When I used to play pinball competitively, people would always express surprise that pinball was actually a competitive game. It's not just about randomly bouncing balls: there's quite a lot of skill in the nudging and, especially, controlling the balls using the flippers. If you've tried to play a game or two at the local bar and been frustrated by the ball going anywhere except where you want it to go, here are a few tricks to help you with your game:
Even the simplest techniques will bring an immediate improvement to your game. The dead flipper pass is dead simple: just don't flip to pass the ball to the opposite flipper while reducing its speed and spin a bit to make it easier to control. If you need the ball on the opposite flipper (to make a flashing shot on the other side of the table), just follow up with a slingshot pass. The "stall" and "drop stop" techniques are a lot harder to pull off. One other easy technique that isn't shown here is the "slap save": when the ball is coming almost straight down the middle, a hefty slap on the flipper button on the closest side will nudge the flipper closer to the ball while activating it for the save.
With those basic techniques down, the best route to high scores is by knowing the rules of the table, and which shots to go for (and when!) for the most points. The Professional & Amateur Pinball Association has a number of video tutorials for some popular games.
That's all for the blog this week. Why not try out some of these pinball techniques over the weekend, and we'll meet you back here on Monday.