Rules for approx. 400 pinball machines from the 60’s through mid-80s

Welcome to Bob’s Guide to Classic Pinball Machines

This guide covers approx. 400 pinball machines made from the 1960’s through the mid-1980’s.
It was originally posted by Bob as a google doc…

It was just a few weeks ago when I came across Bob’s Guide on the IFPA site. This guide proved to be an incredible source of inspiration. I contacted Bob to discuss making his guide more accessible for web and mobile users, and with his consent (thanky you so much!), we’ve done just that - or at least, that’s the hope!

The guide is presented free - if you like it, you can send a donation to Project Pinball ( and mention Bob.


This is awesome and thank you so much for using OPDB IDs in the URLs. I would love to link to these from inside Match Play:

Do you happen to have a list of OPDB IDs for which a Bob’s Guide exists? I can go copy them all manually but it’ll be much easier if you have a list :slight_smile:


Alright @frg I found the list and Match Play now links directly to Bob’s Guide when you click on a machine name in Match Play:


Wow… just went to sleep and now woke up seeing your two posts.

Thank you - not only for this but for your total commitment for pinball in general and competition support in particular! I played and run countless tournaments with matchplay

You are the best!

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Oh - so I can take this old thing down then?

Always hard to say to take something down :frowning:

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Thanks to everyone helping spread the word for me and make the guide more accessible. Re Classics in general, to paraphrase Yondo Udonta from the Guardians movies, “I may not have been the father of Classics pinball games, but I’ve tried to be their Daddy.”

Best to you all,



Thanks for this! My one suggestion is that I wish the line breaks were preserved from the original PDF (and @epthegeek’s wiki). The long wall of text is a little harder to read without the original paragraph separation. Maybe an increase in text size/line height could be helpful, too.

A minor correction: Skateball is mentioned to carry over Bonus X, but this is a setting on the machine, and I’ve seen it set both ways (INDISC Skateball did not have bonus X carryover, for example).

This guide has been invaluable for me and lots of people, thanks to Bob and everyone for passing the knowledge along!

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I think the Wiki style is great for casual reading, love it. But for those of us doing web app things the site @frg has done is great due to the opdb id in the url

Big love to everyone involved in these things (not least of which is Bob of course). There is plenty of good things in all these implementations and it’s good to see different approaches.

More people supporting opdb ids in urls would be phenomenal to see cough cough @umbilico :smiley:

Haven’t I done this years ago? Would be weird if I hadn’t after all those hours I’ve spent in the OPDB slack back then discussing taxonomy. Need to check the code.

Question to all those piggybacking off my guide: when I make revisions or additions to my online google document, will those flow through automatically to whatever you’re doing or not? If not, then I need to know what the process should be to get any changes I make to people using your linkages. Thanks. If the changes aren’t automatic, I should probably only do occasional updates, i.e. wait until I’ve accumulated enough to be worth the trouble, then do all of them at once rather than the “when I happen to think of it” editing I’m doing now.

Improving readabilty (line breaks and font size) is in the backlog. You are right, needs to be updated.

Regarding the settings… this is a bit tricky. It would apply to many games. Maybe a general remark/annotation would be better. On the other hand - if you are an ambitious tournament player you should “know”, if not… it’s not that important :wink:

Indeed, managing revisions presents challenges. I’ve automated a lot of the process, but there’s still some uncertainty in the conversion, mainly because the input comes from a Google doc, which isn’t technically ‘well-defined’.

My strategy is to review and update the content either monthly or every two months. With the upcoming update, which is essentially the first, I plan to establish a more robust process and include the line breaks.

The initial setup of the database also encountered some hurdles, such as correctly linking the pinball machine to the appropriate OPDB ID and segmenting the text, among other things.

I’m aiming to tackle this project later in the month, as it’s something I’ve set aside for weekends and holidays. I had initially hoped to reassemble my Shadow over the holiday break, but unfortunately, time didn’t permit for that :slight_smile:


FWIW, Bob already makes mention of common tourney-relevant settings in several of the pages (see Firepower for one example). :slight_smile:

Certainly I wouldn’t expect a list of random settings on every game! This one happened to jump out at me because the guide specifically calls it out as significant, and I’ve seen it vary quite often.


Apologies for continuing the tangent regarding opdb ids in urls, but it crossed my mind that another option would be for (@haugstrup basically) to setup an authoritative list of redirects via opdb

So for example a http request to would be a 301 redirect to

(and similarly a redirect on eg or /guide etc would redirect to whatever Andreas considers the most authoritative link for that resource)

Heck of a lot of setup work, but just throwing it out there.

No worries, it totally should be integrated into pinballvideos, since the OPDB idea was sparked in that ancient thread about the machine grouping API I’ve set up for it: Connecting pinball resources

I just checked my code, and it looks like it’s still using the old grouping API, though. The switch to the OPDB is in another branch that I apparently haven’t finished. I’ll do it when I next find some time for this.


Apparently, that time is now. OPDB IDs can now be used in machine URLs, like this:

Digging into that stuff again made me realize once more how ridiculous the IPDB is in some regards. Foo Fighters isn’t even in there yet, and that was two Sterns ago. And their stance against APIs means everybody is scraping their website all the time, which makes it slow af.


Thanks to @ROM OPDB is always up to date with new machines. I don’t know how he keeps track of it all

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… if you can do a nightshift I can do a lunch break update.


IPDB is now on the last spot :slight_smile:
Would also like to link OPDB… havn’t found an opdbid option quickly

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OPDB can be linked to using this format: