Monday, January 30, 2012

Pinball Map App

When Jon and I started this blog, we put a link in the sidebar, to a humble little operation called  In the last year or so, this site has expanded and improved, and I now think it is one of, if not THE most important resources for people interested in playing pinball.

Not only did they expand their database to include the Bay Area, Boston, British Columbia, Chicago, Colorado, Jacksonville, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego, Seattle and Spokane, they also built an interactive app for iPhone and Android mobile devices.  Let me be perfectly clear: if you play pinball and you have a phone that can run this app, you NEED to get it.  It's $1.  Just do it.

On my recent travels to Boston, Seattle and Portland, I had friends or family members install this app, which then allowed me to find pinball ANYWHERE.  You can literally hit a button and it will pull up a map with all the pinball machines within a 3 mile radius.  You can also search the database by neighborhood, by machine, or by specific location.  So if you feel like playing a specific game, you can find all of the places it is available in your area and then pick the closest one.

Probably the best part about the app though, is that the database is completely updated by users.  So if you go to a location and a machine is all beaten up, you can leave a comment, like, "The left flipper is broken" and it will be uploaded to the system.  When the next user looks up that machine, they'll see your note.  Or better yet, an operator may see your comment and come fix the machine!  You can also update which machines are available at a location, so the more people use it, the more accurate it is.

If, like me, you don't have a smart phone, you can still access the database via the website.  But I'll tell you, I'm sorely tempted to get a smart phone, just so that I could have this app running when I'm wandering around any of the above cities (many of which I visit every year!)  Either way, check it out and update some listings!


  1. why charge for the app if all the work of updating the map is done by the users?

    1. Looks like it's not all done by users, anon. "This site shows all the public pinball machines in select regions in North America. Each region’s data is curated by a local administrator, and also maintained by players (YOU!) in the areas."
      Plus the site and apps probably weren't programmed by users.

    2. Oh, and it's free on android.


  2. It's by far the best ever. 80-billion thumbs up for this app!

  3. Well, also, they are hosting the database where everything is stored, and they developed it! This is easily worth a dollar.

  4. Thanks, Alec! And congrats on Stern picking up your pinball comics. That's rad. Hope you've gotten lots of positive feedback.

    Also, it seems that Slabtown, in Portland, isn't the pinhall it used to be. Just 6 machines now. :/

  5. Yeah, I was there when I visited PDX and there are no more machines in the back room. It's kind of a bummer. But at least they still have Medieval Madness, Star Wars: Episode I (one of my faves!) and a great Addams Family. I spent about 4 hours in there... You could do worse!

  6. Also, the iphone app is free, just like the android one. I should update the /apps pages on the site, probably.