Posted on October 25, 2011
Pinball Mania! "Special When Lit" on Netflix and "The Pinball Arcade" For Nearly Every Platform That Matters
When my wife and I first met, we spent countless hours playing pinball together. In the mid 1990’s you could still find a pinball machine at most pizza parlors and multiple machines at arcades and bowling alleys. Our standard playing style was to find a machine we liked (i.e. The Machine: Bride Of Pinbot) that gave three plays for a dollar. We would each play our own game the with two credits, then share the machine with the last, each playing one of the flippers. In some ways, the cooperation of trying to keep the ball in play at the same time taught me a lot about what marriage and family is all about. We played this way this pretty much until our first baby was born, and then we had to quit. Since 1998, we have played pinball only a handful of times together, and to be honest, I really miss it.
Most of the pinball machines are gone now, but that doesn’t mean people out there don’t remember them well, or want to recreate the experience. Two fairly new offerings do just that. The first is the movie Special When Lit, now available on Netflix on demand. This from documentary 2009 covers the history, enthusiasts, players, collectors, designers and manufacturers of pinball. The production values are top-notch, and the story is enthralling. The trailer is below.
The second new offering is The Pinball Arcade from Farsight Studios, the same company that developed Pinball Hall Of Fame Williams Collection (read our original, glowing review from 2008 here), arguably the best pinball simulation ever made. This time it looks like they done it again, offering the game as downloadable app that can be updated with more tables as they are finished and released. They are preparing this game for iOS, Android, XBox Live, 3Ds, PC, Mac, The Playstation Network, and PSVita for release in 2012. Needless to say, we are very excited about this. You can view the trailer for the game here: