Big Ben (Williams, 1975)

From Bob Matthews EM Encyclopedia 2018
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Quickie Version

 Up top until your base bonus is at maximum, then shoot the B-E-N oversized drop targets to double it.  At that point, resume UTAD from the right flipper and choose to either shoot the right hand saucer for 5,000 from the left flipper or go UTAD with it as well.
 
 Go-To Flipper:  Mild bias Right.


Full Detail

This was one of the first tournament games I ever played [at the New York State championships in 1975, where first prize was a brand new Bally Wizard]. Big Ben didn’t really have much to offer in terms of strategy, but I include it for historical purposes. Skill Shot: get a letter in B-I-G at the top that you lack. Note that there’s an open gap left of the top lanes, so a too-casual plunge won’t get any letter.


The only decent points on the game are your bonus, the right saucer when lit and the three 1000-point rollovers on the left. Going up top right away with both flippers will let you advance your bonus; each B-I-G lane gives one advance. Completing the three of them lights the saucer on the right for 5,000. Your first order of business is to just keep pounding the top shot until both of these are accomplished.


At that point, you can double your bonus by completing the three B-E-N drop targets. These involve more risk of draining on the rebound, though, so if you notice them doing so, ignore them and continue UTAD.


Once the right hand saucer is lit for 5k, that’s your highest-value shot, so take it when you can if you’re accurate enough and the kickout from the saucer is safe. Watch out if the special is turned on but does not award points: completing B-I-G a second time changes the saucer value to special, making it totally worthless in that case.



This page is one of many in the The Players Guide to Classic Pinball by written by Bob Matthews