The Internet Pinball Machine Database
The data in this database has been laboriously gathered by the Editors, over many years, from books, photographs, flyers, web sites, pinball manufacturers, collectors' personal records, and of course the pinball machines themselves. Most of the actual photographs in the database came from various collectors — over 799 different contributors to date.
To search the database, enter any portion of a game's name in the search box above and hit the Search Database button. You can also enter a manufacturer, a designer, a feature, or even a theme. However, for a simple Quick Search, you must enter words pertaining to just one "field" at a time (thus, "Gottlieb Central Park" will not return any files because it contains two fields: manufacturer and game name). If you want to search more than one field at a time, click on Advanced Search, above.
If you want to search for a specific game by a specific manufacturer, you can do a quick search using the format 'manuf/game_name', where manuf is a part of the manufacturer name to match in the manufacturer database, and game_name is a part of the machine name to match from within all the games found by searching for manuf. For example, a quick search for 'bal/addams' will find 'The Addams Family' by Bally. For more complex searches, use the advanced search method.
If you know the IPDB game number you're looking for, you can do a quick search for it using the format 'GID/##', for example as 'GID/20' to display 'The Addams Family', which is game #20 in this database. If you know the image number you're looking for, you can do a quick search using the format 'IMG/##', for example as 'IMG/4095' to display 'The Addams Family' Flyer.
If you would like to add something to the database, click the "Update Game Information" link displayed with each machine and then follow the instructions. We encourage everyone to share their photos, files and other pin-related information with others in the hobby. The database is an unparalleled resource for all pinball enthusiasts, with the largest collection of pinball machines available online, but its success depends on its users. For more information on the IPD, click the links at the bottom of the page.
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Foosball's Alive and Kicking
March 22, 2005
Perhaps you're tops at your tavern. Maybe you're lord of the dorm or boss of the break room.
If that's the case, are you, apologies to Hank Williams Jr., ready for some foosball?
Some serious table-soccer action usually isn't too hard to find.
Contestants there are pretty passionate about their foos, judging by the play on a recent Friday night at Dante's Steak & Grog's in Seattle's University District.
With more than $100 in prize money on the line, players and patrons ringed the bar's three foosball tables like a crowd gathering `round a schoolyard fight.
Action was fast and furious. Players, making lightning-quick passes and shots, gripped and slid the rods like line cooks with frying pans during a Saturday-morning rush. Comments of "ooh," "ahh" and "nice shot" came from onlookers.
"These guys are nuts," said Kyle Fletcher, 23, a newcomer to the Seattle foosball scene who once ran the table at his Willamette University fraternity. But he and his roommate have been getting a smackdown at Dante's.
"I thought we'd be OK because we play quite a bit, but these guys are seasoned."
While the casual player can be competitive in local leagues and small tournaments - players are assigned handicaps based on skill levels - they can expect to get their comeuppance at tournaments sanctioned by foosball's governing bodies, the North American Table Soccer Association and the Valley International Foosball Association.
"The recreational player will get destroyed (at larger tournaments)," said Rich Fosner, 42, of Bothell, Wash., a nationally ranked player who frequents Dante's. "Their egos shrink really quick."
If you want to hang with the big-time foos players you've got to practice and take your licks, said Steph Ohashi, 34, a regional champion from Woodinville, Wash., who along with Lynnwood Wash.'s Chad Kinner, 36, another regional champ, own about 40 tables at bars in Washington state and organize several leagues.
Ohashi said her foosball addiction delayed her graduation from Western Washington University by two years. On most nights, rather than hitting the books, she was playing foos.
"When I moved to Seattle, thinking I was all that, I started playing in weekly tournaments," she said. "It was a reality check."
While some may remember tables that featured ramped corners and one-man goalie rods, games today are usually played on Tornado tables, the industry standard for about 20 years, which feature a completely flat surface and three-man goalie rod.
Typically, local league nights feature three- or four-person teams that play a combination of games: doubles, singles, switching positions after goals, playing a match where the ball isn't allowed to stop moving. Sometimes there's a "beer round," where the losers of a three-on-three or four-on-four game have to buy the next pitcher of suds.
Games go to five. The best three of five games wins the match.
The numbers of players and tournaments today are a shadow of what the game used to draw during its heyday in the 1970s, say old-school players. Back then, the Pacific Northwest was a foosball hotbed.
According to Kathy Brainard, 52, a winner of numerous national tournaments and co-author of the 1980 book "The Complete Book of Foosball," one of the first big-money table soccer tournaments ($1,500) was organized by businessman Lee Peppard at his tavern in Missoula, Mont.
The next year, at a $5,000 tournament, Peppard introduced his own table, named "Tournament Soccer," which served as the industry standard through the decade.
Peppard moved his headquarters to Seattle and started the first pro foosball tour, the Tournament Soccer Quarter Million Dollar Tour. During the next few years, the tour was awarding upward of $1 million in prize money, and featured tournaments with Porsches and Corvettes as top prizes.
"Foosball was something new and interesting and everybody wanted to play," said Seattle's Rocky Willson, 49, a regional champ and longtime table vendor.
During the late '70s at Goldie's, on North 45th Street in Wallingford, Wash., he recalled, there were about 13 foosball tables, most occupied nightly. But by the early 1980s, Willson said, the tour had been overpromoted and bar patrons were more interested in a new fad: video games such as Space Invaders, Pacman, Centipede and Galaga. Foosball went on life support.
Interest finally peaked again, Brainard said, in the mid 1990s. Baby boomers wanted foos tables for their rec rooms, dot-commers liked having it in their break rooms and kids saw cast members on "Friends" playing it in their living room.
Some still find it kind of silly.
On a recent night at Goldie's, where there's now just one table, David Torvik, 25, played against his roommate. "God gave me a gift. I foos well," he gloated.
"I just like to go to bars and play for fun and meet people," he said. "I wouldn't want to play in a league where it's supercompetitive."
Meanwhile, some extremists would like to see table soccer, which was believed to be first patented in England in the 1890s and introduced to Americans during World War II, be in the Olympics. Table tennis, after all, made the cut.
Other foos fanatics are just happy it's still on society's radar.
"It's become a part of the fabric of the American lifestyle," Willson said.
"Almost everyone's played some foos in their life. It's not a fad and it's not a flash in the pan. People are playing it because they enjoy it."
Ultracades New Breeders' Cup Arcade Game
"Breeders' Cup - Tournament Edition" is an upright arcade machine that has the ability to link up to 12 machines in a single location. In the game, players can breed, train and race their own Thoroughbred racehorses – all to build up their stables of horses that compete against the computer or players from around the world. The horse and stable information is stored on a proprietary card system that allows players to take their stable of horses wherever they go and play on any "Breeders' Cup -- Tournament Edition" machine.
"Breeders' Cup – Tournament Edition" attracted some of the largest crowds during the show. A large number of visitors to the booth voted the game 'Best Game in Show,' an award that will be announced in next month's issue of the industry magazine, PlayMeter."We are overwhelmed by the positive response of 'Breeders' Cup – Tournament Edition' at the ASI show," said David R. Foley, CEO of UltraCade. "We had every major distributor telling us it was by far the best game that they saw, and people were lined up three deep all day long waiting to play. Everyone is signing up to increase their initial orders. The excitement surrounding the launch of our Breeders' Cup game is infectious."
"We're excited about the potential of this game," said Kenneth E. Kirchner, senior vice president of product development for the NTRA."We can move horse racing and the Breeders' Cup into thousands of new locations and create an audience of new racing fans."
The first production runs of the game are beginning, and UltraCade plans to build and ship more than 500 units within the next month. Goals are for at least 2,500 units to be placed domestically this year, with a similar number shipping outside U.S. and Canadian borders.
The Return Of King Pong
The entrepreneur and Silicon Valley pioneer pretty much created the video game industry with the founding of Atari in the 1970s. He made another bundle in the 1980s by launching the Chuck E. Cheese's chain of pizza parlors. He jump-started the automobile navigation system industry with the company that eventually became Etak.
Bushnell also had some failures along the way. His crack at the PC market, the Atari 800, was steamrolled by former Atari employees Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak and their early Apple Computer systems. Androbot, his 1980s effort to popularize household robots, never got a product to market.
But Bushnell figures he's got at least one more breakthrough left in him. The entrepreneur started uWink, a somewhat mysterious entertainment technology venture, a few years ago and pledges to reveal a breakthrough technology soon that will build on many of his previous innovations.
Bushnell reviewed the highs and lows of his past with CNET News.com while in San Francisco recently for his induction into the Walk of Game, a new shrine of video game history.
You started playing computer games when you were working on mainframes in the 1960s. What made you think this could be some type of consumer technology? Bushnell: The link was that I was working in an amusement park at the time. I was pursuing an engineering degree in the winter and working in the game department at a regional amusement park in Utah in the summer. What that gave me was knowledge of how the
"I feel in some way that I didn't invent the video game--I commercialized it." financial side of the arcade business worked. And it was very easy to see that what I was playing on the mainframes, if I could bring it to the cost structure of an amusement park, that it would work.
I feel in some way that I didn't invent the video game--I commercialized it. The real digital video game was invented by a few guys who programmed PDP-1s at MIT. The very first time a video screen was connected to a computer, one of the first things the engineers thought of was playing a game on it.
The Magnavox Odyssey got to market a wee bit before Atari. What gave you the edge? Bushnell: Magnavox didn't invent the digital video game. They had an analog game. A lot of people don't realize that back in those days, there was a big fight over which would be bigger, the digital computer or the analog computer. They did an excellent job of creating a game using analog circuitry, but it just wasn't fun.
The classic Atari games still show up on phones and other gadgets. Have you been surprised at how durable those games have been? Bushnell: Actually not. I think that at the core of every game, there's timing, tensioning and strategy. In some ways, the old games are a little bit purer because they completely focused on those elements instead of production values.
If you have a tournament chess player, they will only play with one kind of chess set. They don't want pieces made of glass or intricately carved things. All those production values that make
"We were known as a party place, but the important thing is that parties didn't happen unless quotas were made." very pretty chess sets actually make the game harder to play. In some ways, if you focus on production values and you short-change rules and structure, you end up with a poorer game than something that's really simple.
When did you start to realize you had a real phenomenon going with Atari? Bushnell: It was a gradual process. The first indication was when we collected the money out of the first (arcade) "Pong" game, and there was so much in there it had jammed the coin mechanism. At that point in time, I knew I had a successful business.
But were you thinking, "Now we'll put one of these in every home?" Bushnell: Not really. It was a situation where the technology was so expensive at that time, and not very reliable. I felt that in the home, you needed to have something much more reliable and at a significantly lower cost. We started out in the arcade business, and that worked fine. The next epiphany, if you would, was when we figured out we could put Pong on a single LSI chip...All of a sudden, we knew we could put one in every home. All of a sudden, we went from a very successful coin-op business to a potential consumer business.
Then the microprocessor got strong enough. Remember, the first games were not computers at all; they were really digital signal generators, if you will. You couldn't run a program fast enough
What precipitated your decision to sell Atari to Warner Communications (in 1976)? Was it just more fun to start a company than run one? Bushnell: What happened is a growing business consumes capital at prodigious rates. And Wall Street had a hard time distinguishing between the frivolity of our product and the fact that it was a serious business. Raising capital was very, very difficult for us. In order to go into the consumer marketplace, we just needed much deeper pockets, and that's why we decided to sell.
Besides video games, you also came that close to launching the PC business. What gave Apple the edge over the Atari 800? Bushnell: The big difference was Warner Communications against Steve Jobs. Warner could never win that one. I don't know if I could have, but I wouldn't have made the same mistakes Warner did.
The main problem that allowed Apple to dominate was, in fact, not technology but business strategy. Steve was out evangelizing to software developers to build software for their machines.
Our strategy with the video games was that we basically wanted to give away the hardware and make money on the software. That called for a quasi-closed system. Warner thought that was the right way to do the computers business, too. So they said, "Not only are we not going to help third-party developers, we're going to sue you if you use our operating environment." So everybody that wanted to get into the software business supported Apple over Atari.
So basically Warner drove the coffin nail in the Atari 800, despite it having a clearly superior chipset, a better operating environment...We had a lot of innovations in the Atari 800 that became standard later on.
What would the PC business be like now if the 800 had been given a chance? Bushnell: I know I wouldn't have made the mistakes Warner did.
Would you have made the mistakes Apple did later on? Bushnell: I don't know. It's so gratuitous to say, "No, I would have been much smarter." I think that it would have been a good horse race.
Atari was known for being a very fun place to work, which seems to have gone out of the video game industry. Any advice for game developers today? Bushnell: Atari's strategy was actually quite simple and, I think, quite elegant. We were known as a party place, but the important thing is that parties didn't happen unless quotas were made. We had a lot of parties because people made their numbers...We had a very young work force that was more interested in having a party than making more money, so there was a sound business principle behind the parties.
Is it possible to run a company that way now, when it takes years and millions of dollars to make a game? Bushnell: I think it would be hard. At the same time, I believe you can either treat employees as equals, as adults, in which you treat everybody with equal dignity. Or you can have a monarchy, where there are the executives and there are the serfs. Monarchies work, but in today's world, where people are highly educated, highly capable and highly mobile, I think treating them like adults is a better way.
You started out at a time when good ideas and hard work were all you needed. How has entrepreneurship changed since then? Bushnell: I think it's still the same. I think the next Apple or the next Atari will be started within the next few months, we just won't know it for five years.
The venture capital process hasn't mucked everything up with focus groups and strategic planning? Bushnell: In some ways the VC process has hurt things. I feel that in some ways, it's perhaps a blessing that Atari could not raise capital from third parties, so we had to do it by tricks and gimmicks. We didn't raise any venture capital until we were $40 million in sales.
The venture capitalists are clearly a catalyst to making things happen faster...but I think it does represent a break from some of the creative business structures that were started. For instance, you can trace the casual dress code back to Atari. And it came from the premise that we don't care how you look, we don't care when you come to work--as long as the work gets done. It's part of treating people like adults.
You were right about video games, right about high-tech pizza parlors. What about personal robots? Were you just ahead of the curve there? The personal robot, to me, was a defeat--and it was a defeat based on unintended consequences. We had a PC at the core, and in those days, noise immunity on a computer was very, very low. What we could not solve was that robots running across any surface would generate static electricity. When the static electricity was discharged, sometimes just across the bearings of the wheels, that was enough to reset the computer. We tried all kinds of isolation approaches.
With a computer, (if) you get the blue screen of death, you reboot, you go forward. In a robot environment, if you have a computer failure, all your sensors go out, all your fail-safe stuff. So the robot can be locked into a mode where it's going full-speed into a wall. We used to laughingly call that the "mow the baby" mode. It was a thing where we never felt the robot was ready for the marketplace.
I'm a little confused on what the plan is for uWink. Seems like you've got your finger in a lot of pies, from arcade games to mobile phones. Bushnell: Within (a few) weeks, all will be made clear. We'll have a major announcement soon. Think of all these little pieces of technology that we have in our product lines, aiming toward a direction in which I had to develop certain pieces of technology, and I thought I'd monetize it on the way, but they were never the end goal.
So an autonomous, video game playing, coin-op pizza parlor robot? Bushnell: (Chuckling) You forgot navigation systems.
Any regrets, like letting Steve Jobs quit, or selling Atari too cheap? Bushnell: You can spend your life doing woulda, shoulda, coulda. I wish I hadn't sold to Warner, because I think that the world would be a very different place with Atari being the preeminent video game company today. It really bothers me that Sony and Nintendo and all those guys harvested the business that should have been rightly ours. The center of gravity moved east, and it should rightly have been here.
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Beer and Retro Arcade Games
A staple in any 18- to 25-year-old's life may often be liquor, but video games have a gentler mass appeal that makes people remember simpler times. Who wouldn't want to kick the shells of defeated Koopa Troopers back at Bowser, shuck and jive against Glass Joe or leap over those damn barrels that Donkey Kong kept throwing at Mario? What if someone combined liquor and video games? And what if someone made it an actual bar, and not just a really depressing Thursday night? Well, kids, quit punching in the Konami Code and go socialize at Brooklyn's Barcade. What makes the place great? "The vibe, the beer and the games," said a local who threatened physical harm to me before discussing why "Cowboy Bebop" is the greatest anime ever. That is the beauty of this renovated garage, which possesses massive ceilings with a dim enough interior to make it a great spot to kill time and see friends. Of course, there are also the 20 or so arcade machines like "Donkey Kong," "Punch-Out," "Rolling Thunder," "Smash TV!" and even "Rampage," all in their original glory just as if they were moved that morning. Next up, and most importantly for alkies, is the beer selection. Each week, there are new selections from 23 micro-brewed beers like Magic Hat No. 9 and Victory Hop Devil, to the aptly named Harpoon Winter Warmer. The one mainstay is Guinness, everyone's favorite replacement for an actual meal - which is good, since you'll be hard-pressed to find food at the bar, save for 50 cent chips and tasty jerky. All beer is $5, served straight from the tap with no bottles. Beer, like the video games, is taken quite seriously here. Aside from that, you'll never find a larger bar in Manhattan that isn't packed to the brim. On the weekends the place becomes a bit fuller, but it's not impossible to order a drink and speak to your friends. The speakers pump out everything from L7 to Meat Puppets, followed by Rush, giving no real preference to whoever's at the bar. The vibe is so welcoming you'll be downing micro-brew like it was water and striking up conversations. The people do tend to come with friends, but that's where the joy of video games comes in. They have a change machine that'll make sure you soon go broke, but watch out: Most of the games are salvaged from the '80s. I lost twice to Glass Joe in "Punch-Out!" because my left jab button had a funny way of flying off and disappearing beneath the machine. The dim lights didn't help. Don't let that deter you. Barcade may be one of the most original and enjoyable places to head to once you grow tired of Josie Woods, that crap Mexican cab place and the bodega you always get OE from. Take advice from the semi-friendly local guy who's going to hurt me for briefly quoting him: "Be adventurous and try something new." • Barcade is open Monday through Saturday from 5 p.m. to 4 a.m. and Sunday from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. Take the L train to Lorimer Street, and exit at Union Avenue; G train to Metropolitain Avenue, exit at Union Avenue.
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