Nintendo Mini Game
Image: beforemario

Before becoming a juggernaut in the video game industry, Nintendo got its start manufacturing and distributing hanafuda cards. There was also a period between 1971 - 1976 when the company created a mini game toy series, comprised of 50 different games in total.

One of these is supposedly called "Driving Shot" (ダイビングショット) – requiring the player to score points by shooting five metal balls into a circular area. To get the best score you had to target the middle circle. Here are some close-ups:

What's so exciting about all of this is the fact that Erik Voskuil – the creator of the historical Nintendo website beforemario – recently managed to acquire four copies of this classic mini-game (originally released in 1974) after a 20-year search.

Erik now has 49 of the 50 mini-games. Here's a bit more about his latest addition:

The game is all about judging the speed to give the metal balls, by pulling the plunger the right distance backwards. The balls, shot one-by-one, then zoom around the outer rim of the game-area and fly off a ramp at the end

When the ball has just the right speed, it lands ("dives") in the five point zone, or in the larger three point or one point areas. It is actually surprisingly hard, with most attempts ending with the ball in the "out" area.

You can read more about this mini game and learn more about the series in general over on And if you happen to know where the last one is hiding, be sure to let Erik know.