Pinball Arcade by 21st Century Entertainment/Spidersoft (DOS CD-ROM)
Pinball Arcade Box Art

Reviewed: 08/1996

Rating: 2 of 6Rating: 2 of 6Rating: 2 of 6

Beat Box, Ignition, Neptune, Nightmare, Safari, Stall Turn,
Revenge Of The Robot Warriors, Steel Wheels

Multi-table package with eight themes. Scrolling 2D planview in low or high resolution. 3 or 5 balls, adjustable table speed and configurable keys. Digital LED display. All tables very much alike in design and features (a perfect example of quantity not quality). Nice music themes, the Nightmare soundtrack creates good atmosphere on Halloween if blasted over the stereo... Rather simplistic and crude especially when it comes to ball physics (inlane acceleration and the way the ball bounces) and gameplay that gets repetitive soon. Strong upward nudge allows ball save from the drain when timed right. Weak flippers, especially on the somewhat longer Neptune table, that make it an annoying challenge to hit the upper targets. I enjoyed the Safari table with its layout and features the most. An oddity is that "bonus held" basically acts as a bonus doubler, that is the bonus counts a second time at end-of-ball but then gets reset for the next ball. My understanding is that a bonus held carries the bonus over to the next ball... For each theme there is a rotating 3D model of the actual (fictional) pinball machine that displays when loading a table. This however does not deter from the fact that Pinball Arcade is definitely dated by now. The game comes with an online database of real coin-op pinball machines and their history - an excellent idea to exploit the additional space on a CD-ROM but hardly explored in this particular implementation. Also, forces to install on drive C with no choice for the directory name. Pinball Arcade is essentially a re-release of Pinball Dreams 1 & 2, the latter having been previously available in Europe only.

Released/Copyright: 1994, 21st Century Entertainment Inc.