Sky Kings (Bally, 1974)

From Bob Matthews EM Encyclopedia 2018
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Quickie Version

 UTAD, with option for captive balls once lit.
 Go-To Flipper:  Balanced.

Full Detail

An older mostly-UTAD game, but with an alternate strategy available. Skill shot: top saucer, which lights both side captive ball lanes. Either side is next best, lighting one or the other lane. Dribbling through the center without landing in the saucer is bad news, get nothing lit.

If you don’t make the saucer skill shot, UTAD until you get both captive lanes lit.

Once you have both lanes lit, you have to choose between two primary alternatives: continue UTAD to score 3000 point saucers plus whatever random points you get while the ball is up there, or shoot the lit captive ball lanes to get 1000 to 4000 per shot, depending upon how far up the captive ball goes. There’s rebound drain risk from either strategy, plus brick drain risk, so you need to figure out a few things to help decide:

  1. When you hit each captive ball squarely, where does the rebound go?
  2. How many points does a square hit get you, i.e. does the captive ball regularly go all the way up and down for the maximum value of 4K?
  3. What happens if you miss or hit the captive ball a glancing blow?
  4. When the ball comes down from up top, how likely is it to drain vs. come to a flipper or through a return lane?
  5. How readily does the ball go in the saucer when put up top?
  6. If you miss the top shot, what happens?

Essentially, you’re doing a risk-reward calculation on the two. If the top is pretty safe and the saucer friendly, I tend to take that route. If hits to the captive ball fall cleanly into the return lanes, that makes these a good [or better] choice. YMMV; choose wisely.

The EB lights come on once you max the bonus [15K]; only one side is lit at a time. Take it if they’re on and you can play them!

Double bonus is last ball only.

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