It’s been awhile since my last pinball session. That’s probably a good thing for my budget, but apparently it’s been wearing on my soul. Amber needed a nap one afternoon and I got antsy pretty quickly.
Thankfully, I was only a few blocks away from Level Up Arcade in Eugene, Oregon. This place was awesome. The closest thing we have to it in Louisville is the Zanzabar, but they mostly have retro machines and the majority of their clientele annoy me. Level Up was clean, had good music, an awesome beer selection (I got Ninkasi Total Domination IPA) and some really great machines.
I started off with Star Trek and Simpsons Pinball Party, since I never played either of these and they’re my best fandoms. Both were really good machines but I played poorly. I started to get the hang of Star Trek on the last ball of my second play, but with so many machines there I felt like I needed to move along.
Lord of the Rings pinball is probably my favorite machine of all time. I love all things Tolkien, but I think the pinball game is very well assembled too. The missions are well put together, lots of fun mechanisms (I like Bashing the Balrog especially) and the light layouts do a great job of keeping things clear. Amber doesn’t even like pinball, but she played this machine a while back and said she knew what to aim for (like a boss.)
Perhaps even better though is that I hit a nice groove playing this machine. My first game was a dud, but I got lucky with a match at the end for a free game. On that second game, I played several multiballs, but not the Two Towers, and got enough to earn a free game. (Love that knocking sound.) On my third game, another dud – but got another match! On game four I played all the movie multiballs and just barely failed the Destroy the Ring mission. And got a knock for another free game. 🙂 My fifth game was another dud, but at this point I had been playing LotR for 45 minutes or so and I’m sure someone else was ready for the machine. So I walked around a bit and snapped photos.
I wanted to play that Star Trek:Voyager game really badly, but Amber was up and I like her better than Voyager. I highly recommend Level Up for anyone in Eugene though.