How did you discover Star Worlds Arcade?
I saw it in the Daily Chronicle a bit before Big Bang 2010, about how Pat was taking birthday cards for Pac-Man. I started following the Facebook page a few months later, but didn’t actually go to the arcade until May, when I went there and streamed for GameDay weekend.
What keeps you coming back as a regular player?
The camaraderie of all the players is probably the chief reason. I attribute that to the ’80s feel of the arcade, along with the culture that Pat brings where he forces you to talk to him to get your tokens. It doesn’t hurt that the arcade is only eight miles from my house!
What did it take to become the Avalanche world record holder?
Hand-eye coordination, peripheral vision, a stable playing position, focus, endurance, and a whole lot of luck. My style of playing the game is physically taxing; I lean into the machine with both hands on the spinnner and my legs in a position not unlike a sprinter at the blocks. Being in that position, combined with the non-stop action of the game, is very difficult.
The luck portion of the game just has to deal with the patterns in which the rocks fall. As the game speeds up, the amount of platforms decreases, and the size of the rocks and platforms decrease, it’s crucial that the rocks fall in a pattern that makes them come down one or two at a time. Any more than that, and it becomes less about precision in moving the platforms and more about flinging the spinner wildly. This is why it took me nine times to break the world record on the day I was recording, when the next day I played, I broke it in both games I played!
Give 3 tips that will help the novice Avalanche player become an advanced player.
1. Find a position that will give you stability. This will allow you to make precise movements with the spinner, and without being precise, you will never make it to the Extended Play, let alone past the first screen.
2. Learn the idiosyncracies of the spinner; more specifically, the looseness of it and how far you can turn it in either direction. Again, for precision reasons. That is THE key part of the game.
3. Learn to get the ones on the sides while focusing on the next one. Since you can throw the spinner against the edges and it won’t move more, you can do that with rocks falling next to the walls and immediately know how much to move the platform for the next rock.
What new games will you try to learn this summer?
Robotron is obviously at the top of the list. My hope is to be able to break one million points on it by the end of the summer. I’m also learning the ins and outs of the arcade version of Nibbler. Other than that, I may give Jungle King a try, and maybe I’ll be able to break my high score of 100 on Tron.
Is it possible to beat Darrin Cormier at any pinball machine in the arcade? If so, which one would give you the best odds of winning?
I’ve actually never seen Darrin play pinball, so I don’t know how good he is! But for the most part, I’m pretty bad at pinball, so he’d probably beat me at everything. Of what’s there right now, my best chance would be Baby Pac-Man, since it’s predominately a video game and would give me half a chance. Plus, right now, I’ve got the arcade’s high score on it, so I’ll assume I can beat him until he beats that!
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