Pinball Mania (Second Review)

Title           Pinball Mania (Second Review)
Publisher       21st Century Entertainment Ltd (1995)
Game Type       Sport
Players         1-8
HD Installable  Yes
Compatability   AGA only
Submission      Kristian Hesketh Profiled Reviewer

Pinball Mania was the fourth pinball sim released by 21st Century. It has
four tables of varying quality with reasonable graphics and was one of the
games bundled with the Amiga Magic Pack all those years ago.

The game had quite a pedigree behind it when it arrived as all the
previous pinball games before it were all excellent games and were found
in many people's favourite games lists throughout the world.

The start of the game is the obligatory pinball selection screen used in
nearly all of these games. There is a good options menu which allows you
to modify the angle of the tables and select how many balls you start
with. Pressing the relevent F Key gains access to the table of your choice.

The first thing you notice is that the game graphics are rather poor
considering that Pinball Illusions was released way before this game. The
ball rockets up the side lane and falls on to your flippers, then you
discover the true horror of the game. The game feels like it is being
played underwater with weights attached to your limbs. The reaction time
of the flippers is naff and the ball takes too long to respond. The ball
mechanics are by far the most crucial part of any pinball game and
SpiderSoft screwed it up.

The tables themselves are dull in the extreme with very few things to do.
The football table aroused my interest, but the playability is
non-existent thanks to the ball movements. If 21st Century had got Digital
Illusions to do the game it could have been good, but even if they fixed
the ball movements the tables would have to be re-designed. Slamtilt has
tables chock-a-block with things to do and millions to collect and even
brilliant sub-games using the score board. Pinball Mania scores in
thousands and the tables are empty.

The multiball is crippled too. When it is activated the screen simply
follows the lowest ball instead of switching to a hires screen. This makes
the game harder to get a decent score than without multiball!!

There are so many great pinball games availible that this is really
inexcusable. The fact that 21st Century dropped SpiderSoft and hired
Liquid Dezign to do Slamtilt, shows their faith in the coders. Please do
not play this half game.

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