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Review: Dave Roberts on ??/09/1988
||From Pinball Player Volume 12 #7
'PREPARE FOR LIFT OFF' Williams Space
Space Station - the successor to Space Shuttle, by the same designer, Barry
Oursler (also with Comet and Pinbot to his credit) enlarges and improves
upon many features of the original.
The U-S-A rollover lanes, Stop 'n Score ramp and Shuttle value selection
have been borrowed from the original, and are joined by variable value jet
bumpers (re- Pinbot), a re-entry kickback on the left outlane, a multiplier
on the Stop 'n Score ramp and a mini, plastic upper level playfield. Also, a
Bonus Ball feature as on the late Black Knight is now available to all
players, rather than just the victor, at the end of normal multi-player
The plunger shot - lite the
The plunger shot carries the ball to the mini upper playfield. Here the
number 1-2-3 must be completed to lite the locks and increase the jet bumper
value by 500 points each time. The ball drops to the main playfield between
the bumpers and the U-S-A lanes. Completing these lanes advances the Stop
'n Score multiplier, up to a maximum of 5X, and lites the 'Change Value'
target for special scoring. Both the U-S-A and 1-2-3 rollovers have the
usual Lane Change feature, controlled by either flipper button.
Spell SHUTTLE or STATION
The words SHUTTLE and STATION are spelled out on spot targets. The SHUTTLE
targets are on the left hand sidel S,T and A in front of the jet bumpers and
T,I,O and N alongside the ramp. The centre playfield lights indicate what
SHUTTLE and STATION score when completed, although they are operated
individually and are rarely, if ever the same. A new pair of values are
randomly selected at the start of each new ball or when striking the 'Change
Value' target low down on the right hand side.
Stop, and Score...
Between the T-I-O-N targets and the 'Change Value' target is the Stop 'n
Score ramp. Guarding the entry to the ramp is a single drop target which
starts the Stop 'n Score timer when knocked down. Shooting up the ramp
before the target resets scores the rotating value indicated on the
backglass displays, times the Stop 'n Score multiplier. The ramp leads up
to the rotating 'Ball Diverter' or Mothership.
Capture, and lock...
The mothership diverts the ball to either two capture points, via metal
tubes - left to behind the SHUTTLE targets, or right, where it drops out of
sight to re-emerge at high speed from just above the T-I-O-N targets. The
mothership may also be reached by a shot from the right flipper, around a
loop to behind the U-S-A lanes and into a ball popper. This shot lights for
100K after the U-S-A lanes have been completed. Both methods of reaching
the mothership lite for 'docking' when the 1-2-3 sequence has been
The Sweep Shot...
The bonus multiplier is advanced to a maximum of 7X and then to Extra Ball
by a bank of three drop targets, just right of the jet bumpers. The bank is
ideally placed for a 'Sweep Shot', (knocking all targets down together) which
Making a release shot brings the speech exchange "Docking Complete ...
Negative - you must redock" followed by "Condition green". I took a while
to notice the green illumination all over the playfield turned on at this
point. Making two docking shots during multiball play awards the rescue
jackpot (minimum 200K) and provokes the comment "Mission accomplished" and
displays "Well Done" on the score displays.
If a player collects the Bonus Ball award off the SHUTTLE or STATION targets
and achieves multiball, each second of multiball play is added to the
initial bonus time of 20 seconds, up to a limit of 45 seconds. Bonus balls
are played after each players last regular ball.
My verdict is that Space Station definitely is worthy of the Williams badge,
and it successfully combines the old-fashioned format of having no flipper
return lanes with modern features. Not perhaps in the same class as F14
Tomcat or High Speed, but certainly better than average. A couple of hints
may be of use to players:
Space Stations tested on site at:
- The right hand lock eject kicker may put so much spin on the ball that
it comes off the left flipper, rolls up the right slingshot and down the
right outlane. Check position of the mothership before shooting for it -
- I feel that the SHUTTLE/STATION values are something of a red herring.
Decide which values you are going to go for - Special, Extra Ball, Bonus
Ball etc. Check which values are selected for each new ball, and use the
'Change Target' when necessary.
- Royal Arcade, Mestyn Street, Llandudno - 20p, 3 Balls.
- Rhyl Promenade, Rhyl - 20p, 5 Balls.