In 1963, Bally was hunting around for a replacement for their bingo business in the U.S.
Things were looking rather bleak, until they hired Ted Zale, the designer that would add multiball, chicane lanes, etc. to later games.
For his first effort, Moon Shot, he made a 100% carbon copy of Gottlieb's Tropic Isle from the year before.
I've had the pleasure of playing Tropic Isle, but I've never seen a Moon Shot.
Tropic Isle has two sets of two pop bumpers, and an A-B-C-D sequence to make a monkey climb a tree on the backglass. Once you get three monkeys up the tree (this is a carryover feature), the game will award specials! You can also light special by completing 1-5 at the top rollovers.
Moon Shot is very much the same with a space theme.
Continuing last night's episode, some interesting tidbits learned while in Ohio, some games I've been working on recently, and various other things going on in my world.
Follow along on the Turf King fix-up: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/1950-bally-turf-king-one-ball-horse-race-game
Vote to add bingos as a separate topic of discussion on the Pinside forum:
I spent a few days in Ohio recently, and wanted to discuss some of the games I played and various features that I was either incorrect about in my speculation, or thought would bear in-person impressions.
Had a blast losing on all these bingos!
Continental is the very last Bally bingo pinball produced. In 1980, a Belgian firm ordered the entire run be shipped overseas. This firm ended up using the designs and creating their own line of bingos - which have been produced up to this day (over several company name changes)!
Note that at least some of these games were put out on location in the US - interesting!
Continental is a six card bingo - in fact, it's a feature-for-feature remake of 1978's Dixieland. The only difference is the solid state boardset that drives all of the computation.
Malibu Beach was the last EM bingo that Bally produced, and the final Magic Screen game.
This game has exactly the same feature set as Laguna Beach (produced twenty years earlier!).
Rumor has it that Nevada asked for a rerun of Laguna Beach to put in the casinos in 1980, and Bally would not agree to reproduce the earlier title. Instead, they agreed to make an entirely new title with the same features.
Nevada changed their mind after Bally went to the trouble of producing the games... and as such, "somehow", the games got out into the world. It seems to be a fairly common game for home collectors, as I've seen several.
Tahiti is a love/hate game - the last of the 20 hole machines that Bally produced, Tahiti brings back the ball return feature from Galaxy. Instead of returning half of the card, it will return only the balls in either section B or C.
The Mystic Lines return, but this time, can be awarded in any order. You can earn only C or B and so on.
The red letter game does not return, nor do extra balls.
Bally also reduced the amount of replays earned for all four numbers in the star zones to 100.
Galaxy is a one-off bingo with a 24 hole playfield.
You cannot bring the ball back to a ball return on this game. You can actually return one half of the numbers to shoot again. You can also move two columns at a time up or down one position (on this 6x4 card).
This game does not have the spotted numbers features from Miss Universe (another interesting experiment), but it does have extra balls.
Galaxy looks like it was completely engineered to make you lose a ton of money, quickly.
Another holiday visit from Fake Nick Baldridge, this time with a very special guest. Miriam Cobblebottom, widow of the Nantucket Nickel company figurehead, Eustacious Cobblebottom, provides some revelatory insight into the little-known pingame manufacturer’s company history.
Miss America Deluxe is the last of the Miss America games made by Bally.
It contains all the features (extra card, magic lines that move each row of numbers one position left and right, the red letter game, corners scoring on the main card, all 4 star zones score your green 5 in a line odds, and roll overs to extend your time for the moving numbers feature) of Miss America Supreme from the year before.
This game adds the 'red diagonals' feature from High Flyer! In this case, they call them 'Striped Diagonals'. This allows you to win on the odd diagonals, but only on the extra card.
High Flyer is another great six card bingo. This machine has an eight coin max. Your first six coins light the bingo cards, and coins 7 and 8 light the red diagonals (diagonal connections between odd diagonals) on each card.
There are rollovers to light super lines and corners for each card, and the Double or Nothing feature returns!