best place for pins. However, I should have read the review on Pinball News about there being no pins on the pier before setting off to the end of the wooden structure in a force 9 gale and driving rain!

Anyway, my quest for pins is strong and looking for the nearest arcade to the pier I saw Nelsons just to the east of the pier entrance, right next to the beach. All I can say about this arcade is; God bless the arcade technician! Greating me on the left hand side of the arcade was 6 of the best looking pins I have seen for a long long time. I could count the number of bulbs that were out on all six tables combined on the fingers of one hand. From left to right the tables were; Batman, Twilight Zone, Addams Family, Red and Teds Roadshow, No Good Gofers and Creature from the Black Lagoon. I am very hard pressed to remember the last time I saw 6 pins together in any arcade, which as we all know is a shame. But to say I was like a kid in a candy shop was an under statement!

First up, Gofers! As you may know from my previous reports, I don't get out much! and this was the first time I've played this. What a machine! This is the most fun I've had on a table since the first time I played Medieval Madness. This is a fast, fully working, (yes everything works - not a single fault!) fun table. Managed to get to hole 7 on my first credit! The only thing I can say against this wonderful table is a slight tilt to the left. But only very very slight. The first ball of the multiball fires straight between the flippers, but you get that back.

Next up, Twilight Zone. I have played this before and now realised why I forgot it! I know this table has a good following, but I didn't like it. Wide body pins aren't my thing and it just didn't feel right. I don't know whether it was because I'd just come off Gofers, but this pin is not for me.

Batman was next to take my pound coin. Again faultless. Yes the plunger was a bit weak but it still reached the top if you got it right. The flippers were very strong, the kickout from the cave ramp worked, the joker worked, it was a great table. The reply value however was very low. Even the other half got a replay!! Started at about 2 million. Hence we left a few credits for the locals.

3 played, 3 to go.....

..............but that is were this arcade is very very strange. Off to the change desk to get some more pound coins. No one was there! I spotted a change machine, but whatever note I fed it, no pound coins, just my note returned unchanged.

Couldn't spot one member of staff in the whole arcade. Went to the shops next door but I think they had wised up to people asking for change and no joy. The sea air had make us both hungry so we left it there, promising we will return to play the other 3, but it would be another day.

We headed off to the marina for some food, drink and a movie (and found the only free car park in Brighton! and here's my hint for the day. Park in the free car park at the marina and get the seafront train to the pier £2.50 return and it saves on parking in town. Anyway back to pinball. There is a bowlplex at the marina which has a Simpsons pintable. Another quirk, it takes tokens which you must get from a machine. Anyway the table played well apart from the garage door only went up every now and then but all flippers were strong and it was more enjoyable than the one at Bournemouth I played last year.

So another day out comes to an end, but Brighton will see us again for the other 3 tables in Nelsons and a search for more in the city's arcade. Off now to e-mail the pier and ask them why there are no pintables on it. I'll let you know if I get a reply!


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