Astro / Star Trek (Gottlieb, single player, 1971)
UTAD. Go-To Flipper: Balanced.
I played this in college in the early ‘70’s. While it has the letters that spell out Star Trek on the playfield, there is no evidence of any connection to the TV show. The artwork is un-themed period sci-fi and pretty cool for the time.
The initial skill shot is to get either the S or the R top lane; the A and R can be scored via return lanes, but the S and R are only available up top or via the out lanes, so get them here. After that, get whatever you need.
This is another UTAD game, just keep throwing the ball up top between the star target posts and the bumpers.
Astro is not used in tournaments much since it’s designed for add-a-ball play [the “wow” star-symbol targets when lit - - done by finishing S-T-A-R, T-R-E-K and the two star targets or lanes, which then light the star targets for add-a-balls]. Add-a-balls aside, the scoring on this game is all about the pop bumpers. They score 1000 when lit, which is more than anything else on the playfield. The letters themselves score just 500, consisting of the standup targets and the top, side, return and out lanes. S-T-A-R lights the center yellow bumper, T-R-E-K lights the two side green bumpers. This is all about nudging to get the Trek letters, Star when possible, and as many lit bumper hits as possible thereafter.
Key feeds are when the ball comes out of the side T and K lanes and the two star lanes. You may need to nudge to avoid down the middle drains from either. Also beware of balls coming out of the T or K lanes and going bottom post – top of slingshot post – outlane. Whenever the ball is on top of one of the four triangles and rolling down it towards the center of the playfield, also watch out for center drains.