After a season of Thomas the Tank Engine repeats, the famous steam engine's career must almost be at a close. The only thing left after years of showbiz fame is the inevitable drink - or daytime television. But no, none of these will ever happen to him.
Not because he's simply an animated character who has no real existence in the world, it's because he's coming to the Amiga. Not only has he already featured in a racing game, he's following it up with one of the most unpredictable of titles, Thomas the Tank Engine's Pinball.
Yep, Thomas, James, Percy, Toby and that bus are coming to the Amiga in a series of titles from Alternative Software. We can't wait!
I was never a big fan of TTTE because I never used to get home from school in time to see it. However every Christmas, sure enough, under the tree there would be a large, book-like package with a small bulge in one corner. It had to be, and was, a Thomas the Tank Engine colouring book with about three crayons stuck to the front cover. Ooh, it was endless hours of fun, and this is the exact point where my hate for the show began.
The most annoying fact about the cartoon was that it was one of those alliterated animated titles such as Percy the Pigeon that's supposed to make cartoons more to watch - so they say!
I have to admit that I did find playing TTTEP enjoyable becaue of the excellent novelty effect
It's difficult to believe that so may people were captured by a blue train trundling around all day doing absolutely nothing useful apart from trying to find little Percy. Why did he always go missing! He must have been working for British Rail or something. Not only that, but why did the hardest and mot arrogant train, James, kick up a fuss all the time and end up doing something naughty and dangerous. Ad what's that fat bloke all about... jeeeeez. You can give me Tom and Jerry any day of the week!
The idea behind this rather promising title is to bypass the oh so, cool and trendy feel which as Pinball Dreams, Pinball Fantasies, Pinball Illusions and Obsession - apart from the fact they all sound like famous fragrance from a famous French company could well spark up some interest. I wonder what it would smell like? Essence of steam engine? Hmmm.
I suppose I'd better let you know that I'm not the greatest lover of Pinball - I believe it's a dreary old game that's for less than popular individuals who prefer to hide away in a dark corner of a drinking residence gladly plunging their coins into what seems like an arcade machine with about three inches sawn off the front legs. It seems fitting that once, some guys had 100,000 steel balls drop on them from above after the main machine upstairs had overloaded! I hope that persuaded them to try somewhat far more worthwhile.
Right, back to the subject in hand. As usual there are these tables with funny buzzers and things, and the idea is to spring a steel ball into the main area and blast hell out of it with these oddly shaped bats - collecting as many points as you can in the process. There, I summed that up quite well, don't you think?
You can play on the Thomas, Percy, James or Toby Tables and each one has its varying amount of buzzers and point scoring bonuses. As there are only four tables, more experienced players will become bored after a short while.
Other than that, TTTEP features some excellent presentation along with gameplay, and should offer you a new novelty feature which is far more enjoyable than the other Pinball creations.