Feb 6, 2011 10:53 am
I have loved pinball machines since I
was a child. I got very good at playing the machines to get free credits, and
I was so good that arcade owners actually hated me, because I could play for
an hour or more a mere 25 cents. For someone with low self
esteem as I was, being a top player and beating my friends and leaving
enough credits behind for others to play made me popular, but infamous to
Pinball machines are something that I see like someone sees in a classic car
or a famous painting. Sometimes I can spy an old machine in a movie and wish
I could play it.
I used to go to Fun and Games on Highland and Poplar back in the 1980's
because they maintained their machines well, and had the best pinball. They
rented the machines instead of buying them, so there was someone who serviced
the machines. The ones who bought the machines outright usually did a poor
job in keeping the machines in good working order. It was annoying to deal
with those Jew pricks who ran the place, and their
cheapness from buying a coin machine for dollars instead of having to bang
their door for change. But they were worth it because the games were well ran and they did not care what we did in there. Good
Favorite pinball spots 25 years ago were Fun and Games, Imperial Bowling
Lanes on Summer, Raleigh Springs Mall (ran by that kindly but scary if you
did not know him old dude) and some other places. We kids used to go all the
way out to a Putt Putt center way out near the
Penal Farm near the old Hungry Fisherman. It was never hard to find a game
back in the day, but now, not. Pinball machines are too expensive to
maintain, and the rate of return is too low. Video games hurt the pinball
business, and when home video gaming became as good or
better than in the arcades, the pinball industry about died.
The best manufacturer of games was Williams. This is the company that made
the "Adams Family" game. Well crafted
games which could be played to death. The crappiest came from a company
called DataEast. DataEast
made some fun machines like "The Simpsons" but the games were of
shit quality and would frequently break down.
My favorite game of all time is "Harlem Globetrotters" a game made
in about 1980. I used to play that game at a skating center on 51 in Southhaven (the one on the right literally right over the
Miss/Tn state border) that I beat so bad and they
made so little money that they changed the configuration of the game to make
it harder/impossible to beat. Some cheapskates designed their games to only
give a free ball after acheiving a score, I never
I still remember those old bingo pinball games with no flippers and holes
that dropped the balls. People used to play those illegally in small shops
and other places. As a kid, I lived in Whitehaven and there was one in a Cardosi's convenient store on Airways and Shelby Drive. I
played Pac Man there when the game first came out, but was not allowed to
play the bingo machine.
Someone mentioned Garibaldis by Memphis State. I thought their bbq pork pizza was wonderful, but that was again, in the
late 1980's. Then they had an Elton John machine that was in working
condition but in poor repair with the playing surface well worn. An example
of some private owner buying a game and then working it to death until it's crap and trash.
The only active manufacturer of pinball games now is Stern Pinball.
Microsoft has a game called Microsoft Pinball which one could possibly
download. These are Gottlieb games from every decade from 1940's to the
1990's. It's not bad with a few good games.
In Las Vegas, there is an arcade with nothing but pinball machines, with are
quite numerous. If I was wealthy, I would have a whole room of pinball games.
I love em.