Retro Coin Op Synopsis
For years, if two pinball champs wanted to test each other’s skills, they would simply have to take turns on the same machine. There was no way to enjoy a true one-on-one showdown like video-game players got with their two-player machines.
In 1992, this state of affairs changed when Alvin G. and Co. introduced A.G. Soccer-Ball. Unlike the usual single-player pinball game, this machine offered a long cabinet with no backboard and a set of flipper controls at both ends. This novel setup allowed pinball wizards to square off against each other in true mano a mano fashion. The game was also configured so that single players could battle against the machine alone if they so desired.
The unique style of play in A.G. Soccer-Ball was made possible by a device designed especially for this game called a switch flipper. This kind of flipper allowed the game to keep the player’s two scores straight through switches on top of each flipper that ‘sensed’ the ball as it made contact. When the other player's flippers hit the ball, they sent a message to the game’s computer that would ‘switch’ the scoring circuit so the correct player would be credited with the points.
Switch flippers also made one-person play possible, allowing the game to operate the unused end’s flippers on its own. This aspect of the switch flipper also allowed the game to play itself when not in use as an eye-catching self-promotional tool.
A.G. Soccer-Ball further benefited from neat art design. The playfield was laid out to resemble a soccer field, complete with bleachers on each end filled with game-watching crowds. Players kept track of their scores through a digital display embedded in each set of bleachers.
Alvin G. and Co. later used switch flippers in another sports-themed two-player game called U.S.A. Football. The company shut its doors in 1994 and no other company has made games with switch flippers since this time. Just the same, games like A.G. Soccer-Ball will be fondly remembered by pinball fanatics for giving them a real opportunity to test each other’s silver ball mettle.
Arcade Machine Release History1991 - A.G. Soccer-Ball
Arcade Game Sub Categoriessports