Pachinko, i.a. Nishijin & Sankyo, from 1980 onwards

Extremely addictive

The first Pachinko machines appeared in Japan around 1920 and were initially intended as children's toys. A decade later Pachinko became very popular among grown-ups as well. It's highly addictive and there are plenty of people who lose a fortune at this cute little game.


Pachinko machine - Picture taken on January 27th during Ignite Amsterdam 5, found on Flickr.

Pachinko started out as a mechanical game. The machines didn't come equipped with electronics until 1980. At the moment there are quite a few different versions featuring animations. Pachinko is actually an upright pinball machine with lots of little iron pins in the field, but without flippers. Apart from deciding when the ball will be propelled into the field, the player has no control whatsoever over the game. Fate will decide the course of the ball. As it bounces back and forth between the pins, you win or lose points. If the ball falls into the right pocket, you earn additional balls.

This game is simple to use and has nice animations. It might happen that the sexy protagonist, Marin, helps out a bit. In Wim Wenders' documentary Tokyo-Ga, there is a long scene that takes place in a Pachinko arcade.

We'd like to thank Dragonfly Amusement for lending us the Pachinko featuring in the Arcade exhibition. They have loads of other Pachinko machines for sell, so have a look!