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Pinball / Joust

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One on one, or all for one?

Joust is a 1983 arcade pinball machine by Williams Electronics. Designed by Barry Oursler, it is a Pinball Spin-Off of Williams' popular Joust video game.

Unlike a conventional pinball game, Joust comes in a sit-down "cocktail" game cabinet. The playfield is divided into two symmetrical fields facing each other, with identical drop targets, bumpers, and flippers. The player at each end of the cabinet can score points by hitting the targets on their side; doing so will also reset the targets on the other side. As a result, the players repeatedly impede each other throughout the game. Players can also shoot the ball over to the other side and try to induce a drain on the opponent, but a poor shot will let your opponent use your ball for more chances to score. After both players have drained all of their balls, the game will provide 30 seconds of unlimited ball play for a last-chance scoring opportunity. The game can also be played by a single player controlling both sets of flippers simultaneously.

Only 402 units of the game were made, making it a genuine collector's item.

This pinball demonstrates the following tropes:

  • Attack Backfire: In the middle of the playfield are two spinners, each of which belong to a specific player. Hitting the wrong spinner will award points to your opponent, something you definitely didn't want to do.
  • Double Play: The game is designed with two symmetrical playfields facing each other, intended for two players to compete against each other. The single-player mode gives you control of all the flippers on both fields.
  • Player Versus Player: The field is set up as two playfields facing each other, allowing players to interfere with each other. Completing objectives doesn't just award you points, it resets your opponent's progress on those same objectives.
  • Pinball Spin-Off: This pinball machine is based on the video game Joust.