Friday, 26 October 2012

Hot Hand By Stern

Today we’re taking a look at another game from my collection.  Hot Hand from Stern Electronics released in 1979

Designed by the late Harry Williams, it had a production run of 4117 and quite a few of them made their way down here to Australia.

I picked up the game as a non-working project off eBay back in late 2007.  It was a spur of the moment thing as it was relatively close, the price was OK, and it was one of those games that I remember playing as a kid when it was brand new.

A tragic memory of mine was back in 1981 or their abouts, I remember playing this game at the local “Pinny Parlour” as it was known back then, and Juice Newtons “Queen Of Hearts” was playing on the Jukebox.  Why that sticks out as memorable, I have no idea!

Anyway, back to my project game.  I got it home and of course it didn’t fire up.  Turned out to be a flaky 5101 RAM on the MPU.  Once I got it to boot, I had to troubleshoot the lack of sound, which turned out to be the MPU to sound board wiring, which was toast.  So once we had sound, it was just a matter of replacing rubber, repining the J1 rectifier board connector which was hard wired to the pins, and general switch adjustments and all the little things you do to make the game play as best as it can.

The main objective in Hot Hand is to complete the 4 Royal Flush hands that are represented in the middle of the playfield as a bonus grid.  The slingshots, left bumper and spinner will change the suit on the bonus grid.  Ten, Jack, Queen and King are pretty easy to get by just keeping the ball in play.  The real challenge is to light the Aces, which can only be spotted by the middle drop target from the bank of 5.  Sure, the target isn’t hard to hit as such.  It’s just that you need to have the suit selected for the unlit Ace before you knock that middle drop target down, otherwise you will have to knock all the drops down and reset them and try again!

Visitors and especially my wife really enjoy this game.  It’s very relaxing, and that huge rotating flipper up the top really makes for some hypnotising ball action.  I like the game too, but it’s not a game that grabs me enough to play more than a couple of games at a time.  I think that’s because as I mentioned earlier, you can just bat the ball around and score pretty well without thinking about it too much.  Where as I tend to like games that kick your arse if you’re not concentrating.  I usually run my early SS games on 5 ball.  I think I might switch this one over to 3 ball for a while and see how we go with that.


1 comment:

  1. I think one of the reasons I like this one so much is you don't have to be a highly skilled player to do well. I don't think it's as easy as just batting the ball around to score well, LOL, but for some reason I feel I can hone my skills on this game easier than others. That and it's interesting without being overly busy with ramps and gadgetry. I personally like 70's era games like this more so than newer games.