Texas Pinball Festival 2014 Review

The Texas Pinball festival is a yearly event held in Dallas. It feature hundreds of Pinball machines and quite a few arcade games.

This year the event was held in Frisco Texas next to the Embassy Suites hotel and the location was perfect because it’s close to our home. We stayed at the hotel on Saturday just do something different and because I wanted to be able to go relax and so forth when I was tired of standing around. This should be the permanent location and from what I understand it will be there next year. No problem here in any way for me.

Price – You need to putchase the pass ahead of time to save money or bring a game and get in free. There was a mixup on the age for children under 5 and mine is 4 so I paid and later one of the organizers offered to refund my money for my child. It was cool of him because there was no hassle. Everyone knows each other or knows of each other in the community so people are pretty accessible.

Games – Well there were plenty of games for sure and nearly all of them were in working condition. It seemed that on Friday any games that were down were quickly fixed. Most of the games are on loan and you get to play damn near everything. I have no complaints on the amount of games. I got to play Wizard of Oz and that made me happy. The arcade selection was pretty decent. I think that arcades are an afterthought in Dallas but it is a pinball festival. There were some really beautiful games. Mr. Moore’s Stargazer was a beautiful restore. What can I say? The man has mad skillz. I can’t say enough about that machine. The new Star Trek pin was there. Heh bleh? Another Stern machine. I can’t get over the fact that the Enterprise is not the centerpiece. Yes I know it’s following the movie but I don’t care. I still don’t like it. There were several classic arcades missing so maybe next year we can round them up. I didn’t see a Warlords but I might have missed it. If you have one BRING IT!!! I won’t bother with the Tempest, there are always a few. Plus Mr. Danis has like a thousand of them.

Food – Was not very good but that’s from the hotel. Not the organizers fault. There were some food trucks so it wasn’t all bad. This is probably restricted somehow by the convention center. I doubt they are gonna let you set up a barbecue pit in there. Although that would be really bad ass! They need more tables for sure. Would be nice to have some chairs throughout the floor.

Layout – Okay I really put some thought into this and I personally didn’t really get into the way it was laid out. It wasn’t confusing so much as it was confining. There are so many interesting ways to lay out the pins. A circle in the middle with detached rows leading out. All kind of things. The arcades are not really organized that I can tell. They need someone to help with that because it depends on who is doing the layout. If they only know Pinball then they wouldn’t know how to group the arcades. I also do not like the tournament up front. When people walk in they should be amazed at what they see not just chairs and a tournament. You want to blow them away with some really great stuff up front. It will probably stay this way forever but it’s just a thought. I would put the tournament off to the side or in the center at the back. Not because it is less important but because again you want people to come in and flow throughout the building. The tournament is second to the festival. Sorry if I hurt anyone’s feelings but do you really care where it is? Overall it can be improved but it wasn’t terrible or anything at all. Just needs some tweaking.

Entertainment  – They need some music. I guarantee that more people will want music than not. There is the excuse that people want to hear the games. That is so retarded. It is so loud in there you can’t hear one machine that well. I’m a musician. I can pick out all kinds of things and isolate them and I have a hard time in there hearing what is coming out of the game. It’s a festival. Festivals have music.

The Staff – I might be biased but from just watching them I think they really did work hard to make it a good show. They were excited and got things done. A lot of them are volunteers and gave a lot of time so if you know any of them give them a pat on the back and tell them to get ready for next year.



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