United : Serenade
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SerenadeEvery few years, something strange shows up. Usually it's an operator modification or a prototype machine...so what is this thing?
A guy posted some pictures on an internet forum asking about it, and Nick Baldridge sent the pictures in to me. Butch Glauda opines that it's a production machine manufactured around 1956 based on the artwork style.
Problem is, it's never been seen or heard of before. I'm not sure where the original production lists of games came from, but this one apparently had no flyer and is not known to show up in advertising from United or distributors. I would have guessed it was a prototype that flopped.
In any case, it's an odd machine where they numbered each of the playfield holes twice. 1-25 and 26-50. The left card uses the 1-25 numbers, the right card uses the 26-50 range. Looks like you can choose which card you want to play after shooting some number of balls, but you can't play both at the same time.
If the two cards only differ in the arrangement of the numbers, why the two sets of numbers on the holes? There doesn't appear to be any reason...you could just replace all the numbers 26-50 with the corresponding number 1-25 and the game would work the same. Maybe a schematic will turn up in the next 20 years and reveal something not obvious from looking at the backglass or instruction card.
two-card gamesTwo 5x5 cards are the primary scoring cards on the backglass.
A common feature on this type of game was to have
horizontal magic lines spanning the two cards
such that numbers could be shifted from one card to