Pinball (game)

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Developer Nintendo EAD
Publisher Nintendo
Platform(s) NES, Family Computer Disk System, Virtual Console (Wii, Wii U), Nintendo Switch (Nintendo Entertainment System - Nintendo Switch Online)
Release date Famicom/NES:
Japan February 2, 1984
USA October 18, 1985
Europe 1986
Australia 1986
Famicom Disk System:
Japan May 31, 1989[1]
Wii (Virtual Console):
USA November 19, 2006
Japan December 2, 2006
Europe December 15, 2006
Australia December 15, 2006
Wii U (Virtual Console):
Japan October 23, 2013
USA October 24, 2013
Europe October 24, 2013
Australia October 24, 2013
Nintendo Entertainment System - Nintendo Switch Online:
USA May 26, 2022
Japan May 27, 2022
Europe May 27, 2022
Australia May 27, 2022
Genre Pinball
Mode(s) Single player, multiplayer
Game Pak
Floppy disk
Digital download
Wii U:
Digital download
Nintendo Switch:
Digital download
Wii Remote (Sideways)
Wii U:
Wii Remote (Sideways)
Nintendo Switch:

Pinball is a regular pinball game for the Nintendo Entertainment System that was developed and published by Nintendo. It was first released for the Family Computer in 1984, and the same year, a competitive version for the VS. System, VS. Pinball, was released worldwide. Pinball was of the 18 launch titles released for the Nintendo Entertainment System in North America in 1985, and was also a launch title released in Europe and Australia in 1986. Hudson Soft had planned to release ports of Pinball for home computers in Japan in 1985, but this was canceled for unknown reasons.[2]

Pinball is the first released video game that Satoru Iwata programmed for Nintendo; his first Family Computer project, a 1983 home conversion of the 1982 arcade game Joust, remained unreleased for over four years until its eventual 1987 production by HAL Laboratory.[3]

While it is not a part of the Mario franchise, Pinball features a bonus stage with Mario, who is also shown on the game's cover. Shortly before the Famicom version was released, Pinball was preceded by a Game & Watch game of the same name, which does not have any Mario-related elements.


Gameplay of Scene A

Pinball is a game where the player controls the flippers of a virtual pinball machine. The game has three scenes: scene A, scene B, and the Bonus Stage. The goal of the game is to achieve a high score.

Gameplay begins when the player launches a ball with the striker from the bottom of scene A to the top of scene B. Gameplay switches between scene A and scene B depending on where the ball moves. In scene A and scene B, the player controls the flippers on either side of the screen to deflect the ball. If the ball falls off the bottom of scene B, the player loses the ball. If the ball falls through the hole in scene B, it enters the Bonus Stage.

Bonus Stage[edit]

Main article: Bonus Stage (Pinball)

In the Bonus Stage, the player controls Mario carrying a platform. Mario must rescue Pauline by bouncing the ball off of his platform so it passes through bingo lamps, in order to decrease the size of the floor so Pauline falls through. Mario must then catch Pauline with his platform and bring her safely to one of the exits on either side of the stage. If the ball falls off the bottom of the screen, it exits the Bonus Stage and is ejected from the hole kicker in Scene A.


  • A Button B Button – activate striker; control left flipper
  • +Control Pad – control right flipper; control Mario in the Bonus Stage


Character Name Description
Mario The player controls Mario in the Bonus Stage.
Pauline Mario must catch Pauline when she falls down, then carry her safely to the exit.

Items and objects[edit]

Most of these objects are referred to as Pinball Parts.

Image Name Description
Ball The ball is used to interact with Pinball Parts to earn points. The player starts with three balls, and earns an extra ball for every 50,000 points earned. If the player loses all of their balls, the game is over.
Flippers Flippers are used to bounce the ball in scene A and scene B.
Striker The striker is used to launch a ball from the bottom of scene B to the top of scene A.
Slot windows If the ball passes through the lane on the right of scene A, the slot windows start rotating.
Slot target If the ball hits the slot target, the slot window below it stops rotating.
Block post The block post prevents the ball from falling in between the flippers, and can appear in scene A and scene B.
Targets The ball can hit targets to earn bonus points and activate certain events.
Bumpers Bumpers award points and cause the ball to bounce around. They appear in three colors: blue, pink, and amber.
Cards If the ball turns all five cards face up, the block post in scene B is raised.
Egg Eggs hatch into chicks if the ball touches them.
Stopper Two stoppers appear in scene B if three chicks are hatched at the same time.
Hole If the ball reaches the hole in scene B, it enters the Bonus Stage.
Bingo lamps Bingo lamps change color if the ball passes through them. If all of the bingo lamps with the same number become the same color, the floor below Pauline becomes shorter.


  • Hirokazu Tanaka - Music Programmer
  • Satoru Iwata - Programmer
  • Satoshi Matsuoka - Programmer
  • Yukio Kaneoka - Composer


Four versions of Pinball have been released since it was initially launched on the NES. The game was also included in Doubutsu no Mori and its Nintendo GameCube remake, Animal Crossing. In 2002 Nintendo re-released it as one of the several e-Reader games under the name Pinball-e. Pinball was one of the first titles to be ported to the Wii's Virtual Console in 2006 and for the Wii U's Virtual Console in 2013. On May 26, 2022, Pinball was released on the Nintendo Entertainment System - Nintendo Switch Online application for the Nintendo Switch in North America. On May 27, 2022, Pinball was also released for the application in other regions.

In Family BASIC, a piece of software made for the Family Computer in Japan, the penguin that appears in Pinball makes a brief appearance in Game 1 along with the Sidesteppers from Mario Bros. Both the penguin and Pauline have very similar sprites as in Pinball.

In WarioWare Twisted! there is a microgame titled Pinball, which is based on the bonus stage from Pinball. The actual surface is circular instead of flat and to control Mario the player must twist the Game Boy Advance or Nintendo DS. There are three stages and each stage lasts only a couple of seconds and becomes progressively harder as the speed increases and the paddle size decreases.

Pinball is one of the 16 games featured in NES Remix and NES Remix Pack. It is also one of the unlockable Nintendo Entertainment System game demos for the Wii U application, Amiibo Tap: Nintendo's Greatest Bits.

In WarioWare Gold, there is another microgame named Pinball, based on scene A, and it appears in 5-Volt's stage.


Original instruction booklet[edit]

Be a Pinball Wizard!!!!!
Bank off bumpers, flip double flippers, even win a bonus round. Play on
three different game screens and be challenged at two different levels of diffi-
culty. Rack-up points to beat your opponent and progress to the bonus
round where you'll save the fallen maiden and win the game.

Arcade Archives[edit]

"Pinball" is a pinball game released by Nintendo in 1984.
The rules are simple even for beginners: try to gain points without losing the ball. However, with various tricks and features, the game offers a depth that even experts can enjoy.
Fans can also enjoy seeing Mario and Lady from "DONKEY KONG" in the bonus stage!

Nintendo Switch Online[edit]

Hit targets and rack up points in this classic pinball game!

Featuring a bonus mode starring Nintendo's legendary character, Mario, you control our hero as he holds a platform and uses it to keep the ball in the air. Your goal is to save Pauline. If she falls and hits the ground, you lose a ball—but if you save her and lead her to the exit, you'll get a nice surprise! This game is fun and easy to learn, and includes bonus balls for high scorers—and even a two-player mode. This is a game both pinball fans and novices alike can enjoy!


For this subject's image gallery, see Gallery:Pinball (game).


Title theme
File infoMedia:Pinball Title.oga
Bonus points jingle
File infoMedia:Pinball Bonus.oga
Help:MediaHaving trouble playing?


External links[edit]