This Miniature Pinball Table Could Fit In Your Pocket

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This Miniature Pinball Table Could Fit In Your Pocket

Pinball on the go is a very real possibility with this miniature digital pinball table from Sprites_Mods.

At a glance you might have assumed there would be something like a Raspberry Pi Zero encased in that 3D-printed pinball cabinet running something like pinmame. That is what I’d think of if you asked me to make a miniature pinball machine anyway. Rather, Sprite is using an ESP32S3 running an x86 emulator and a LOT of elbow grease to get this going.

miniature pinball machine parts

Here’s the final hardware that they landed on to get things working. The 320×620 LCD appears, in the video at least, to be quite good looking.

The real effort t here though, appears to be in Sprite’s software efforts. This game is Pinball Fantasies, an old Amiga game that eventually ended up as a DOS port. Sprite notes that this was actually written in assembly and, in the style of the time, a horrid mess.

First of all, while impressive, the code is a product of who wrote it and the standards at that time: it’s a mess of global variables, macros, comments in Swedish, English and some German, labels that are in-jokes rather than descriptive… Don’t get me wrong, this is not a dig at the good people from TSP; most of it was pretty standard at that time and as a demo group I can imagine them wanting to have some fun with it. Nevertheless, all that makes it a pretty complicated job to translate part-wise to C.

There’s a lot more work that went into this, and you really should go to Sprite’s blog and read all the details. If you’re still craving some serious pinball, how about something in the opposite direction, like a GIANT pinball machine?


I get ridiculously excited seeing people make things. I just want to revel in the creativity I see in makers. My favorite thing in the world is sharing a maker's story. You can find me on twitter at @calebkraft

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