Antique Pinball Machines, Plus My Favorite Game

in #pinball3 years ago (edited)


Previously, I have posted about some classic pinball games and about the game's early history. Today, I am including some of my own pictures of antique tables. Look at the Ballyhoo game in this first picture; you will see instantly why the words "pin" and "ball" were used to describe this game initially.

From Baffle Ball to Ballyhoo to Kings Chess to that unnamed one below, these games originally featured steel balls which landed randomly in some spot framed by pins. And that was what you scored. It was much later that the games became more complicated and they grew to resemble something that did not really depend upon pins. To see how they developed, take a look at the last few photos here.






Having showed you these pictures of antique tables (sorry that the glass was so reflective, which makes them harder to see), let's take a look at a more modern pinball game. Modern, you say? Yes, it is called Black Knight 2000 and it came out in 1989.

Has technology improved since 1989? Of course. We can play these on video screens now. But there is no substitute for the feel of a real table and the sound of real balls caroming around. That's what makes pinball great even all these years after it was first invented in 1931.

But no one (I repeat NO ONE!) has ever created a better game than Black Knight 2000. This is not to be confused with the earlier 1980s version called Black Knight or of any subsequent versions. BK 2000 was, in my humble opinion, the pinnacle of pinball. It is the most enjoyable of these games I have ever found.

With three modes involving multi-balls, 16 different bonus awards via the lightning wheel, and a kick-ass upper section that is the most well-built games I have ever seen, BK 2000 rocks. I found this in recent years at a couple of pinball museums (check the list below) and it's a joy to play. If I could afford the maintenance or have the space for it, then this is the one I would put in my own house. While I featured this game previously in my list of five favorite games, I am now coming out with the truth that this is my single favorite pinball game.

These are some of my pictures and, probably better yet, a Youtube video clip that shows you the game play.




Finding a Pinball Machine

In most parts of the world, these are really difficult to find, but some remain in certain countries. Here is a map of current public locations of pinball games. There aren’t many of these games left, but it’s a much different experience than playing on a computer or phone. If you can find one to try, you won't regret it.
Here’s a map showing North American locations:
This site is a good general resource for pinball games; it has helped me before in writing reviews of the games.

Photos by the author or family members.


Pinball games always fascinated me as a boy. I think I even remember playing that Black Knight 2000 game, it looks very familiar. Our favorite spot to play was a pizzeria about a mile away from the house I grew up in. We'd ride our bikes up there and play for hours.

Those were the days!

There’s a punk venu/pizza bar in Sydney that still has these machines

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Life is also like pinball, we are tossed from the essence of the corner to another corner, until it finally succeeds or fails.

This is a profound comment. I think you're correct about it.

Now I know what it is called Pinball. Interesting article as usual.

It makes sense when you see the original versions.

Haha what a way to go antique and pin ball machines never were connected in my head

They are classics in this day where most games are virtual.

Looking at these really brings me back to childhood! I wonder if I can find somewhere that still has it, I really want to play a game now...the lights, the sound effects, the thrill of whipping that ball up!

My first experience of what is called pinballs comes from the computer system. I guess they reason being that we were colonized by the UK not America. 😁.

I also loved playing the game too. It's very interesting to play.

PS: I've never seen a real life pinball till date.

Is BK 2000 something a non pinball geek(no offence it’s just the best descriptor I can come up with) such as myself would enjoy? I understand there are a lot of the bonus awards and upper levels but are they things only good players can get to? To be honest, after reading this I might have to give a game or two a try next time I’m at a bar that has a machine(tons of Sydney bars have pinball).

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Many people would enjoy them. You won't know until you try. :)

I use to love them as a kid so at the very least it’ll be very nostalgic 😊

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I miss the days that I could ride my bike up to the local arcade, have a soda and some nachos and cheese... play some pinball and whatever the newest video game was that had recently been released. Thanks for the fun post and the trip down memory lane. 😉

Hello my friend, how have you been? These board games were great, I would like the children of today to practice them and leave aside their tablets, I assure you that they would have fun a lot

@donkeypong, I've played the Virtual Pin Ball game but never played a Physical one. Great to see this picture and definitely want to try this stuff once.

And no matter which game every game travel a journey and in this journey game get evolve and phase by phase it get evolve and becomes more fun. Stay blessed.

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Wow... it shows the games from the simplest form to the most complicated form of games. We can see from the images that you display that from day to day the game is growing. Exciting winning games make people forget other activities. unfortunately I have never been able to play games when I was a child first. So that until now I don't like games. Enjoy your day, sir.

Sorry to say that i didn’t played pinball’s game in my life till now. Because my family didn’t buyed one in my childhood and now I will love to play these new games in coming years And pinball will be one of them. Your narrative way to represent this is awesome.

Yes sir I will love to play.

I miss the arcades and pinball games.
Those were the best times especially since I played with the pinball games with my high school sweetheart who is my husband.

Way better than playing on computer or x-box or the phone.
Miss those days

Excellent review @donkeypong and this board game is a real classic in that genre. Unfortunately, I was not able to play them, but I would love to try, because, as you correctly noted, can feel a certain spirit and atmosphere by touching these games!

@donkeypong, I feel tables of pinball machine increase or reduce players attraction. For example, currently provide new technological tables than older once. But lot of people of new generation prefer to play racing or fighting games. Pinball games played more times older people. I accept antique machines had less facilities and attraction. But it was easy to play much better. This would be perfect introducing blog. Thanks.

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Amo este juego. Nunca tuve la oportunidad de jugarlo en una maquina como las que enseñas jajaj solo en el computador, literalmente pasaba horas jugandolo.


Interesante colección y su historia, ademas las fotos esta bien tomadas, me acuerdo aquí en Venezuela
se la colocaba monedas

Antique pinball machines are great! I have had the experience of playing with those and you truly do not want to stop.

The vintage artistry and creativity of the machines is so remarkably beautiful. Thanks for sharing my friend @donkeypong

Excellent reviews I can not really play games. We can not play this game. It is very important for the people. So I'm trying to learn this game. I think it's a beautiful game.

You’re ever current and updated! You’re such an encouragement. I like the instincts behind pinball games.

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good game i like to play gem too, especially the game like this is very exciting, post the perfect master donkeypong.


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Love the classic pinball games...maybe when steem finally goes to the moon I will be able to cash out a little can buy one!!!

oh wow look at the first one, so basic yet our pinball. Do you own one as well maybe?