Platform: Nintendo Entertainment System
Developed by Nintendo R&D1
Published by Nintendo
on Buy Pinball on
Pinball is, as the name suggests, a
pinball video game (or a simulation of a pinball machine, if you prefer),
developed by Nintendo for the NES. It was released in 1984 (in Japan), just
before the actual console made its rushing breakthrough on the market. After the
original release, the game reached North America in 1985, as well as Europe in
The game is based on a 1983 Game & Watch unit of the same name. Its original version was made exclusively for the arcade machines (and it became one of the biggest arcade classics, along with the original Donkey Kong), but as soon as Nintendo launched their new console, it was just a logical move that this arcade gem will also be one of those games that will be ported to the new system. The NES version of the game added an alternating two-player mode, and this version was also later re-released as an e-Reader card game. It is also an unlockable mini-game in Animal Crossing (a title developed exclusively for the Nintendo GameCube).
You may be asking yourself – “What the hell does Mario have to do with this?” And if we tell you that he has a cameo appearance in this game as well (though, in a different image then the one we got used to….but hey, this was the period before he actually “became” Mario), along with the damsel-in-distress from Donkey Kong – Pauline…would you continue reading this article and would you play the game as well? You would, admit it……….we know you would.
We believe that a vast majority of
you already know what pinball is, and how the pinball machine functions, but we
are going to make a short recap in this section anyway, and describe what is
different in this exact version of Pinball.
This game is, basically, a simulation of the pinball board. The objective is to score as many points as possible, by not letting the pinball to fall under the paddles and by hitting various spots on the board. All that brings extra points to you. You control those two paddles, and they are placed at the bottom of the pinball machine. There are 2 sections of the board, in total, so above the mentioned pair of the paddles, there is another pair that functions the same way. Above the paddles on the first screen, there are 2 bumpers and 3 circles that, when hit, give 100 points each time when this happens. Just beneath the orange circle there are 3 eggs. When one of them is hit, a baby chick will pop-out, and as soon as it is hit again, it will disappear. In case all 3 eggs are hit at once, the 2 stoppers will show up at the sides of the board. To the left of the mentioned 3 circles, there are 7 numbered targets. If all of them are hit, the 6 pink lines to the right will disappear, and it will allow the pinball to go back to the top. Above the 3 circles, there are 5 cards with the letter “N” on them, and in case that all of them are turned over, you will get a stopper, and the color of the board will be turned to yellow. To the right side of the cards, there is a brown hole that leads to the bonus area.
The bonus mini-game is a secondary Breakout-like mode game of the game. Over here you control Mario who is holding a platform that looks like a grid, and your objective is to rescue Pauline (a girl that was previously seen in the legendary Donkey Kong game) by bouncing the ball off the platform, hitting various targets on this part of the course. The destruction of those targets brings extra points. When the blocks on which Pauline is standing are removed, she will drop down, and you must carry her safely to one of the either exits, to get extra points. By not managing to achieve this, you automatically lose this mini-game.
The controls in the game are very basic. You can see them right here:
Up/Down/Left/Right – Moves the D-pad in any direction, in order to activate the left paddle. In the bonus mini-game, “Left” and “Right” buttons are used to navigate Mario on the board
A/B – Activates the right paddle. By holding either of the two buttons, you will pull down the plunger, and once you release it, it will launch the pinball onto the board
Start – Pause the game.
A total of four different versions of
this game have been released since the
NES version spotted the
light of the day. A complete, playable version of “Pinball” was a part of the
Nintendo 64 title
no Mori” , as well as the remake of the game on the Nintendo GameCube
“Animal Crossing”. In 2002, the game was re-released as one of the several
e-Reader games under the name
Just before the official release of the Nintendo
console (in 2006) it became available as a part of the Virtual Console for that