BEST PINBALL MACHINE IN A BAR - 1998
George Lucas goes head-to-head with Steven Spielberg in this category, as Indiana Jones edges out the much-beloved Star Wars machine, which recently returned to First Avenue. Though slapping a small metal ball with prosthetic flippers may seem pretty much the same from machine to machine, the "plot" here involves tunnels, stampeding elephants, and edible monkey brains. And somewhere inside this Iron Age arcade machine is a sound chip that plays quotes from the movie. Sean Connery lays on the brogue and Kate Capshaw forcefully announces, "I hate the water and I hate you!" And though we wouldn't want newcomers to Stasiu's taking too much time on the machine, here's a tip for neophytes: A well-timed hip thrust can save the ball from the right exit, redirecting it into an escape hatch.