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These pinball games cover a wide range of designs. Some pinball games feature bright modern designs while other look more like classic pinball layouts.
Pull the plunger and aim for a high score. All 92 Multiplayer 1 Y8 Games 2. Sort by: Popularity Rating Date. Panzo Pinball Shockwave. Tortuga Tales Pinball Unity 3D.
Jumpanda HTML5. VS WebGL. Pinball Legends Unity 3D. Pinball Mini Unity 3D. Pinball Garden Unity 3D. Plunderball WebGL. PinFootBall Unity 3D.
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Illuminati Flash. Pepsi Pinball Flash. Xtreme Pinball Flash. Stern Pinball remained the only manufacturer of original pinball machines until , when Jersey Jack Pinball started shipping The Wizard of Oz.
Most members of the design teams for Stern Pinball are former employees of Williams. In the midst of the s closures, virtual pinball simulations, marketed on computers and home consoles, had become high enough in quality for serious players to take notice: these video versions of pinball such as Epic Pinball , Full Tilt!
Pinball and the Pro Pinball series found marketplace success and lasting fan interest, starting a new trend for realistic pinball simulation.
This market existed largely independently from the physical pinball manufacturers, and relied upon original designs instead of licenses until the s.
After the closure of most of the pinball manufacturers in the s, smaller independent manufacturers started appearing in the early s.
With the death of Steve Irwin , it was announced that the future of this game was uncertain. In , MarsaPlay in Spain manufactured a remake of Inder's original Canasta titled New Canasta ,   which was the first game to include a liquid-crystal display LCD screen in the backbox.
It is the first pinball machine manufactured in the US with a large color display LCD in the backbox,  the first widebody pinball machine since  and the first new US pinball machine not made by Stern Pinball since In , the new pinball manufacturer Spooky Pinball released their first game America's Most Haunted.
In , the new British pinball manufacturer Heighway Pinball released the racing themed pinball machine Full Throttle. Heighway Pinball's second title, Alien ,  was released in   and was based on the Alien and Aliens films.
Unfortunately, due to internal company issues,  Heighway Pinball ceased manufacturing operations and closed its doors in April In , Multimorphic began shipping their pinball machine platform after several years of development.
It also has a large interactive display as the playfield surface, which is different from all prior pinball machines that were traditionally made of plywood and embedded with translucent plastic inserts for lighting.
Pinball machines, like many other mechanical games, were sometimes used as gambling devices. Free games could be won if the player was able to get the balls to land in a winning pattern; however, doing this was nearly random , and a common use for such machines was for gambling.
Other machines allowed a player to win and accumulate large numbers of "free games" which could then be cashed out for money with the location owner.
Later, this type of feature was discontinued in an effort to legitimize the machines, and to avoid legal problems in areas where awarding free games was considered illegal, some games, called Add-A-Ball, did away with the free game feature, instead giving players extra balls to play between 5 and 25 in most cases.
These extra balls were indicated via lighted graphics in the backglass or by a ball count wheel, but in some areas that was disallowed, and some games were shipped with a sticker to cover the counters.
Pinball was banned beginning in the early s until in New York City. The mayor participated with police in destroying machines with sledgehammers before dumping the remnants into the city's rivers.
The ban ended when Roger Sharpe a star witness for the AMOA — Amusement and Music Operators Association testified in April before a committee in a Manhattan courtroom that pinball games had become games of skill and were not games of chance, that is, gambling.
He began to play one of two games set up in the courtroom, and — in a move he compares to Babe Ruth 's home run in the World Series — called out precisely what he was going to shoot for, and then proceeded to do so.
Astonished committee members reportedly voted to remove the ban, which was followed in other cities. Sharpe reportedly acknowledges, in a self-deprecating manner, his courtroom shot was by sheer luck although there was admittedly skill involved in what he did.
Like New York, Los Angeles banned pinball machines in The ban was overturned by the Supreme Court of California in because 1 if pinball machines were games of chance, the ordinance was preempted by state law governing games of chance in general, and 2 if they were games of skill, the ordinance was unconstitutional as a denial of the equal protection of the laws.
Philadelphia and Salt Lake City also had similar bans. Another close relative of pinball is pachinko , a gambling game played in Japan. Although they share a common ancestry, the games are very different, in that pachinko involves shooting many small balls repeatedly into a nearly vertical playfield, while pinball is about the manipulation of the small number of balls currently in play on a near-horizontal playfield.
The key attribute of a successful pinball game is an interesting and challenging layout of scoring opportunities on the playfield.
Many types of targets and features have been developed over the years. The playfield is a planar surface inclined upward from three to seven degrees current convention is six and a half degrees , away from the player, and includes multiple targets and scoring objectives.
It is important that the playfield be level left-to-right; a quick visual test compares the top of the back cabinet against a brick or block wall behind it, or to roll a marble down the center of the playfield glass.
If it clearly rolls off to one side, a player may be inclined to stuff folded paper beneath the legs on the lower side to level the playfield.
Additionally, leg levelers that are all extended fully make the game easier to nudge; when collapsed low, the entire game is more stable, and nudging becomes harder.
The ball is put into play by use of the plunger , a spring -loaded rod that strikes the ball as it rests in an entry lane, or as in some newer games, by a button that signals the game logic to fire a solenoid that strikes the ball.
With both devices the result is the same: The ball is propelled upwards onto the playfield. Once a ball is in play, it tends to move downward towards the player, although the ball can move in any direction, sometimes unpredictably, due to contact with objects on the playfield or by the player's own actions.
To return the ball to the upper part of the playfield, the player makes use of one or more flippers. Manipulation of the ball may also be accomplished by various tricks, such as " nudging ".
However, excessive nudging is generally penalized by the loss of the current player's turn known as tilting or ending of the entire game when the nudging is particularly violent known as slam tilting.
This penalty was instituted because nudging the machine too much may damage it. Many games also have a slam tilt in the bottom of the lower cabinet to end the game if the cabinet is raised and dropped to the floor in an attempt to falsely trigger the coin counting switch.
The plunger is a spring -loaded rod with a small handle, used to propel the ball into the playfield. The player can control the amount of force used for launching by pulling the plunger a certain distance thus changing the spring compression.
This is often used for a "skill shot," in which a player attempts to launch a ball so that it exactly hits a specified target.
Once the ball is in motion in the main area of the playfield, the plunger is not used again until another ball must be brought onto the playfield.
In modern machines, an electronically controlled launcher is sometimes substituted for the plunger.
The shape of the ball launch button that replaces the plunger may be modified to fit the aesthetics of a particular game's theme, such as being made to look like the trigger of a gun in a game with a military or action-hero theme.
They are the main control that the player has over the ball. Careful timing and positional control allows the player to intentionally direct the ball in a range of directions with various levels of velocity.
With the flippers, the player attempts to move the ball to hit various types of scoring targets, and to keep the ball from disappearing off the bottom of the playfield.
The very first pinball games appeared in the early s and did not have flippers; after launch the ball simply proceeded down the playfield, directed by static nails or "pins" to one of several scoring areas.
These pins gave the game its name. In , the first mechanical flippers appeared on Gottlieb's Humpty Dumpty  and by the early s, the familiar two-flipper configuration, with the flippers at the bottom of the playfield above the center drain, had become standard.
Some machines also added a third or fourth flipper midway up the playfield. The new flipper ushered in the "golden age" of pinball, where the fierce competition between the various pinball manufacturers led to constant innovation in the field.
Various types of stationary and moving targets were added, spinning scoring reels replaced games featuring static scores lit from behind.
Multiplayer scores were added soon after, and then bells and other noise-makers, all of which began to make pinball less a game and more of an experience.
The flippers have loaned pinball its common name in many languages, where the game is known mainly as "flipper". Bumpers are round knobs that, when hit, will actively push the ball away.
There is also an earlier variety of bumper known as a dead bumper or passive bumper that doesn't propel the ball away; most bumpers on machines built since the s are active bumpers, variously called "pop bumpers," "thumper bumpers," "jet bumpers," or "turbo bumpers.
Bumpers predate flippers, and active bumpers added a great deal of spice to older games. Pop bumpers are operated by a switch connected to a ring surrounding the bottom circumference of the bumper that is suspended several millimeters above the playfield surface.
When the ball rolls over this ring and forces one side of it down, a switch is closed that activates the bumper's solenoid.
This pulls down a tapered ring surrounding the central post of the bumper that pushes downward and outward on the ball, propelling it away. Kickers and slingshots are rubber pads which propel the ball away upon impact, like bumpers, but are usually a horizontal side of a wall.
Every recent pinball machine includes slingshots to the upper left and upper right of the lowest set of flippers; older games used more experimental arrangements.
They operate similarly to pop bumpers, with a switch on each side of a solenoid-operated lever arm in a typical arrangement.
The switches are closed by ball contact with the rubber on the face of the kicker and this activates the solenoid. Early pinball machines typically had full solenoid current passing through trigger switches for all types of solenoids, from kickers to pop bumpers to the flippers themselves.
This caused arcing across switch contacts and rapid contact fouling and failure. As electronics were gradually implemented in pinball design, solenoids began to be switched by power transistors under software control to lower switch voltage and current, vastly extend switch service lifetime, and add flexibility to game design.
As an example, some later machines had flippers that could be operated independently of the flipper button by the machine's software.
The upper-left flipper during "Thing Flips" on The Addams Family pinball machine triggers automatically a brief moment after the ball passes an optical sensor just above the flipper.
The smaller, lower-powered solenoids were first to be transistorized, followed later by the higher-current solenoids as the price, performance, and reliability of power transistors improved over the years.
Originally holes and saucers worked by using tubes behind the playing field, with a pin at the top to hold the ball for later drops.
Another version of the tube uses two spinning wheels to transfer the ball from hole to hole. Newer versions use an electronic track with a carriage or an electromagnet to pull the ball between holes.
Ramps are inclined planes with a gentle enough slope that the ball may travel along it. The player attempts to direct the ball with enough force to make it to the top of the ramp and down the other side.
If the player succeeds, a "ramp shot" has been made. Ramps frequently end in such a way that the ball goes to a flipper so one can make several ramp shots in a row.
Often, the number of ramp shots scored in a game is tallied, and reaching certain numbers may lead to various game features. At other times, the ramps will go to smaller "mini-playfields" small playfields, usually raised above the main game surface, with special goals or scoring.
There are other idiosyncratic features on many pinball playfields. Pinball games have become increasingly complex and multiple play modes, multi-level playfields, and even progression through a rudimentary "plot" have become common features on recent games.
Pinball scoring objectives can be quite complex and require a series of targets to be hit in a particular order.
Recent pinball games are distinguished by increasingly complex rule sets that require a measure of strategy and planning by the player for maximum scoring.
Players seeking highest scores would be well-advised to study the placard usually found in the lower-left corner of the playfield to learn each game's specific patterns required for these advanced features and scoring.
In the s, game designers often put hidden, recurring images or references in their games, which became known as easter eggs. The methods used to find the hidden items usually involved pressing the flipper buttons in a certain order or during specific events.
Designers also included hidden messages or in-jokes; one example of this is the phrase "DOHO" sometimes seen quickly displayed on the dot matrix displays, a reference to Do rris Ho , the wife of then-Williams display artist Scott "Matrix" Slomiany.
The backglass is a vertical graphic panel mounted on the front of the backbox, which is the upright box at the top back of the machine.
The backglass contains the name of the machine and eye-catching graphics ; in games up to the s the artwork would often portray large-breasted women in skimpy clothing.
The score displays lights, mechanical wheels, an LED display, or a dot-matrix display depending on the era would be on the backglass, and sometimes also a mechanical device tied to game play, for example, elevator doors that opened on an image or a woman swatting a cat with a broom such as on Williams' "Bad Cats".
For older games, the backglass image is screen printed in layers on the reverse side of a piece of glass; in more recent games, the image is imprinted into a translucent piece of plastic-like material called a translite which is mounted behind a piece of glass and which is easily removable.
The earliest games did not have backglasses or backboxes and were little more than playfields in boxes. Games are generally built around a particular theme, such as a sport or character and the backglass art reflects this theme to attract the attention of players.
Recent machines are typically tied into other enterprises such as a popular film series , toy, or brand name. The entire machine is designed to be as eye-catching as possible to attract players and their money; every possible space is filled with colorful graphics, blinking lights, and themed objects, and the backglass is usually the first artwork the players see from a distance.
Since the artistic value of the backglass may be quite impressive, it is not uncommon for enthusiasts to use a deep frame around a backglass lighted from behind and hang it as art after the remainder of the game is discarded.
Contact with or manipulation of scoring elements such as targets or ramps scores points for the player. Electrical switches embedded in the scoring elements detect contact and relay this information to the scoring mechanism.
Older pinball machines used an electromechanical system for scoring wherein a pulse from a switch would cause a complex mechanism composed of relays to ratchet up the score.
In later games these tasks have been taken over by semiconductor chips and displays are made on electronic segmented or dot-matrix displays DMD.
The first DMD on a pinball machine was used by Checkpoint and features also video mode minigames. It is not only used for scoring and mini-games but also to display full color videos.
Game in  and CGA color monitors in Pinball in that utilizes a Pepper's ghost technique to reflect the monitor in the head of the as well as modifications by the use of ColorDMD  that is used to replace the standard mono color DMDs.
Pinball scoring can be peculiar and varies greatly from machine to machine. During the s and the s, lights mounted behind the painted backglasses were used for scoring purposes, making the scoring somewhat arbitrary.
Frequently the lights represented scores in the hundreds of thousands. Then later, during the s and s when the scoring mechanism was limited to mechanical wheels, high scores were frequently only in the hundreds or thousands.
Although, in an effort to keep with the traditional high scores attained with the painted backglass games, the first pinball machines to use mechanical wheels for scoring, such as Army Navy , allowed the score to reach into the millions by adding a number of permanent zeros to the end of the score.
The average score changed again in the s with the advent of electronic displays. Average scores soon began to commonly increase back into tens or hundreds of thousands.
Since then, there has been a trend of scoring inflation, with modern machines often requiring scores of over a billion points to win a free game.
At the peak of this trend, two machines, Johnny Mnemonic and Attack from Mars , have been played into the trillions [ citation needed ].
Another recent curiosity is the Bally game NBA Fastbreak which, true to its theme, awards points in terms of a real basketball score: Each successful shot can give from one to three points.
Getting a hundred points by the end of a game is considered respectable, which makes it one of the lowest scoring pinball machines of all time.
Pinball designers also entice players with the chance to win an extra game or replay. Ways to get a replay might include the following:. When an extra game is won, the machine typically makes a single loud bang, most often with a solenoid that strikes a piece of metal, or the side of the cabinet, with a rod, known as a knocker , or less commonly with loudspeakers.
The primary skill of pinball involves application of the proper timing and technique to the operation of the flippers, nudging the playfield when appropriate without tilting, and choosing targets for scores or features.
A skilled player can quickly "learn the angles" and gain a high level of control of ball motion, even on a machine they have never played.
Skilled players can often play on a machine for long periods of time on a single coin. By earning extra balls, a single game can be stretched out for a long period, and if the player is playing well he or she can earn replays known as "specials.
A placard is usually placed in a lower corner of the playfield. It may simply show pricing information, but should also show critical details about special scoring techniques.
This information is vital to achieving higher scores; it typically describes a series of events that must take place e. Learning these details makes the game more fun and challenging.
With practice — and a machine in good operating condition — a player can often achieve specific targets and higher scores and trigger exciting events.
Players can influence the movement of the ball by moving or bumping the pinball machine, a technique known as "nudging" or "shaking. A very skillful player can shake the machine and cause the ball to bounce back and forth and prevent it from "draining.
There are tilt mechanisms which guard against excessive manipulation of this sort. The mechanisms generally include:. When any of these sensors is activated, the game registers a "tilt" and the lights go out, solenoids for the flippers no longer work, and other playfield systems become inoperative so that the ball can do nothing other than roll down the playfield directly to the drain.
A tilt will usually result in loss of bonus points earned by the player during that ball; the game ends if it's the last ball and the player has no extra ball.
Older games would immediately end the ball in play on a tilt. Modern games give tilt warnings before sacrificing the ball in play. The number of tilt warnings can be adjusted by the operator of the machine.
Until recently most games also had a "slam tilt" switch which guarded against kicking or slamming the coin mechanism , or for overly aggressive behavior with the machine, which could give a false indication that a coin had been inserted, thereby giving a free game or credit.
This feature was recently taken out by default in new Stern S. M System games, [ citation needed ] but can be added as an option.
A slam tilt will typically end the current game for all players. Skilled players can also hold a ball in place with the flipper, giving them more control over where they want to place the ball when they shoot it forward.
This is known as trapping. This technique involves catching the ball in the corner between the base of the flipper and the wall to its side, just as the ball falls towards the flipper; the flipper is then released, which allows the ball to roll slowly downward against the flipper.
The player then chooses the moment to hit the flipper again, timing the shot as the ball slides slowly against the flipper.
Multi-ball games, in particular, reward trapping techniques. Usually this is done by trapping one or more balls out of play with one flipper, then using the other flipper to score points with the remaining ball or balls.
Once a player has successfully trapped a ball, they may then attempt to "juggle" the ball to the other flipper.
This is done by tapping the flipper button quickly enough so that the trapped ball is knocked back at an angle of less than 90 degrees into the bottom of the nearest slingshot.
The ball will then often bounce across the playfield to the other flipper, where the ball may then be hit or trapped by the opposite flipper.
Occasionally a pinball machine will have a pin or post placed directly between the two bottom flippers. When this feature is present, the advanced player may then attempt to perform a "chill maneuver" when the ball is heading directly toward the pin by opting not to hit a flipper.
If successful, this will cause the ball to bounce up and back into play. A related move, the "dead flipper pass," is performed by not flipping when a ball is heading toward a flipper.
If done properly, the ball will bounce off the "dead" flipper, across to the other flipper, where it may be trapped and controlled.
In , students at Jersey City State College wanted to make pinball playing a varsity school sport, like football was, so they started a Pinball Club Team to compete against clubs at other schools.
They asked two other schools to participate. Peter's College took up the challenge, while the other school did not. Many pinball leagues have formed, with varying levels of competitiveness, formality and structure.
In the late s, game manufacturers added messages to some games encouraging players to join a local league, providing website addresses for prospective league players to investigate.
Two different systems for ranking pinball players exist. The WPPR formula takes into account the quantity and quality of the players in the field, and awards points based on that calculation for the nearly IFPA endorsed events worldwide.
Samuel Ogden has become one of the most memorable champions in the PAPA tournaments, winning four straight competitions from to in the 50 and over category.
The first part of a pinball machine's construction involves the wiring for the game's electronic system.
A color-coded wiring arrangement is wrapped around pins and connectors on a circuit board. Technicians then follow through using a meticulous set of instructions to ensure that the almost-half mile of wire is engineered properly.
During this time the playing field is set onto foam strips and a bed of nails. The nails are then pressed in the playing board as the bed raises and compresses them against the header.
Afterward anchors come and are hammered into place. The anchors help secure a metal railing that keeps the balls from exiting the playing field.
After the main construction is processed, it then comes down to fitting a few lampposts, some plastic bumpers, and flashing lights. All of the wiring is permanently fastened and speakers are bolted into the cabinet.
Along with this comes the most crucial tool, the spring power plunger, which is set into place. Finally, a few other toys and gimmicks are added, such as toy villains and other small themed characters.
Once everything is tested and seems to be running alright, the playfield is set on top of the lower box. The lower box on computerized games is essentially empty.
On older electromechanical games, the entire floor of the lower box was used to mount custom relays and special scoring switches, making older games much heavier.
To protect the top of the playfield, a tempered glass window is installed, secured by a metal bar that is locked into place. The expensive, unique, painted vertical backglass is fragile.
The backglass covers the custom microprocessor boards on newer games, or electromechanical scoring wheels on older games. On older games, a broken backglass might be impossible to replace, ruining the game's appeal.
Flipper solenoids contain two coil windings in one package; a short, heavy gage 'power' winding to give the flipper its initial thrust up, and a long, light gage 'hold' winding that uses lower power and creates far less heat and essentially just holds the flipper up allowing the player to capture the ball in the inlane for more precise aiming.
As the flipper nears the end of its upward travel, a switch under the flipper disconnects the power-winding and leaves only the second sustain winding to hold the flipper up in place.
If this switch fails 'open' the flipper will be too weak to be usable, since only the weak winding is available. If it fails 'closed' the coil will overheat and destroy itself, since both windings will hold the flipper at the top of its stroke.
Solenoids also control pop-bumpers, kickbacks, drop target resets, and many other features on the machine.
These solenoid coils contain a single coil winding. All solenoids and coils used on microprocessor games include a special reverse-biased diode to eliminate a high-voltage pulse of reverse EMF electromotive force.
Without this diode, when the solenoid is de-energized, the magnetic field that was built up in the coil collapses and generates a brief, high-voltage pulse backward into the wiring, capable of destroying the solid-state components used to control the solenoid.
Proper wiring polarity must be retained during coil replacement or this diode will act as a dead short, immediately destroying electronic switches.
Older electromechanical AC game solenoids do not require this diode, since they were controlled with mechanical switches. However, electromechanical games running on DC do require diodes to protect the rectifier.
All but very old games use low DC voltages to power the solenoids and electronics or relays. Some microprocessor games use high voltages potentially hazardous for the score displays.
Very early games used low-voltage AC power for solenoids, requiring fewer components, but AC is less efficient for powering solenoids, causing heavier wiring and slower performance.
For locations that suffer from low AC wall outlet voltage, additional taps may be provided on the AC transformer in electromechanical games to permit raising the game's DC voltage levels, thus strengthening the solenoids.
Microprocessor games have electronic power supplies that automatically compensate for inaccurate AC supply voltages.