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1991
Arcade: Pinball
£2.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
Alkatraz Protection System

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82
Rich Pelley
Chris Bourne

They might very well be called 'Alternative', but this one really is a too weird for comfort. It's a horse-racing game against either a friend or the computer - which may well sound pretty normal, but how d'you reckon you move horse? By waggling the joystick? By banging the keys? Nope, by throwing a ball onto a table at the bottom of the screen and attempting to get it into a hole at the end. Strange or what?

Yep, strange it is, and also rather boring because this all you get to do for the entire game. The ball is thrown by moving a hand about and then pressing Fire - the longer you keep your finger on it, the more powerful the shot and the further the ball shoots along the table. If it does into one of the holes, either directly or after rebounding off the sides or the back, then your horse moves along a bit - the winner is whoever gets the balls into the holes the quickest. You have to get it into a specific hole to go over a jump - although his fails to add any excitement of course - and the prospect of "nine different exciting courses" seems more of a threat than a consolation. And it's all far more luck than skill anyhow. And the graphics and sound are crap. Nope, I'd leave this one on the shelf and quickly find an excuse to leave the shop if I were you.

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