->''DANGER \\

{{Pinball}} games can be tough enough on their own. For most casual players, the pinball experience can be summed up as: Launch ball, watch it bounce off some bumpers and flippers, and make a beeline for the drain or the inescapable outlanes, all in the span of about 20 to 30 seconds; repeat two more times. If you're lucky, you might trigger a jackpot or special mode, but that joy will probably be short-lived thanks to drainages that seem to be beyond the player's control. As a result, non-enthusiasts may [[ItsHardSoItSucks just walk away dismissing pinball as a scam to shake money out of customers' wallets under the false pretense of providing a fun experience]].

There is a technique called nudging--slapping and shaking the cabinet in order to influence the ball's movement--that can give you more control over the game beyond just activating the flippers, but it requires a good understanding of how much force you need to knock the ball ''and'' how much and how many times you can hit the table before it gives you a "TILT" penalty and kills your current ball and whatever end-of-ball bonuses you would've gotten otherwise. (Note that unlike {{Smart Bomb}}s in video games, you ''don't'' get any sort of in-game indicator of how many more "tilt warnings" before the game decides to just wipe your current ball.) Not only is nudging (without triggering a TILT) a legal move in many pinball competitions, but many games encourage it; in any other genre of arcade games, hitting the machine--especially if it's a redemption game--will create scared looks from other customers at best and get you kicked out of the establishment at worst.

Some games are even more difficult by design, some games are difficult due to operator settings and table configurations, and some are difficult if you aren't really good at them. Inclining a table by half a degree or moving an outlane post two millimeters can be enough to turn a reasonable game into a beast. Specific examples follow:
* A few Creator/WilliamsElectronics games in TheNineties (for instance, ''Pinball/FishTales'') came standard with "lightning" flippers, which are 1/8 of an inch shorter than standard pinball flippers, which is definitely much more than it sounds like. Sometimes games that normally use standard flippers will be customized to use lightning flippers for a SelfImposedChallenge and/or to reduce play times during tournaments.
** It's worth mentioning that ''Pinball/FishTales'' was designed for normal flippers, but shipped with lightning flippers because operators wanted players to lose quicker, making it NintendoHard by way of ExecutiveMeddling.
* [[SonicTheHedgehog Sonic]] PinballSpinoff ''VideoGame/SonicSpinball'' is basically ''four'' gigantic pinball tables (all of them tough as hell, ''especially'' the last one) that all have to be beaten with '''no continues or passwords.'''[[note]]Though there is a level select code available.[[/note]] Good luck with that.
* Creator/{{Bally}}'s ''Pinball/BabyPacMan'' is notoriously hard for both pinball players and Pac-Man experts. Not only is the pinball table small and prone to drains, the player starts off with ''no'' power pellets or offensive capabilities in the maze game, the ghosts are more aggressive than in other Pac-games, and ''all'' of them can ''reverse direction at any time.''
* A trend with some modern pinballs is to have a reasonably-difficult table that's capped off with a final WizardMode that is insanely hard to reach. That keeps the game approachable for beginners, but makes it Nintendo Hard for the die-hards.
** Creator/SternPinball's ''[[Pinball/IronManStern Iron Man]]'' has the legendary "Do Or Die Multiball" mode, which is nearly impossible to reach due to the difficulty of the goals needed to enable it -- the player must beat the game's five main goals multiple times, and the game does not award any extra balls at all. Unfortunately, the mode itself is simply a series of ramp shots, making it an AntiClimaxBoss for those who do manage to reach it.
** ''Pinball/TheSimpsonsPinballParty'' has the aptly-named "Super Duper Mega Extreme WizardMode". Lore is that those who have reached it have an unspoken oath to not tell others about it.
** Then there's "Valinor Multiball" in ''Pinball/TheLordOfTheRings'', which rivals ''Pinball/TheSimpsonsPinballParty'' for the sheer difficulty of reaching it. It can only be enabled if the player completes all three multiball modes, achieving "There and Back Again", collecting all of the Gifts of the Elves, and Destroying the Ring. A master player demonstrates reaching Valinor Multiball [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a9PnCwcYPwY here]], which took 54 minutes, a serious marathon run even for a top-level player.
** This was a common complaint about ''Pinball/TheLostWorldJurassicPark'', as it followed the same progression system as ''Pinball Party'' (five modes, then the WizardMode) - which doesn't seem that bad, but every mode is rather hard on its own to clear.
* ''[[Pinball/{{Avatar}} James Cameron's Avatar]]'' is infamous for this, to the point where some players unfairly downgrade the game for its sheer difficulty. In addition to being a fast game that requires precise shooting skills, reaching the final WizardMode requires either ''completing'' the game's six main modes... or starting them on the same ball.
* ''Pinball/{{Hyperball}}'', Creator/SteveRitchie's attempt at creating a ShootEmUp pinball game, is notorious for being insanely difficult -- which, coupled with its unorthodox gameplay, made it very hard to find public acceptance. Collectors universally advise turning down the difficulty to make it less frustrating for home play.
* ''Pinball/{{Defender}}'' can be this for new players, as those expecting a conventional pinball game are surprised by its wave-based design, VideoGame-style structure, or the manually-activated kickback. If the operator has removed the center post between the flippers, the game becomes even harder as a result.