Solar Ride (Gottlieb, 1979)

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Quickie Version

 UTAD towards the top right gate from the left flipper; from the right flipper, shoot the collect bonus saucer when it’s worth 50K or more, otherwise either shoot the drops or transfer to the left flipper.
 Go-To Flipper:  Left except to Collect Bonus.

Full Detail

Skill Shot: make the top left lane to get your 2X bonus multiplier. Solar Ride is another of Gottlieb’s in-order bonus multiplier games. Base bonus goes up to 20K, raised by the lanes, drop targets, and the right side saucer which gives 5 advances. The multiplier goes up to 5X, but must be done in sequence, from 2X for the top left lane across from left to right 3X, 4X, and 5X for the top right lane. As each one is collected in order, then next one needed will light up. Balls through the right side return lane will also advance your bonus multiplier.

Strategy: shoot up the right side towards that top gate. Going through the gate will award a minimum of 5 bonus advances, plus give you a fresh plunge to try to get the next multiplier you need.

The saucer at the upper left will collect and reset your base bonus; your multiplier is held for the rest of the ball. Like other early Gottlieb SS games, you want to avoid collecting until you have your bonus multiplier up to 4X or 5X. In the case of Solar Ride, where raising the multiplier can take a lot of shots, I’d take it at 3X as well if my base was close to maximum.

There’s not much to the game: shoot the ball up along the right side wall towards the top right gate from the left flippers; shoot the drop targets or, when high enough, the bonus collect saucer from the right. I treat the right side saucer as optional since misses to it can be drainy. If extra balls are on and you have the EB return lane on the right side lit, you can try shatzing for the EB from the left flipper. The EB lights whenever your base bonus is a multiple of 5000; if you collect bonus while it’s at such a multiple, the EB lane stays lit until you resume building bonus above the base of 1000. You can also try shatzing left to right for a bonus multiplier advance.

The wide-open playfield gives you a bit more time to anticipate bad rebounds than on many other games, so learn to see ahead when the ball will bounce towards a drain and use pre-emptive nudging to save it.

Key feeds: the kickouts from each saucer. The lower right one should kick out to the left flipper. The upper left one will kick out to the right side of the rubber below it; from there, it will sometimes bounce into a bumper and reverse course to the rubber and saucer.

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