Pinball: Airborne Avenger

The Ultimate High

Airborne Avenger is a Physical Pinball Table released by Atari in 1977. Illustrated by George Opperman, it is notable for being the first pinball game created by famed designer Steve Ritchie.

The implied premise for the game reads like a pitch for a Summer Blockbuster movie: the Airborne Avenger takes to the skies in his flying one-man jet-sled to challenge his evil nemesis and stop his schemes. Battle an army of hang-gliding minions and dodge anti-aircraft fire, then hit the captive ball target on the table to continue the battle.

As interesting as it might seem, for most players Airborne Avenger is a slow, plodding game — what little speed the game has is quickly killed by the captive ball trough in the middle of the table, and many shots end up just bouncing around only to drain down the outlanes. The catchy artwork and 70s-era sound effects are not enough to elevate the game's fundamental problems. Only 350 units were made, but the only market for this game are die-hard collectors looking for a piece of pinball history.


Airborne Avenger demonstrates the following tropes: