What the Flashing Lights in a Pinball Game Actually Mean

Mira Oberman, AFP/Getty Images
Mira Oberman, AFP/Getty Images

To the casual player, pinball may feel overwhelming. Lights seem to flash for no reason, extra balls pop up out of nowhere, and you can rack up millions of points without realizing it. But pinball experts know the game is about a lot more than flicking their flippers at random. As Vox lays out in their video below, each element of a pinball machine serves a purpose.

Pinball star Roger Sharpe explains to Vox that pinball is a game of skill, despite the way many novices play it. In 1976, a time when pinball machines were outlawed in New York City for being a form of gambling, Sharpe was able to convince the New York City Council that a player could control the outcome of the game if they knew what they were doing. After watching his demonstration, the city agreed to reverse the ban.

So what do pinball champions know that beginners don't? One of the most important things to remember is that the flashing lights aren't there to confuse you—they're telling you where to shoot. Some moves are worth more points at different times in the game, and paths with lit-up arrows indicate where to shoot to win big.

Like other arcade games, pinball has players work toward mini-goals, such as hitting letters on the field to spell out a word. Meet these goals and you can unlock special modes, like multiball (a.k.a. that slightly terrifying part of the game when there are multiple balls on the board at once).

Once you know the object of the game, the hard part is getting the ball to go where you want it. Sharpe suggests giving your fingers a break and slowing down your game play—instead of hitting the buttons frantically every time the ball rolls your way, practice cradling the ball in your flipper and hitting it deliberately. Now all you need to do is learn the right lingo and you're on your way to becoming a pinball wizard.

[h/t Vox]

Can You Guess the Object Based on the Extreme Close-Up?

A microscope can make even the most familiar objects look unrecognizable. Up close, the things we see every day can appear completely foreign. To see this principle in action, Lenstore.co.uk (which has previously created other impressive hidden image puzzles and optical illusions) created the quiz below, which gives you 30 seconds to figure out what the object is pictured in each extreme close-up photo. Think you can tell the difference between a book, a harp, wheel spokes, and an air filter? Trust us, it’s harder than it sounds.

Close Up by Lenstore

Japan's Nutella Slot Machine Lets Players Win Different Flavor Combinations

iStock.com/eserka
iStock.com/eserka

If you like Nutella, it's impossible to lose with Japan's latest slot machine. Instead of rewarding players with cash, the Nutella Morning Slot dispenses a slice of Nutella toast with a random topping, as Design Taxi alerts us.

Instead of a spinning array of cherries, dollar signs, and numbers, the Nutella slot machine at Japan's Grand Front Osaka mall will feature ingredients. The three spinning wheels will be loaded with different images of bread, Nutella, and toppings. When the wheels stop, users will receive Nutella toast made from those ingredients. The 20 potential flavor combinations include toppings like sliced banana, chopped pistachio, and coconut.

Though it's being advertised as a breakfast stand, the Nutella slot machine will be open to passersby from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.—so people can get their Nutella fix on their way to work, after dinner, or anytime in between. The promotion runs from November 23 to November 25, 2018.

[h/t Design Taxi]

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