Vertical Games

Games with vertical or near vertical playfields, such as pachinko and coin drop games.
Nishijin Type A pachinko game The yellow arrow points to the ball recirculating ramp of the Nishijin Type A. A pachinko instruction sheet included a diagram of the Nishijin Type A. Diagrams provide servicing instructions for the Nishijin Type A pachinko machine

Nearly 40 years ago, I purchased a pachinko machine as a gift for my father. The Nishijin Type A game was perfect for home use because it recirculated losing balls into the reward storage tray. My father seldom needed to refill the supply tray with discharged balls.

I examine a Kronespill at the Sognefjord ferry in 1966. Herbert Shprentz photo. Kronespill detail. Herbert Shprentz photo. Diagram of Kronespill coin release mechanism.

My family's 1966 summer vacation began in Norway, where we saw an unusual game among many more noteworthy sights. A snapshot reminded me of the game, but I could not discover any more about it for 40 years.

Thanks to the Internet, to Google's instant language translation, and especially to web sites in Norway and Finland, I finally learned that the game is called Kronespill in Norway—roughly Flick-a-Coin. I learned how it worked and I played a Flash simulation of its Finnish counterpart called Pajatso or Payazzo.

Mizuho pachinko game is flush mounted in gameroom wall. Back of pachinko game reveals ball lifter unit and window-like framing. Ball lifter unit collects balls and pushes them up the metal channel. Wedge shaped pressure switch in upper tray controls the ball lifter motor.

My wall mounted Mizuho pachinko machine looked great, but would frequently exhaust its ball supply during heavy play. Then I had to walk down the hall, open a closet, and transfer used balls back to the supply tray atop the game. Now a motorized pachinko ball lifter keeps that pachinko machine supplied with balls.

Williams Banzai Run Williams Wreck'n Ball, the prototype for Banzai Run. Williams Wreck'n Ball backbox detail Williams Banzai Run backbox detail

Williams Electronics brought their recent Banzai Run pinball machine to Pinball Expo '88. As a rare treat, they also brought their playable, whitewood, prototype Wreck'n Ball pinball. Pinball wizards lined up to play Banzai Run and Wreck'n Ball throughout the Pinball Expo '88 weekend, October 7-9, 1988 in Rosemont, Illinois.

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