Two-player do-it-yourself pinball machines doubles up the fun

Pinball is making a comeback, but how do you make it twice as fun? Make it a two-player game, of course. (Full disclosure: We’re not totally sure that equation stands up to scrutiny, but it’s got to be at least 50 percent more fun, right?)

Bringing this glorious concept to life is Portuguese maker Cristiana Felgueiras, who has constructed a two-player pinball table as part of an Inventables monthly challenge. And provided that you can get hold of a few tools and materials, you can build one for yourself — courtesy of her handy free instructions.

“The theme of this challenge was ‘games,’ and the objective was to use [Inventables’ 3D wood carving machine] as the main tool,” Felgueiras told Digital Trends. “My own goal was to pick a popular game — in this case, pinball — and give it a fresh new twist. The result [makes] the game more interactive, competitive and challenging.”

Despite her own use of a wood carving machine, Felgueiras notes that users can substitute that for a simple jigsaw if need be. The only really tricky part of the table, she says, is the metal plunger, which was constructed by a specialist metalworker.

“The juggling between finding the right angles, directions and the size and shapes of the obstacles was also a big challenge,” Felgueiras said. “I had to run a few tests before taking definitive design decisions. In the end though, what really took the longest to make was the drawing of the game in the computer.”

The results are definitely low-tech, but pleasing. You will not find too many lights or sound effects here, so you and your fellow player may have to take turns making them. Nonetheless, we can totally imagine this sitting in the corner of some hip startup, probably next to a big pile of beanbags.

Be warned, though, you had better be ready for some do-it-yourself work, since Felgueiras is not planning on selling finished units any time soon.

“I’m not planning on commercializing it because almost all of my works are unique and I make them for myself — even though sometimes I do take commission works,” she said. “The reason why I construct only one piece of each creation is because I don’t personally enjoy repetition and having to go through the same process and steps, ending up with the same thing over and over again. I share my build experience on the videos in a way that every curious mind can build it themselves.”

Hey, if you’re not ready yet, you can always practice by starting on a DIY one-person pinball table. Or maybe get a buddy in to help you!