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Not Known
Arcade: Pinball
ZX Spectrum 16K

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Chris Bourne

Why spend money in the arcades any more? For the modest outlay of the price of this program, you can now play pinball in the comfort of your own home. The layout of the table is quite traditional with a row of 12 bumpers at the top and two collections of bonus targets to either side. These are arranged in a diamond shape with a 20-point target at the top and three 10-point targets beneath. There is a high bonus gate to the left edge of the table, one in the centre and one at the bottom in the middle. In addition there are Hi and Lo targets and two central bumper gates below the scoring window.

To the right is the ball launcher. Pressing the fire key causes the spring to pull back and then return, and continue doing this until you release the firing key. In this way it is possible to control the strength of the shot desired.

At the base are two sets of flippers, each with an independent right and left arm with exit gates between them. Two more exit channels run at the edge sides of the flippers. The score window looks authentic with the digits flicking up just as they would in a real table. Below that is another window with the number of balls left to the player.

Hitting any of the rollover targets at the top of the table will light the letter above it (S-A-G-I-T-T-A-R-I-A-N) and any of these targets subsequently hit will increase the bonus by 50 points to a maximum value of a freeball once all the letters have been lit.


'It may not have quite all the thrills of a noisy arcade, but this is definitely one of the best simulations of a table-top game I have seen. Of course, a lot of the graphics don't have to move very much, so it has been possible to concentrate attention on the ball, which moves around with extraordinary realism. Using the flippers is simplicity itself and they work very effectively. When I first started playing the game I thought that a few minutes would suffice, and then found that a couple of hours had passed and I was still at it. Excellent.'

'This simulation is fast enough to be enjoyable and addictive. The sound has been well used to simulate real arcade sound. There isn't much going on graphically, but what does move moves very smoothly. Perhaps one aspect that isn't too realistic is that the ball can spend quite a long time playing by itself, bouncing from target to target.'

'I missed the opportunity to "tilt" but otherwise I was very impressed with this game. The colours are well used, it has the best effect of a moving ball I've seen yet in a Spectrum game, and it manages to be very addictive - not usually the case with these sort of games on the computer. I would say that as a change to zapping or even adventuring, Pinball Wizard has it made.'

Control keys: Q to T left flippers, Y to P right flippers, 6 to zero for launching the ball
Joystick: none - none needed
Use of colour: good
Graphics: large, detailed and smooth
Sound: good
Skill levels: 1
Lives: 5 balls
General Rating: Good to very good, and addictive.


Screenshot Text

The first computer game for deaf, dumb and blind kids.