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Pinball Techniques: Controlling the Chaos
The dazzling lights and sounds of a pinball machine betray its biggest secret—it’s surprisingly easy to control. Check out Groupon’s overview of some methods to help wrangle the silver ball.
Dead bounce: the most basic technique and also the easiest. As the ball careens toward a flipper, do what a volcano filled with alka-seltzer would: nothing. Often, the ball will bounce off the inert flipper into a more manageable place. This works best when the ball is falling straight down.
Drop catch: a way to stop the ball when it’s angled toward the flipper. Release the flipper button just prior to contact so the ball loses momentum as it hits the falling flipper. Conversely, for balls angled away from the flipper, flick the flipper precisely when it meets the ball to stop it in its tracks—a technique known as the live catch.
Pass: a catch-all term for moving the ball from one flipper to another. One method is to bank it off the post of the slingshot immediately above the flipper so it hops over to the other side, but this is somewhat risky. A safer alternative—and one that might garner some extra points—is to hit the ball up the orbiting ramp so it loops over to the other side.
Bang back: the most notorious of the so-called “illegal” techniques, banned from competition. When a forgone ball falls down the drain, the cheater slams his or her palm against the cabinet, jarring the ball back into play. As dangerous as it is cheap, the move poses a serious risk to players, who might break a wrist along with his or her integrity.
High scores are the goal for players at Flynn's Retrocade. But those aren't the only key numbers behind the arcade.
- 1995—the year co-owners James Anderson began collecting classic video games
- 40+ classic 1980s arcade games, such as Ms. Pacman Frogger, and Punch-Out!!, fill the space
- 90Varkon pinball cabinets were produced during the game's run in 1982, and Flynn's Retrocade is home to 1 of them; other pinball games include Indiana Jones and Twilight Zone
- 22 specialty sodas are on Flynn's menu, including Galaga, a blend of pineapple, coconut, and peach; the arcade also pours Brigham’s Brew root beer