Pinball Illusions logo AGA Amiga Computing Gold Award

You've wanted another version, well you've got one and this time you've got multi-ball to contend with. Jonathan Maddock sure plays a mean pinball as he looks at the third game in the pinball series.


When Pinball Dreams appeared on the Amiga a few years ago it was instantly proclaimed as a classic and every single gamer had become gripped by pinball fever. No longer did you have to trek down to your local pub or arcade to play the game, all you had to do was switch on your computer. The realism and sheer excitement of Pinball Dreams mirrored the 'real' thing and I think just about everyone has either got or has played Digital Illusion's superb Amiga debut.

Time passed and pinball players were starting to get itchy fingers, so 21st Century Entertainment linked up with Digital Illusions once more to create a sequel. Entitled Pinball Fantasies, this piece of software featured four brand new tables and totally surpassed the original.

Since the release of the sequel, demand from fans for a third game in the series has been immense. 21st Century Entertainment is a company who believes in giving the games public what they want, so without a second thought it talked to Digital Illusions about the possibility of yet another pinball game.

The Swedish developers replied with a triumphant "Yes" and thus started work on Pinball Illusions. This new version features three new tables plus the all-important and incredibly manic multi-ball feature.

It's time to flip your flippers like you've never flipped them before!



To be honest with you, I didn't like the music contained in Pinball Fantasies. It was far too annoying and got on my nerves to the extent that I was constantly reaching for the volume switch, so I had my fingers and ear-lobes crossed when I heard that a third game in the series was on its way.

Luckily for me and my ears, the tunes in Pinball Illusions are rather good and nowhere near as annoying as the last batch of musical disasters. As you now know, there are three tables, so thus there are three tunes. All of them are vastly different from each other and work extremely well.

The Law 'n' Justice table uses a futuristic tune very similar in style to the themes found in the film Blade Runner and it complements the table perfectly.

The Babewatch table, thankfully, doesn't contain any of Dvaid Hasslehoff's warblings, but instead plumps for a full-blown musical score which sounds like the Beach Boys' "Pet Sounds" album all rolled into one tune.

The last table is, erm, different. I don't like Heavy Metal at the best of times, but that's exactly what you get when you play the Extreme Sports table. Imagine Nine Inch Nails teaming up with Pantera and you're getting close to the musical experience that's contained here. I know there will be a load of people out there who will love it, so much so that they'll start stage-diving off their beds. Not my cup of tea, but it just goes to show that Digital Illusions has included something for everyone.




Have a quick glance at the screenshots and you'll see that Pinball Illusions looks a lot like its predecessors, but seeing as the graphics in this first two games were rather damn fine then this isn't much of a problem.

There are some small changes, one of which is rather significant, but more on that in a minute. The first thing you'll notice is that the actual balls look a lot better. The Digital Illusions team has used a good ray-tracing effect to make them look more like the real thing. It's not fully light-sourced or anything, but it looks nice enough and it's a lot better than the previous 'ball' incarnations.

The biggest graphical change also involves and affects the gameplay. The almost redundant scoring 'strip' at the top of the screen is now in full-time employment. It's now used to present a selection of sub-games, just like the ones get on the modern-day pinball machines.

Take the Law 'n' Justice table as an example. One of the sub-games involves shooting a gang of international terrorists by moving your flipper keys from left to right. It's all in the interest of getting a rather good score, and pinball fans might complain that it detracts form the actual game, but it's been known that some of the sub-games have been played longer than the actual game of pinball.

The only other major change worth mentioning is the introduction of a hi-res option. This comes in very handy when you try your hand at the manic multi-ball feature because it enables you to see the whole screen at once.




Without a shadow of a doubt this is the best Amiga pinball game that money can buy. Fans of Dreams and Fantasies aren't even reading this as they're camped outside their local computer emporium waiting for it to arrive, so there's no point in trying to convince them how good his latest version is because they already know.

If you haven't bought the last two versions and you're new to this computer pinball lark, then there hasn't been a better time to purchase one of Digital Illusions' superb game. The new features have taken the game that one step further towards making Pinball Illusions even better than the real thing, but what really makes the game is the inclusion of the multi-ball feature. If Digital Illusions had not been able to recreate this on the Amiga and left it out, then this game would've been a major disappointment.

As it stands, the multi-ball feature is in the game and it works incredible well. Couple this with the brilliant graphics and sound, then add the old staple ingredients of good gameplay and more than a dash of addition and you've got one hell of a pinball game.

Pinball Illusions logo AGA

Flippin' heck! It's the fantastic new pinball spectacular from 21st Century. Steve Bradley is our man with the silver multiballs...

First thing first. If you enjoyed 21st Century previous two pinball games, Dreams and Fantasies, you will rejoice in the latest incarnation, Illusions. And if you were one of the pub-playing pinball machine doubters who felt that the first two simply couldn't cut it when compared to the real thing, chances are, Illusions will find you a tad more responsive towards its computerised compadre.

Simulated pinball though, will never beat the real thing, simply because of the sheer physical nature of the machine game, where you can slide and bash it to shift the balls around. And as yet, no computer game has really captured the feel of metallic ball movement.

But this, of course, is not the issue. We are here to assess a computer pinball game; a game that expands on its predecessors by some significant margin, mainly through the introduction of multiball, a feature whereby up to three balls rattle across the screen if you can display the necessary flipper dexterity to release them. A hi-res full screen mode automatically comes on when the multiball is accessed so you can see all three balls. Clever eh?

There are three tables this time instead of Dreams' and Fantasies' four, the excuse being that the fourth table didn't come up to scratch so was scrapped. Not a very good excuse really, and the one major downside to the exercise.

It's a bagatelle
Law 'n' Justice is a sophisticated, futuristic cops 'n' robbers affair - one instance involves you attempting to apprehend the charmingly-monikered Johnny Crack, while others see you rounding up escaped felons, crushing riots, de-activating bombs and, more obviously, ensnaring Max Speed and his fabulous hovercraft.

Of course, this is all brought about in a pinball context, namely riding ramps and hitting various flashing lights. Law 'n' Justice also has a video mode where, using the flippers you shoot shady figures dashing across the score panel. And it makes for a cracking table.

Babewatch is not perhaps the most ideologically sound name for a table but it's backed by a Beach Boys-esque track (which you are at liberty to extinguish) and features include a casino, a muscle-pumping gym and Babehunt, where you attempt to chat up women by hitting keys on the Amiga in your bedroom.

Extreme Sports involves sky and cliff diving, bungee jumping and a bit of off-piste together with top-screen animations which reflect the activities.

Pinball Illusions is the best Amiga pinball game to date, but don't expect a radical departure from Dreams or Fantasies, just a couple more balls and one less table.

Pinball Illusions logo AGA A1200 Speziell Amiga Joker Hit

Die Datadisk "Pinball Fantasies 2" rollte zwar am Amiga vorbei, doch den wahren Nachfolger zu den "Dreams" und "Fantasies" schießt 21st Century hier zuerst ab - eine weise Entscheidung!

Nomen est omen: Für "Standard-Freundinnen" bleibt der neue Mega-Flipper leider tatsächlich eine Illusion, neben den AGA-Rechner soll nur das CD32 bedacht werden. Der Grund dafür wird jedem klar, sobald die Kugel hier erst mal ins Rollen kommt, denn selbst die schwedischen Programmier-Profis von Digital Illusions hätten diese plastische Optik, dieses rasante Tempo und diesen Knüller-Spielspaß auf einem A500 wohl kaum realisieren können!

So darf man nun endlich auch drei Bälle gleichzeitig über den Tisch jagen, und ein Tastendruck sorgt jederzeit für vollen Überblick in einer verkleinerten Hires-Darstellung.

Wer die normalerweise gut zwei Screens hohen Flipper auf diese Weise in ihrer gesamten Schönheit auf den Schirm holt, muß jedoch wegen des Interlace-Modus mit einem leichten Flimmern rechnen.

Egal, denn in aller Regel wird man ohnehin im turboschnellen Scroll-Modus zocken, wo neuerdings "Missionen" wie das Einfangen bzw. Treffen möglichst vieler Gangster z absolvieren sind.

Solche Szenen werden am vollig überarbeiteten Scoreboard animiert dargestellt, das jetzt zudem als Austragungsort für kleine Unterspielchen wie z.B. eine Ballersequenz dient.

Der Preis für die neuen Features ist erstaunlich niedrig: Statt vordem vier sind halt diesmal nur drei Tables aus enthalten, die dafür in puncto Design und Ausstattung um so besser gefallen. Bei "Law 'n' Justice" vollführt der nun mit Glanzeffekt versehene Ball eine Achterbahnfahrt durch ein "Bladerunner"-Szenario mit etlichen Rampen und Transportkanälen.

Dagegen ist der mit einem Bungee-Turm ausgestattete "Extreme Sports"-Flipper nicht ganz so komplex aufgebaut und begeistert mit seinen zahlreichen Ziel-buchten wohl besonders die feinfühligen Kugelpiloten.

"Babewatch" mit seinen Sonnenstränden und dem auffälligen Roulette-Kasino kann als gelungene Mischung aus beiden Geräten gelten, so daß unter dem Strich für alle Geschmäcker gesorgt ist.

Der flippigen Troika mangelt es nicht an Bumpern, Kugelfällen und schleudern oder Kombinationszielen für Superboni und Zusatzspiele; das realistische Roll- und Abprall-verhalten der Murmel , den Mehrspieler-Modus (hintereinander), die drei Paddles pro Gerät und die vorzügliche Tastatursteuerung hat man von den Vorgängern übernommen.

Allein das Rütteln und die damit verbundene Errettung der Kugel vor dem Auskanal erfordert nun deutlich besseres Timing, wobei der Kasten aber bei zu häufiger Anwendung sauer wird und sich den Plagegeist via Tilt-Funktion vom Hals schafft...

Spielspaß, Steuerung, Optik, die Musik- und Soundkulisse, hier stimmt einfach alles - und trotz der vier Disketten läßt sich die Sache auch von Floppy wunderbar zocken. Es ist also keine Illusion, die heimische Spielhölle hat tatsächlich ihren neuen Flipperkönig gefunden! (rl)

Pinball Illusions logo AGA

When Shakespeare spoke of "Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms", he clearly was not anticipating this.

Secretly I am fascinated by pinball, but I hate it when people try to make me play it at the pub. "Come on," they say, "it is only a bit of fun. Look - we have selected a three-player game, so you will have to play or it won't work. And it cannot possibly go straight down the middle this time". But it always does.

So pinball games on the Amiga are a great source of comfort to me. From safely within the confines of my bedroom I can play them to my heart's content, the rest of the world insulated from my cries of "No! Not again!". I did it with Pinball Dreams, with Pinball Fantasies. And just recently I have been doing it with Pinball Illusions. And Pinball Illusions is by a slight but at the same time significant margin, the best yet.

Now there are only three

You will probably already have spotted that, while Dreams, with Fantasies had four tables, Illusions has just three. This is the one disappointing thing about it, so we will get it out of the way right at the beginning. Apparently, Digital Illusions decided at the last minute that, out of the four tables they had designed, one was slightly crap. So they threw it away. And now there are only three. And it does note even cost less. Tch, eh?

But still. Distract yourself instead with thoughts of the multiball feature. (I wrote 'multiballs' on the cover when we first did it, but apparently it is 'multiball'. Shows how much time I spend in pinball-playing circles, hmm?). This is activated either by getting two ball locks or hitting the right features, and causes three balls to bounce around the table at the same time.

This could be slightly confusing, especially when balls start disappearing off the top of the screen, but thankfully a swift stab at the H key throws the game into high-res mode. You can now see nearly all of the table on the screen at once, but miniaturised. Initially this evoked similar emotions in the AP office to the first time we saw a Competition Pro Mini joystick. Multiball does have its downside, though - without it the game might have been able to run on an A600.

Just a little American

Also improved in Pinball Illusions are the LED displays above the tables. They are now higher resolution, and have loads of little animations for when things happen down on the table. For example, on the Law and Justice table you get to see coppers chasing criminals across the top of the screen, and shooting them.

And with it being an AGA-only game, the graphics generally are great. The tables have all been digitised from paintings and are tremendously colourful, although sometimes it can be a little hard to tell what is hittable and what is just background.

A swift stab at the H

Really, though, it is Pinball Dreams all over again, just as Pinball Fantasies was. And, when you think about it, it is hard to see what else they could have done. Pinball games like Dragon's Fury on the Mega Drive do their own thing, adding baddies to knock out with the ball and bonus screens that you reach by knocking the ball into the right holes. But Digital Illusions have always aimed to recreate real-life pinball as accurately as possible, and they have managed just that with Pinball Illusions.

Design-wise the tables are even closer to real ones than ever before, and there is not a single duffer among them. The Law and Justice one is the best as far as I am concerned (one of the reasons why you will find a demo of it on our coverdisk), with the other two being just a little too American (but still jolly good).

Lights flash, things go ping and clack, and the ball zips around like thre is no today, let alone tomorrow. The music is great, changing when you activate important features to heighten the drama. It is impossible to conceive of the Amiga getting any closer to playing pinball in a pub than this (at least, according to Steve and Jonathan, who do it all the time).


Thanks to being A1200/CD32 only, Pinball Illusions is the first game in the series to feature a multiball facility. It is activated using complicated pinball methods, and causes two or three balls to rattle around the table at once. In a game like Pinball Illusions, where you can only see a bit of the table at once, this could easily be confusing - which ball should the scrolling follow? Thankfully, though, Pinball Illusions also features a high-res mode, which shows nearly all the table on the screen at once. Phew.


The first - and best - table casts you as a futuristic policeman, enforcing the law in a seedy, post-apocalyptic vision of etc. etc. (Although actually, of course, you are really just playing pinball). You must engage in high-speed pursuits, round up escaped prisoners, quell riots, defuse bombs, rescue hostages, and hunt down Johnny Crack. Perhaps the most sinister bit is when three terrified civilians run across the top of the screen, pursued by a policeman who shoots them in the back. Cagney and Lacey would never have behaved in this fashion. The throbbing techno-pop adds immeasurably to the tension (rather than causing you to flee down the room crying "Tool of the Devil" like the other two).


Although its name would normally earn its creators an AMIGA POWER knee-capping, this is Steve's favourite table, so that is okay. He likes its 'traditional' 1950s look, and does not seem to mind a bit that it centres on the antics of tedious unemployed Americans and keeps writing things like 'Excellent' and 'Woah' at the top of the screen. Amusements include chicken racing, where you drive towards the edge of a cliff, burders, where you make bigger and bigger and then eat, a Beach Gym and a jukebox from which you can pick different tunes. The music, though, is of a pseudo-Beach Boys persuasion, complete with synthesised singing in harmony, and is thoroughly aggravating.


And the third table is really good as well, despite having perhaps the worst music of the month. It is a kind of, oh, grunge heavy metal thrash, you would probably call it, and will completely destroy your will to live within seonds unless you switch it off. The table, meanwhile, is based on dangerous sports like bungee jumping and rock climbing. (Golf is not mentioned). The animations at the top of the screen who you falling off cliffs and diving into the sea, and there is also a bit involving a goat. And a Maniac Skier Jackpot and a Super Iron Man Jackpot. Although this was the table we played the least, that was probably more to do with our personal musical tolerances than any inherent flaws in design.

Pinball Illusions logo AGA

Price: £29.99 Publisher: 21st Century Entertainment 081 988 8888

He is a pinball wizard, there has to be a twist, that Pinball Wizard has such a subtle wrist... ahem, as the song goes. Jim Conway tickles the flippers.

My first on-screen pinball outing was Devil Crash on the PC Engine, and what a game it was. But I did not have a PC Engine of my own and the friend who did eventually moved away. Then Pinball Dreams dawned on the Amiga, followed by Pinball Fantasies, and happiness returned to my household. Then it all went quiet, until this year when a poor attempt called Ultimate Pinball Quest darkened my disk drive.

Then around last September, plans for Pinball Illusions were announced and there was great rejoicing. This game was to be the most realistic yet, with AGA graphics, detailed tables and much improved sound. But it continued to be an illusions, with the rest of the Amiga press giving it middling to high review marks, despite 21st Century holding back its release (originally planned for Christmas), until the game was perfect.

Well now they have finally got it right. The enhanced graphics (the game is A1200/A4000 only) do two things. They not only increase the realism of the tables, which scroll up and down, but they also have allowed the inclusion of a high resolution full screen mode. The screen snaps from low resolution to hi-res interlace when you get a multi-ball, so you see twice as much of the table, allowing you to keep track of both balls. You can switch between the high and low resolution modes at any time with the F9 and F10 keys.

The three tables are called Law 'N' Justice, Babewatch and Extreme Sports, and each comes equipped with three flippers. Law 'N' Justice has 17 scoring missions, and is based around police chases, jailbreaks and hostages.

Scoring includes everything from simple ramp combos to more complicated specific targeting. The Babewatch table involves scoring in more ways than one: the idea behind it is to attract babes by surfing and lifting weights, and it even has a gambling casino.

The Dangerous Sports table is inhabited by the likes of the bloke from the Volvo 850 TV advertisement (the 'control freak'). It is all about living life to the limit, scoring combos, climbing cliffs and bungee jumping by shooting ramps. If 21st Century had been on the ball they might even got the table sponsored by Pepsi Max.

True to life
These are definitely the most realistic Pinball tables yet. The ball has a beautiful sheen and the lighting and scoring panel are pretty convincing. The flippers are also realistically sprung and the ball movement off the bumpers is very accurate.

However, I would have liked a more realistic press and release spring mechanism for shooting the balls. The tables are not actually set up in a way that is affected by the initial speed of the ball, but this facility, which was about the most realistic thing about Ultimate Pinball Quest, would have perfected Illusions.

Other niggles include the sound which, although good enough in the music stakes, does not recreate the genuine pinball experience which should include flipper noises, ringing bumpers and so on. I also did not like the choice of pink as the colour for the surround on the Extreme Sports table. It does not seem fitting.

The hi-res versions of each table are also really too small to be practical, although toggling between high and low-res is both easy and fast, so this is not really any disadvantage. It is really more a sort of stunted advantage.

Still the best
If Pinball Illusions is the last ever pinball sim on the Amiga (21st Century will not conform or deny this and nobody else has plans for one at the moment) then it is not a bad game to bow out on. It is beautiful and addictive and although it does not excite me as much as its predecessors, it is still a top game. It does not quite give you the same feeling ass a genuine pinball table, but for computer pinball fans it is pretty much an essential purchase.

Pinball Illusions CD32 logo CD32 Amiga Computing Gold Award

The greatest ever pinball game from Digital Illusions is here for the CD32. Tina Hackett flips out.


Digital Illusions are the name in pinball games and have more than earned their reputation through their series of top-quality titles. Pinball Dreams was the one that started the ball rolling, so to speak, and gamesplayers thought it couldn't get any better - but it did when Pinball Fantasies appeared on the scene a while later.

The third in the series struck and again it amazed, especially with the addition of a multi-ball feature. Now it's here for the CD32 with a full 60 minutes of in-game audio. Flippers at the ready...



Forget cheesy, dated soundtracks that many computer games suffer from. This game comes complete with a fresh, bang up-to-date approach that will have you turning your monitors up.

Each table has a different accompanying tune such as Law 'n' Justice with a Terminator-like track that conjures up the theme of the table brilliantly. This is the same for the other two tables. The Babewatch table is reminiscent of the Beach Boys, with a distinct sound of the surf, and Extreme Sports - this was a real surprise in a computer game - is a grungy rock tune which really goes with the table.

Digital Illusions have ensured there is a musical genre in there to suit everyone's taste and all work extremely well.




The quality of the graphics is also exceptional. Babewatch (as you can imagine) is adorned with some bikini-clad girls and their muscle-bound companions. Other American-style pictures are used too such as Jukeboxes or big American cars. At the top of the screen is a Casino which looks good and proves one of the missions.

But what really amazes is the amount of detail packed onto each table. Extreme Sports, for example, has an aeroplane for parachute drops, and even in the tiniest corner of the table there's an action-packed picture of some skiers.

Law 'n' Justice has a striking picture of a gun-toting cyberchick and a motley crew of perps that light up in connection with a variety of features.

The most impressive point about Digital Illusions pinball games is their success in bringing a 3D feel to each of the tables. Ramps wind around the play area weaving over and under each other to give an authentic appeal. The ball also looks and behaves realistically.




This is one damn fine pinballer it has to be said, and CD32 owners have a treat in store with this title. The graphics are superb and very authentic, and the soundtrack original. The ball looks and moves realistically and the many missions provide longevity.

The sub-games are a welcome feature too. The Law 'n' Justice table, for instance, has a mission to shoot the terrorists by moving your flipper keys. The multi-ball addition is also excellent, ad the table can switch to hi-res to enable you to see more.

One thing I wasn't too keen on was the way the control system was implemented. The CD32 controller (as you know) has plenty of buttons that can be used, but the way this is done seemed really illogical. For example, the left flipper was left on the directional button and the right flipper was the blue button. The resolution switch was also on the directional button and was too easy to press accidentally. This may sound quite major but once you get used to it, it doesn't detract from what is otherwise an excellent game.

This is a great title that's absolutely stacked with highly addictive gameplay. Pinball wizards everywhere should rush out and buy it!

Pinball Illusions CD32 logo CD32

When we first reviewed the A1200 version of Pinball Illusions way back in December '94 (88%), the CD32 interpretation was thought to be but minutes away. No sir, for although we thought the A1200 incarnation was 'finished', 21st Century decided that they would 'tweak' it and some weeks later, it appeared on the shelves. And months later, the CD32 cheerily turns up. So, worth the wait, then?

Three tables (Pinball Fantasies, 21st Century's previous pinball game had four): Babehunt, Law 'n Justice and Extreme Sports, all featuring multiball - that's when you get two or more balls at any one time, don't you know.

So Illusions is Fantasies with one less table and more balls, then? Well yes, and no. The tables, as one would hope, are more sophisticated than their Fantasies counterparts - you get to shoot criminals, chat up babes and bungee jump, all in the comfort of your own home. Yes, Illusions certainly is fabulously slick.

21st Century have added a hi-res mode so when the multiball kicks in you can see all the balls bouncing around all over the table and flip accordingly, which is a little disconcerting at first. But trth be told, Illusions is more of the same as Fantasies, only slightly better. It's a fine game nonetheless, but why is there no option to turn off the music on this CD32 version? After 10 minutes of the Extreme Sports table, I was on the end of a headache.

Pinball Illusions is the best Amiga CD321 pinball game yet, but one wonders where you go from here. If you already have Pinball Fantasies it's worth noting its release rather than paying £30 for a new game. You're really spending your money on three new tables and some extra balls. The choice, as they say, is entirely yours.

Pinball Illusions CD32 logo CD32 Amiga Joker Hit

Endlich ist der Referenz-Flipper auch als Silberling erhältlich, und siehe da: Auch das Beste Läßt sich noch verbessern! Wir haben für Euch alle Neuerungen im aktuellen "CD-Kugellager" abgescheckt...

Aber erst noch ein wenig geschichtlicher Hintergrund für alle jene, die Digital Illusions' legendäre Tische noch nicht kennen: "Pinball Dreams" aus demselben Hause gilt bereits seit 1992 als Amiga-Klassiker, konnte aber aus technischen Gründen (man hätte das Spiel komplett neu programmieren müssen) nicht für das CD32 umgesetzt werden.

Der Nachfolger "Pinball Fantasies" galt denn auch auf Schillerscheibe als bester Flipper aller Zeiten, doch nun werden die Zeiten noch besser.

Zwar hat Pinball Illusions nur drei Tableaus zu bieten, doch soll der vierte Tisch nachgereicht werden: vermutlich als preiswertes Update. Außerdem hat es den voriegen Trio ohnehin faustdick hinter den Paddles, schon weil jeder Flipper via Sprachausgabe und nette Animationen in der Score-anzeige seine eigene Geschichte erzählt:

Mit "Law n' Justice" entbrennt eine launige Verbrecherjagd (inkl. Gangster-Abballern in einem kleinen Unterspiel), "Babe Watch" handelt von Strand-vergnügungen nebst einem Casinobesuch und bei "Extreme Sports" darf man sich u.a. an Bungee versuchen.

Wie auf Disk gehabt, lassen hier wie dort massig Röhren, Rampen, Bumper, Multibälle, ein astreiner Kugellauf und eine Vielzahl von Modi und Optionen keine Langeweile aufkommen.

Am CD32 werden die Highscores nun tadellos ins batteriegepufferte RAM gespeichert, und über Joypad lassen sich die Paddles auch wunderbar bedienen.

Komfortabel auch, daß sämtliche Funktionen wie z.B. das Umschalten in die hohe Auflösung, Rütteln etc. einwandfrei mit dem Steuerknochten aufzurufen sind.

Allerdings wurde dummerweise ein kleiner Bug aus der ersten A1200-Auflage mitkonvertiert, weshalb es vorkommen kann, daß das Programm endlos Bälle auf das Spielfeld katapultiert - ein in der Praxis kaum je anzutreffender Fehler, der zudem mit der nächsten Pressung behoben wird. Was hoffentlich auch für die mangelnde (aber an sich versprochene) Kompatibilität zum "Overdrive" gilt Aber selbst das ist halb so wild, schließlich kann man am 1200er die AGA-Version auch recht bequem von der Festplatte spielen.

Während hier die Flipper samt ihren Beschreibungen in Englisch am Screen auftauchen, glänzt das eingebaute Manual mit sehr guten deutschen Texten, die komfortabel angesprungen und umgeblättert werden können.

Die Grafik ist mit der Disk-version identisch, die diversen Musikstücke wurden aber kräftig aufgepeppt und kommen jetzt direkt von CD. Und es mag gut sein, daß der nahezu eine Stunde lange Soundtrack aus düsteren Synthie-Stücken, heiterem Surfrock und Ohrwurm-Metal der bisher beste am CD32 ist - so wie diese Flipper-Sira ganz klar die bisher beste für Commos Multimedia-Konsole ist! (mm)

Pinball Illusions CD32 logo CD32

21st Century/£30 Amiga version: AP43 89%

Right, so you've got a top-notch game like Pinball Illlusions. And you want to put it on a CD32. Simple. You can even avoid all that essential-but-annoying disk swapping.

And the joypad's buttons could conveniently replicate all the Amiga version's keyboard controls. You know, the play button could start the game, and the number of times you press it would be the number of players. A couple of buttons for the tilting bit of the game, one button to fire the ball, one to control the right flipper(s) and the left side of the pad to control the left fliper(s).

Oh yeah, and don't forget the right side of the pad to switch between hi-res and lo-res modes for those rather tasty multi-ball bits.

Yes, it may take a while to get used to, but it works well, and after a while you don't even notice. And that leaves you with a top pinball game, some great tables and of course some CD music. A smart buy and no mistake.

Pinball Illusions CD32 logo CD32 CU Amiga Super Star

Price: £24.99 Publisher: 21st Century Entertainment 01235 832939

If, as 21st Century claim, Pinball Illusions is their last pinball game on Amiga or CD32, then they will have exited on a very good note, indeed.

Easily the most polished of the Dreams and Fantasies series it brings us three tables, top graphics and a couple of spanking good tunes, even though they sound like those Barclays Bank advertisements on telly.

The most innovative thing about this version is its high resolution full screen mode, where about 70% of the table is shown with minimum reduction in graphic detail. This allows very effective multi-ball play and can be toggled on or off easily by pressing right on the direction pad.

The controls make very good use of the CD32's joypad buttons: pause starts the game, green shoots the ball, red shakes the table vertically, the shoulder buttons shake it horizontally, yellow quits the table while left direction pad and the blue button control left and right paddles respectively.

The three tables are called Law N' Justice, Babewatch and Extreme Sports and each of them has three flippers.

Law N' Justice is based on police chases and jailbreaks, Babewatch involves attracting babes by showing off your surfing skills, lifting weights and also has a gambling casino, while the Dangerous Sports table contains Point Break style dudes, bungy jumping and the like.

The tables are very realistic, the scrolling ultra smooth and the timing of the lights and bumper collisions is just right. Although the music is good the sound effects still lack atmosphere; this is something that has not changed in the CD version.

When it comes down to it though the game could have been made for the CD32. It works brilliantly on it and although there are those who disagree with me I am convinced that its joypad control is almost perfect, much better than the Amiga's keyboard control. That, allied to the immediacy of the CD format makes it a winner. Better than the Amiga version. Just.