A Table For Carl (Sagan)

I have no idea if Carl Sagan played pinball. But if he did, he’d surely have loved this machine.

The Machine: Bride of Pin-Bot

This table was the first pinball ever to feature a 1 billion point shot (if you don’t get the Carl Sagan reference yet, do some homework). It was a major event in pinball history and an important point in the score inflation craze, although to be fair it is very difficult to set up the 1 billion point shot. There is even a “Billionaires Club” section of the all-time high scores list within each game.

Williams was on a roll during these years, creating a lot of very popular games that featured some interesting innovations. This table follows up on two popular titles: Pin-Bot (one of my personal favorites) and Comet, the first solid-state table with a 1 million point shot. One of the more interesting features is the rotating cube, which tracks the building & activation of the Bride as the player makes various shots.

The sizable production run of 8,100 units got this game in a lot of locations, which helped boost its popularity. It did not do as well as expected in its first release, as success at the game requires a lot of shot sequencing and accuracy. Great for the serious player, but casual players found the game too hard to figure out. Which is too bad, because there are some really fun moments, especially in the voice interaction between the ‘bride’ and Pin-Bot. One example…

Bride: I can speak…
Pin-Bot: Oh, no!

If you find this game, give it a try! I hightly recommend reading the rules first, so you at least have some idea of how to get all the parts of the Bride activated.