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Thomas the tank engine’s pinball logo

Being aimed at threee-year olds upwards,we decided to get Richard Jones to take a look at this game; he is the biggest kid we know.

I Thomas the tank engine’s pinball have got a problem with computer pinball games. Football, golf, cricket and darts. I have played and enjoyed on the Amiga – but pinball? Nah. To play all the other games involves some measure of organisation and effort (both physical and financial – yes even darts_ but pinball? If you have got a pound in your pocket and are in the centre of a large town, you will be surrounded by all manner of real silver ball opportunities in arcades and pubs.
And I am afraid no Amiga games can come close to the thrill of the real thing – not Pinball Dreams, Pinball Illusions, Pinball Mania and, no, not even the cute Thomas The Tank Engine’s Pinball.

Now I will readily admit that if you are three years old (Thomas is aimed at age three upwards), you are unlikely to find yourself with a pound in your pocket in the centre of a large town with time to kill. If you do, you are lost, or your parents have abandoned you. Find a policeman immediately.
So, in that sense, I suppose comparisons with the real thing are a tad inappropriate. Anyway, what is it like then, this steam-driven pinball affair? Well, it is OK, but not much more than that.

There are four tables (Thomas, Percy, James and Toby), multi-player options and it all works reasonably well – the ball rolls towards the flippers, you hit it and it bounces around the table until it goes out.
Some of the shots are very difficult, and some are virtually impossible, but that is not different to other ‘adult’ tables. It all scrolls reasonably well, it is bright and colourful (kids are bound to like it) and, well, it is a perfectly functional kids’ pinball game. Buy it if you want a reasonable kids’ pinball game for your Amiga.

However, there is an alternative. Have you thought about investing in a sturdy box or crate? If you do, you can visit your local, child-friendly pub, put £1 in the pinball machine, place the child on the sturdy box or crate facing the table, repair to the bar and leave your offspring playing the real thing and annoying everyone within a 10-yard radius.

Amiga Format, Issue 78, December 1995, p.55





System requirements
2 Mb RAM, AGA Chipset

Release date
Out now

Graphics   8 out of 10
Cute engines and flashy things in all the right places. Choo and, indeed, choo.

Sound   7 out of 10
Jaunty and lively. Should please most kids.

Addiction   6 out of 10
Mildly diverting in a soporific sort of way.

Playability   7 out of 10
Very playable as it stands. But see addiction above.

Overall verdict
Mostly on the right track, but some of the shots are virtually impossible.


It is a bright and colourful (kids are bound to like it), perfectly functional kids’ game.