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Pinball Mobile Games

Pinball Game Origins

Pinball games as we know them really came to life in the 1930s when coin operation was combined with spring-loaded ball-launching games. This decade also brought about electric pinball machines with active flippers and bumpers. However, the invention of these machines can be traced even further back to the days of that ushered in leisure games. Enjoyable lawn games like bocce, bowls, and billiard games in which balls were propelled with sticks were the precursor to the pinball games that rely upon this propulsion to put the ball in play. 

When the spring launcher was invented in the 18th century, pinball machines changed drastically. Instead of wooden boxes and pegs surrounding a ball that was put into action much like a billiards shot, the spring launcher was utilized to allow the classic pullback, pinball motion that we see in machines today.  In 1869, the spring launcher became a mass-produced product, and pinball machines around the world adopted the technology. 

Rise to Popularity

Pinball games saw a rise in popularity with the inclusion of the spring launcher, but the World Wars slowed production on many of these machines. Fortunately for the pinball gaming industry, the 1960s and 70s brought in a time of electronic advancement, and the digital display on top of pinball machines was brought to life. When we think of retro arcade games, these pinball machines with bright displays and vivid graphics featuring aliens, astronauts, cowboys, cops, and football players all come to mind. 

It's crazy to even consider a pinball machine before the time of the digital displays, but you can imagine how much excitement this addition brought. The industry fell on hard times in the 1980s as digital video games became more popular among the regular pinball machine fans, but the 2000s ushered in an era of revival with smash-hit pinball games like a Crocodile Hunter-themed pinball machine along with Medieval Madness and Cactus Canyon. 

Pinball Machine Layout

The layout of most pinball machines have similar key components. The playfield is the area in which all of the action happens. These usually have an upward tilt of anywhere from 3 to 7 inches to force the ball to roll downward. The playfield, however, must be level left to right so as to ensure complete fairness. The ball enters the playfield by spring propulsion; a blow from the plunger, which is the spring-loaded rod, propels the ball up the loading ramp and into the playfield. In many of the modern machines, a button replaces the plunger, signaling a solenoid that contacts the ball and launches it up the access ramp. 

At the bottom of the playfield lay the flippers, which are controlled mechanically or electro-mechanically, and are purposed to hit the ball back up the playfield or nudge the ball toward a higher scoring area of the playfield. There are also bumpers set up around the playfield that can push the ball away from certain areas. Advanced players master the art of anticipating which flipper and bumper to activate in order to score the most point and avoid the ball going into the hole, in which it is no longer in play. 

Computer Pinball

Because of the popularity of pinball games, computer simulations of these arcade classics are a very popular genre of desktop computer games. But these computer simulations of pinball entertainment are even older than many think. The trend began with home video games simulating pinball machines, like Namco Games Gee Bee (1978) and Bomb Bee (1979). The Atari 2600 home gaming console featured pinball simulation with Video Pinball (1980) and David's Midnight Magic (1982).

The success of many desktop computer pinball simulation games, however, was hard to compete with. The 1990s brought advances in 3D computer graphics, which allowed users to simulate all of the nuances of real pinball, like nudging and tilting the machine. 3D Pinball: Space Cadet became a very popular version of computer pinball simulation that was featured on PC and Windows 7 even until recently. The entertaining graphics made pinball games and bowling games more popular than traditional desktop computer sports games. 

Pinball Mobile Apps

With the increase in popularity of mobile games, pinball mobile games were the obvious next step based on the success of computer pinball simulations. Nearly anything that desktop computers could do, smartphones found a way to emulate. Entertaining mobile pinball apps are now a staple of the most popular games available on app stores. From the classic space themes to the true arcade feel, these pinball mobile games put the user behind the plunger from anywhere and everywhere. 

These apps range from free to paid and feature paid upgrade versions as well, so you can have as immersive an experience as you want. There is also online play available, so mobile pinball games could help you meet new people with similar interests. Enter tournaments, chat with friends online and even win money with these entertaining modern spins on classic games. 

Mobile pinball apps are some of the best ways to enjoy the classic arcade game from wherever you are. Whether you want to play online against friends or beat your own record, have hours of fun with pinball on your phone.