Retro Coin Op Synopsis
Pinball games with a sports theme have been popular since the beginning of pinball itself. Just the same, pinball could never capture the true team-vs.-team feel of a sport, for the simple fact that pinball machines could only accommodate one player at time.
Alvin G. and Co.'s 1992 game U.S.A. Football made true sports-style play possible in pinball form, using a long cabinet with flippers on both ends. Its two-player style of game play was made possible by switch flippers, an innovation designed by the company especially for two-player pinball games like A.G. Soccer-Ball.
Switch flippers were flippers with a switch attached that sensed when a ball touched a flipper. These flippers sent messages to the game’s computer, letting it know which player to credit for the resulting score. The switches also made it possible for the U.S.A. Football machine to operate a set of flippers by itself so a single player could play the game, and even allowing the game to play itself in order to attract business.
The U.S.A. Football playfield was designed to look like an American football field, complete with spectator-filled bleachers at both ends of the cabinet. These bleachers were also used to house score displays on both ends, where the football field scoreboard would have been. Players could gain yards by hitting the drop targets and could even score a ‘touchdown’ by knocking the pinball through the other player’s flippers. The end result was football-styled fun in an action-packed pinball form.
U.S.A. Football was one of a handful of games made by Alvin G. and Co. that used switch flippers, but alas, since the company shut its doors in 1994, no further games have been made using these novel items. U.S.A. Football can still be found in the occasional arcade and is fondly remembered by fans for recreating a true sports-action feel in a pinball game.
Arcade Machine Release History1992 - U.S.A. Football
Arcade Game Sub Categoriessports