So, you've managed to create a successful video game series. The fans want more, and your publisher wants you to put out another title as quickly as possible. What to do?
You make a Pinball Spin-Off, that's what. Pinball games are as simple to design as they are addictive, and are incredibly easy to shoehorn characters into. A Pinball Spin-Off game is a perfect way to satisfy everyone between actual game releases.
- The Ur-Example is Bally's Space Invaders arcade pinball game. Bally's video-game division, Midway, was the North American distributor for Taito's arcade game at the time, and secured the rights to make a pinball machine based on it.
- Pokémon Pinball was a successful tie-in to the popular portable RPG series, and perhaps the most famous example of a Rumble Pack in a Game Boy game. It kept players interested by including the ability to both catch and evolve Pokémon. Later, a sequel was released on the Game Boy Advance titled Pokémon Pinball: Ruby and Sapphire.
- Sonic the Hedgehog:
- Kirby's Pinball Land for the Game Boy was the first of many games where the pink puff-ball loses control of his limbs.
- Super Mario Bros.:
- Metroid Prime Pinball was launched for the Nintendo DS and came with a rumble pack. Neither the game nor the accessory fared too well.
- Street Fighter II:
- First was Gottlieb's Street Fighter II arcade pinball machine, released in 1993. And while the officially name was simply "Street Fighter II", the name on the playfield was "Street Fighter II: Champion Edition".
- Later, there were a pair of licensed pinball tables as part of Zen Studios Pinball FX and Zen Pinball titles.
- Zen Pinball also got a table based off of Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2.
- Pac-Man got several:
- Worms Pinball for the PlayStation. It was packaged in Pinball Fever for PC which also included a cabinet themed around one of Team 17's other racing series, World Rally Fever.
- Shin Megami Tensei Pinball: Judgment was a Japan-only mobile phone game.
- The Pinball of the Dead for the Game Boy Advance. Actually pretty fun.
- Williams Electronics produced arcade pinball machines based on their hit titles Defender and Joust. Not surprising, since Williams had been making pinballs long before video games were even invented.
- Zen Studios also did a Plants vs. Zombies Pinball in 2012, based on the PopCap game.
- Averted with The Legend of Zelda. An arcade pinball game was planned, but Gottlieb could not secure the rights. It was eventually released as Gladiators instead.
- A Duke Nukem pinball table is included in 3D Realms' Balls of Steel digital pinball collection.
- Q*Bert's Quest was made by Gottlieb to ride the success of their Q*bert arcade game.
- 3-D Ultra Pinball is technically based on the Sierra game Outpost 2.
- The "Jungle Girl" table in Epic Pinball is based on Epic Megagames' Jill of the Jungle.
- Stern Pinball made a pinball game based on RollerCoaster Tycoon in 2002.
- Dream Pinball 3D included a table based on the Two Worlds Role-Playing Game.
- Spy Hunter is based on the hit arcade game.
- Bethesda partnered with Zen Studios to develop and release three virtual pinball adaptations of three of its acclaimed titles in the 2010s: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Fallout 4 and the 2016 reboot of DOOM.
- Zen Studios also created a licensed pinball table for Pinball FX based on the Portal series.
- Bizarrely, Telltale's episodic adventure game The Walking Dead has a spin-off pinball app.