Pin my balls, missus
Where by "missus" I mean Mrs Pac-Man, of course.
This is a piece I originally wrote for Retro Gamer, taking a look at some of the curious attempts made by the pinball industry to stay hip and relevant when suddenly faced with the videogame explosion in the early 1980s, by turning some of those videogames into pinball machines.
As you might expect, there were hits and misses, but the former outnumbered the latter by a good distance. These machines showcased some ingenious lateral thinking in order to create gameplay genuinely reminiscent of their video counterparts, and prove just how portable good game design is.
For concerned Christian moralists, the feature also provides the crucial missing nuptial link between Ms Pac-Man and Jr Pac-Man. Don't worry, viewers – they WERE married! The mystery of how Pac-people actually reproduce, thankfully, will be left for another day.
The full feature (previously only available to WoS subscribers) can now be read here, and includes an exciting near-death anecdote in which the lives of an old man and a dog are placed in deadly peril by an dangerously unstable pinball machine causing a car crash. Go!