Pinball machines have a complex history. The roots of the modern pinball machines you use at your local cafe come from games like croquet and billiards, which involve guiding a ball to a specific spot by hitting it with an instrument.
Today, many arcade games have emerged, such as skeeball, ice ball, jet alley, etc. and many older games have also been updated with technologies such as pinball. You can also find more arcade games at alleyrollers.com/.
However, the true spiritual ancestor of modern pinball machines was the game of Bagatelle. Developed in France in the 18th century, the game consisted of inserting balls into holes on one side of the board using a stick or tail.
The surface of the board was tilted and obstacles were placed in front of the holes to provide a more stimulating experience. Many of these features have been adapted and can be seen on modern pinball machines.
In the 19th century, an inventor named Redgrave took over the design of the Bagatelle game and improved it. One of its additions, still visible today, is the piston: a device that launched the ball into an inclined field.
However, once the ball was released from the piston, the user could no longer interact with the ball, as the fins of the pinball machine had not yet been developed.
The 1930s saw a lot of innovation in pinball design. The machines now included limited electronic functions, such as basic sounds and the ability to propel the ball without forcing the user.
Several new features were also introduced around this time, such as the tilt mechanism and free games. These new features were revolutionary for the time and sparked renewed interest in pinball machines.