Apollo

(50K)
Made by Williams in June, 1967. An extensive description of the play of this machine, with a photo is in the book Pinball: The Lure of the Silver Ball, by Gary Flower. It is considered one of the best Williams single player machines of the 1960s. Its add-a-ball cousin is Blast-Off

Backglass: shows Saturn V series rocket lifting off launch pad at the cape.

Playfield: Symmetrical layout with a row of 10 rollover buttons in the middle. These cycle from one to the next in sequence when hit. They represent the 'countdown'. A ball-save gate is on the right outlane, which is opened by advancing the countdown past 1 and then hitting the top center lit standup target. Doing so also advances other target values.

Cabinet: Colors are dark blue and orange-red on a white background. The typical stenciled shapes are satellites and rockets, with a few stars.

This machine draws my play more than any other in my collection. One big reason is that it seems to always work :^), but the biggest draw is its play. It has several strategies that can be used, but it seems that no matter how good I am, I am always challenged. For a time I will score well, racking up replays and then a few games later I consistently cannot win any. I have never been bored by this game.

The appeal of this game to collectors has been the presence of backbox animation--a mini-pachinko linked with the space-theme and plenty of long accurate shots. It even has an opening skill shot from the plunger.

Acquiring this game took a couple of years. An acquaintance at work had it in his garage, but did not own it. It belonged to a friend of his. After much prodding and persuasion he agreed to ask his friend about it--You see he was eager to get it out of his garage. After many months of reminding his friend and I connected and started negotiating. He didn't want money! Finally we agreed on a trade and Apollo was mine.

It was pretty rough, and the cosmetics were damaged. Through much patience the cosmetics were mostly repaired and the mechanics restored to working condition. The backglass had the worst damage with heavy flaking starting. The best I could do for now was arrest any further damage. I guess the condition could have been worse. I'm glad it wasn't.

This is certainly one of my personal favorites. I've heard similar comments from other owners of this machine.
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