Texas Pinball Festival 2023: An Attendee's Guide
The Texas Pinball Festival (TPF) is set to be held in Frisco, Texas, from March 24th to the 26th, 2023.
First appearing in 2003, the Texas Pinball Festival has been held nearly every year since then and has become one of the biggest pinball events in the world, with nearly 5,000 attendees. This year will be particularly eventful, with most pinball manufacturers bringing a freshly released game.
There’s a lot to see and do there - so we’ve broken it down with a short guide.
Heading to Frisco for the weekend? Check out our guide to 10 Awesome Places to Play Pinball in Dallas!
Events and Seminars at TPF
There will be many events, presentations, and appearances from pinball legends (like Steve Ritchie), a swap meet, autograph sessions, and even pinball-centric movie screenings.
The films on exhibition are the short film “Skill Shot, BABY! Pinball Epiphany” from Wizard's World arcade, James E. Moriarty, Imoto Harney, and Jen Ruper among others. Plus, a screening of the Roger Sharpe biopic, “Pinball: The Man Who Saved the Game.”
You can test your knowledge in a game show called “So You Think You Know Pinball?” for a chance at winning some prizes.
There’s even a planned trip to the nearby world-famous “National Video Game Museum.”
Other highlights include:
- Appearances by game designers like Jack Danger, Scott Danesi, Eric Meunier, Dennis Nordman, John Borg and others
- Roger Sharpe
- The return of The TWIPY Awards with hosts Imoto Arcade and Todd Tuckey
New Pinball Games at TPF
Hundreds of other pinball machines and games will be displayed for sale, trade, or just to play in the free play areas. Some of them haven’t been seen or released anywhere else yet. There will also be a sampling of homebrew tables designed by some hardcore pinball hobbyists.
A few of the more notable new pinball titles include Stern’s latest release, Foo Fighters, Spooky Pinball’s Scooby-Doo, American Pinball’s Galactic Tank Force, Jersey Jack's The Godfather 50th Anniversary, and Multimorphic's newest game module, Final Resistance. There are even whispers that Chicago Gaming’s rumored Pulp Fiction game could also make an appearance.
You can find a list of confirmed games on the TPF website.
Notable pinball games you should seek out:
- Capcom's Big Bang Bar (brought by Wormhole Pinball)
- Haggis Celts (brought by Steve Strom)
- Haggis Fathom Revisited (brought by Rusty Nunnelee)
- Jake Danzig's Dukes of Hazzard homebrew game
- Stern's Foo Fighters
- Pedretti Gaming's FunHouse: Rudy's Nightmare (brought by Tim Butler)
- Bally's Hardbody (brought by Linda Gerst)
- International Concepts Night Moves (brought by Balls of Steel Pinball)
- Spooky's Scooby Doo
- Pinball Brothers' Alien
- Jersey Jack's The Godfather 50th Anniversary
- Multimorphic's Final Resistance
- Stern's Dracula
Pinball Vendors at TPF
There will be vendor booths and exhibits from almost every big name in the pinball community, like American Pinball, Jersey Jack, Chicago Gaming Company, ColorDMD, FAST Pinball, Spooky Pinball, and many more.
Besides all the manufacturers with an official presence, we recommend checking out some of the following folks:
- Comet Pinball
- Double Danger Pinball
- FAST Pinball
- Marco Specialties
- Mezel Mods
- Pinball Pimp
- Silverball Swag
- Wormhole Pinball
Pinball Tournaments at TPF
The tournaments are a big deal at TPF! Four tournaments will occur - The Kid’s Bump n’ Run Tournament, The Texas Wizard Tournament, The Texas Takedown Women’s Pinball Championship, and The Classics Side Tournament.
The Texas Wizard Tournament is also an official Stern Pro Circuit tournament, so you know the best tournament pinball players will all be there.
Note that separate passes will be needed for tournament participation. Players will compete for cash prizes and IFPA points (or gift cards for the kids).
Pinball Awards at TPF
Besides the aforementioned TWIPY awards, TPF will also be awarding prizes to a variety of Best in Show pinball machines in a few different categories.
For TPF 2023, those categories include:
- Best Antique (pre-1960)
- Best 60’s
- Best 70’s EM
- Best 70’s Solid State
- Best 80’s
- Best 90’s
- Best 00’s (2000-2009)
- Best Modern (2010-present)
- Best Original
- Best Restoration
- Best Custom Pinball
- Best Custom or Innovative Arcade Video Game
- Best Classic Arcade Video Game (pre 1990)
And a “Grand Champion” award for the best overall.
How to Attend TPF 2023
Hop on a plane, bus, train, car, or any other form of transportation and get yourself to Frisco, Texas (just outside of Dallas).
- Date: March 24-26, 2023
- Location: Embassy Suites Dallas – Frisco Hotel and Convention Center
- 7600 John Q Hammons Dr., Frisco, TX 75034
- Tickets: Weekend passes are $85 or $65 if you pre-register
- Friday: 5pm-1am (Adults $35, Kids $25)
- Saturday: 10am-12am (Adults $45, Kids $35)
- Sunday: 9am-2:30pm (Adults $25, Kids $15)
For more info, visit the Texas Pinball Festival website, or follow them on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.