Dream Pinball 3D
What Do Pinball and Deal Or No Deal have in common? Think hard: pinball isn't hosted by a smug prick, and Deal Or No Deal (sadly) doesn't involve you pushing something as hard as you can until the thing you're slapping goes dead between your palms. The answer is both lose something important as videogames.
Game shows lose their sense of reward and jeopardy, while pinball loses a sense of physical engagement. On the Star Trek: TNG pinball game, I once earned a place in the vaunted Q Continuum during a two-hour session in which I'd honestly say I was more pinball than man. How do you simulate that?
Dream Pinball 3D. staggeringly, does a fair job. From a physics and technical point of view, this is far and away the best pinball sim I've played. The game looks great, the glassy reflections adding literal polish. The selection of camera angles are well judged: you can choose from a tactically useful (but graphically distant) overview, down to a visually impressive (but overwhelming) close-up on the ball. Faulting the basic toolset is impossible. The six different balls, with different physics, are a bit of a gimmick, but it's by no means offensive.
The problem is the tables. The six themed boards each have their own sound effects - from the ghoulish creaks of Monsters, to the limp yelps of "Oh no! It's a T-rex!" in Dino Hunt - and the bumpers and ramps are in different positions. Beyond that though, they all play similarly. While it might feel unfair to compare a pinball sim to classic real-world pinball tables like TNG or The Addams Family. those games kept you interested by constantly dangling carrots and doing things. The Dream Pinball 3D tables often leave you feeling like you're coaxing out whatever action they have to offer. The basic problem is that you only ever feel like you're surviving, never achieving something grand.
With more ambition in the table design, Dream Pinball 3D has the potential to be great. As it stands, it's just good. One last thing - if they'd included a table designer, I'd have added 20 to the score right off. The world needs more cock-shaped pinball tables.
Download Dream Pinball 3D
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP