Games and their history

Pinball machines at Sparks

Our specialty is pinball machines manufactured by Williams and Bally from the 80s and 90s, but we also have newer games as well.  Below is the listing of the games we currently have on location.   Below we list the history of each of the games listed.  All games are on coin play.

  1. The Addams Family, 1991
  2. Bad Cats, 1989
  3. Banzai Run, 1988 
  4. Black Rose, 1992
  5. Bram Stoker's Dracula, 1993
  6. Cirqus Voltaire, 1997
  7. Creature from the Black Lagoon, 1992
  8. Cyclone, 1988
  9. Demolition Man, 1994
  10. Dialed In, 2017
  11. Diner, 1990
  12. Doctor Dude, 1990
  13. Doctor Who, 1992
  14. Earthshaker!, 1989
  15. Elvira and the Party Monsters, 1989
  16. Fire!, 1987
  17. Fish Tales, 1992
  18. FunHouse, 1990
  19. The Getaway: High Speed II, 1992
  20. Indiana Jones, 1994
  21. Hurricane, 1991
  22. Judge Dredd, 1993
  23. Little Pro, 1990
  24. The Machine: Bride of Pinbot, 1991
  25. Medieval Madness, 1997
  26. Monster Bash, 1998
  27. Mousin' Around!, 1989
  28. No Good Gofers, 1997
  29. Party Zone, 1991
  30. PIN*BOT, 1986
  31. Police Force, 1989
  32. Popeye Saves the Earth, 1994
  33. Revenge From Mars, 1999
  34. Ripley's Believe It or Not!, 2004
  35. Red and Ted's ROAD SHOW, 1994
  36. Rollergames, 1990
  37. Scared Stiff, 1996
  38. SlugFest, 1991
  39. Space Shuttle, 1984
  40. Space Station, 1987
  41. Star Trek: The Next Generation, 1993
  42. Strikes 'N Spares, 1995
  43. Swords of Fury, 1988
  44. Tales of the Arabian Nights, 1996
  45. Taxi, 1988
  46. Terminator 2: Judgment Day, 1991
  47. Theatre of Magic , 1995
  48. Twilight Zone, 1993
  49. Whirlwind, 1990
  50. Whitewater, 1993

Arcade games

  1. TRON
  2. Ms Pacman
  3. Galaga
  4. Rampage
  5. Ice Cold Beer
  6. Tempest
  7. Donkey Kong
  8. Skee ball
  9. Super Chexx
  10. Bubbles 
  11. Frogger
  12. Assault
  13. Wacky Gators

The Addams Family, 1991

The Addams Family was designed by Pat Lawlor and remains the most commercially successful pinball machine ever. Based on the movie, the Addams Family features custom speech by the movies actors Anjelica Huston and Raúl Juliá. The game features an animatronic hand that will grab and lock pinballs, as well as a computer controlled mini flipper that, using artificial intelligence programming, learns to shoot a tricky cross-playfield shot with remarkable consistency. The game also features three magnets under the lower playfield that activate as “The Power.

Bad Cats, 1989

Bad Cats was released in 1989 by Williams and was designed by Python Anghelo.  One of the unique features of the game is the mechanical backbox animation with a women hitting a cat with a broom.  These amusing backbox animations were once popular in woodrail pinball machines from the 1950s. 

Banzai Run, 1988

Banzai Run was produced by Williams and is the first machine designed by Pat Lawlor.  The game is known for its multi-playfield design, which the player can play a game on the machine's backglass as well as on the main playfield. This six flipper pinball was inspired by a 1987 independently made prototype called Wreck'n Ball.

Bram Stoker's Dracula, 1993

Based on the 1992 movie of the same name, Bram Stoker's Dracula was originally planned to be called "Alien 3."  After the movie license wasn't able to be secured by Williams, the game was re-themed into the current game.  The game features three different multiballs, which can be played simultaneously.  One of the most unique features of the game is a magnet that moves under the playfield that slowly transports a ball across the playfield. Dislodging this ball from its path by hitting it with the ball in play starts Mist Multiball. 

Cirqus Voltaire, 1997

Cirqus Voltaire was designed by John Popadiuk and is based on a real 1772 French cirqus that featured jugglers, tiger tamers, high wire fellows and lightning-ball walkers.  The game was one of the first games to have the playfield-mounted dot matrix display.   The also game features the "Boom Balloon," which is a pop bumper that can drop down beneath the playfield.  The Ringmaster inside the game has a stop magnet on the top of his head, which can hold the ball when the head rises up. 

Creature from the Black Lagoon, 1992

Creature from the Black Lagoon is a drive-in movie theme pinball that was designed by John Trudeau. The game features a 3-D backlit hologram under playfield of the Creature that simulates him reaching out to grab the player.  While in muiltball, the Creature only allows two balls to be on the playfield at a time instead of the common three balls.  The 1950's songs “Rock Around the Clock”, “Get a Job”, “Summertime Blues”, “Willie and the Hand Jive” and “Red River Rock” are played during gameplay. 

Cyclone, 1988

Cyclone was second in Williams’ roller-coaster themed pinballs. The other two are Comet (1985), and Hurricane (1991).  A close look at the playfield art will reveal a walking big chicken, a family of Coneheads, a robot, and a couple looking up waving, Cyclone is one of the few games released by Williams that did not have a multiball during gameplay.  The game was also featured in the 1991 film "All I want for Christmas".  

Dialed In, 2017

Jersey Jack Pinball’s third pinball machine, this original theme game was designed by Pat Lawlor.  The game features a camera integrated into the game's backbox to facilitate selfie photography.  These photos are then posted on the backglass during gameplay.  The game also features Bluetooth technology which enables linking a smartphone in order to control the game's flippers remotely.  The playfield features 3 flying drones, animated robot, and an attack mode that temporarily disrupts the flipper

Diner, 1990

Diner was released in 1990 during the upswing of pinball popularity.  The game was designed by Mark Ritchie and had a similar gameplay to his previously design of Taxi with its crisscross ramps.  The game features a jukebox (which acts as the skillshot), a cash register and a saucer cup on the playfield.    The backglass features restaurant customers on springs, which move when the game is tilted.  The original intension of the customers was to make them shake with a solenoid as they called out their orders, yet the idea was scrapped due to cost cutting.

Doctor Who, 1992

Doctor Who was designed by Barry Oursler and features a rising Time Expander mini-playfield. This playfield was such a safety hazard that Williams installed a switch that would deactivate the playfield once the glass was removed.  Early production games featured a Dalek head topper which moved from side to side. As a cost saving measure, the motor removed which resulted in the Dalek head being stationary on production games.  

Earthshaker!, 1989

Earthshaker was Pat Lawlor’s second design of a pinball machine.  It was the first pinball to have a shaker motor that shakes the entire machine during certain points in the game.  The first 200 machines made had a sinking Earthquake Institute building on the playfield, but was later made stationary in production games to cut costs.

Elvira and the Party Monsters, 1989

The first Elvira themed pinball machine-the second being Scared Stiff (1996).  The game features voiceovers by Cassandra Peterson (Elvira) and has many hidden objects on the game.  On the right side of the playfield, Frankenstein is shown holding a stack of pizzas.  On one of the pizza boxes it states “Pinball Pete,” which is a gesture to Pinball Pete’s Arcade in Ann Arbor.

Fire!, 1987

This game is based on the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.  At the end of the game or muiltball, be sure to check out the playfield to see how it simulates a building on fire. This game was featured in the movie “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape"

Fish Tales, 1992

Fish Tales was designed by Mark Ritchie, which also designed both Taxi and Diner previously.  The flippers on the game have a lightning bolt pattern molded into them and are 1/8 inch shorter than the standard Williams flippers. Designer Mark Ritchie stated that the European distributors had wanted a shorter flipper and Williams did not change the flipper size during the production of American games.  The game features a moving fish on the top and an auto-plunger that is shaped like a fishing rod.

FunHouse, 1990

FunHouse was the first game to the a mechanical head which interacts with players during gameplay.  Williams used this concept again in 1994 with Red and Teds Road Show, which this time incorporated two heads on the playfield.  These two games are the only two pinball machines with two plungers.  Originally there was a mechanical clock on the playfield, yet it was removed due to reliability issues.  Williams used that mechanical clock design later on Twilight Zone.

The Getaway: High Speed II, 1992

Based on the original High Speed pinball that was released in 1986, The Getaway used a similar playfield design to the original game with improved software and mechanisms.  One of these mechanisms is the Supercharger, which uses three magnets to accelerate balls within its track.   The game uses the song "La Grange" by ZZ Top as its theme song and voiceovers from the games designer Steve Ritchie.   Steve himself is depicted on the backglass in the driver's seat of the getaway car.  

Hurricane, 1991

Hurricane was designed by Barry Oursler with artwork done by both John Youssi and Python Anghelo.  This was the last of the three roller coaster theme pinball machines made by Williams (Comet, Cyclone).  The game features two Ferris wheels on the playfield that carry the ball for a portion of its rotation. This feature appeared earlier on Cyclone.  The game also features a mechanical backbox animation and a ball popper arch called The Juggler.

Little Pro, 1990

The Machine: Bride of Pinbot, 1991

The Machine - Bride of PIN*BOT is the sequel to PIN*BOT, a game released in 1986.  The Machine features four rotating head playfields, which revolve as the player advances to make the machine into a real human.  

Medieval Madness, 1997

Medieval Madness was designed by Brian Eddy and was an immediate success, achieving widespread popularity.  The playfield of the game has a similar fan layout as Eddy’s previous game Attack from Mars.  The centerpiece of the game is an animated exploding castle with a solenoid-controlled portcullis and motorized drawbridge.  Tina Fey (Saturday Night Live) did the voices of the "Opera Singer" princess and the Cockney-talking princess.  

Monday Night Football, 1989

Co-designed by Joe Kaminkow and Ed Cebula, the game was created to celebrate the 20th anniversary of ABC’s Monday Night Football.   The game features and central ramp and goal post that raises from under the playfield.  The game was featured nationally on ABC and features play-by-play from the voices of Al Michaels, Frank Gifford, and Dan Dierdorf.

Monster Bash, 1998

Monster Bash was the last full size pinball machine to be produced with the Williams namesake.  The original design for the backglass incorporated women dancing in hanging in cages, yet Universal Studios had that part of the rendering removed.  This game is full of interactive playfield monster toys and uses Phantom Flip, which flips the flippers for the player to make ramp shots at certain parts of the game.  

Mousin' Around!, 1989

No Good Gofers, 1997

No Good Gofers was one of Williams last full size pinball machines. The game features a theme similar to the movie Caddy Shack and the game was heavily marketed to golfing centers. The mechanism that run the gofers Buzz and Bud are similar to the trolls in Medieval Madness

Party Zone, 1991

The game contains characters from previous games designed by Dennis Nordman including Party Animal 1987, Elvira and the Party Monsters 1989 and Dr. Dude and his Excellent Ray 1990.  The animated head in the middle of the playfield is named Capt. B. Zarr, which talks during gameplay and turns to follow the ball.  Capt. B. Zarr also acts as DJ of the game and allows players to choose different songs including “Pinball Wizard”.

PIN*BOT, 1986

PIN*BOT was designed by Python Anghelo in 1986.  The game features a dropping bank of 5 standup targets that lowers to reveal two kick-out holes.  A game with a similar playfield layout was released by Williams in 1995 called JACK*BOT.  The game is also featured in the apartment scenes in the 1988 movie “Big” starring Tom Hanks.

Police Force, 1989

Police Force was originally designed to have a Batman theme, yet the license went to competitor Data East and the game had to be re-themed.  One of the mostly notable features left from the Batman design is the police car (Batmobile) and City Jail (Batcave) on the playfield.  The game also has a unique feature which allows players to steal the highest score among other players during everyone’s third ball.    Williams no longer sells the Police Force hat that is advertised on the apron of the game.

Popeye Saves the Earth, 1994

The widebody game featured two full size playfields that resemble the decks of a boat.  The top playfield interacts with a video mode on the display that allows players to find baby Swee'Pea  in a maze.  Bluto, which is featured as a three-dimensional plastic in the middle of the playfield, was later converted to a flat plastic due to complaints about it obstructing playfield sightlines.  Voice-over artist Tim Kitzrow provided the voice of Popeye in the game.

Revenge From Mars, 1999

Revenge from Mars was Bally’s last pinball machine produced before the company solely focused on slot machines.  The game features a Pepper’s Ghost illusion, which reflects images on to the playfield with a television monitor hung inside the cabinet and a special reflective playfield glass.  This effect is also used in the ballroom scene in the Haunted Mansion ride at Disneyland.  The game was also designed with an easily removable playfield so other games could be played in the same cabinet.  

Ripley's Believe It or Not!, 2004

A deep ruleset game with plenty of unique toys, including a shrunken head that can capture the ball.  The game was designed by Pat Lawlor and contains references to his prior games. The shrunken head exclaims “It's not plugged in yet, mon", which is a reference to Addams Family. When the machine is tilted, the Ripley character states "skate with penguins at your own risk in the Ripley zone" as a reference to Twilight Zone. 

Red and Ted's ROAD SHOW, 1994

Red and Ted's ROAD SHOW features two talking heads and is a sequel to the popular Funhouse pinball. These two games are the only two pinball machines to have talking heads called "PinMation." Country music star Carlene Carter does the voice for Road Show's Red, and appears on a billboard on the game's backglass.   Carlene’s song entitled "Every Little Thing" plays during multiball.  The game features two plungers. The right plunger is used for starting the game and the left plunger is used for "flying rocks" skill shot.

Rollergames, 1990

Based on a short-lived 1989 roller derby television show.  By the time the game was being produced, the show was already cancelled since the show aired late at night, against the Saturday Night Live timeframe.  The game features ball-catching magnet near the upper flipper and the game itself will direct you when the correct time to flip to complete a ramp shot.  The game also features a ball locking mechanism that occasionally loops the locked balls to distract the player during gameplay.                 “Rock, Rock, Rockin’ Rollergames!”

Scared Stiff, 1996

Based on the first Elvira themed pinball machine from 1989, the game features audio from actress Cassandra Peterson and was designed by Dennis Nordman.   Many playfield aspects of Nordman’s original concept were removed before production for either cost cutting or reliability issues, yet we’ve added many of these aspects back in this particular game.  The backglass depicts a stack of movie tapes with one stating "Black Friday" by "UM Productions". This commemorates a Friday when many Williams employees were laid off on and the "UM" stands for "Upper Management".   New games included a decal to place over Elvira's cleavage that could be used for family-friendly locations.  The "Bad Head" reward on the dot matrix for Scared Stiff, is game designer Steve Ritchie drawn by artist Pat McMahon.

SlugFest, 1991

Space Shuttle, 1984

Space Shuttle is commonly known as the game that saved pinball.  After the video game crash of 1983, Space Shuttle brought renewed interest into the once failing pinball market.  The game also does not feature a typical pinball knocker, yet has a bell that rings during certain points of the game.  

Space Station, 1987

Space Station is the sequel to the 1984 hit Space Shuttle and both were designed by Barry Oursler.  The game features duel general illumination, which changes to green during “code green” multiball.  One notable difference on this machine then most produced during this time is the absence of flipper inlanes on the playfield.  When the game was in the design phase in January 1986, artist Tim Elliott stated that while he was painting the small shuttle on the right of the backglass, the actual Challenger blew up on the television in front of him.

Star Trek: The Next Generation, 1993

This wide-body game was designed by Steve Ritchie in 1993.  There are two ball cannons mounted on top of the slingshots that players can use to launch the ball using the ball launcher.  The game also features light speed launches, which gives the illusion the ball is instantly teleporting across the playfield.  The effect is accomplished by the game holding balls at different areas under the playfield.  

Strikes 'N Spares, 1995

Swords of Fury, 1988

Swords of Fury is a medieval themed pinball produced by Williams.  The game features a mini playfield with drop targets and an unusual locking mechanism.   The game is known for its magnificent soundtrack that plays during gameplay, which was done by composer Brian Schmidt.    “ LIONMAN! ”

Tales of the Arabian Nights, 1996

Based on the stories of ‘One Thousand and One Nights’, the game features a blue jinn and a spinning magic lamp on the playfield.  The game utilizes several magnets that can imminently stop or alter the direction of the ball.  The top of each flipper inlane has a circle of metal "spikes" that can rise up from within the playfield to temporarily encircle the ball and stop it from exiting the outlane.  This concept was first used on Theatre of Magic, but instead applied magnets to achieve the effect.  

Taxi, 1988

The first Taxi games were made with a blonde taxi passenger named Marilyn, which had a likeness of Marilyn Monroe. Once the Monroe Estate found out of this, Williams changed their Marilyn character during mid-production of the game to be a darker-haired 'Lola', which they named from the Kinks song of the same name.  Two years later, Williams released a similar gameplay game called Diner.

Terminator 2: Judgment Day, 1991

Terminator 2 was released in 1991 on the heels of the movie of the same name and designed by Steve Ritchie.  The game was Williams’ first pinball to incorporate a dot matrix display, instead of the common alphanumeric display.  The game also has a player controlled swing-out cannon that shoots the ball across the playfield to hit a set of moving targets.  

Twilight Zone, 1993

Twilight Zone was the most technically advanced games released at the time.  It features a mechanical clock that even keeps time when the game is not being used.  There is also an operating gumball machine that dispenses pinballs and mini playfield that utilizes magnets under the playfield for flippers.  The game also features a "Powerball," which is a white ceramic pinball that is about 20% lighter than a normal steel pinball and not affected by the game's magnets.   

Whirlwind, 1990

Whirlwind was designed by Pat Lawlor and was the sequel to Williams’ successful game Earthshaker.  The game features three spinning disks on the playfield and a fan mounted on the top of the cabinet.   The original artwork for the backglass featured a boy wearing a Chicago Cubs hat.  Later on, the artwork was changed in fear of copyright infringement and stickers were produced to cover the Cubs “C” logo with the Williams “W”.

Whitewater, 1993

White Water was designed by Dennis Nordman and is based on whitewater rafting, which is reflected in the games very fast gameplay and hilly ramps.  The primary objective of  the game is to move your raft down the river to Wet Willy's in order to get the Vacation Jackpot.  Upon doing research for the initial design, the idea of incorporating Bigfoot was based on a legend where Bigfoot was fabled to appear at night and stealing rafter supplies.  The likeness of Bigfoot in the game is modeled after the designer Dennis Nordman.