Pachinko, for those unfamiliar, is a Japanese gaming device somewhat akin to a vertical pinball machine.  The machines are typically found in "pachinko parlors" featuring large numbers of the devices.

As Wikipedia describes the game,

Players can buy metal balls by inserting either cash, a pre-paid card, or their member's card directly into the machine they want to use. For 1000 yen, 250 balls can be bought (4 yen per ball). These balls are then shot into the machine from a ball tray with the purpose of attempting to win more balls. The pachinko machine has a digital slot machine on a large screen in the center of its layout, and the objective here is to get 3 numbers or symbols in a row for a jackpot.

Originally, pachinko machines had a spring-loaded lever for shooting the balls individually, but modern machines use a round "throttle" that merely controls how quickly an electrically fired plunger shoots the balls onto the playfield. The balls then drop through an array of pins. While most balls simply fall through to the bottom of the pachinko layout, occasionally some will fall into the center gate and start up the digital slot machine in the center screen.

On-Core has just released an iPhone adaptation of this classic combination of pinball and slots. Pachinko [App Store] for the iPhone and iPod touch emulates the original, levered mechanical machines of the 70s.  The on-screen launch lever is touch controlled and determines the force with which the ball is fired into the pegged play area.  The game features settings for the starting number of balls, jackpots, and number of balls required to win the game.

Pachinko is an interesting game to play (in a parlor or on the iPhone) and likely a new experience to most of our readers.  Having spent hours and hours on an actual, upright pachinko machine I was given as a kid, I can say that On-Core's release provides a faithful rendition of the physical game on the iPhone screen.

See the developer's gameplay video for a look at the game in action.

App Store Link: Pachinko, $0.99

TouchArcade Rating

  • 1337brian

    For pachinko this one is ok, but if you want the real Japanese flavor I recommend Sho-Chiku Bai...

  • 1337brian

    For pachinko this one is ok, but if you want the real Japanese flavor I recommend Sho-Chiku Bai...

  • SalsaMD

    Agreed. Sho-Chiku Bai also has a free lite version with everything but a save function.

  • SalsaMD

    Agreed. Sho-Chiku Bai also has a free lite version with everything but a save function.

  • http://www.myspace.com/moonsofjupitermusic RM imagery

    Actually, this game is more like traditional Pachinko. The other game's field is not typical with that big round picture taking up a lot of space right smack in the middle of the board. I tried the lite version and deleted it disappointingly.

    This Pachinko's lever and open field is much closer to the Pachinko that i played as a child.

  • http://www.myspace.com/moonsofjupitermusic RM imagery

    Actually, this game is more like traditional Pachinko. The other game's field is not typical with that big round picture taking up a lot of space right smack in the middle of the board. I tried the lite version and deleted it disappointingly.

    This Pachinko's lever and open field is much closer to the Pachinko that i played as a child.

  • http://www.blakespot.com Blake Patterson

    @RM imagery: This seems a more "at the core" / authentic Pachinko than Sho-Chiku Bai. But I should spend more time with the other title.

  • http://www.blakespot.com Blake Patterson

    @RM imagery: This seems a more "at the core" / authentic Pachinko than Sho-Chiku Bai. But I should spend more time with the other title.

  • arn
  • arn
  • Kia

    It depends. This is closer to older, traditional pachinko machines, but just like pinball they change with age. Sho Chiku Bai is a lot closer to more modern pachinko. >_>

  • Kia

    It depends. This is closer to older, traditional pachinko machines, but just like pinball they change with age. Sho Chiku Bai is a lot closer to more modern pachinko. >_>

  • 1337brian

    @Kia
    yea I agree, this one deff feels like a more retro style Pachinko, while Sho-chiku bai is something you would find in Japan nowadays..

  • 1337brian

    @Kia
    yea I agree, this one deff feels like a more retro style Pachinko, while Sho-chiku bai is something you would find in Japan nowadays..

  • G

    wow, that demo video makes this look ultra boring!
    at least with real pachinko machines watching the ball takes a little longer and is a little more fun....but just constantly pushing that lever....i wouldnt take the time to download it for free!!

  • G

    wow, that demo video makes this look ultra boring!
    at least with real pachinko machines watching the ball takes a little longer and is a little more fun....but just constantly pushing that lever....i wouldnt take the time to download it for free!!

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  • Big Albie

    I tried Sho-chiku bai and now Pachinko, and honestly I found Pachinko to be closer to the version I played with as a kid. Sho-chiku bai while more in line with what's found in today's Japanese gaming parlors, just seemed overdone to me with way too many funky colors and a button instead of a lever. To each his own, I just found Pachinko to be more of the classic version I prefer.

  • Big Albie

    I tried Sho-chiku bai and now Pachinko, and honestly I found Pachinko to be closer to the version I played with as a kid. Sho-chiku bai while more in line with what's found in today's Japanese gaming parlors, just seemed overdone to me with way too many funky colors and a button instead of a lever. To each his own, I just found Pachinko to be more of the classic version I prefer.

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