Big Game (Stern, 1980)

From Bob Matthews EM Encyclopedia 2018
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Quickie Version

 Spinners whenever lit [the far left one is best], otherwise drop targets all day.  If you have the ball cradled on the right flipper, it’s also fine to shoot the outer spinner to get the ball to the top saucer even if the spinner isn’t lit.
 
 Go-To Flipper:  Right.


Full Details

Big Game is mostly about spinners with a dose of drop targets and lanes. The right and interior left spinners are worth 1000 when lit. They light whenever you have the “X” grid lighted. Which grid among X, Y and Z is active cycles with several things: switch hits to the slingshots, top bumper and center star rollover; balls through any of the top B-I-G lanes. The far left spinner is worth 2000 when lit but has the added benefit of feeding balls to the upper saucer and then to the top three lanes. The saucer awards 5000 per letter collected so far in B-I-G G-A-M-E, plus 35,000 extra if you’ve already completed the Big Game letters once.


Bonus from the drop targets is complicated. You get 1000 per number in each grid, or 27K basic bonus. You get double value if you’ve either completed a card or have a line of three on each card. You get triple value for two completed cards or two lines of three on each card. Got that? Oh, and once you’ve finished all three cards, you get the “reserve bonus” lit, which is a 27000 super bonus that holds to subsequent balls. You also get 5K when you complete a line of three in any grid with “extra score” lit.


Now, some ball control thoughts. Backhanding the interior left spinner is usually both possible and preferable to shooting it from the right flipper. Besides post passes using the upper flippers, you can often do a pseudo-post pass from the lower flippers as well, bouncing the ball off the underside of the top flipper rather than a post. And dead bounces are extremely useful, since you have two flippers on the opposite side of the game for the ball to cross over and land on.


As for the far left spinner, it might only be possible from one of the two right-hand flippers; if the lower one is strong enough, I prefer that, but sometimes the upper flipper gets in the way of the shot when the ball is cradled on the bottom. Bottom shots work best when the ball is rolling down the lower flipper. Top flipper shots, when they work, are extremely late, right by the tip of the flipper.


Key feeds: balls coming out of the upper right chute and the center-left chute. Watch out for center drains if the ball speed is “wrong.”


Side drains are very common since balls heading for the sides are usually at an oblique angle, letting them zip right past both the slingshot top and the side post. You’re only likely to save balls to the side if they head that way horizontally or almost perfectly vertically.


At least on Big Game you can’t lose a ball with a “scissors” flub [between the paired flippers, like on Paragon, Captain Fantastic or Harlem Globetrotters], although you can lose it by a ball hitting the lower flipper of the pair, then the underside of the upper flipper, then hopping over the lower flipper.



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