Pinball on the Amiga. Now there's a neglected area. I honestly can't remember ever seeing a pinball game on our fudge-
Of course, pinball brings back all those memories of misspent childhoods in smokey arcades, and dodgy old Who records. "That deaf, dumb and blind kid, he sure plays a mean pinball!" they warbled. This sounded like an interesting notion, so we set up a little experiment.
We loaded up Pinball Dreams, and plonked Biffa in a chair. We then blindfolded him, gagged him and stuck Blu-Tac in his ears. "Go on Biff, play a mean pinball" we ordered. He wobbled around for a bit, grunted and then fell off the chair. SO, for the best results on Pinball Dreams, don't rely on crap rock operas by crumbly dinosaur rock bands. They're liars.
With that little test out of the way, and leaving Biff struggling away in the corner, the more able-
Indeed, Biff really doesn't know what he's missing. With his blindfold he can't see the massive tables - almost three screens high - the full screen display, the smooths scrolling and pixel-perfect collision detection. With Blu-Tac shoved firmly in each ear, he can't hear the many groovy tunes and sound effects and with his gag he can't complain about it either, I should have done this sooner.
In Pinball Dreams, you get four tables to choose from. Admittedly, that's not really enough, but there is an eight-player option, so if you can get some mates round it should last you a good while.
The first is Ignition, and as you can see from the piccy, it's set in space. You also get Steel Wheel (a Western railway game), Beat Box (set in the music biz) and Nightmare, which is based around, erm, a nightmare. Each table has its own tune and sound effects, as well as having a very distinctive design.
Control is extremely simple. Use the down cursor key to pull back and release the spring, and shoot the ball into play. The left and right Shift keys control the flippers, and if you want to cheat then Space will tilt the table. However, over-
And that's it. Just keep the ball in play and try and smash the high scores, which are saved to the disk each time you play. The best thing about Pinball Dreams is that, as well as being great to look and listen to, it's brilliant to play. The way the ball moves is unnervingly realistic, wand while there aren't really that many features on each table, it manages to keep the excitement going without appearing too cluttered or empty.
And as for the addiction level, well, imagine having a pinball table but not having to play to play it. It's very, very hard to resist just having another quick bash.
The morning we got it, we booted it up about half nine and it didn't get turned off again until five o'clock. It's now ten past nine in the morning and already Darren is well into his third game. Addictive? You could say that.
There is one criticism, and that's that for nearly £26 you don't get enough variety. Once you've mastered all for tables, the appeal might not be as great. A table editor would've been a nice idea. Or even the option for further tables on separate data disks.
Even so, what you do get is a maddeningly addictive pinball simulator with the added bonus of an eight-
OK, get off the Amiga, Darren. It's my turn now. Hang about, is Biff supposed to be that purple colour? Oops.