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"Ever since I was a young boy, I played the silver ball..." A nod to The Who and their ode to pinball wizardry, but I don't think they foresaw the revolution that would take place when the game was brought to computer desktops. Sci-Fi Pinball offers fast pinball action, along with several visual and auditory treats from current movies. It's definitely a game to challenge pinball addicts from Soho down to Brighton and beyond ... and you don't need quarters!
Gameplay, Controls, Interface
There are five different tables based on a televison series and three popular movies: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Predator, Aliens, and The Fly. As with any pinball game, the object is to rack up those points -- but with these tables, you get not only points, but videos clips, sound bites and hidden games for your efforts.
The controls are very simple and come with the ability to re-program. Each board contains three levels of play -- Novice, Regular and Arcade -- plus capabilities for up to four players. Some of the tables are a bit overloaded with visuals, so you can easily lose track of the ball. Play is normally paused when a video clip is run, but beware of watching the video clips until the end. If you do, you could lose the ball when they sneak it back into play.
Note: You get an extra table based on the original Fly movie, which was done in the 1950s. The table is very retro, but offers a fun and nostalgic game. It is also less visually packed, so if you want to take an eye break and still play, this would be the perfect table.
The graphics for this game are well-rendered with lots of depth and detail. As I have stated before, the detail can be a bit overwhelming for the eye, making it easy to lose the ball in the melee. In general, though, the movie world is re-created with excellent detail. I would suggest running this game at a high color depth to see all the subtleties.
Fox Interactive did an excellent job of weaving together sound bites from the movies and new material. The aural impact adds a sometime creepy edge to the play. Not your old pinball beeps and dings -- we're talking stuff from Alien screams to Fly-driven smoosh. And yes, you can do a three-way adjust on those volume levels.
Windows 95/98 with DirectX 6, Pentium 166 MHz, 16 MB RAM minimum, DirectX compatible video card supporting high color (16 bit) at 800 x 600, 4X CD-ROM drive or faster, and 100 MB hard drive space
This CD insert actually contains a great deal of useful information. Hats off to Fox Interactive for finally giving players all the info they need to play.
If you're a pinball junkie or just want to play a game based on a favorite movie, this is the game to get. To quote The Who again, "Sure plays a mean pinball."