Sonic Pinball Party
No videogame can truly re-create the intoxicating mix of flashing lights, satisfying physics, and smoky back-alley sleaze that typifies a real-life arcade pinball experience. So all virtual pinball games should do what Sonic does here-sweeten the deal by offering tons of different tables, minigames, and bonus features. With a handful of unique Sonic-themed tables, a few based on Nights; Into Dreams (Sega Saturn), and even a wildly fun Samba de Amigo (Dreamcast) stage, it’s damned near impossible to get bored here. Plus, in addition to the quick thrills of the Arcade mode and the sizable challenge of the Story mode (beating Metal Sonic requires mad flipper dexterity that John and Jen evidently lack), you can spend the rings you earn in a variety of zany Casinopolis minigames. Still want more goofy distractions? Link up with some friends and engage in fun multiplayer games like Hockey and Hot Potato (all with only one cartridge, to boot). All told, Sonic kept my GBA happily buzzin’ through many bus trips and comes highly recommended.
It’s hard to get terribly excited about new pinball games these days, but of those currently available for GBA, Sonic Pinball Party is definitely my top pick. Sonic's tables aren’t especially innovative, but they do offer quite a bit of variety, and the gameplay is fast-paced and fun. Also, the Story mode makes for a nice touch, though it’s too tough, honestly. And serious pinheads may want to lower the volume, as the sound effects are rather disappointing, but everything else in Sonic is good to go.
Sonic achieves a nice balance: With solid pinball play, it evokes memories of simpler times while still offering up fun little multiplayer gems and surprising unlockable minigames. Also, I truly dug the rockin’ music and cool graphics. But I never achieved pinball bliss. The menu interface keeps you from being able to restart new games quickly, and the time limit in some Story mode stages just seems pointlessly difficult. Nonwizards will be stuck on that second battle for way too long-not fun.
Download Sonic Pinball Party
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP