is the game that changed my life....well that is to say, it was
the first game I purchased for myself to play at home....but as anyone who's bought one knows, buying one pinball
machine leads to another, and another, and...well let's just say - I now have a few and I'm extending my house to
For quite a while, I'd been thinking "I've not seen a pinball in a pub for
ages". Sure, I could take a trip somewhere and find one but chances are that if I found one, it'd be broken. My
next thought was "If I want to play pinbal - I'd better buy one". In September 2000, I took the plunge and bought
. It was a game I'd only played briefly in the arcades but had liked instantly, and it was the first to
come up from a short-list of games I'd decided I'd consider. This one was in lovely condition, fully working, and
came with the manual just in case I had problems.
was designed by Pat Lawlor and virtually the same team that had worked
on his previous two games - Addams Family & Twilight Zone. As Addams Family is the best selling pinball of all time
and Twilight Zone is widely considered by pinball enthusiasts as one of, if not the most complicated, deepest, and
best games ever made. The guys had an extremely hard time coming up with a game to follow their previous success.
Raodshow is a great game that takes some of the best ideas from Pat's previous games and improves on them. I personally
would rate it as Pat's second-best game, only bettered by Twilight Zone.
The game has four flippers placed unusually in the game with three along the
left side of the playfield - two in the normal position at the base of the playfield, one two-thirds of the way up
opposite Red's Head, and the fourth just above the left slingshot. This flipper set-out creates unusual shot
possibilities and different gameplay making feel different to many other games.
The most striking thing about the game are the two disembodied heads on the
playfield - "Red" and "Ted" talk, look around, blink, and go to sleep - the constant banter between them and to you
remains amusing through many plays. This is not the first time a head has been a target for a pinball as Pat had
first placed a PinMation head called "Rudy" on Funhouse, four years earlier. Many people remember Funhouse fondly
because of "Rudy". This time round two heads are better than one - and that truly is the case - is Funhouse
with bells on!
Another idea re-used from Funhouse is the twin plunger - has the normal
ball plunger on the right side of the machine, plus another for special features on the left side. All this plus ramps,
pop-bumpers, and a still wide-open playfield was thanks to the guys making it a wide-body game - a SuperPin. (The other
SuperPins were Demolition Man, Indiana Jones, Judge Dredd, & Twilight Zone).
Dotted around this page are pictures of my own Roadshow
which has been in my spare bedroom for 18 months but will shortly be going to it's new home in my Games Room. Click on the
pictures for a larger image.
All the above is my personal opinion - Agree/Disagree? Drop me a line here.