Digging through the blog it looks like we left off just before Jon Chad was heading up to the Bay Area last summer. Jon had never been to the Bay Area before, and we don't often get to see each other now that we live 3,000+ miles away, so we were both pretty excited to play some pinball together!
On Jon's first night in Oakland we did a "pincrawl" walking from bar to bar, playing as much pinball as we could. We decided to take photos of each machine and give them a thumbs up or thumbs down based on how well the machine played, and how well we did. So these aren't really reviews of the games themselves, just a metric of how much fun we had playing that game on that particular night. We started off at the Stork Club which had a busted up High Roller Casino and a South Park, which we both had pretty good games on.
Next we walked a few blocks down to the Legionnaire Saloon. They had an X-Men, that, if I remember correctly, was having some serious flipper issues that made it pretty much unplayable. Their Scared Stiff (with a backglass signed by Elvira!) was playing great. We definitely played a lot of games on this one.
They also had Metallica, which was brand new at the time, so we were both pretty stoked to get in a few games on that one. I don't remember playing very well at the time, but I've played this game a lot since, and I'm really starting to dig it. There is a lot of stuff going on and lots of opportunities for Multiball!
We then walked over to Luka's Taproom which usually has a couple of pins in the back. Unfortunately, on this night they only had the Revenge From Mars Pinball2000 machine and it was completely unplayable. I think the right flipper kept getting stuck or something else fatal. We kept moving on, because we had bigger pinball fish to fry!
It was getting pretty late, so we hopped the free Broadway bus down to Kimball's Pool Hall. I guess it was supposed to be karaoke night, but the karaoke guy couldn't make it? Anyway, the place was dead so we had this awesome lineup of machines all to ourselves:
Everything played GREAT and I specifically remember having a lot of fun playing White Water. It was the first time I really dug deep on that game, helped by some PAPA videos I had watched to get the flow down. This is the only high score photo I have from that night, but maybe that's just like a "best of the day" kind of score? Anyway, I'll take what I can get!
Another big reason that Jon came to the Bay Area, besides visiting me and playing some pinball was to meet his book artist hero, Julie Chen. We got to visit her studio in Berkeley, which Jon will tell you was one of the coolest moments of his life! Afterwards, we went to play some pinball at Thalassa Bar & Billiards, which was a total bust. Both their ACDC and X-Men machines were overpriced and out of commission.
We ended Jon's trip out West in style, with a visit to the Pacific Pinball Museum! Needless to say, the machines were working great and we had a great time. This is one of the great pinhalls in the USA right now (in the world, I'd venture!) and it was super fun playing some of the classic games together.
But wait! Our pinball adventures were not over yet! Next up: Pinball Coast to Coast!!!