Psycho Pinball

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a game by Codemasters
Genres: Sports, Multiplayer/Hotseat
Platforms: PC (1995), Sega GenesisGenesis (1995)
User Rating: 8.8/10 - 5 votes
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See also: Pinball Games

The Codemasters have had a lot to answer for over the years, what with churning out all those cheap games under the guise of being people's champions; uppermost in the list of their crimes were all those dull platform games with an egg in them. Don't they know the terrible associations that most disturbed people have with eggs? Have they never read Freud? Her cookbook delved into it all very thoroughly, and made me vow never to go near the things again.

The one critically-acclaimed game it ever made was Micro Machines, however, and it has to be said that that, at least, was pretty good. Which is good news as far as this one goes, because it's made by the same team. They're obviously Pinball fans themselves, because they've apparently spent a lot of time making sure that the ball reacts appropriately according to whether it's bouncing oft metal, wood, glass or the player's teeth.

One in 20,000

Like the other 20,000 pinball games available at the moment, gameplay is firmly in the '60s style, with lights to be lit, slots to hit, metal rails to roll down and all that malarkey. One "bonus" 1 simply can't understand, however, is the simultaneous two player mode, where one player controls one flipper each. Why on earth do they think anybody would be interested in playing in that way? There are four tables: Wild West has a cowboy theme - robbing the bank, blowing up the jail, riding through Indian encampments shooting children, etc. Funfair devotes itself to the exotic world of fairgrounds: being bullied by tattooed ride attendants, throwing up candyfloss over your first girlfriend, having all your pocket money nicked by big kids with knives, and so on. Trick or Treat has a Hallowe'en theme, but without the kids in bin-liners and Mikail Gorbachev masks, carrying guns; and The Abyss is an underwater number - a masterly evocation of the time you felt that mermaids' scales at the office party, and it comes complete with a gorgeous calypso theme tune that experts in the office claim is a vicious Little Mermaid parody. Each table has a bonus sub-game: Blackjack, Find The Lady, Shoot The Ghost and Hook A Big 'Un. Can you spot which sub-game fits with which table? Answers on a postcard to the usual address, please. The first correct answer will receive a ball-bearing.

The sound of music

The sound effects and music are both good, and loud enough to pretend you're down the end of a pier, surrounded by misfits in cheap blue motorbike jackets. The ball movement is slick. My only reservation is with the price. The cd-rom version has enhanced music, which you'd expect, but a lot of other stuff that you don't really need: rendered table routines showing a ball whizzing about; animated faces that pop up at the start and end of a game, squawking at you. Neither have any effect on the pinball game itself and don't really justify the extra fiver. Why should you have to pay for nice but unnecessary bits when all you want is a pinball game, eh?

This aside, though. Psycho Pinball one of the best pinball games around.

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System requirements:

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

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
  • Game modes: Single game mode

Player controls:

  • Up, Down, Left, Right - Arrow keys
  • Start - Enter (Pause, Menu select, Skip intro, Inventory)
  • "A" Gamepad button - Ctrl (usually Jump or Change weapon)
  • "B" button - Space (Jump, Fire, Menu select)
  • "C" button - Left Shift (Item select)

Use the F12 key to toggle mouse capture / release when using the mouse as a controller.

Snapshots and Media

PC Screenshots

Sega Genesis/Mega Drive Screenshots

See Also

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