Baffle Ball is a pinball machine created in 1931 by David Gottlieb, founder of the Gottlieb amusement company. While bagatelle-derived "marble games" have long existed previously, Baffle Ball was the first commercially-successful game of its type, being affordable enough for store and tavern owners to quickly recoup the machine's cost. Over 50,000 machines were made, jump-starting the arcade pinball field; it spawned a home version in 1932 called Baffle Ball Senior.
Baffle Ball was responsible for the launch of the company Gottlieb that went on to make pinball machines such as Ace High and Black Hole. It used no electricity and for one cent, players got five balls. They would be fired up onto the playfield and fall into pockets and holes (there were no flippers). Some were worth more than others, and players tried to fire the ball at just the right speed. The best thing to get was the Baffle Ball, which was getting the ball into a tiny hole at the top, which would double all points. All scoring had to be done by hand. It would sit atop bar counters and the bartender might award payouts for high scores. It is very popular with and sought after by collectors.
The table was virtually recreated in pinball simulation video game, Microsoft Pinball Arcade.
- Baffle Ball at the Internet Pinball Database
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