Date: 27th September, 2021
Location: 9 Man Tai Street, Hung Hom, Hong Kong, China.

Editor’s note: Since his initial report in October 2012, John has updated it with new information in December 2012, March 2013, October 2013 and October 2014. In addition, Twitter user Retrogamerewind has also sent in an update from September 2021. You can find all those updates below.

While pinball machines in arcades are not uncommon in many countries, they have yet to make much of an impact in the world’s most populous nation. However, Pinball News reader John found one place where you can get to play the silver ball.

October 2012

The amusement arcade American Pool (“美國寶” in Chinese) is located at 9 Man Tai Street in Hung Hom of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China.

American Pool in Hung Hom
American Pool in Hung Hom

It has 4 pinballs, which are Tron LETransformersBatman and The Rolling Stones. Each pinball costs HKD3 (about US$0.40) per 3-ball game.

New Stern pinballs at American Pool: Tron LE, Transformers Pro, Batman and The Rolling Stones
New Stern pinballs at American Pool: Tron LE, Transformers Pro, Batman and The Rolling Stones

It is the only site in Hong Kong which has pinballs and is open to general public.  This arcade is operated by a pinball distributor and therefore all pinballs are always kept in good working condition.

The main part of the arcade
The main part of the arcade
Another view of American Pool
Another view of American Pool

In addition to pinballs, it also has many popular video games. It is definitely a good fun place for both adults and children.

December 2012

The next day after coming back to Hong Kong from the Japan Game Museum, I visited the American Pool arcade again.

I found that my favourite pinball – Tron LE – had disappeared and been replaced by another machine – AC/DC Pro.  The updated line-up was; AC/DC ProTransformers ProBatman and The Rolling Stones Pro.

The new game line-up at American Pool
The new game line-up at American Pool
The new AC/DC Pro
The new AC/DC Pro
The new Transformers Pro
The new Transformers Pro

After some substantial efforts, I successfully got the two grand champion records on Transformers and The Rolling Stones. My flipper skills were probably upgraded significantly after the three-day boot camp at the Japan Game Museum!

New high scores on Transformers and The Rolling Stones
New high scores on Transformers and The Rolling Stones

In addition, American Pool had also imported new models of video games from Japan.

Four Midnight 4 Maximum Tune racers from Bandai Namco
Four Midnight 4 Maximum Tune racers from Bandai Namco
Sega's Operation G.H.O.S.T.
Sega’s Operation G.H.O.S.T.
Bandai Namco's Mobile Suit Gundam: Bonds of the Battlefield with Panoramic Optical Display (P.O.D.)
Bandai Namco’s Mobile Suit Gundam: Bonds of the Battlefield with Panoramic Optical Display (P.O.D.)
Ten Border Break 3.0 seats from Sega
Ten Border Break 3.0 seats from Sega

This could be why it is always full of young people there.

Here’s some additional information:

  • Transportation: Take minibus #6A at Austin Road (near the MTR ‘Jordan’ station) and it will reach the bus terminal in 15 minutes. American Pool is just opposite.
The #6A minibus from MTR Jordan station to American Pool
The #6A minibus from MTR Jordan station to American Pool
  • Business hours: 9am – midnight
  • Website: None
  • Comments: All pinballs were kept in good condition.

March 2013

I visited American Pool again on 2nd March 2013 and found that The Rolling Stones Pro had been replaced by a new game – The Avengers Pro.  I was very excited indeed.

The newest game at American Pool
The newest game at American Pool
The Avengers Pro
The Avengers Pro

The updated line-up was; AC/DC ProTransformers ProThe Avengers Pro and Batman.

The new line-up
The new line-up

It seems that Batman is the longest-lasting one so far, having been there since 2008. As I know, the Avengers Pro pin was only released in November 2012, and yet it was possible for it to be delivered to Hong Kong the following month. Is this because the demand for pinball really is recovering?

I played the Avengers Pro pin for more than four hours until my lovely wife called me to come home.   My thoughts about the Avengers Pro pin is good, and I love it very much.  My highest score was only around 53M points and so I need to start studying the game’s rules soon.

According to a staff member at American Pool, a Hong Kong company has ordered a Avengers Premium and placed in its office as free entertainment for its staff. I’m quite jealous about it (^_*) !

This time, I had a foot and body massage in the Lucky Foot Massage Centre (足如飛) during a break from playing pinball.

The Lucky Foot Massage Centre
The Lucky Foot Massage Centre

This shop is nicely decorated with a high quality of service, so I highly recommend it to all of you. It is located at 1/F, 32 Wuhu Street, Hung Hom.

October 2013

In early October 2013, the Hong Kong pinball operator informed that a new pinball was available in American Pool. As a result, I visited American Pool on the first Sunday of October.

The four current pins are Transformers (Pro), The Avengers (Pro), Star Trek (Pro) and Batman. The AC/DC disappeared and would probably have been sold to either a local or overseas buyer.

Four pinballs
Four pinballs

I know Star Trek was first released in September, so this one should be the first in Hong Kong or even in the whole of Asia. The playfield is very bright compared with other pinballs there.

Star Trek Pro's translite
Star Trek Pro’s translite
The playfield
The playfield
The cabinet side
The cabinet side

The main feature of Star Trek is the USS Vengeance spaceship in the upper part of the playfield. It would shake when it was hit during each stage of mission completion.

The upper part of the playfield
The upper part of the playfield

It costs HK$4 (about US$0.50) per 3-ball game for Star Trek.  I was not familiar with the rules of this machine since its in-depth review had not been available on Pinball News. Anyway, my feeling was very amazing.

Apart from this new pin, American Pool had also introduced some new video games, such as blackjack.

New video blackjack game
New video blackjack game
Horse racing game
Horse racing game

October 2014

The new pinball –The Walking Dead Pro – was installed in American Pool on 24th October.  I could not wait to visit it the next day.

The four current pins are Transformers Pro, Star Trek Pro, Batman and The Walking Dead Pro.  Star Trek and The Walking Dead cost HKD4 (USD0.50) per game, while the other two cost HKD3 (USD0.40).

The new line-up at American Pool
The new line-up at American Pool

The Walking Dead is a very fun game.  Of course, I need some time to be familiar the game rules before getting any high scores.

The Walking Dead
The Walking Dead
Playfield
Playfield
Cabinet
Cabinet

The AC/DC was moved aside to be packed up, and is going to be delivered to its new owner – a new pub in Wan Chai on Hong Kong island.

Bye bye AC/DC
Bye bye AC/DC

September 2021 – Update by Retrogamerewind

These are the four pinball machines they currently have at American Pool.

The Walking Dead
The Walking Dead Pro
Transformers
Transformers Pro
Star Trek Pro
Star Trek Pro
Batman: The Dark Knight
Batman: The Dark Knight

In general I would say they were not so well maintained. The Transformers had two stuck balls and the others also had smaller issues. Transformers was 3HK$ per credit, the others – if I remember right – 4HK$ or 5HK$.

The Batman pinball had a very dim playfield. I’m not sure if that is due to the age of the machine or if its meant to be like that, but it felt very dim compared to the other three.

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