Remember the vintage pinball machine games, like Heavy Hitter, that played a game of baseball? Now you can find a number of tabletop baseball pinball games on the market that can provide hours of fun individually or for an entire family.
In this post I will describe four tabletop games that operate pinball style.
Though most are rated for 8 years old and above, they are simple enough that they can be played by younger children with proper supervision. The age rating results from the use of small metal balls and the dexterity needed to handle the games.
Following is information about several of the most interesting baseball pinball games that I have found:
Manufactured by University Games Corporation under the label of Front Porch Classics, this pinball style baseball game is the smallest in this review. Dimensions of the game are 12.25 x 12.25 x 8 inches, so it is small enough to sit nicely on a desk. Since it is relatively small, there is a level of dexterity that appears to be required to pick up and place the metal ball while playing the game.
Also, due to the size, only one person can play at a time.
The price for Front Porch Circa Baseball is very affordable, ranging typically from $23 to $33. The game has a wooden base and has a nice stadium look to it. As with all the pinball style games, it uses a spring-loaded launcher to launch the ball and another lever to bat.
This game is very simplistic, having only 10 holes into which the ball can settle. As with any pinball type game, once the ball is launched the batter continues to swing the bat and hit the ball until the outcome of the play is determined.
There are two triple and two double holes, just one hole for a single, and a ramp to hit a home run. Only 4 of the 10 holes count as outs and these are the holes closest to the batter. As a result, it appears that it is quite easy to score a large number of runs each turn at bat.
Want to see this game in action? Watch as two pre-teens play and describe their game.
One criticism I will note from the video is that the ball seems to get stuck every once in a while. A few other minor quality issues have been noted in product reviews.
There are several very unique and interesting features about this game, which is produced by International Playthings. Since the game board is made of plastic, the cost of the game is quite affordable at $36 to $40. The game’s dimensions are 16.5 x 16.5 x 2.5 inches, a good size for fitting on a table top.
The Super Stadium baseball game is best played with two players.
Unique features of the game include the ability to switch the batter to hit either right- or left-handed and also to slightly adjust the defensive position of the outfielders and infielders, all of which are small plastic baseball figures. In addition, dual levers allow the pitcher to throw different types of pitches at differing speeds.
The feature that makes this game unique is a magnet hidden under the surface that affects both the trajectory of a pitch as well as a ball that is hit. And if that is not enough, the pitcher can randomly open a trap door in front of the batter to swallow the pitch, hopefully tricking the batter into swinging for a strike.
For a brief overview of this game, view the following 1½ minute video.
In my opinion, this is probably the best medium-priced game on the market due to the uniqueness of the game. You can find a number of Super Stadium baseball game reviews through Amazon by clicking this link.
This high-quality, all-wood construction pinball game is produced by University Games Corporation under the label of Front Porch Classics. A spring-loaded launcher is used to “pitch” the metal balls to the top of the game board.
Once hit, there are a total of 18 holes into which the ball can settle, 6 of which are outs and 6 are singles.
The price for this game is typically between $110 and $140, though I have seen a few places where the cost is less than $100. It is essentially a one-person-at-a-time game, similar to most pinball games. Dimensions of the game, which includes a nice stadium backdrop, are 22 x 23 x 4 inches. The game weighs 9 pounds.
Unique features of the game board include 2 working stadium lights (batteries not included) and a working scoreboard. The outfield wall is adorned with old-style advertisements and four pennant flags. Unfortunately, these do not make the pinball portion of the game more unique than other games.
The only pinball-style baseball game officially licensed by Major League Baseball, this game is rather pricey but it has some distinct features that separate it from all the rest. It is produced by Tudor Games. In addition to the Classic version, both Yankee Stadium and Fenway Park models are available.
If you are willing to spend the money, typically $175 to $200, this game will probably exceed your expectations and can actually simulate the feeling of a real game.
With dimensions of 34 x 30 x 7 inches and weighing 24 pounds, the ballpark classics MLB baseball game board is a bit bigger than the other games, so you’ll need a decent sized table. The playing surface is made of pool-table quality felt and the wooden base is furniture quality. Everything is to scale for a real baseball field with field dimensions at 1 inch = 18 feet and outfield fence height at 1 inch = 10 feet.
The following video is not the best for displaying the features of this game, however, you can see the game being played.
As you can see in the video, the game is designed to be played with multiple players. That’s because the pitcher actually “pitches” the ball by inserting the metal ball into the pitching tube and squeezing it. The force of the shot and finger placement on the ball can be varied, creating a variety of types and speed of pitches.
Though the game rating is 14 years old and above, it can be played by younger players if the ball is simply rolled down the tube.
If you search for pinball style baseball games, you will obviously find more than these four games. In fact, you can find a child’s version plastic pinball game for under $10, as well as a number of other fully wooden-based games, most at a medium price of $100 or so.
All of these games are available through Amazon. To get more specific information and pricing for a game, either click on the name links within the text or use the following banner to link to the Amazon Toys and Games department.
I hope that this brief review has given you a flavor for some of the available pinball-style tabletop baseball games that can provide you with many hours of individual or family fun.