Pinball Wizzard Controller by ThrustMaster
Pinball Wizzard attached to keyboard

08/1996, 12/1996

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

Company Home

The ThrustMaster Pinball Wizzard is a PC controller especially designed for computer pinball games. The two pear-shaped buttons containing sensors for table nudging attach to the left and right ends of the keyboard via velcro strips and hook up to a standard 15-pin game port. No drivers are required but the pinball game must be designed to support the Pinball Wizzard (no software is provided that e.g. maps keys to the buttons) and there still are few such games. The games that do support it, the bundled Royal Flush, Hyper 3-D Pinball, Extreme Pinball (shareware version only), Full Tilt! (Windows 95 only) and Absolute Pinball as of this writing, definitely make gameplay more fun. It's still not like the real thing (maybe try standing up at your desk and leaning yourself into the keyboard ends, drink and ashtray nearby) but it adds to the feel of playing pinball on a computer. I found the table nudge a bit hard to use. I hate the idea of banging on my keyboard from the side, the alternative is shifting or shaking the keyboard where it's easy to rip the velcro off and wipe the desk clean of anything in the path of the shifting keyboard. Then again it saves the keyboard caps from getting those nasty cracks... The Wizzard Pinball Controller is definitely a winner though for the computer pinball enthusiast. The unique idea alone needs to be commended. Pinball Wizzard no longer comes with Royal Flush but is now bundled with Full Tilt! for Windows 95. Having owned the Pinball Wizzard for about a year now, I am disappointed in the lack of support this controller has received from pinball game manufacturers. Surely, they all must be aware of its existence by now.

Where Found: Egghead Software, Arizona, USA, 02/1996