Lost in the Zone

More Recommended TPA Tables for Beginners and Beyond (DLC Packs 5 - 7)

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I'm a little behind on my coverage of DLC tables, so it's time to get current on my coverage of recommended TPA tables for beginners and beyond before TZ lands. For thoughts on the core tables and the first four DLC packs, see Recommended TPA Tables for Beginners and Beyond.

Difficulty is rated by pinballs, 1 being stupid easy and 5 being blood-on-the-cabinet tough.

Taxi (3 pinballs): A nice uncluttered table with great flow, elegant in its simplicity and ferocious in its speed. No matter what kind of tables you like, it's hard to hate Taxi. Great for unwinding after wading through the complexities of RBION or getting beat down by Black Knight or Big Shot.

Harley Davidson Third Edition (2 pinballs, 3.5 for Milwaukee Multiball): Another fast and fun table, but sometimes I think a 2-year-old could get to a multiball mode without adult help. This table is a multiball fiend's dream; unless you truly botch it, you're almost guaranteed to play each of the basic multiball modes at least once. Reaching Milwaukee Multiball involves a long haul and is more about endurance than skill.

Elvira and the Party Monsters (3.5 pinballs): Another relatively simple table, with a little more depth than Taxi. EATPM has a nasty habit of cheap draining; be prepared to nudge your balls off. Above average music package for its time, the 1 million and 3 million shots are particularly thrilling.

No Good Gofers (3.5 pinballs): This would be a 3-pinball table, but the opaque ramps obscuring the outlanes and upper flipper don't help one bit. Also a visually distracting table; the ball is liable to get lost momentarily against the busy playfield. NGG makes up for this with some of the most hilarious quips, one-liners, and general goofiness in all of pinball. Buzz's "say goodbye to your balls!" will never get old.

Big Shot (3 pinballs): Note that this is an EM, and EMs as a rule are all voracious drainers. The difficulty is relative to the only other EM I've played, Jet Spin. Some people love these old tables; I find I can tolerate them for a while before yearning for some dots. Expect short ball times, including some house balls (balls that go straight from plunger to drain without any chance to save them).

Scared Stiff (2 pinballs, 3.5 for reaching Spider Mania): This rates with Theatre of Magic as being particularly friendly to the novice (but note that the real SS is not so accommodating!), and is just too damned fun to put down. Great flow, great music, hilarious quotes (too bad family mode had to be turned on to preserve TPA's E10 rating; it will be worth spending the money for Pro mode to turn family mode back off just for the missing lines) and all-around great pinball fun. It is somewhat bugged - not nearly as bad as CV can be - but its strengths easily outweigh its issues.

Updated 11-02-2012 at 06:30 AM by Sean DonCarlos



  1. neglectoid's Avatar
    i find eatpm fairly easy. and fun. such a simple table with easy rules. but i see how a novice could have trouble with it. i particularly like how the bumpers often bounce the ball back up to the rollovers so you can get the 2x 3x 4x and 5x multiplier fairly easy. if only the end of ball bonus didn't max out at 99k.
  2. neglectoid's Avatar
    i just noticed that you can't reply with a quote from your article... or can you? anyways quote from bigshot paragraph "Some people love these old tables; I find I can tolerate them for a while before yearning for some dots." hahaha your halarious.
  3. alexk3954's Avatar
    NGG is hilarious, I have been playing that the most recently. I love it when you drain and one of the gofers yells " Hole in one! Wait, wrong hole"