Stardust

(74K)
Made by Williams in January, 1972. This is a four-player machine with lots of gadgets. Its artwork is typical of the period with sharp angular style. The theme of this game is not clear. The art shows several people in goofy contortions and a bunch of stars. Maybe its theme is drugs. ;^)

Backglass: Contorted people and stars. The main colors are green, blue, yellow, and magenta.

Playfield: Symmetrical layout with five jet bumpers in the standard Williams early 1970s configuration at the top of the playfield. Two of the five are green and two are yellow. Two standup targets are situated in the corners above the targets which light the corresponding color bumpers increasing their value from 10 to 100 points. The center bumper is always lit for 100 points. On the right side of the playfield are two ball-save gates--one up high and one in the outlane. Both gates lead to the plunger lane. One the left side of the playfield, midway is another gate. The gate just leads from near the left outlane to feed to the flippers.

The prominant feature on the playfield is a dial in the center that rotates from one position to the next when certain targets or bumpers are hit. The dial points at various awards including: extra ball (when lit), bonus, double bonus, triple bonus, open left gate, open right gate, and open lower gate. Two saucers are on the playfield, both in the center of the playfield, one up at the top of the arch, and one in the middle just below the bumpers. Both saucers score the dial award currently selected. The extra ball dial awards are lit periodically depending on the 00-90 point unit. To the sides of the middle saucer are two standup targets which advance the bonus and raise the up post between the flippers.

Cabinet: Colors are yellow and magenta on a green background. The stenciled shapes are contorted people and stars.

This machine is always popular with the players, I believe, due to all the gadgets on this machine. I believe the weakness of this machine is its lack of balanced scoring. The main way to get big points is to build up the bonus and then score the double and triple bonus. Since the dial is somewhat random the basic stragety is to hit the raise up-post standups and then the saucer--again and again.

The game has little appeal to collectors at this time. It is fun and interesting to play, but eventually does get boring once it is understood.

This game was picked up from a garage sale and hardly worked. Someone had oiled the jet bumpers which made them lethargic and gooey. After clean up they worked well. I sold this game once. Then, two years later, it was traded in for a 1971 Bally Exressway--a much more challenging game. He traded it in because it had become boring to him. This machine was refurbished again and resold recently, this time to a family with young children. I expect they will enjoy this machine for many years.
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