Pinball is generally big, flashy, and somewhat complicated nowadays, but older tables were very different machines. The layouts were far more open, there was no music to speak of, and the *ding*ding*ding* is so iconic that you frequently hear it in movies even when it’s a table that would never have used those sounds. Every year of The Pinball Arcade since season 5 has had a month where the release was a pair of electro-mechanical tables, and season 7 brings with it a very nice combo with the distinctive Spanish Eyes and the last Williams EM board, Wild Card. Wild Card is a fairly decent machine, simple with a good layout, but the standout is Spanish Eyes thanks to its unique board and fantastic art. The giant gap between the flippers holds a bumper with just enough room around it for the ball to wander on through, and you’ll need to really work your nudge game to chase a decent score. Plus there’s an out-lane underneath the flippers which is far hungrier and more dangerous than you’d expect. Basically, Spanish Eyes is evil, but an enticing evil that’s awfully nice to look at.
Next month’s release was also semi-revealed in the Pinball Arcade newsletter, and it’s the rare Alvin G Pistol P0ker. This is a western/poker-themed board that had a total of 200 units made, making it just a tiny bit scarcer than the combined print run of Big Bang Bar. (Big Bang Bar had 14 prototypes from Capcom and the remake was roughly 191 units.) That’s an incredibly low run, making the Pinball Arcade version just about the only reasonable way to get to see it in action unless you’ve got either a pinball museum nearby or very deep pockets.