3D Pinball Express by Cosmi/Webfoot Games (Win95/98/NT)
3D Pinball Express Box Art

Reviewed: 06/2000

Rating: 1 of 6Rating: 1 of 6Rating: 1 of 6Rating: 1 of 6

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Multi-table bargain bin package with four themes, each featuring three different table layouts. 3D table view selectable as scrolling or non-scrolling. Options to run in a desktop window or fullscreen in either "low-res" or "hi-res". Mouse, joystick and keyboard control. Keys and controls fixed. 3-way nudges. 3 or 5 balls per play. Top 5 highscores saved. On/off settings for music, sound and background image. Claims to come with free "The History Of Pinball" by Jay Gross, instead comes with a bonus game called "Lock Out". Abominable table design, ball physics, flipper control and menu navigation. Even for arcade-style pinball fans there is nothing worthwhile here. Flipper control is almost non-existent as the balls bounce around happily on their own most of the time. You may manage to flip one back into the maze of gratuitous bumpers and may then continue to watch as it occasionally also hits spots that appear to be randomly placed other targets of sorts. And that is only after you break through odd walls and laser barriers to access those table areas. The boards look like they've been placed inside craps tables, pits surrounded by high walls, ugh. Then, banners reminiscent of Commodore 64-era sprites scroll across the top of the screen to e.g. inform it's now time to "SHOOT BALL". I also love the "Loading please wait..." prompt, apparently a virtue the game itself does not possess: Don't start a game quick enough and the screen will wander off to the main menu, then to demo mode or simply change the background image at will causing another loading delay.
Not much money was spent on this turd but I should have known better from the packaging alone, which is totally over the top, pointing out such rarities as color graphics, high resolution, awesome sound and unique table tunes and touting as features what, should they be lacking, would not constitute a pinball machine to begin with. You know, it's got ramps, tunnels, jackpots, drop targets, tilt and more - it's pinball! More time could be spent finding out exactly how many things are wrong with 3D Pinball Express and why but I think I'll just disembark at the next stop.

Where Found: OfficeMax, Arizona, USA, 03/2000

Released/Copyright: 1999, Cosmi Corporation