Back in 1983, Williams produced an innovative pinball table that sadly didn’t make any waves in arcades at the time. That game was Joust (based upon the video game of the same name) and a major difference you’ll notice from other pinball machines is that it is a head-to-head pinball game. They are very rare – only 403 were produced and who knows how many of those have survived to this day – and currently someone has put one up on eBay to sell. The auction still lacks 5 days to complete at the time of writing this and the auction is currently sitting at $2247.
Here is a video of the game in action:
When I watch this I can’t help but feel a little depressed, seeing how pinball machines today don’t attempt to innovate like this. In fact someone who is more familiar with pinball than myself would have to inform me on whether this was the last time such a table was produced. Obviously the lackluster sales of this would be cited as a reason to not try something like it again but I say, why not add some modern ideas (ramps, interactive toys, new displays, multi-color targets,etc.)to a head-to-head table and see if it works?
On another eBay note, there are two auctions up right now for PCB board sets for Atari’s I, Robot. That’s another game which had a very limited run so seeing PCBs for the game show up is an uncommon occurence and the number of bids on the sets seems to reflect that. You can find those auctions here and here.