Pinball Paradise in Amemura
Silver Ball Planet
Not really a game player much less a game lover, I really didn’t know what to expect when I headed to Silver Ball Planet for some pinball. I had read that the space, which covers a good portion of the third floor of Amemura’s Big Step, boasted the largest collection of machines outside of the U.S. Again, as someone who never played pinball while living in the states this didn’t mean much to me. It wasn’t until I got to Silver Ball Planet, that I finally understood how impressive this collection of pinball machines truly was!
AC/DC to X-MEN and everything in between!
Arriving at Silver Ball Planet I was met with some 60+ machines that filled the gallery-like space completely. Grouped by themes, every genre was covered; music, movies, pop-culture, TV, comics – as well as every decade. Taking advice from the staff, who was very clearly appalled that I had never played pinball before, I started with a 1970s machine. My goal was to play my way through the decades until I found my inner pinball wizard. Theoretically should have only cost me around ¥500 as there is no entry fee for Silver Ball Planet and games are ¥100/play. In reality however, I left with a very empty wallet.
The first game to catch my eye was Space Invaders. Sadly, I didn’t even manage 20 seconds of playtime before I lost. No beginner’s luck there! I decided to label this a ‘warm-up’ and headed to Space Shuttle for a taste of the 80s. I’ll make a long story short. I got better eventually but spend a lot more than ¥500 to do so. Luckily they had a change machine at the entry. And even luckier yet, I was there with a friend who finally cut me off.
Silver Ball Planet truly has something for everyone. I was shocked at how much fun I had. Playing pinball is surprisingly social. Instead of separating from one another to play, most people that I watched that had come with friends, played in turns and cheered each other on. I will definitely be going again and plan to take anyone who comes out to visit me. Silver Ball Planet receives two (very-sore) thumbs up.
Monday – Thursday, Sunday: 11am – 8pm
Friday & Saturday: 11am – 11pm
For more about Silver Ball Planet, including a list of all of their current games, check out their official website here.