Before there were fancy video games there were pinball machines. I remember walking to the corner store at least once a day when I was 10 to drop a quarter in a pinball machine. Usually they gave you 3 games with 3 balls each. If you were lucky you could find one with 5 balls each game but they were always the older ones that were not that good. The first pinball games were like pachinko machines. They didn't have flippers which were called "replay's" they were more like those little plastic pinball games where the marbles drop into a little cup to score. I remember when the corner store turned into a pinball parlor. There were 5 machines there. It was like heaven. All the ringing bells and flashing lights. The first technological advance I remember was the scoring wheels going away and being replaced by lights that lit up the numbers. Those little tubes that had 10 little glowing numerals in them. It was brighter and flashier even though the clickity clack of the scoring wheel was no longer there. They got fancier and flashier and soon were a quarter for one game. A small price to pay for a little bit longer play. (only if you were good) Someone even introduced a multiple ball game. That one was called firepower. Hmm, I remember walking into the arcade one day and seeing the space invaders pinball game. This table was 1 and a half tables wide. It was also the first pinball game I remember that was 50 cents to play. At first they gave you five balls but then cut it down to three. I thought that was a bit much to pay even though it was the flashiest table around. Then there was hyperball. 200 or so little 3/4 size balls shooting non stop. If you remember that one I would like to hear from you :) Oh and the only significant changes in pinball games over the last 15 years have been multiple levels and LED animated readouts. My current favorite pinball game is fish tails.
OK so I wrote this in 97 when my current fav was fish tails. It's been 2 years since I played a real pinball game. Yeah I play extreme pinball and ultra pinball 3D on my PC but they are not the same.
2005 now and I can't remember the last pinball machine I dropped a quarter into.
2007 now and I am actually replaying some old pinball construction set tables I made 20 years ago.