Curious things, pinball tables: you either love them or you hate them and if you love them, well, they are impossible to resist. Pin tables have not changed radically since the '50s when they first became popular: the electronic revolution had its effect, but the basics remain the same.
This latest offering from Frenchies Loriciel is a computer version of the popular arcade pastime. There are 12 tables in all, and the game is a mix between realistic tables, complete with bumpers and blocks to knock down, and abstract tables with break-out elements.
Starting with five balls each - two players can play each taking alternate turns - the idea is to work your way through the tables by lighting a series of lights (the exact number varying for each table) and then getting the ball through the exit at the top of each table. Fortunately, should one player manage to do this then both players will continue playing on the new table.
Of course, lose a ball between the flippers an it is gone for good, but there are ways to gain extra balls. One easy way is to work your way onto a new table, where you will become the proud owner of five shiny new ones, or by getting the ball that is in play into a bonus hole or by knocking down a set number of bricks on certain tables. There are several other bonuses, but most are points based.
GRAPHICS AND SOUND
The ball movement is what it is all about, Brian, and fortunately, the ball movement is spot on, being both smoothly animated and very realistic. The rest of the graphics is somewhat basic, but at least they are colourful. The clunks and pings and other spot effects are fine, but a bit of background music would not have gone amiss.
If you do not like pinball simulations you won't be playing anyway, but if you do you will find it is superbly addictive and with 12 tables to get through it will take quite a while. Shame the high score table is not saved to disk.
Almost everything you could wish for in a real pin table has been included and the realistic ball movement and high lasting interest factor help to make this the best pin sim to have appeared to date.