Full Tilt! Pinball by Maxis/Cinematronics (Win95/3.1, Mac CD-ROM)
Full Tilt! Pinball Box Art

09/1996, 11/1996

Rating: 4 of 6Rating: 4 of 6Rating: 4 of 6

Full Tilt! 2

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Space Cadet, Skulduggery, Dragon's Keep

Multi-table package with three themes. Space Cadet originally came with the Microsoft Plus! companion for Windows 95 and Full Tilt! initially was only available for Windows 95. This new multi-platform release proves that it doesn't require Windows 95 to show off your computer (I believe Space Cadet was intended to demonstrate Windows 95's exclusive capabilities). The Windows 3.1 version runs as smooth and fast as the Windows 95 one. Full Tilt! uses a non-scrolling 3D view and supports resolutions up to 1024x768. Fast, pounding, modern-style tables with ramps, many worthwhile and challenging modes, multiballs, magnet fields and realistic sound effects including background music and speech (latter two tables only). Great ball physics and smooth handling. Configurable keys with nudges for left, right and up; no ThrustMaster support (except for Windows 95, which I couldn't verify). Skulduggery and Dragon's Keep distinguish themselves from the slightly older Space Cadet. Space Cadet has unproportionally big flippers and overuses drop and letter targets. Score display not very attractive, a basic image and some numbers pasted in, but Skulduggery and Dragon's Keep use it for dot-matrix imagery. Space Cadet sports a clear layout, the other two appear somewhat crowded at the top (a 2D view would be helpful for clarification but the single 3D view gives the game more integrity). Space Cadet seems too generous with free balls and shoot-agains making gameplay more into an excercise in patience than a mean hunt for higher scores. Not so Skulduggery and Dragon's Keep: the speed and power of these two tables require all of your skills and wits. You can shoot the ball up with the flippers just as hard as it comes down from various targets. I like that consistency. Table rules are available in the online help only and include a labeled picture of each table. I still would like a printed manual but I guess you can keep a help window open on your desktop while you learn the tables. The plunger can only be moved when the ball is in place - a slight annoyance. The nudges seem rather ineffective and Skulduggery and Dragon's Keep are hard to defend against drains, the lack of a ball saver during multiball can spoil the fun a bit, too. I am disappointed in the highscore table which uses plain Windows dialogue boxes for entry and display. The scores are saved in a .INI file and could be tampered with. Full Tilt! is a state-of-the-art non-scrolling 3D package that falls short only in a few puritanical areas. I would like to see a highscore contest to increase the replay value.

Where Found: Babbage's, Arizona, USA, 08/1996

Released/Copyright: 1995, Maxis Inc.