There were plenty of video game related pinball machines available to play, including Super Mario Bros.
, Street Fighter II
and even a Q*bert's Quest
machine. Did anyone even know that existed? Most of these seem like they fell straight out of an alternate universe time warp and just landed here, ready to go.
Games ranged from the familiar -- like the uber-popular Addams Family
pinball machine -- to the extremely rare, like the aforementioned The Pinball Circus
. Just to put it in perspective, The Pinball Circus
was developed by Williams Electronics in 1994 at a cost of $1.5 million dollars. It was an effort to break away from the "table" style and games produce a vertical pinball machine.
Two full, working units were produced, but when German pinball importer/distributor Nova told Williams it wouldn't pay the extra $1000 to import this game, it killed the project. Williams later shut down its pinball division in 1999 to focus on producing slot machines, and for years the two prototype units were heard about, but never seen. Luckily, pinball wizards Larry Demar and Steve Kordek have loaned one of them to the Pinball Hall of Fame, where you can actually play it yourself. Check out a video of the gameplay here
Another rare game they have waiting for your quarters is Gottleib's Challenger
, from 1971. This is a head-to-head pinball machine that has a tilting playfield and plays a bit like soccer. If you're "kicking off," the playfield tilts down towards your end, and vice-versa. It's a really different way to square off against someone, and rather than trying to beat their high score on the same machine, you're literally trying to score via their goal, which they have to defend.
Other strange and interesting highlights included both Ted Nugent
and Elton John
pinball machines, a truly bizarre-looking Popeye
game, the ultra-funky Space Pilot
contraption where you have to properly land a spaceship, and a creepy puppet doll
that you could make dance. (We just know he'll be sneaking into our bedrooms at night to exact revenge.)
Of course, the personal highlight for this writer was the chance to play the greatest pinball machine ever made: The Machine: Bride of Pinbot
. Through the course of the game you have to turn this robotic machine into a living, breathing woman. When you finally turn her fully human, the game comes to life
with a beating heart.
If you have a love for pinball machines or just plain gaming in general, we can't recommend stopping by this place highly enough. Save your quarters.