Rabbit and I do enjoy the occasional game on a pinball machine. One of her favourites is The Addams Family, a machine that is hard to find in good working condition in the wild. So while it’s not the same, I grabbed Star Trek: Super Skill Pinball as a roll-and-write alternative. Alpal played the original a while ago and had good things to say about it.
I played the first of the four included tables, Starfleet Academy. This is a good introduction as it mainly uses the core Super Skill Pinball rules. The other scenarios include ‘The Trouble with Tribbles’, ‘Borg Attack’ and ‘Lower Decks’. If you are a Star Trek fan, all of these titles and some scoring areas will bring a smile to your face.
If you know of Star Trek and someone talked you into playing, everything is basic pinball. You don’t have to be a fan to enjoy Star Trek: Super Skill Pinball.
So far I have only played one game, and my score has me a little worried. On the back of the instructions, there are high scores set by designer Geoff Engelstein. For Starfleet Academy, the target high score is 100. On my first playthrough, I almost doubled this score. So my worry is am I playing Star Trek Pinball correctly?
I did finish the Kobayashi Maru scenario. This is the most complex scoring area for Starfleet Academy. You have to keep shooting your ball at one specific target, like in many pinball games. The catch here is you need to activate each level in order, and you have to do it 7 times. Shots are determined by rolling a 6-sided die. You can’t roll a 7, leading to the ‘unwinnable scenario’ from Star Trek.
This by itself gave me almost 90 points, so I am pretty sure this explains the score disparity. It was a lucky run, beginners’ luck. At least, I think that’s all it is. Sometimes you can overthink these things though, and I am pretty sure this is what I am doing here. I will play Starfleet Academy again soon and see how I go.
Speaking of the last page scores, there are also some fun achievements to try and earn. These do nothing game-wise, they are like Trophies or Achievements on consoles. I laughed out loud when I saw one for Starfleet Academy though – beat the Kobayashi Maru twice. Yeah, this can’t happen, but it is the only example of a Star Trek in-joke I can find.
All up though, I have found a fun new diversion that I will be able to jump in and out of quickly. I am pretty sure Rabbit would also have fun with Star Trek: Super Skill Pinball, but only as an occasional diversion. With any luck, I can test this theory soon!