Voltan (Bally, 1979)

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Quickie Version

 UTAD, but at shoot the #2, #5 and #8 targets where they’re the only ones you still need.
 Go-To Flipper:  Balanced.

Full Detail

A poor choice for tournament play, but I’ve seen it used, so I include it.

This game is bonus-heavy, unfortunately, given its layout. Bonus is built up by completing “planets” 1 through 9: the four top lanes, lower three stand-up targets and the two return lanes. The return lanes, #7 and #3, are the catch. End of ball bonus is 2K per planet. If you finish the planets, it holds 18K the first time and 36K the second time as your super bonus, letting you get up to three sets of planets for your bonus. Bonus multiplier is either 1X or 3X, rather unusual. Get 3X by completing A-B-C-D; A and B are the upper standup targets, C is with #7 in the left return lane, D with #3 in the right return lane. Again, the return lanes are the catch. You need to either be lucky or able to shatz them in order to get more than 14K in bonus. But if you finish the planets three times and have 3X, your bonus is 162K. That’s a huge difference, and largely luck-driven due to the return lanes. It’s why I’m not a fan of this as a competition game.

Finishing the four top lanes 1-4-6-9 raises their value to 5K each thereafter. Getting A and B lights the spinner. Getting the 1-3-7-9 planets light the two outlanes for 50K: the machine’s luck-boxness gets worse. You can only get 50K from the outlanes if you’ve previously been lucky by getting the return lanes.

Strategy, such as it is, is UTAD through the spinners, lit or not, and only shoot at the #2, #5 or #8 targets when they’re all you need to complete a set of planets. Shatz #3 and #7 if you can, but if you’re not good at shatzing, stick with UTAD.

Bottom line if you have to play it is pray you can shatz the two return lanes, otherwise you’ll likely have to be luckier than your opponents to win.

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