Nip-It (Bally, 1973)

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Quickie Version

 Zip the flippers closed by hitting the center mushroom bumper; lock a ball; shoot “release” to start multiball; relock a ball to collect bonus; repeat.
 Go-To Flipper:  Balanced.

Full Detail

How about 3 flipper buttons? But the upper button on the right triggers a “gator grabber” metal loop instead of a flipper. You’ll see.

The skill shot is to roll over one of the top white discs that lights either the red bumpers or the yellow bumpers, then have the ball fall into the 500 point saucer. When the ball is ejected from the saucer, it goes down and to the right; you want to hit the “grabber” button to have the gator metal bar come out of the upper right side to catch the ball as it does so. This scores 1000 points plus a bonus advance for going down the gator lane and feeds the ball towards the right flipper when it comes out of the one-way gate below.

The grabber can also be used as a flipper of sorts: if you trigger it early, before the ball would be trapped inside it, it will push the ball away to the left. If you can tell that the ball won’t be rolling quite far enough to the right to get inside the grabber, you might want to do this to change its trajectory.

Like all games with zipper flippers, you want to keep them closed as much as possible. And like many other zipper games, it’s the center mushroom bumper that closes flippers. On Nip-It, the white rollover disk to the right of the mushroom bumper opens the flippers.

There’s an “Open gate” standup target on left side middle, which lights on some funky switch hits cycle (it does not appear to be keyed to any of the scoring reels). If you see it lit, go ahead and shoot it to open the lower right gate, otherwise ignore that target.

A ball can be locked in lower right-side saucer, which will score your bonus and feed a second ball to plunger lane. When you get the new ball to the plunger, go for whichever light-bumpers button you haven’t already triggered plus the 500 point top saucer again. Grab the ball as it exits, and when it feeds out the bottom of the gator gate, close the flippers if you haven’t already done so, then let the ball settle onto them.

Now you have a strategy choice to make. One option is to shoot for either “release ball” target in the upper center of the game to start multiball. Your bonus, maximum 10000, does NOT reset when you lock a ball, so if your bonus is close to 10K, this is a good choice. If you go this route, try to relock a ball to collect your bonus again, then re-release it, etc. to collect your bonus multiple times.

The other choice is to shoot the left gate or up top for gator-grab-all-day. This can be done even if you’re in multiball if you have a ball cradled on the left flipper and can just keep going into the gate or up top from the right flipper, then catching the ball on it again when it feeds out of the gator. The risk here is that on some Nip-Its, the feed from the gator may drain down the center some of the time.

Like Gator and other zipper flipper machines, backhand flips may be more accurate or stronger than forehands. As always with zipper flipper games, top priority is to keep the flippers zipped as much as possible and let the ball settle onto the zipped flippers whenever you can to set up controlled shots via microflips. When you have the flippers zipped and start multiball, try to keep one ball settled on the zipped flippers and just knock the other ball around.

Final note: locked balls can be stolen by subsequent players – beware!

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