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Pinball is a type of arcade game, in which points are scored by a player manipulating one or more steel balls on a play field inside a glass-covered cabinet called a pinball machine (or “pinball table”). The primary objective of the game is to score as many points as possible. Many modern pinball machines include a story line where the player must complete certain objectives in a certain fashion to complete the story, usually earning high scores for different methods of completing the game. Points are earned when the ball strikes different targets on the play field. A drain is situated at the bottom of the play field, partially protected by player-controlled plastic bats called flippers. A game ends after all the balls fall into the drain a certain number of times. Secondary objectives are to maximize the time spent playing (by earning “extra balls” and keeping the ball in play as long as possible) and to earn bonus games (known as “replays”).

“Pinball machines have been around in some form since the late 19th Century: In 1871, Montague Redgrave, made some amendments to the ball-game, Bagatelle. He added a spring-loaded mechanism to launch the ball and a bell sound, when a ball hit a hole.

In the 1930’s coin-operated mechanisms, and the use of electricity were added: A game named Baffle Ball, by David Gottlieb, became the first big hit of the early coin-up era – and Contact, by Harry Williams was the first electric game.But still no flippers yet! Flippers didn’t turn up until 1947 with the release of Gottlieb’s Humpty Dumpty.

Pinball had its heyday in the seventies, with tables still being made by Gottlieb and Williams, but also Stern, Rock-Ola, Midway and many more. However, the rise in popularity of video arcade machine led to pinball falling from favour. Of the big pinball names of the past, only Stern are still making new machines.
## Emul
Pinball tables can be digitally simulated (rather than emulated). There’s the easy route (buying off the shelf software with licensed tables already built-in) or the fiddly route (using an open-source simulator, with user-created unlicensed tables).

System | Simulator | Notes
:- | – | –
Various | [Pinball Arcade by Farsight Studios]( | Features tables from Stern, Gottlieb, and Alvin G
Windows, Xbox One, PS4, Switch | Pinball FX 3 by Zen Studios | Features tables from Williams, and new licensed tables from Universal, Marvel etc
iOS, Android | Williams Pinball | Selection of Williams tables from Zen Studios
Windows | [Visual Pinball]( | Open source pinball simulator
## Reso
* [Internet Pinball Database](
* [Pinside](
* [Digital Pinball Fans](”

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