A to Z Gaming: Star Trek: Super-Skill Pinball

We bumped our pinballs around different themed boards in Star Trek: Super-Skill Pinball, the next game in our A-Z game shelf play-through.

Star Trek: Super-Skill Pinball
Players: 1-4
Time: 45 Minutes
Designers: Geoff Engelstein
Artists: unlisted
Publisher: WizKids

Star Trek: Super-Skill Pinball is a board game simulation of a pinball table. Each turn, a pair of dice is rolled and players simultaneously choose one of the dice to use to move their ball around their pinball board. They track their score, and possibly mini-games, on their back glass. Whoever can amass the most points, wins.

Game play

The game is set up by first choosing which board to use for that game, and all players get the matching table and back glass boards for that set. Each player also takes a ball token and places it on the start location of their table. They also take a marker. The dice are given to one player to roll, and the game is ready to begin.

Players take turns simultaneously. Each turn, any player will roll the dice. Then players will each choose one of the die values to mark a space on their pinboard.

Usually players need to move their ball to a lower position on their table, moving the ball to a new section, as denoted on the board. However, if the ball is on a flipper, they can move it up to a higher position.

For all tables, a ball on the yellow flipper can only reach yellow spaces, and similarly a ball on the red flipper goes to red spaces. All tables also have bumper sections, where the ball can circle around them, as long as there is an available space on the next bumper with one of the numbers showing that turn’s dice roll. As they move the ball around, they’ll also track points on their back glass.

However, each table also has special rules. There may be some areas that require you to fill in the numbers in a specific order. There are also drop zones where you are trying to complete a full set to get a special bonus. The Tribbles board has you collecting Tribbles for additional bonuses, but if you get too many, you take a penalty.

At some point, the player may not have an available spot on one of their flippers, at which point that round will be over for them. If it isn’t their last ball, they’ll erase some spots on their board (as indicated with dashed lines), mark off that they are starting a new round on their board, and place their ball back on the starting position.

Once everyone has lost their final ball, the game ends. Whoever has the most points, wins.

My Thoughts

We have the original Super Skill Pinball: 4-Cade and we enjoy it, so when we saw the Star Trek themed version, it was a no-brainer to pick it up.

I’ve really enjoyed the Tribble board and the Star Fleet Academy board — they’re the most basic of the four. The Lower Decks board is a bit of a brain-burner, and we’ve only played it a couple of times because we always need to refresh ourselves on the rules of it.

Three Quick Questions

How is it as a 2-player game? Star Trek Super Skill Pinball works great at 2 players. Since everyone plays simultaneously, the game scales well for all player counts.

How about the art and component quality? The tables and back glasses have great art. The symbols are clear (even if I need to look some up from time to time), and its easy to track your score. I like the look of the ball tokens, though I often turn mine upside down, because otherwise it can smear the marker lines.

Will this stay in my collection? Absolutely yes. It’s easy to keep several boards and back glasses with a pair of dice and set of markers. It’s always fun with this hits the table, and I love having my choice of which board to play.

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