pinball defense

It would be interesting if there was some way to actively defend against an opponent on a pinball game using your phone (or a similar device). JJP already has some things that purposefully make the game more difficult for the player. What if we could choose the crucial moments in which to instill these features on a player currently on the machine?

-give opponent weak flippers for a certain number of switch hits
-quick flip flippers for a set amount of time
-lights off/lights on

and I’m sure other defensive ideas could be something viable…

-pins and needles (temporarily remove tilt warnings)
-activate any ‘power’ type magnets on the playfield
-playfield scores 1/2

What do y’all think? I almost feel like doing something like this might be contradictory to the spirit of what we now consider competitive pinball…still it is on my wish list to see this implemented somehow.


I like the idea for the casual play aspect. I get incredibly bored playing modern games with friends. Try playing a 2 player game of WPT on location… Would be really interested to try something out like this.

Wouldn’t like it for tournaments unless the defensive moves were earned (which could be really cool). Could earn certain defensive moves by doing certain things within your own game.

The issue could be the niche market for something like this. But something to think about for sure.


I’m all for new ideas and novel concepts in pinball but the cynical part of me can see it bringing out the worst in people during tournament.

A smaller version of this could be like an award you could earn while playing that would give you these sort of power ups. For example, after beating a mode you can choose to either give yourself 2x scoring for the rest of the ball, or give your opponent 1/2x scoring for the rest of their ball (or until they beat a mode to cancel it out)


IMO, you’re just not going to find a way to make multiple player pinball games not boring. Competitive pinball tolerates it because it’s “necessary”, but it’s frankly pretty damn boring and can’t be fixed. Perhaps the turd can be polished some, but I’d rather designers spend effort on the 1 player experience.

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I’m the exact opposite. There’s nothing I enjoy more than playing modern games with friends. Especially if it’s a new game or new software. Played a bunch of games with a friend earlier today to ‘test’ new color displays.

I don’t like the idea of defense in pinball because no matter how many players you have, it’s still you against the machine. My first goal is to put a beat down on the game. When playing casually with friends, I hope they put a beating on the game too. It’s us against the machine, not each other. Scores don’t matter unless you get your initials up.


When playing multiplayer AC/DC, we often use “opponents song selection”. Opponents pick all songs, with the rules that

  • a new song must always be selected
  • no two players have the same song until all songs have been picked
  • if the opponents can’t agree on a song, the player can pick what they want

It’s super fun.


Gotta be more fun than when Lyman picks Back in Black for you on ball 1. :wink:

plunge faster!

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I played this thing in Berlin last year. It’s pretty similar to what you’re talking about. At first I thought I would never want to play it, but after a game or two, I was hooked and we played till there were literal blood blisters on the backs of our hands.

The Painstation

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It’d be fun to see a game where you can collect features and traps for the other player, like collecting items in Safecracker. It’s always a cruel joy when you steal someone else’s multi ball or jackpot, and I could see that being worked in and expanded upon. Maybe you can ratchet up the difficulty on a qualifying shot - instead of lighting lock via a nice easy ramp, now they have to shoot the difficult and dangerous captive ball, etc.


This sort of idea makes me think of Mario Party. I think, if there were to be something like this, anything you can do should just be inconvenient to the current player. Things like adding extra shots to complete a mode, or subtracting a ball from multiball unless a hurry-up is completed when multiball starts. For fairness, only one negative action should be allowed per turn, regardless of who activates it.

I can totally get behind this idea in a casual sense, but it’s like Monopoly (board game)- playing around and goofing off is great when it’s for fun, but plenty of people would be upset if this was at competitive events. Especially because, instead of the fault of the drain being solely based on player vs machine, there’s now up to 3 people to direct frustration at.

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These are the same people who made the “Furminator”, the Terminator 2 first-person pinball machine. No thanks on the blood blisters :slight_smile:

Ah, it wasn’t that bad. I just wanted to win! Eventually we took off the rubber whips and stuck with the heat and shock factors. Definitely worth playing.

The Rob Zombie machine has a feature like this in multiplayer:

This is where things change when playing by yourself or in multiplayer. In single player mode, those top right targets increase the copse multiplier. In multiplayer mode, clearing both targets steals corpse from other players then applies a curse to everyone else.
If you are cursed, you’ll need to clear those targets to remove the curse then apply it to everyone else. Kind of like hot potato.
Here’s the catch. If you are cursed and you beat the mode without clearing those targets, the person who cursed you collects half your jackpot.

(Disclaimers: I’m quoting this from the PDX Pinball group and it looks like the guy who posted it there got the info from; I haven’t played the game in a few months, so don’t know if this is outdated.)


Wow, that’s pretty awesome and crazy. I like it a lot.

I like the sound of that type of player vs player gameplay interaction better than an out-of-nowhere “spell” cast by an opponent from their smartphone.