Flipout 2018 Highlights

Wow, what a weekend it was! The third Mr. Pinball Flipout 2018 in Melbourne was an absolute flippin blast!

To ensure we got our fill of pinball, we arrived at Flipout 2018 nice and early and were quite chuffed to have found ourselves first in line for entry. Within minutes of arriving, we looked behind us and were greeted by a line snaking through the Sandbelt Hotel, with guests eagerly awaiting the clock to strike 10:00!

Once the doors flung open, we were greeted by a cacophony of pinball machine noises that were music to our ears. Being first through the doors, our eyes immediately fixated on the pair of Jersey Jack Pinball’s new Pirates of The Caribbean (PoTC) machines. We knew we had to play these right away otherwise we would have had to queue up to play these, as Jersey Jack Pinball machines always prove popular with the masses. Once we drained our third ball on PoTC it was time to move on to the next big new pinball machine for 2018 – Chicago Gaming Company’s Monster Bash Remake (MBR)! This was the first time the machine was available for play anywhere in Australia, so we counted ourselves quite lucky. There were two MBR machines to play and an original Monster Bash (MB) so we could play them back-to-back and compare the old versus the new – as much as we are fans of the original MB, the Remake just takes it to another level, from the vivid art work and amazing light and sound package, to the ultra clear coated playfield that ensured your shots were precise, making this a complete and wonderful experience. Oh yeah, the huge HD screen just topped off what already is a stellar pinball machine.

Up close and personal with the new Monster Bash Remake

Pinball has had its fair share of controversies over the years, and none are bigger than John Popadiuk’s failed Zidware venture. We won’t bore you with the controversy, which is still a sore point for many (and rightly so), but Mr Pinball had somehow secured one of only a handful of Magic Girl machines to be available for play at Flipout. As you will see in the video and accompanying photos, Magic Girl is one tall and absolutely stunning machine. The machine might be gorgeous, but that’s where it all ends – there is no substance to it, as the game is incomplete, rendering the experience to be somewhat subdued. However, it was amazing to actually see and touch this rare and exotic machine.

Oo’er, the exotically rare and controversial MAGIC GIRL

From one controversial machine to another, we threw some tokens into Alien and plunged the ball to check out (the now defunct) Heighway Pinball’s last production machine. The dark theme nails the feel and atmosphere of the huge movie franchise and of course the Xenomorph sticking its tongue out to grab your ball was one feature we were keen to see in the flesh – it didn’t disappoint. Alien is a striking machine, demanding your attention with it’s unique lines and huge backboard. I just wish Heighway had completed the machine and got the code to a level where the game would just suck you right into the Alien universe. Hopefully the dedicated community of owners out there will do this machine justice with code updates in the future!

Heighway Pinball’s strikingly beautiful and scary Alien machine

While there were plenty of other hard-to-find-on-location machines on free play, like Team Pinball’s The Mafia and Spooky’s Total Nuclear Annihilation (TNA), it was Ben Heck’s America’s Most Haunted (AMH) that actually grabbed us by the scruff of our neck and would not let go. While initially waiting for our turn on TNA, we noticed that no one was playing AMH, so we thought, what the heck, let’s flip this thing. Wow, the machine sucked us in right away – it was so up our alley, that we forgo more machines, including playing TNA more than a couple of times! We played AMH close to 60 times, so we would say that it was our most played machine at Flipout. The cheesy theme, the great sarcastic callouts and butter smooth shooting were among the many things we loved about it. The changing RGB lighting was just the icing on an already delicious cake! We may have to have a chat to Mr Pinball’s Wayne Gillard about finding AMH a new home.

Pinball Party Bus’ Dion Miksad shows us how to play AMH

Ausretrogamer and Pinball Press Co-Founder, Alex Boz reckons AMH was best in show!

With 60 plus machines on offer, including some amazing EM machines, there was plenty of variety to cater for all kind of pinball tastes at Flipout 2018. Of course the event also had an array of great seminars, from Jersey Jack Pinball CEO, Jack Guarnieri’s keynote speech, to Haggis Pinball’s unveiling of their new pinball machine theme. For the competitive types, Melbourne Silverball ran IFPA endorsed tournaments all weekend which were also streamed live on Twitch.

After 7 hours of constant pinball in a day, we had a bout of severe arm-pump, which sadly rendered our day complete. We definitely didn’t leave disappointed – Flipout 2018 far exceeded our expectations. We left the venue with a big smile on our face, knowing that we will have great memories locked away in our cerebral cortex. We can’t wait for Flipout 2019!

We have our tickets ready!

Big thumbs up for Scott Danesi’s TNA!

Plenty of great seminars at Flipout 2018

Just one final plunge!


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Pinball: FlipOut 2018

To say pinball is going through a resurgence would be a gross understatement.

With pinball becoming ever so popular it was inevitable that a major event would pop up, and thanks to Mr. Pinball, we now have the annual FlipOut event held on the first weekend of December.

FlipOut 2018 will be on December 1 and 2 at the Sandbelt Hotel in Moorabbin. The event will have a swag of awesome and boutique pinball machines to play, from Heighway Pinball’s (defunct) Alien, American Pinball’s Houdini, Spooky’s TNA and the exotically rare Magic Girl, to Chicago Gaming Company’s Remakes and Jersey Jack Pinball’s array of brilliant machines – Dialed In, Wizard Of Oz, The Hobbit and their latest, Pirates Of The Caribbean. You would be hard pressed at finding any of these machines to play on location, so FlipOut 2018 may be your only opportunity to experience some of these games.

Highlight from FlipOut 2016 – meeting the one and only Jack Guarnieri

It’s not all just playing pinball, FlipOut will also feature a keynote presentation by the ever so brilliant Jersey Jack Pinball founder, Jack Guarnieri and a stacked list of pinball related seminars. If you are the competative type, FlipOut will have IFPA sanctioned tournaments to prove your wizardry against some of the best players in Australia. Oh yeah, there will be autograph/signing sessions and lots of prizes and giveaways throughout the two days of FlipOut 2018.

If you want to attend FlipOut 2018, you better hurry, as tickets are selling fast! We have our tickets and can’t wait to get there! Hope to see you all at FlipOut 2018!

Event Details:

  • Event: FlipOut 2018
  • When: December 1 and 2, 2018
  • Where: Sandbelt Hotel, 630 South Road, Moorabbin
  • Sponsors: Mr. Pinball, American Pinball, Jersey Jack Pinball, Chicago Gaming Company, Pin Stadium Lights, Team Pinball, Hot Rodded Pins and Melbourne Silverball
  • Tickets: Available via Mr. Pinball – ranging from $30 (single day entry) to $100 (full access all weekend, plus tournament entry)


We are at PAX Aus!

Yo peeps, the Ausretrogamer gang and their awesome friends (Weird and Retro, Press Play On Tape podcast, Bartronica, Bayside Pinball Club) are all at PAX Aus 2018 this coming weekend running the awesome and nostalgia inducing Classic Gaming area.

If you are attending PAX Aus, come over, say hi and most importantly, play and have fun!

We are here!
image source: PAX Aus

PAX Aus 2018: Classic Tournaments

Sharpen your reflexes and get your fingers ready for the PAX Aus 2018 Classic Tourneys!

From tournaments on the Commodore 64, Sega Dreamcast, NES, Atari Lynx to arcade and pinball, we have your nostalgia covered! Check out the PAX Aus 2018 Classic Gaming tournament schedule below and make sure you come around to the Classic Gaming Area nice and early for your chance to become the retro gaming champion!

The PAX Aus 2018 Classic Gaming Tournaments are brought to you by these awesome community partners: Bartronica, Bayside Pinball ClubPress Play On Tape Podcast, Weird And Retro and us at Ausretrogamer.


2018 Brisbane Pinball Masters

Calling all pinballers! Get your flipping fingers ready, as the 4th annual 4-day Brisbane Masters pinball extravaganza is almost upon us!

The 2018 Brisbane Masters will take place from July 19 till July 22 at Rydges Fortitude Valley. With 100 confirmed entrants, places are limited, so ensure you get in touch with the organisers, Jason Lambert and/or Jimmy Nails (via the Facebook event page) to secure your spot at this most prestigious pinball tournament.

Just in case you needed an incentive to compete, official Australian Stern Pinball distributor, Amusement Machine Distributors (AMD) is sponsoring the 2018 Brisbane Masters and have thrown $3,000 towards the event kitty!

For more information on the tournament, please check out the official Facebook Event page.

Photos from the 2017 Brisbane Masters (by Marco Rossignoli)


Rising From The Ashes: Argonauts Pinball Club Tournaments Are Back!

Like the phoenix rising from ashes, the Argonauts Pinball Club is back with new pinball machines and new tournament format with the same awesome group of pinball fanatics!

Come along to the Golden Fleece Hotel this Thursday (May 3rd) for the Argonauts Monthly Pinball Quest – The Horrid Hydra tournament. Bring your friends, bring your family, play pinball and soak up the fantastic atmosphere as Melbourne’s pinball community gather to battle it out for great prizes and IFPA points. Oh yeah, everyone is welcome, so you have no excuse!

The tournament format has changed to an 8 game limited qualifier, meaning that there is more time to socialise and hang out!

Tournament Details:

  • Qualifying time: 5:00pm to 9:00pm
  • Finals (start time): 9:15pm to 11:00pm (the aim is to be finished by 11:00pm, but it could run later)
  • Cost: $15.00 (entry fee covers ALL games for the night!)

The competition consists of limited qualifying and head-to-head final rounds. During qualifying, each player will play ONE game only on each machine and a SECOND game on one machine of their choosing. A point system will be used to rank each player’s best score on each machine. Those who rank highest at the end of qualifying will participate in the head-to-head final rounds.

This tournament will be managed through the rules and regulations of the IFPA.

Current Pinball Machine Lineup:

  • Medieval Madness Remake
  • Dialed In!
  • Indianapolis 500
  • Jack*Bot
  • The Shadow
  • Bally Playboy
  • Star Trek – The Next Generation

For more information visit the Argonauts Pinball Club on PinballScore.

image source: Argonauts Pinball Score


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Getting Our Retro Pinball Fix At Rosstown

When we visited Marcus for his Rosstown Retro Pinball Arcade competition in September last year, we were gobsmacked by the sheer number of classic titles that were available for play. When Marcus mentioned his new IFPA endorsed Rosstown Retro Pinball Tournament for 2017 and some new additions to his marvellous collection, we had to get him to tell us more! So here it is, take it away Marcus!

Rosstown always prides itself on having a collection that not only includes classic pinball machines from well-known manufacturers like Gottlieb, Bally and Williams, but also from the lesser known ones such as Zaccaria, Playmatic and Atari. Speaking of Atari, after searching for one of their machines for a number of years I finally found a superb 1978 Atari ‘Superman’ machine in good working order to add to the Rosstown classics collection. Atari pinball machines are rarely seen, even in private collections, and even if you’re lucky enough to stumble upon one – it’ll likely be in a non- or semi-working state. So it’s a rare treat to be able to play this working ‘Superman’ machine – it’s a wonderful pinball table. The backglass is faultless and the playfield is bright with no wear. The widebody (typical of an Atari pinball) makes sure there is plenty to do with some great long spinner shots on each side.

Atari Superman

The other new addition to the Rosstown line up is Bally’s ‘Vector’ from 1982. This is another hard to find machine that had to be added to the retro pinball collection. The outstanding feature on ‘Vector’ is its flip-o-meter that calculates the ball’s speed up the ramp and into the energy containment unit (ball lock). This game oozes cool features that were ahead of its time, thanks to its innovative design team. This machine has an elaborate (and perhaps wicked) drop target sequence that allows the player to shoot for the vectorscan ramp. The player must knock down the three drop targets in order, and if they fail, then another 3 pop up – talk about ramping up the difficulty! ‘Vector’ keeps the player on their toes by ensuring that they think and choose their shots wisely.

Bally Vector

With Atari’s ‘Superman’ and Bally’s ‘Vector’ added to the Rosstown Reto Pinball line up, it has made the IFPA sanctioned tournament even more interesting. As part of the Rosstown tournament, each entrant plays every pinball table in the collection to earn qualification. Qualifiers are spread across monthly sessions running from April to August (5 months), with the 12 highest ranked players being invited back to compete in the September finals.

Bayside Pinball Club’s new beer, Plunger Pale Ale!

But it’s not all serious. At the last qualifying round players got to enjoy the new pinball brew, Plunger Pale Ale produced by the Bayside Pinball Club. Let’s just say that the beer went down a treat and was the perfect tonic to let the players relax in-between playing some serious pinball. For those of you that haven’t entered the tournament, you better hurry as there are only three remaining qualifiers in June (17th), July (15th) and August (19th). For further details on the IFPA sanctioned Rosstown Retro Pinball tournament, head over to the Aussie Arcade forum. Flip it, flip it good!