Over the years I have owned hundreds of pinball machines, but didn’t really play them much. I just owned them to own them. Lately though, I have been getting more involved playing and enjoying them, especially the newer titles. Far from a pinball wizard, though my ball time has been noticeably increasing.
Becoming a pinball wizard takes time and a ton of practice. With earlier pinball machines, the object was simply to score as many points by hitting as many targets as possible. Pinball machines these days go a bit deeper with combo shots, modes, battles, and a whole slue of other features.
To help build pinball skill and strategy, there are several great tutorial videos out on the web. The following series is demonstrated by UK Pinball Champion Craig Pullen, showing basic skills and strategy for better game play.
1. Shot Accuracy
Shot accuracy is the most important key to playing pinball. Every table plays different from another, even two of the same machine.
2. Ball Control
Learning to control the ball goes a long way in becoming a pinball wizard. Trapping the ball allows you to look around and plan out your next shot.
3. Tip Pass
The tip pass is an excellent pinball playing technique when you want to regain control of the ball by “tipping” it over to the opposite flipper. Simple yet effective.
4. Bounce Pass
The bounce pass is a great tool to use getting the ball back under control.
5. Post Pass
Post passes make it a lot more convenient when you are picking and choosing where you want to shoot next. Essentially you are just passing the ball from one flipper to the other.
Nudging is a skill that takes a lot of practice to learn. Get a feel for the tilt sensitivity and what you can get away with.
7. Death Save
Not legal in competition play, but a really cool move to save your ball from draining out the right outer lane.
8. Live Catch
A successful live catch enables the player to control the ball by taking away the momentum as the ball is coming towards the flipper.
9. Drop Catch
The only negative of a drop catch is you have to flip the ball away just after you take the momentum away as you let the flipper down.
As you can see, becoming a pinball wizard requires quite the arsenal in order to keep the ball alive. Getting a lot of practice in can be costly if you are playing in a public place, or you can rent one for home. And as always, please share this with friends and family if you found this article interesting, it gives us momentum here at The Retro!