Pinball was originally developed as a small game that could fit on a tabletop, but its size soon changed as its popularity grew. By the 1940’s, large, stand-up pinball games were the norm in the arcade world.
This trend changed temporarily at the end of the 1970s with the development of ‘cocktail-style’ arcade games. These games were built to resemble a cocktail table and were designed for sit-down use in arcades, bars and restaurants.
Although they were developed with video games in mind, their popularity ensured other games would be remade cocktail-style.
Take Five made arcade history when it was released in 1978, becoming the first pinball game in a cocktail-table format.
It was housed in a lovely Rosewood cabinet with the pinball action visible through a glass countertop.
The game itself had a ‘hanging out’ theme: the playfield art depicted hip-looking young people lounging around near the flipper area while an illustration of a bartender cleaning his bar sat atop a target cabinet near the back.
The action included the standard array of bumpers, targets, flippers and alleys, but they were all scaled back in size and number to fit the cocktail-table format.
The novelty presented by the compact size of Take Five led to a brief wave of cocktail-style pinball machines like Pinball Lizard and Attila The Hun, but by the mid-1980s, production of these smaller pinball machines had ceased.