I’ve had a soft spot for coin pusher machines ever since I started forming memories.
You often see them in arcades, carnivals, flea markets and any place where people don’t mind swindling their neighbor under the guise of lighthearted entertainment. Whether or not you call them Coin Pushers, or Quarter Pushers, Coin Dozers, Token Pushers, Medal Games, Bob Vila, whatever else.
The premise remains the same: Inside the machine you have an assortment of valuables, usually tokens, currency or small prizes. You insert a coin of some kind into the top and it falls on top of the constantly moving dozer. The dozer then pushes that coin into the others, resulting in a cascading effect that pushes out more coins than you invested. Well, that’s what COULD happen if you are insanely lucky, but these machines are cleverly rigged.
To make it feel like you have some kind of a chance they usually feature some sort of ‘skill shot’ switch that lets you stop the dozer, and a movable coin slot or chute, that allows for more precise coin drops. But make no mistake: this is a ruse, meant to give you a sense of control. Much like the knob on a pachinko machine.
Now, this may seem like gambling and in some American states it is. But in other states you only earn tokens or tickets, which can be traded in for prizes or more gameplay. And I love these things, even when I know I’ll probably only get 25 cents back for every $5 I spend.
The combination of shiny coins, the mirrors, the lights, the illusion of control over your own luck. It’s an intoxicating combo, especially for a kid who just wants enough tickets to buy a plastic spider ring from the store at Putt-Putt. I’ve even designed my own coin pusher machines in my spare time, because hey, I dream big.But what if you want to play one at home without spending a fortune?
Well short of buying a machine outright that COSTS a fortune, you’re stuck dealing with crappy Flash games for the most part. In short, you’re out of luck. Or are you? Folks, say hello to the cesspit of cheap cash-ins: the Google Play Store for Android. Considering the near complete lack of them on PC, I’m astonished how many coin pusher games there are here.
And so here’s what I’m gonna do: I’m picking five of the most promising coin pushers on the Google Play Store to see if any of them satiate my desires for an accurate simulation of getting swindled by rigged physics.