R.E.D. Sunshine
Not Known
1983
Arcade: Pinball
£5.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

59,60
Chris Bourne

'It's late at night - the cafe's crowded - and the music's playing loud. The hunt is on for a pinball wizard - the one who can master the rolling bail. It takes lightning reflexes to master the Zipper Flipper and it's your turn to play… So says the insert. So, as you may imagine, Zipper Flipper is a pinball game, and you may have already discovered the Pinball Wizard - that was by CP Software. The principle difference between this and the CP Software game (apart from the graphics) is that Zipper Flipper also includes a fruit machine - not as a separate game, but as a part of the table.

The actual playing table looks a little like a surprised walrus with a telephone to its ear (or perhaps a steam radio, whichever you prefer). It eyes are the two main central bumpers with channels above for eyebrows and vertical channels for worry lines. Below, there are three smaller bumpers for a nose and the two flippers for projecting teeth. The telephone bit is the area containing the fruit machine…

This is protected from the main table by three rows of multicoloured bricks. Each time a ball hits a brick it is knocked out. Should you breach the wall entirely, your ball may land in the fruit machine, which can then be nudged for a bonus score.

Between one and five players can enjoy the game, and a menu option provides for the setting up of a competition.

CRITICISM

'The graphics in Zipper Flipper are good but rather unexciting. The movement of the ball is very good, smooth and convincing - it even appears to spin as it rolls. But the main drawback is the fact that layout and content are unexciting. Anyone who has played real pinball will remember all sorts of features that aren't here. On the other hand it does include the novel feature of a fruit machine. I didn't like the somewhat unconventional flippers though. Generally good, but could have been more exciting with a few more features.'

'Whether you will like this game or not probably depends on how much you like table game simulations. Pinball is one of those things which the computer can do rather well. I didn't think this version was anything like as good as the CP Software Pinball Wizard because it lacks the lively colour of that one, as well as many of the traditional bumper features. Also, the linked flippers were a bit sluggish I thought. The addition of the fruit machine is interesting, but I don't know whether it actually adds much to the fun of playing. The balls do roll about very realistically, and the addition of a small black cross on them allows for a good spinning feel to it. It it's addictive that's because of the pinball idea rather than the game. Not a bad version, but I preferred Pinball Wizard.'

'The main attraction of pinball is all the colour, noise and numerous bumpers. This lacks in all respects as the colour is a bit drab and the table layout isn't particularly exciting. Nevertheless, the graphics are very good and I enjoyed playing it.

COMMENTS
Control keys: left hand keys flip left, right hand keys flip right, 1-5 lowers plunger, 6-0 raises plunger, ENTER to fire and nudge
Joystick: ZX 2
Keyboard play: responsive, although flippers a bit sluggish
Use of colour: well used, but rather drab looking
Graphics: neat and excellent spinning ball
Sound: realistic ball pings, but nothing else much
Skill levels: 1
Lives: 5 balls
Features: 1 to 5 player games
Originality: as it's a copy of a real game, obviously not very high
General Rating: A reasonable implementation, but not overly exciting.

70%
65%
58%
63%
58%
43%
60%
60%

Screenshot Text

Resembling a bewildered walrus on the telephone - Zipper Flipper.