Addiction Pinball by MicroProse/Team 17 (Win95 CD-ROM)
Addiction Pinball Box Art

Reviewed: 07/1998

Rating: 4 1/2 of 6Rating: 4 1/2 of 6Rating: 4 1/2 of 6Rating: 4 1/2 of 6

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Worms, World Rally Fever

Two-table package. 3D non-scrolling full-screen view at 4 different viewing angles (fourth being overhead view) plus a 90-degree rotated overhead view. 640x480, 800x600 and 1024x768 resolutions at 256 or 65536 colors with three levels of gorgious graphics detail. Three game difficulty settings with undeterminable impact. 3-ball play for up to 4 players with top 10 highscores saved seperately for each difficulty mode, as it should be. Multiball play up to 6 balls, video modes (rather standard except for the delightful "Super Sheep"), animated dot matrix display that would benefit from configurable options like intelligent show/hide, size, position. Tournament mode to de-randomize awards for multiple players. Freely configurable keys for flippers, 3-way nudges and plunger. Support for controllers such as the Thrustmaster Pinball Wizzard. CD-quality heavy metal sound tracks and digital audio effects that are a bit too stereotype for me especially on the Rally Fever table. Very good, realistic flipper and ball physics with miniscule flaws such as ramp shots from improbable shooting angles and slower balls being sucked up ramps. Nudges are too ineffective. Jet bumpers are tucked away underneath the left orbits in favor of the dominant ramps and don't seem to serve much purpose. They're also weak in comparison to otherwise highpowered and fast tables. Flippers allow accurate control.
Worms is very humorous with its army of whacky worms going into battle while Rally Fever is yet another car race table. Both are based on computer games by the same name, are easy to get into and should appeal to the casual player: keep hitting ramps and good things will come to you. There are plenty of challenges requiring skills too, though. Worms has an innovative flipper right above the left outlane. It allows to protect from drains but can be tricky because a tunnel also feeds directly to it.
In a way, Addiction Pinball is admirable because a core team of only two dedicated enthusiasts poured their hearts into it and got the physics and graphics right. In another way, it's no Pro Pinball: Timeshock!. Addiction reminds me of the schemes in games like Slam Tilt, Pinball Illusions and Hyper 3-D simply taken to the latest standard in 3D technology. The tables are fun and entertaining without scarificing realism - lots of modes, awards and action - but also just more of the same. Another number of loop or combo shots to be completed to activate another indifferent mission or to shift gears, accumulate weapons or increase a spinner or ramp value. There doesn't seem to be much of a storyline, just fire at will and see what happens. There is an ultimate goal for each table but it's not as glorious and outlined as Timeshock!. Addiction is good but suffers from lack of identity and all-around warm-and-fuzzy detail to be outstanding. It leaves me satisfied yet unimpressed. There are some annoyances like the Y/N prompts when quitting and the dot matrix display which lags behind the action by running gratitious animations before displaying e.g. the combo count. The end-of-ball bonus count sequence is slow and stretched my patience until I found it can be accelerated by hitting both flipper keys repeatedly. I wonder why the highscore tables are split into groups of 5 when there is room on the screen for all 10 scores and why the manual mentions a global highscore utility that allows to upload and share scores but it's nowhere to be found (the readme file dated March says 'future update' - as of this writing: nothing yet). The box promises resolutions up to 1600x1200 in true color and there are supposed to be 6 viewing angles not 5. These almost irrelevant details aside, certainly the ommission of the global highscores and the generic table design/rules put a damper on my personal motivation to play Addiction to the point of rehab, so to speak. Otherwise, it's a decent computer pinball simulator that shouldn't require that much practice. It features solid play on somewhat uninspired tables and lacks the distinction to be truly noticeable. With the present state of computer and software technology, isn't it about time someone licensed a real-world pinball machine again?

Where Found: Digital River Software online, 07/1998

Released/Copyright: 1998, MicroProse Inc.