Fancy a quick game of Pachinko?

Wait, what is pachinko ?

Yeah, not many people outside of Japan have heard about it. However, you probably will have heard about pinball, and this is a vertical version. In Japan there’s traditionally been mechanical and noisy machines which use balls which are smaller than Western pinball machines.

With Pachinko, there’s also a betting element as the balls become the bet and the prize. You basically sit in front of one of these, load the balls, then press a spring-loaded handle. This launches the ball onto a metal track which sends it around the edge of the game and then onto the main playing field. You then have to hope that the ball or balls end up in one of several cups. As the balls tumble around, they bounce off pins. If you get one in the cup, you win!

Since the original games they’ve enhanced things, with flippers on the cups and mechanical games making way for more intense electronic versions.

However, if you’re looking for the vintage experience, there’s a “Vintage Pachinko” app which will mix the traditional with the modern. It a fun simulation of the real, clanking, noisy original from the 1950’s and 60’s. It maintains the actual gravity and physics of the real thing and you can unlock further machines as you play.

There’s smart clear graphics and a nice soundtrack to go with it.

If you look around Google Play or the Apple App Store, you’ll find even more versions of this game, including ones where winning money isn’t the goal – instead you have to battle to reach the top of the leaderboard. There’s a stack of versions and variants out there, and they’re a great way for killing time as you wait for a bus or a train. Heck, even when you’re ON the bus or train.

In “Penguin Pachinko” you get to add your friends and play against them across the web, just to add an element of challenge. Mini games such as UFO Catcher bingo, Pinball, Bonus Jackpot game and Cannon game to let you win more balls so that you can progress on.