This is it. This is the one. This is my favorite pinball machine of all time, and without question, the heavyweight champion of my entire collection. Now, Berzerk might have something to say about which game would be the absolute last to leave, but Monster Bash is arguably the most valuable from a dollars-and-cents standpoint.
From the first time I played it at Castles N’ Coasters in the early 2000’s, I realized that of all the games that I’ve played, this one is the most representative of me. Two of my favorite things: monsters and rock music, rolled into one of my other favorite things: pinball. If you were to ask me to create an original “dream theme,” this would be it.
The problem with landing a Monster Bash was always the price. Let’s face it: this game is a car when it comes to value. I have a good job, but I’m by no means a rich man. To get a Monster Bash in my house, it was going to take some mad science, a lucky break or two, and probably a tough sacrifice.
To that last point, getting this game involved the most “nooooooo!” moment of my time in this hobby, which was selling my Addams Family pinball machine (itself a total steal that I pulled off back in 2004). I also had to lean on a favorable tax return and pinch several pennies. I’ll get you back someday, Addams Family. You’ll see… *edit: it happened!
After being pointed to a pretty smoking deal on Denver’s Craigslist (I think the game itself originally came from South Dakota), I was able to get this “holy grail” game in my collection. This is one that I’m fully aware I will never have back if I sell it, so unless something crazy happens, it’s a permanent fixture in my arcade.
As far as modifications, I’ve added a Color DMD, a Laseriffic topper, LED lighting (including slingshot spotlights and LED strips at the top of the playfield and under the apron), mirror blades, undercab lighting, leg protectors, a “Rock Me” launch button, and a plasma disk mod.
I’m admittedly biased, but I find everything about this game to be exceptional: great fan layout, smooth flow, gorgeous artwork, awesome dots, hilarious voice work, and a rule set that’s easy enough to explain to a non-pinball person, but challenging enough to engage pinheads. Aside from maybe Medieval Madness, in my opinion, there is no other complete package out there that’s on par with Monster Bash.