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What The Reviews Are And Are Not About

All reviews reflect my personal opinion and preference as a PC pinball game enthusiast and are not sponsored or commissioned by anybody. I am more intrigued with replayability and realism than flashy graphics and hype. I focus on gameplay here and leave in-depth technical requirements, demo downloads etc. to other sites. I'm an independent amateur reviewer with lots of other things on my mind. As time permits I'll gladly reply to your e-mail but I don't provide technical support, game copies or serial numbers, won't argue about the ratings or find download sites for you other than the ones already listed here. Chances are, if something's not on here, I don't know more about it either. Hope you understand. Apologies for any outdated links, I try to check them periodically.
The ratings are based on how often a game makes me come back and try for a better score and if it "feels right" when playing. Just because it's hi-res 3D and new doesn't necessarily mean it's good. Since I live in the USA, the contents of this page are from a US-market point of view. Only games that I own are reviewed (and I buy them retail just like most other users too). Anything not released commercially or as a PC version is not considered at this time.

What Rigs The Sims Were Played On

All game reviews before January 1998 are based on a Micron Millennia 120Mhz Pentium with 24MB RAM, Sound Blaster 16, Diamond Stealth 64 Video VRAM 4MB and a 6X Plextor CD-ROM reader, running DOS 6.22 and Windows 3.11. Multi-platform game reviews are in regard to this platform only.

Unless stated otherwise, game reviews dated January 1998 through June 2000 are based on a Dell Dimension XPS D266 Pentium II MMX, 64MB RAM, Sound Blaster AWE64, STB Velocity 128 4MB AGP video card and 12/24X NEC SCSI CD-ROM, running Windows 95. Again, multi-platform games are only tested under this operating system. Note that as of December 1998 the STB Velocity 128 was replaced with a STB Velocity 4400 16MB AGP. The only pinball-related problem I've noticed was that I couldn't run Balls Of Steel with the SciTech drivers but the DirectX release of BOS fixed this.

Unless stated otherwise again, reviews after June 2000 pertain to playing on a Dell Dimension XPS B1000r with Pentium III 1GHz processor, 256MB RAM, Sound Blaster Live! Value Digital sound card, 64MB DDR NVidia geFORCE Plus 4xAGP graphics card and a 12x Max Variable DVD ROM drive running Windows 98 Second Edition.

Reviews And Frames

A survey I conducted in 1999 revealed that the majority (about 58%) of visitors would prefer to have the reviews broken out into separate pages rather than the single run-on page it used to be (roughly 150k of continuous HTML). I decided I'd finally give frames a try even though I'm really no big fan of them. Sure, they're a treat for the visitor who uses them as intended but a logistic nightmare for the designer, considering the different browsers, configs, language versions and such issues as search engine addition, spiders, linking, bookmarking. Why can't browsers let you bookmark a state of frames other than what the frameset displays initially? Opening the frame in a new window (Netscape) and linking to the document name revealed isn't the solution nor is it fun having to provide a link to the initial frameset of a site and let people find the document themselves.
Well, then, as of October 1999 the Pinsim Reviews are now packaged between a header and footer frame with a couple of different ways to access a table of contents: Either from the drop-down menu in the header or the index text page which displays by default and can also be recalled from the 'Review Index' link in the footer. The starting point for the frames page remains 'pinrevue.html'.
There are definitely headaches too. I really want search engines to continue to index the reviews but I don't like the idea of links to the individual documents outside of the frame structure. Thus I use JavaScript to redirect such visitors to the frameset using a few of the ideas found at However, the difference and bugs in the various browsers and the fact that JavaScript could be turned off or unavailable on someone's browser still doesn't really guarantee much...
Anyway, all I can say is: Here are the reviews and other page contents separated into small, quick-to-load documents. I hope they're in a usable and friendly format that works for the majority out there. I'll continue to make improvements if I see a way.


Common sense warning: While this page may help to direct visitors to good PC pinball experiences, I shall not be held responsible for any consequences arising from the purchase of a game based on my evaluation or the particular system I played it on. Your taste might differ or your system config might provide you with a better or worse experience.

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