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LAST WEEK IN (DIGITAL) PINBALL
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DIGITAL PINBALL CABINETS
Well Played Arcade Tabletop Pinball – $299 (GameStop)
For those that want the digi pin cabinet experience but have limited space. This features a 19” screen, plunger, and flipper buttons but no legs as it is to be played on a flat surface of your choosing. Nudging is done via a second set of buttons near the flipper buttons. Comes preloaded with 27 tables from Magic Pixel, makers of Zaccaria Pinball. These tables are the ‘remake’ versions of real Zacc Em and SS machines, where MP interpreted what these would look like if designed during the DMD era of pinball. Wi-Fi is built in and more tables will be available for download at some point down the line, most likely the rest of the Zaccaria catalogue. There is also rumor that other Android based pinball games will be available, as a recent video showed a few titles that were distinctly not Zaccaria.
ToyShock 12 in 1 Pinball – $399 (Walmart)
This digi pin cabinet was actually available for purchase last holiday through Walmart and sold out its run. It’s a ¾ scale cabinet with a 24” monitor for the playfield and 4 digital score displays in the backbox. While it does have a plunger, it does not feature haptic feedback or have an accelerometer for nudge detection. Instead there is a second set of buttons by the flipper buttons that ‘nudge’ the table when pressed. Leg height is not adjustable, making this a bit uncomfortable for adults to play but perfectly sized for the kiddos. The 12 featured titles are all Gottlieb and made by FarSight Studios, previously seen in The Pinball Arcade. Black Hole, Haunted House, Bone Busters, and Class of 1812 are all possible as cabinet art theming.
Arcade 1 Up Pinball – $550 (GameStop and various other 1Up retailers)
Just like their lineup of ¾ scale arcade cabinets, these pinball cabinets are meant to look like scaled versions of the real thing. Whether it be the fake coin door, the very authentic plunger, or the DMD display in the backbox, these will look right at home in your home arcade. The playfield is a 24” 720p monitor recessed into the cabinet under an acrylic top that is surrounded by chrome rails and lockbar, simulating the pinball feel even further. The cabs feature an accelerometer for nudging and 4 solenoids to simulate the feel of flippers flipping and pop bumpers firing. The table legs are adjustable so that adults shouldn’t be leaning over too much. There are 3 different cab offerings with 10 tables each running at 60 fps; Star Wars, Marvel, and Williams (Attack From Mars). The Star Wars and Marvel cabs feature original tables designed by Zen Studios, while the AFM cab features well known Williams and Bally titles as seen in Zen’s FX3 platform. No Wi-Fi connectivity, and currently no plans to allow additional tables to be purchased and added to the cabs.
AtGames Legends Pinball – $600 (atgames.net)
A nearly full sized cab with a 32” 1080p playfield monitor recessed under glass and a 15.6” monitor in the backglass. This is more of an “all in one” type offering, as you are not limited to playing only pinball on this, but can also play regular arcade video games on it too. Comes with 22 built in Gottlieb tables from FarSight’s Pinball Arcade lineup, with the promise of some Taito themed tables coming in the future that will also play native to the cab. Just announced is the ability to add Zaccaria Pinball in spring of 2021, which makes the full size Well Played cab (at $100 less) a non starter. The main feature AtGames promotes is connectivity to cloud based gaming via ArcadeNet and BYOG, where you stream games from your PC. Nudge and haptic feedback of some sort will work with the tables built into the cab, not sure if that is the case for tables offered over ArcadeNet such as the Visual Pinball designs they are making available too. Keep in mind ArcadeNet is a $20 monthly subscription and BYOG is $1 per hour to stream, but for those that are content creators, rejoice in the fact you can do so natively from the cab without setting up a camera to capture your gameplay.
VPcabs Vertigo – $3495 (vpcabs.com)
Looking for a cabinet built like a tank but with a footprint like an arcade cab? The Vertigo is a 32” hi-def monitor standing on end with a DMD screen above it. Running off a PC and with full licencing from Zen Studios (it comes installed with the entire FX3 library except for Williams Pinball), this cabinet is an entry level into the hard core world of virtual pinball cabinets. Also features full arcade joystick, trackball, and buttons for playing 55+ listed arcade games on their site such as Pac-Man, 1941, Burger Time, Tempest, and many more, as well as Steam Store integration. Yes it is a huge price jump from all the other cabs, but it will also run literally every game all those cabs offer and not using an Android port to do it.
VPcabs Wizard – $6995 and up (vpcabs.com)
For those that don’t want to compromise in any way, there’s The Wizard. This is a full size cab with a 40” playfield, a second monitor for the backglass, and a DMD screen. Lots of solenoids, lots of additional lighting on the cab itself to further immerse you, this is going to do everything in its power to convince you that you are playing real pinball, not digital. Any pinball game you can run on a PC in cabinet mode can run on this beast. It is designed to feel like one of the boys next to any Stern, JJP, or Williams cab in your collection. I put The Wizard on this list simply to show how deep the rabbit hole goes in terms of digital pinball cabs when money (and space) is no object. Nobody will ever mistake this as ‘just a toy’.