Countdown (Gottlieb, 1979)
Drop target banks all day, but in color order green, yellow, red, blue the first time through. If you get the top saucer lit for collect bonus with 4X or 5X, take it. Go-To Flipper: Balanced.
Skill Shot is the top saucer, when lit, for 5000. It toggles on 10-point switch hits, including the two slings at the top, so your plunge will likely switch it on and off a few times before going in, if it goes in at all [it can go around the saucer easily, too]. Count your bounces while plunging in addition to trying to get the speed right to score your 5000.
If you like drop targets, this is your game. The scoring is all drops and bonus built up from them. Drop target value for a given color bank goes up from 500 each to 5000 each once you’ve completed the set once on a ball, so blast away! As for the bonus multiplier, this is one of the “specific order” games: finishing the green targets gives you 2X, green+yellow gives 3X, green+yellow+red gives 4X, all four colors gives 5X. But if you have yellow, red and blue without green complete, your bonus is still 1X. Your order of attack is clearly indicated here.
When hitting the drops, watch out for center drain rebounds off of the green and yellow targets, especially when shot from the bottom flippers. Using the top flippers gives you more of a sideways angle on them for a usually safer rebound.
Once your base bonus is up to 20K, the top saucer lights for collect bonus. As usual for these Gottlieb games, you don’t want to collect unless your bonus multiplier is high, since the bonus value resets upon collection, although the multiplier stays for the rest of that ball. If your bonus is at 4X or 5X, definitely try to collect it, then refill it; 3X is optional, don’t bother with less than that. You can only get to the top saucer using the upper mini flippers, bank shots, or nudges off of the top of the bumper; the bumper blocks shots from the lower flippers.
If extra balls are enabled, completing 1 or 2 target banks [operator settable choice] will light the EB at the upper left lane. My shot for getting the extra ball is to use the lower left flipper and bank the ball off of the second blue target from the top: this often ricochets nicely into the EB lane! Center Post note: Countdowns come with a rubbered center post, but the insert for “same player shoots again” that’s just above the post is often so sunken that a ball hitting the supposed-to-rebound-into-play post won’t do so, instead hanging up on the insert’s edge, then falling back to drain. It may also bounce just enough to get stuck on the insert’s lower edge just above the post. Sadly, balls there are considered drained. Also, the post might be removed for competition. Either way, don’t rely on the post to save your ball; if it does, count yourself fortunate.