Pinball Dreams Deluxe

a game by Spidersoft Limited
Platform: PC
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Pinball Dreams Deluxe
Pinball Dreams Deluxe
Pinball Dreams Deluxe
Pinball Dreams Deluxe

On the back of this box there are four proud boasts. Before we look at the game itself, let's go through those boasts, shall we? Chorus (with gusto): Yes, let's do just that very thing. "An hour of sound effects and music."

What the hell does that mean? You can leave one two-second loop running for an hour and say the same thing. Perhaps they mean it took them an hour to write the tracks contained on the cd. Having listened to them, this seems unlikely to me. "Stunning ray-traced animations."

Unfortunately, they aren't actually part of the game. It's a moody zoom-in of a table standing in the kind of low-level lighting that is popular with ninja assassins or contestants on Come Dancing. "Interactive guide to the history of Pinball." Hold me back. I must have this cd for my very own. "Unrivalled pinball realism."

Blimey. That's actually something to do with the game... It's unfortunate, isn't it, that games companies feel that they have to stick all kinds of extra rubbish into a package just because it's on cd. You end up with a game that's exactly the same as it's disk-based counterpart, but with loads of cack chucked in.

It's the same

Basically, despite the tagged-on "Deluxe", this is exactly the same game as the disk-based version. In fact, byway of proving this, there is a Pinball Dreams Enhanced version on its way - don't get excited, I don't think you'll be getting a pop-out cardboard and polyurethane pinball table surround for your pc, or anything. The graphics are identical to the disk version, which was identical to the Amiga version, come to that. The sound is also identical (but at least there aren't any annoying shouts of "CD-quality sound" on the box).

Except...

The only extra in the gameplay stakes is that you get eight tables, whereas your lowlife friends without cd drives who want all eight have to pay twice for them. This is nice, in a value-for-money kind of way. but it does tend to bring home to you just how repetitive the table designs get - some ramps, a few buttons and lights and off you go. With four tables you don't notice it as much, somehow; with eight, it's more apparent how they're churning them out.

That's not to say that this is a bad game - 21st Century Entertainment have had enough practice at making them, after all - they're good, solid examples of 50s-style retro designs. Gameplay is firmly in the traditional areas of hitting the ramps, lighting up buttons in the right order and racking up points with single-ball play. There's a basic three balls per play and bonus balls, but no multi-ball play. The tables scroll as well as the disk versions, and it can be played with the minimum of installation to the hard disk. Not bad - but not as good as 21st Century's own Pinball Fantasies, or the shareware Epic Pinball. But they're not out on cd at the mo.

Download Pinball Dreams Deluxe

PC

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

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