Team One / Kicker (1977)

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Quickie Version

 Get all six numbered lanes, then shoot the lit drop targets all day [soccer ball symbol above target indicates lit status].  Shoot the center stand-up target whenever it’s lit [lights by completing either bank of drop targets].
 Go-To Flipper:  Balanced.

Full Detail

Team One shares its playfield layout with Abra Ca Dabra, but the scoring is different, so I list the game separately. It’s designed as add-a-ball, but the add-a-balls can be converted to scoring points [usually 50000], and this is how the game is most often set for competition play.

Skill shot: whichever number you don’t already have. Try for something other than the 4 on ball one, since you can always soft plunge for the 4 later if needed. On a few Team Ones, a plunge into the 1 or 4 lane will occasionally drain down the middle; if yours does that, go for the 2 or 3 instead.

You want to do two things here: hit each star target when the soccer ball above it is lit and eventually compete all of the 10 targets, and try to get the ball to go through all six [vs. four for Abra Ca Dabra] numbered lanes.

Lanes 1-4 are at the top; lanes 5 and 6 are near the flippers at the bottom. There are also two pad targets, a 5 and a 6, hidden behind the top drop targets on each side. This provides one other way to get the 5 and 6. As on Abra, you can shoot the ball up the 1 and 4 lanes directly [flipper strength permitting], and up the 2 and 3 lanes via bank shots off the rubber behind the drop targets. Numbers carry over from ball to ball, so finish the set a.s.a.p.

For the targets, like Abra, the lit target is worth more, but here, it’s a fixed 5000 lit vs. 500 for unlit targets. Switch hits change the lit target, so it will eventually cycle to light each of them in turn. Finishing 1-6 scores 50000 and raises the target values by a factor of 10 to 5000 for unlit targets and 50K for lit ones. If you are close to completing all of the drop targets, go ahead and shoot the remaining few, even if none of the remaining ones are lit, to set up raising their value. Note that once you finish the drops, in order to reset them, you must either hit the center standup target or get the ball through one of the two outer return lanes.

I’ve found that on a Team One with decent flippers, I can backhand the upper drop target (or the number behind it, once exposed) from a cradle on the flipper. So if that target is a one number you still need, or is lit, go for it.

Team One is a good tournament game, rewarding precision drop target shooting.

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