Dienstag, Februar 27, 2024
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Slot Machines and Coin-Op games


The colourful and fast-changing worlds of arcade and casino are brought to life in this fascinating history of coin-operated amusement games, which spans a century of escapism from the harsh realities of everyday life. The book details the important innovations from decade to decade, triggered by the public's changing taste, as well as those games most sought-after by collectors today.

After a delightful tour of the old-style penny arcades, with their fortune-telling machines and strength-testing devices, the games are divided by category into six chapters: baseball machines, gun or rifle games, bowling machines, pinball machines, one-armed bandits and novelty arcade machines. Bowling was the Sport which adapted best and these games were probably America's most popular coin-operated games during the fifties, only superseded by gun and rifle games in the mid sixties. Also increasingly collectable are the baseball machines, many of which are still working in arcades today, some actually featuring tiny animated mechanical players running the bases.

The pinball machine was for many years the chief obsession of teen culture in Europe and the States. Bill Kurtz shows how the invention of the flipper (as well as the rock movie Tommy) saw the industry take off. One-armed bandits operated in different locations and were subject to different and more stringent laws. In fact, in the beginning, manufacturers side-stepped the authorities by marketing their machines as chewing gum vendors! From the classic Art Deco 7}ip1-Duke to the prized Roll-a-top Bell machine, a hundred years of jackpot highlights are covered.

Even more fascinating were the myriad of novelty games, designed for the amusement parks and large arcades rather than smaller taverns and bowling alleys. They enabled you to play soccer or miniature golf, fly a spaceship, drive an a Grand Prix racetrack or even pilot a small helicopter. All these are covered, along with the fron claw diggers filled with prizes.
Slot Machines and Coin-op Games also includes many special features an such topics as arcades and the law, countertop games, coin-ops and showbiz, and the business of game design. Packed with colour photographs and historic sales fliers, the story of coin-operated games is completed with details an owning a machine of your own, giving important advice an where to look and what to look for in amusement machines.
The Apple Press
Bill Kurtz
127 Seiten, gebunden

Penny Arcade Machines
Baseball Machines
Gun Games
Bowling Machines
Pinball Machines
One-armed Bandits
Novelty Arcade Games
Owning Your Own



Persönliche Kritik
Das Buch ist lebendig geschrieben mit vielen interessanten Informationen, die Illustrationen farbenfroh und liebevoll ausgewählt. Leider hat der Autor sein Betätigungsfeld nicht eingegrenzt. Die gesamte Geschichte münzbetätigter Unterhaltungsautomaten in 130 Seiten unterbringen zu wollen muss scheitern und oberflächig bleiben.