Future Spa (Bally, 1979)

From Bob Matthews EM Encyclopedia 2018
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Quickie Version

 Shoot the mid-left inline drop targets in the channel to get your bonus to 6X, plus EB if it’s either on or set to award points.  Then UTAD.
 Go-To Flipper:  Right.

Full Detail

One of the easier games to max out your multiplier once you have the ball cradled. That’s the key, cradling.

Base bonus goes up 2K for each letter you’ve collected in Future Spa. The Future letters are collected through repeated top shots with necessary nudging. The Spa letters are made by hitting the center standup target. But don’t shoot at it, since it’s a drain risk; you also get letters from the inlines and the kickback, so just stick with the drops and UTAD and let the spa letters come from random hits and kickbacks. The only time I’d shoot the spa target is if I needed just one more spa letter to complete the 9-letter set.

When you complete all 9 letters, you light the 18K super bonus, which carries over to later balls. A second set moves you up to 36K, and you can also get 8 more letters for another 16K, for a max base of 52K and max total bonus of 312K. If you finish the letters a third time, you’re awarded a special and the letters reset. If specials are set to score points, it’s worth finishing; if not, stop one shy of your third set.

You’ll find that you lose most of your balls down the left side on this game. There are four lanes on the left, with the far left one a permanent kickback award [3K, goes up 3K each time collected to a max of 15K], then an outlane, then a may-or-may-not return lane, then a return lane. The either-or lane is managed by a gate, which begins each ball angled to the right, making it an outlane. Skill shooting or otherwise getting the ball through a lit lane [one of the two center ones] at the top flips the gate straight up to make it a return lane.

The right side top saucer and horseshoe both rise in value each time you make them, the saucer from 3K to 12K in 3K increments, the horseshoe from 2K to 10K in increments of 2K. Most of the time, though, you’re better off shooting the spinner to go up top for more letters in Future. Only if you have Future finished would I consider shooting the horseshoe instead. Horseshoe shots exit to the top right bumper, which thumps them somewhat towards that saucer, so you can sometimes get three scores for one shot – the horseshoe rollover plus the bumper value and a saucer.

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