Bally, Williams, Data East Gottlieb - these hallowed names were once world-famous, synonymous with a raft of classic pinball tables. Now that it's nearly game over for mechanical pinball (without much hope of an extra ball), the PC is keeping the finger-flipping memories of the mechanical marvels alive with a couple of superb emulators.
Created by a passionate, hardcore base of pinball wizards, Visual Pinball is a table-creation and playing tool, while VPinMAME simulates those dot-matrix displays that appeared above the play area from the 1980s onwards. We've covered these excellent emu programs before in PC, and it always used to be a bit of a pain (to put it lightly) getting the two to work together. However, salvation is here in the form of a new program - VP Launcher - now available for download, which makes Pinball emulation as easy as racking up 500,000 points.
Once set up, you'll have access to hundreds of tables from pinball's past lovingly recreated by fans, including Star Wars and Twilight Zone. Tlie pinball machine's last (and some say greatest) period was the early 1990s, when such classics as Twilight Zone and Tlie Addams Family were sold in their thousands. What's even more fun, though, is searching the extensive archive for pop culture oddities such as Guns N'Roses (based on the rrrawk band), Dr Who and Dirty Harry. If you love pinball sims, you need these emulators on your desktop immediately - check out our fave table recommendations below and send us your best scores.
Download Visual Pinball
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP