|A really awesome 1992 Williams table. It helped, perhaps, that the one I played was in amazing mechanical condition, but the light layout was both very effective in conveying excitement and big score shots, etc, and in reflecting the automotive theme: a "turbocharger" crowning the thing has three big cycling red lights, and the bonus display in the lower center is arranged like a speedometer.|
I like the layout: not too many ramps, not to few, no side neglected, and always the chance of a big shot at your fingertips. You've got an upper right side flipper, positioned perfectly for looping the ball around an upper loop, repeatedly if you get a good rhythm going, then two ramps on the left, a trap and a ramp on the right, and jets in the upper center, guarded by a wall of targets.
As I hinted earlier, lights and sounds work well together here, and as you get big scores or new scoring modes, the game really feels like it is revving up into a higher gear, and laying down some rubber, so to speak. My favorite part is when you get the ball up the inner left ramp with certain stuff activated: it goes into the "turbocharger" and whips around and around a large raised metal track, scoring a million for each revolution, with the motor sounds gunning and lights cycling the whole time.
There's at least one LED minigame, a sort of highway dodge-'em thing, but the collision detection is rather...dodgy. The real kicker though is the gear shifter. Located where the launch plunger usually goes, the shifter not only launches your ball, but it also kicks you into a higher scoring "gear": I think it has something to do with scoring "mph" points, and getting your cumulative "speed" up, but anyway at certain points "SHIFT" appears in big letters on the LED, and then you have a couple seconds to shift up on the gear shifter--do it in time and you're in the next gear, with score accumulating more rapidly than it was before, and the table lights and sounds getting more intense.
The shifting thing would probably be pretty tough for a single player, but if you're playing it two-player, it's fun to have one person "drive" on the flippers, and the other person man the shifter. Oh, the shifter is also used to get up speed in the driving LED minigame.