I’ve been playing a lot of iPhone pinball games recently, and I’ve noticed that almost all pinball games have some sort of a “bump”, or a “shake”, or a “nudge” feature within them. I’ve also seen the same thing in the Windows XP game Pinball, and shaking the table often results in the game first giving you a “caution”, then ending the game.
Why do pinball games have these? Is it supposed to simulate some feature within real pinball machines?
In real pinball machines, players would bump and tilt the table to tweak the trajectory of the ball to their liking. This is known as “nudging”. While a little nudging can add skill and depth, too much breaks the game and needs to be guarded against. This is dealt with using sensors that kill the current ball if the table is tilted or smacked too much. Pinball video games seem to have a nudge feature just to emulate this aspect of real-life play.