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‘It was a special game’: Edmonton pinball player celebrates high score and shout out from game designer

A high score on a Foo Fighters pinball machine has Edmonton player Dave Formenti on a high.

He first started playing pinball when he was a teen.

“I remember the local fish and chip shop had a pinball machine,” he said. “I would put 20 cents in and have a game.”

He said it’s the randomness of the game that drew him in.

“The ball has a mind of its own and you try to control it. I think that’s fascinating,” said Dave.

For the past four or five years, Dave and his wife Kim, can often be found playing pinball machines at the Sherbrooke Pub.

“It’s our thing. It might not be for everybody but it’s what we do,” said Kim Formenti.

Kim & Dave Formenti play pinball at Sherbrooke Pub. (Amanda Anderson/CTV News Edmonton)

They were there on Easter weekend for a few games on the Foo Fighters pinball machine.

“It’s fast. It’s a three flipper game with multiple ramps and a very interesting code to try and complete,” said Dave. “An extremely challenging game with a great soundtrack and lots of fun.”

Foo Fighters pinball machine at Sherbrooke Pub. (Amanda Anderson/CTV News Edmonton)

It’s a machine Dave has played at least 100 times over the past year. Soon into that two-player game he earned an extra ball.

“Originally it was like, ‘Oh man he’s got the extra ball. He’s just going to keep going. I’m on my phone for a bit. This is going to be awhile before I get my turn,'” Kim joked.

She said 20 minutes later Dave was still playing.

“I’m like, ‘OK, I’d better pay attention here.’ We’ve never been this far and sometimes he looks to me to kind of cue him,” said Kim.

Foo Fighters pinball machine at Sherbrooke Pub. (Amanda Anderson/CTV News Edmonton)

“You have to be very strategic about your gameplay and accomplishing modes in order to progress within the game,” Dave said.

“The big points come from the final battle. So if you can progress through the game and get to that final battle there’s massive points,” he added.

Dave completed all of the modes required to finish the game – the display then rolling the end of game credits.

“It shows all of the characters from the game as it rolls through. It runs across an old movie script in black and white that shows Jack Danger’s name as the credits are rolling through at the end of that game,” Dave said.

“Then a little rewind icon pops up and the movie film zips back and everything resets back to the beginning and you start the game over again,” he added.

“I said to my wife we want to watch this ’cause we will never see it again.”

“We sat there in awe together. We were just kind of immersed in the moment and the excitement of it all,” said Kim.

Foo Fighters pinball machine at Sherbrooke Pub. (Amanda Anderson/CTV News Edmonton)

Dave earned five extra balls during his game. He said he still had two left to play after the game reset. His entire game took about 40 minutes.

“It generated a 6.2 billion point score which I had never achieved before, not even remotely close to that,” said Dave.

“I’ve seen him do 1.4, 1.6 but I’ve never seen him go that high,” said Kim.

Dave Formenti’s high score on the Foo Fighters pinball machine at Sherbrooke Pub. (Amanda Anderson/CTV News Edmonton)

“It’s extremely hard,” said Jason Zazula, another local pinball player.

Zazula has played for more than a decade and competitively for about nine years.

He bought his own Foo Fighters machine in August and plays it at least six times a day.

“I haven’t even cracked one billion yet and Dave has done six billion,” he said.

“Doing that on a game that’s not in your house, where you can just take off the glass and cheat is a huge feat,” he added.

Zazula posted a photo of Dave’s high score on a social media page for fans and collectors of the machine.

One of the comments came from a ‘Dead Flip Pinball Streaming’ – a page run by Jack Danger.

“He’s the chief game designer for Foo Fighters. He acknowledged that that score was a big fat WTF, literally blown away,” Dave said proudly.

It’s a shout-out Dave said made him feel special.

Dave Formenti playing Foo Fighters pinball machine at Sherbrooke Pub. (Amanda Anderson/CTV News Edmonton)

“It was a special game. It happened once, probably never happen again but I’m terribly grateful for people acknowledging that it’s something a little bit special,” he said.

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