The player takes on the role of an unnamed Thunder God, who is out to achieve high scores by throwing bolts of divine lightning on the world below. While your admirers watch on, shoot the center bank of drop targets to build up Thunder, Lightning, Tempest, and the Super Flash, then shoot the upper-left orbits to reach the top of the playfield. Light up 1-2-3-4 for the bonus multiplier, and hit the left five-bank to increase the rewards on the saucer. As the game builds to a crescendo, don't be blinded by your lightning flashes on the way to victory.
Flash is notable for several pinball firsts — it was the first game to have a dynamic background sound during gameplay, and it was the first game to use flash lamps for a temporary burst of bright light. Despite its clean layout and simple rules, this is a fast and challenging game that rewards player attention and skill, and the only weak part of the game is the lackluster art.
Flash went on to become the third-best-selling pinball game of all time, with around 19,500 tables sold, and is an early example of many of the concepts Ritchie would bring to his later games.
This pinball game demonstrates the following tropes:
- Another Dimension: The backglass shows a golden floating city among the clouds, ostensibly the home of the god.
- Cap: The maximum score is 999,990 points.
- Elemental Powers
- Excuse Plot: What does throwing lightning have to do with high scores? Who cares?
- Epileptic Flashing Lights: The main selling point of the game.
- Fanservice Extra: The Thunder God's assorted female followers, all wearing revealing clothing and having zero relevance.
- Idiosyncratic Combo Levels: The storm levels go from "Thunder", "Lightning", "Tempest", and then "Super Flash".
- Painted-On Pants: The lightning god is wearing nothing but a pair of green spandex pants.
- Physical God
- Pretty Boy
- Shock and Awe
- Signature Style: Fast, flowing gameplay and a left orbit to an upper-right flipper are early hallmarks of the Steve Ritchie style.
- Songs in the Key of Panic: The longer you play, the higher and faster the background sound gets in an attempt to distract you. Can get downright obnoxious.
- Space Clouds: Played with; the backglass and playfield show the Earth as seen from space, surrounded by Solid Clouds and lightning bolts.
- Yellow Lightning