They may have lost the war to video games, but we still love the tactile feel and gameplay of pinball machines. In this clip from Vox, a pinball expert gives us insight into some of the tricks of the trade that make it much more of a game of skill than you might think.
33 Games creates teensy (non-functional) replicas of classic arcade cabinets and pinball machines. They’re extremely detailed, down to the mini joysticks and on-screen graphics. They’re built to 1/12th scale, and measure about 6″ tall. They even make a change machine.
The A.V. Club visited the factory of legendary pinball maker Stern Pinball. The video shows a few of the more than 3,500 parts that make up a pinball machine, before walking us through the assembly process. They’ve moved to a bigger factory since we visited.
Get Hands Dirty made a beautiful two-player pinball machine mainly by carving wood and acrylic parts using the X-Carve CNC machine. It doesn’t have electronic parts, but the execution is still top-notch. Complete design files and parts list available on Inventables.
Stern’s new machines feature imagery and sounds from the original trilogy. They have color-changing LEDS, and models of the Millennium Falcon and a TIE Fighter. Upgraded Limited and Premium models get two LCD screens, an exploding Death Star, and more.
This kit lets you build a crude pinball machine using just about anything as obstacles. It includes mechanical flippers, as well as copper contacts which can be used to register scoring when connected to an off-the-shelf microcontroller, using a free smartphone app.
VPCabs‘ amazing new home arcade machine uses a 32″ vertical display to play both virtual pinball and arcade games. A 15.6″ secondary display displays game marquees and doubles as a pinball scoreboard. Includes all current Pinball FX2 tables, and 60 arcade classics.
Our friends at Stern Pinball are pinball junkies a chance to win a brand new pinball machine. Just upload a picture of yourself and why you think you’re the ultimate pinball fan to social media with the hashtag #UltimateSternPinballFan to enter. (Ends 11/1/2016)