Pinball Warriors by Softkey/Mondadori New Media (DOS CD-ROM)
Pinball Warriors Box Art

Reviewed: 01/1998

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

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Multi-table package with four themes. Scrolling 2D fullscreen planview in SVGA VESA high resolution. 5-ball play for up to 4 players. No configurable table options. Ineffective upward nudge. Top 4 scores recorded in highscore table. Decent graphics and sounds including speech with gratuitious spaceship video animations (FLI format) when moving between main menu and the individual tables. Non-existent ball physics. Balls bounce around like lottery balls in the glass tumbler during a drawing.
I found this CD-ROM at CompUSA for about $10. Softkey seems to have found "four original, hitherto unpublished tables" in Italy where the designers stem from. In fact, the English in-game voices have a cute Italian accent which lends the game a certain charm. Otherwise Pinball Warriors from 1995 falls roughly into the Epic Silverball category with the exceptions that the targets are less exciting (as a plus, try to think of it as a 50's pinball machine) but the graphics are crisper. However, the graphics are also a problem because it is hard to distinguish the actual targets from the vivid background imagery. Often they are integrated. Table features mainly consist of bumpers, ramps, drop lanes and drop targets, the latter ones being crude, single-colored lines and bars. There is no manual or on-disc help and the player relies on audio and pop-up text clues to figure out the mission at hand. The main menu - a spaceship cockpit - is not very intuitive. Screen areas act as hot spots for table selection, game start and exit to DOS but you wouldn't know what's where unless you explore the entire screen with the mouse. The biggest bummer with this game is that it requires 4MB of archaic EMS RAM and 575KB conventional memory. If your DOS is not configured for EMS, you will need an alternate boot config or a boot disk and you might not be able to load high all the drivers you were before. Since the game requires the CD-ROM in the drive you will need your CD-ROM drivers etc...
Pinball Warriors is hardly worth the review but it also doesn't try to be something it isn't. It's just that, a $10 game of somewhat unusual origin and different flavor and possibly something for the completist and collector.

Note: This game was played on the Millennia (see What Rig The Sims Were Played On).

Where Found: CompUSA, Arizona, USA, 12/1997

Released/Copyright: 1997, TLC Properties Inc. & 1995, Arnoldo Mondadori