In 1988, Putt Putt Golf ‘n Games in Harborcreek, PA was afraid to answer their telephone. If they had, more than likely, the voice of a young Chris Bucci would be on the other end asking, “Did you fix Taxi yet?”
Whenever Taxi would have the out-of-order sign place in front of the coindoor, my fingers would be glued to the telephone buttons to find out if and when it had been removed.
There is no question that Taxi cemented my pinball addiction. To this day, I can tell you what I love about Taxi and why I feel it epitomized everything that was great about 80s pinball. However, I cannot explain why it kept me coming back week after week, month after month, token after token.
The layout of the game seems rather simple enough. There are five passengers on the playfield (five very strange passengers at that ranging from Santa Claus, to Pinbot and Dracula). Your goal in one-ball is to spot each of the passengers by hitting their particular area when lit. After you spot all passengers, you can then collect a timed jackpot sequence.
With my pinball skills still at their novice stages by 1988, I could not quite get the jackpot on a consistent basis. In fact, the number of times completing the game were very few and far between. However, I continued to come back for more.
The Taxi at Putt Putt Golf ‘n Games will always remain my favorite pinball memory of all time. I went there with friends as we played multiple players. I spent half of my token allowance on the game. I even recorded music and speech from the machine with my micro-cassette recorder. Unfortunately, Taxi did leave Putt Putt and was replaced by another. But, it’s that initial play with Taxi that will always stand-out in my mind as the greatest pinball location experience ever.
Luckily, after Taxi left Putt Putt, it also appeared briefly at Eastway Bowling Lanes. There was an arcade there which I also frequented to play pinball and the machine at this location was in great working shape. It also left there all too soon.
Since then I would see Taxi at many other locales including one at Waldemere Park and Waterworld. But, this one seemed different. Marilyn Monroe’s hair was brown and her name was changed in both software and playfield to LOLA. Hmm........weird.
When I set out to buy my first machine after saving up at age 16……Taxi was the first on the list.
My story continues with information and pictures from my
Taxi game HERE