Seriously? OMG! WTF? » 4 Great Pinball Machines Based on Video Games
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[ # ] 4 Great Pinball Machines Based on Video Games
September 21st, 2020 under Uncategorized

Pinball machines may not be the first thing you think of when talking about video games but the two have a lot of history together. A type of arcade game whose history dates back to the late 18th century, pinball machines have made a huge impact on geek culture the world over.

Pinball machines were shaped by the cultures they came from, and exploring some of the older machines can give observers great insight into what was popular in geek culture when they were created. Many pinball machines took reference from pop culture so films, music, video games, and other pop culture staples of the time often made their way into arcades through these machines.

The history of the pinball machine is laid out in gorgeous detail at the Strong National Museum of Play in New York which houses the biggest, most comprehensive collection of video game materials and memorabilia in the world. However, for those who can’t travel to Rochester to explore the history of pinball in person at the Pinball Playfields, here is just a taste of some of the pinball machines in history that have taken inspiration from video games.

Super Mario Bros.

One of the most famous video game franchises of all time, Super Mario has a long and storied history in the gaming industry. The Super Mario series itself is celebrating its 35th birthday this year with the launch of a new collection of some of their most famous games for their newest console, the Nintendo Switch. The Super Mario 3D All-Stars collection, slated for release in September 2020, shows off how far the series has come since the launch of Super

Mario 64.

The Super Mario Bros. pinball machine, meanwhile, was launched by Nintendo and D. Gottlieb & Co. in 1992 and featured a host of cool artwork from the series which focused on some of the most iconic heroes and villains from the franchise. Mario and Luigi are front and center in this machine with King Bowser playing hardball on the castle. What was notable about the machine is that it featured the voice acting skills of Charles Martinet for the first time in Mario history. The actor would go on to become one of the most famous voices in video game history after this initial appearance at arcades across America.

Street Fighter II

Another famous video game series to receive a pinball machine was an arcade classic that many gamers already knew about when it was released in 1993. The Street Fighter II pinball machine, manufactured by D. Gottlieb & Co. in cooperation with Capcom, is a martial arts-themed pinball machine that features some of the series’ most famous fighters. The marketing material for the machine centers around attracting new players from the “die-hard video players” club that was clearly making an impact on the video game industry at the time. This cross-over machine was no doubt seen as a great way to give the pinball genre more exposure while giving fans of the Street Fighter genre a new way to play with their favorite characters. It saw success in this as well, becoming one of the best selling arcade units of its time.

Q-Bert’s Quest

Another iconic video game star that made an appearance on a pinball machine is another arcade original; Q-Bert. The Q-Bert’s Quest pinball machine by D. Gottlieb & Co. was made in 1983 in order to capitalize on the growing success of the little orange hopper who was already making waves in the arcades across the country. While this spin-off pinball machine didn’t see success during its time, it is now considered extremely rare as only 884 machines were ever produced.

The Q-Bert pinball machine was unique in that it has four flippers that are laid out in an X-pattern, which made it a bit difficult to master compared to other games of its time. Ironically, this aspect of the machine is also what has made the machine so popular among collectors.

Dungeons and Dragons

Perhaps the best-known game of all time, from the outside it may seem like a Dungeons and Dragons themed pinball machine is a bit of an oddball given the style of the original title, however the unit saw good sales numbers for its time. Its popularity has endured and even now it is a prized piece of memorabilia with the pinball machine now ranking second on the list of 100 most popular pinball machines for collectors.

Aside from the theme, what really made this pinball machine popular was that it featured an unusual playfield and some different outline/inlane combinations. There was even a teleport feature that allowed for a “Magic Save” for an even more magical experience.

The rarity of these famous pinball machines means that most gamers will never get the chance to experience the magic of playing these arcade classics. Luckily, there are a host of online pinball machines available that can give gamers a taste of the magic. Other classic arcade games that have been kept alive thanks to the wonders of the internet include online slots, which are playable on numerous online casinos. Websites such as UNIKRN offer gamers a way to indulge in their favorite past time while also giving them access to a number of other related features such as eSports betting, online leaderboards, and more.

Just like modern-day video games, pinball machines offered players a chance to escape into another world and forget their troubles. These iconic machines from the past may be part of video game history but their popularity even now in the age of the internet shows just how much of an impact they have had and continue to have on the industry as a whole.


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