Tristan by Amtex/Little Wing (DOS CD-ROM re-release by Softkey)
Original Tristan Packaging

Reviewed: 01/1997

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

Pinball Deluxe
Crystal Caliburn
Loony Labyrinth

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Tristan Download

Single table package with a "Tristan and Isolde" theme (though the name was really inspired by a particle accelerator in Japan). Tristan is the original table by Little Wing who later made Crystal Caliburn and Loony Labyrinth distributed by StarPlay and there are some interesting similarities (e.g. backglass and score displays). Tristan is an early 1990's attempt at probably the first serious pinball simulation for Mac and PC (see the Crystal Caliburn manual on page 6 for some background history on Japanese designer Fujita). Tristan is definitely outdated today. It's drawn using quite crude line graphics and has a simple, generic table layout that supports the table theme only little. Yet the ball handles and moves rather smoothly and the game features a ball lock, 2-ball multi-ball, extra ball, nudge, bonus multiplier, jackpot, kickback and so on. The top four highscores are recorded and the top score can be dumped to an ASCII file including date and a verification code (obsolete, as the Softkey re-release does not require user registration). A drawback is that rollover targets don't add to your score at all unless lit (lots of dead shots) and that the highscore name entry doesn't allow to backspace in case you make a mistake. The ball physics are surprisingly good but don't expect too much realism especially at the flippers. Also, the table plays quite slowly and sometimes there appears to be a lack of gravity. Tristan stands as a nostalgic testimony to someone who cared about pinball and tried to make the best possible simulation with the PC technology of the time (granted though that there were more spectacular arcade pinball games on the Amiga in the late 1980's already. I recall Pinball Wizard by Kingsoft). Amtex is out of business but Tristan has recently been re-released on the "Pinball Deluxe" budget CD-ROM by Softkey that also features Amtex' Royal Flush and Eight Ball Deluxe. The game can be run in 16 or 256 colors on as little as a 386 with 2MB and DOS 3.3.

Released/Copyright: 1991, LittleWing Co. Ltd.

Tristan Playfield Tristan Playfield