At the recent Pinball Expo show near Chicago, Queztal pinball – makers of the Captain Nemo Dives Again and Tokyo Perfect Drift – revealed their newest title, Super Canasta.

Quetzal Pinball’s Antonio and Gustavo with Super Canasta, Tokyo Perfect Drift and Captain Nemo

Canasta (Spanish for ‘basket’ or ‘hoop’) 86 was a very popular game in Spain, earning good money both for operators and for the manufacturer, Inder. The title, theme and layout were revised in 2010 by MarsaPlay with their New Canasta game, but that never gained any traction due to the high price and unreliability.

Quetzal Pinball were contacted by the company Bitronic, who build slot machines and various coin-operated amusement devices in their factory in Murcia, Spain, and asked to design a pinball for them to build which would be modern in appearance but require minimal maintenance in order to appeal to operators.

Antonio Ortuño, who founded Quetzal Pinball, told Pinball News why they brought back the Canasta brand. He said, “Quetzal had total creative freedom and, considering the operators market, we decided to create Super Canasta because basketball is a popular theme for bars and pubs. In Spain, the pinball Canasta 86 was very successful and everybody remembers it, especially operators who made a lot of money with that pinball.“

With the decision made to create the basketball-themed game, work began on the design. Antonio explained the process.

“The starting point for the design of the playfield was the hoop – it is the protagonist of the pinball and would be in the centre of the playfield. Almost immediately a third flipper was added, with a split ramp to do upper loops and a magnet which would capture the ball and do a “slam dunk” to increase the number of shots to the basket.“

A prototype of the basket area

Antonio explained how the initial design for the centre shot involved a moving ramp, but this idea was subsequently discarded because it added unnecessary complexity to the playfield. Instead, this evolved into a mini-playfield area containing two player-controlled slingshots, working as ‘rebound’ feature.

Having player-controlled slingshots at the top of the playfield where they might