Modern Pinball, a place filled with flashing lights and the sound of metal on plastic, is the best arcade in New York City.
That’s according to Yelp, where it has a near perfect rating from over 180 customers.
“We decided we wanted to do something to bring pinball back,” Steve Zahler, the owner of Modern Pinball, told Tech Insider. “I feel like we’re on a mission you know? I feel like we’re doing something really good for the public.”
Two years after opening up shop, Modern Pinball has clientele ranging from kids who come in with their parents to some of the best pinball players in the world — we even got to watch one of them in the flesh.
Keep reading to see what it’s like inside Modern Pinball, the 4.5-star arcade that’s the best in New York.
Modern Pinball was opened two years ago on 3rd Avenue by Steve Zahler and his partner Steve Epstein.
The place is really all about pinball -- Zahler told Tech Insider that they wanted to keep the games accessible to everyone, which means no alcohol so families can come.
Modern Pinball works with a wristband system. 'Our spin on an all-you-can-eat buffet,' Zahler told me.
The best part of playing here is that everyone on staff is a pinball expert. 'We go around helping people understand the history of the game and how to play, how to score those big points,' Zahler said.
And there's a huge selection of games to choose from -- not only do they have the classics, but they have newer pinball additions, too.
'It's an amusement park ride under glass,' Zahler told me about playing. 'You get a different enjoyment from each machine.'
Some of the more modern games even have special effects on the screen while you play along, like this 'The Wizard of Oz' machine.
Modern Pinball also sees a lot of professional players. This is Lee, who told me he is the 102nd best player in America.
He showed me a bunch of features of the games, all of which come with little instructions on each machine.
Lee told me there's a lot of physics involved with pinball. Instead of hitting buttons randomly, Lee will wait for the perfect moment so the ball will fly into its target, like the mouth of this scary KISS guy.
There are plenty of lanes for a ball to go that will get you points. If they're lit up, according to Lee, you can get even more points!
He also said the key to not straining your wrists is to keep them at a straight angle. Here's his perfect form.
'Pinball is a victim of pure economics,' Zahler said. 'They started replacing pinball machines with video games because video games are half the cost to maintain.'
But Zahler believes the machines are worth all the effort. 'Pinball carries you into a story and people, they get sucked into it,' he told TI.
Now, Modern Pinball will start facing competition from a new pinball arcade called Sunshine Laundromat and Pinball that opened in Brooklyn's Greenpoint.
But one of the biggest obstacles for Modern Pinball is the lack of food or drinks. Zahler, however, believes he has a solution.
Modern Pinball will be teaming up with Mad Hatter for 'Pinball After Dark.' Players can stay until closing, get food and drink for a discount, and then come back and play some more.
Either way, despite competition from video games and other establishments, Zahler said Modern Pinball is here to say.
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