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Code Masters Ltd
Arcade: Pinball
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K

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Andy Hutchinson
Chris Bourne

I absolutely adore pinball. There's something about sending that little silver ball into bouncy pads and down holes and up wire runways that's completely entrancing. Pinball tables are a noisy, throbby, hands on treat. However these days you only see them in really crappy cafes and at the odd fairground. I say, bring back pinball tables, because they're one of the few things I'm any good at.

Any road up. What we've got here is a pinball game with a sprinkling of soccer aspects. In other words you get to take throw-ins, avoid the defence and score goals by whacking the pinball up the table and into the nooks and crannies which litter the edges.

The game can be controlled with either joystick or keyboard, although I strongly recommend the latter. Once you've defined keys you can pull the funky plunger back and let the ball fly into the upper table zone. At this point it's worth remembering that you've got two sets of flippers, rather than the more usual bottom of the table bog standard two flippy friends, in order that you can try and score some points immediately by keeping the ball at the top of the table.


Each portion of the screen shows a different aspect of football. For instance, in the middle of the pitch are three defenders, plonked right in front of the goal. Knock these lovely chaps out of the way and you can have a shot at goal. Zip the ball between the posts and you'll be informed of your flipping prowess with a message at the bottom of the screen. However, there aren't any graphics of footballers snogging each other.

The graphics are relatively smooth and clearly defined, although the movements the ball makes are, on occasion, completely and utterly stupid. This can be most off-putting and often leads to the loss of a ball. When this happens a little graphic of a crying football manager appears and you can ready the plunger again.

Soccer Pinball s not brilliant. It looks like the Codies have slightly modified their Advanced Pinball Simulator, simply replacing the graphics of castles with graphics of goalposts. Soccer Pinball's fun for five mins, but I wouldn't make a career out of playing it.

Colourful but ultimately unsatisfying pinball-'em-up.


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Mrs Elieen Chappel from Queensland, Australia one grew a cucumber weighing 30kg. It has since moved in with gardener and is suing Miss Chappel for punitive damages claiming she used Baby Bio without consent.

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But at least, when all was said and done, there was no sign of Jimmy Hill.

Suddenly, the game was interrupted by a crowd invasion. Five men rushed on in a box.