Santa Monica is west of Los Angeles on the Pacific Coast Highway, USA
This time Pinball News' search for great pinball sites takes us across the Atlantic, across most of America to the West Coast and California in particular.
Here we are in the sunny climes of Los Angeles at the Santa Monica pier where the Playland arcade resides.
A quick look inside reveals a great collection of pinball games - 8 in total: Bally Twilight Zone, Stern/Sega Harley Davidson, Data East Jurassic Park, William's Getaway, Sega South Park, William's Jackbot, Bally Addams Family and a William's Star Wars Episode 1.
Most games are priced at 2 tokens (50¢) per game, 2 games for 3 tokens and 3 games for 4 tokens.
On this visit we tried the Harley Davidson first and the problems became rapidly apparent. The motorbike sensor didn't work, so lighting multiball was not the easiest task in the world. Also, the right loop wasn't detected either and the flippers were quite weak making the ramp shot tricky at best.
By the end of ball one it was clear that putting in 4 tokens was a rash move and it would be tedious to play all the remaining credits, and so it proved.
Next up was the Twilight Zone which played a little better. The only non-working parts were the left ramp and the powerball sensor in the trough and the upper right flipper. The rest of the game played well and without further problems once you accepted that The Camera wasn't available.
The final game played was the Jackbot. There's not much to go wrong on a Jackbot so it was refreshing to find a fully working game. It seemed fairly easy to get Casino Run but the two "eyeball" saucers had a habit of not retaining the ball so Jackpot shots were tricky.
In conclusion, it seemed that the pinball games here were of average condition despite the fact that they looked nice and clean. Don't rack-up more than one credit until you've played the game to establish which parts are broken.
The Addams Family and Twilight Zone have now gone and an Austin Powers has been added to the line-up.
© Pinball News 2002