In an Aviation museum far from downtown Edmonton, pinball wizards gathered for a weekend of fun and games and more games at the 2017 YEG PINBALL & ARCADE EXPO. Once you walk through those grand doors, you enter a trip down memory lane with pinball game upon pinball game stacked side by side, with a few arcade booths added in for good measure. With a grand variety of games for the whole family, any gamer is sure to have the grandest of times.
For a low price of $15/day, you are treated to pinball game after pinball game stacked side by side. All day, you get to play a wide range of classic pinball machines, a lot of them with scantily clad women This convention also features an array of tie ins to famous movies and TV shows, from T2: Judgement Day to The Walking Dead. There are even Pinball tie-ins to Metallica and KISS.
For those who aren’t pinball fans, there are also some classic arcade games. These machines are sure to stir up some nostalgia with recognizable designs of Donkey Kong, Centipede and Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker. I would have loved to see one resembling the Simpsons’ game. In terms of gameplay, the most notable standouts are two machines that contain nearly every classic arcade game in existence. Seriously, there’s hundreds of games in each of this machine. The best part? You can play these games for FREE!
On the other side of this convention, the greatest pinball wizards compete in the Pinball competition. I would have loved to watch this if I could see the actual game play. All we can see are the player’s backs and a giant screen showing the points. A suggestion I would make would be put some Go Pros atop the machines so we can get an up-close view of the action. Then again, that could be a bit expensive for a small convention like this one. On the plus side, the audience got to have burgers and beer while they watch sweaty backs in front of pinball machines.
When you think about it, Pinball expos like this one kind of serves as a pinball museum. To walk by these games is to tour through the history of pinball, seeing the progress of these games. With the elder games like Kingpin, you get the ball moving slowly through a barren machine with a couple bumper caps and drop targets. With these older models, you must be extra careful how hard you release the ball or it will go right into the hole without ever touching the flippers. But as the years progressed, the backbox designs became sexier and the machine became faster paced, with more things for the ball to bounce on. For this expo, the latest in Pinball can be defined by The Wizard of Oz and Alien. Now we have LED Screens playing not just on the back box, but in the machine, itself, playing clips from said movies. To add to the challenge, these games will include some mini games where you must hit either a spaceship or go through a ramp to score points.
Whether old or new, pinball games remain a joyful experience to this day. The YEG Pinball & Arcade Expo is a 3-day reminder of the times spent in the neon arcades of the 80s and 90s. When that ball flies into this miniature arena, there’s a thrill watching it bounce around while you try to keep it from falling into the hole. Plus, it tests your hand-eye coordination. Here is where the 80s and 90s kids can share their nostalgia with their own children.
 Actually, this convention had two kinds of KISS pinball machines. It’s interesting to compare the older version with the newer version.
 The only arcade game I’ve ever completed.
 There were some pinball games for sale up to $2,000.