There as been many pinball games and simulators written for many retro systems over the years but the pinball simulators that were released on the Commodore Amiga by Digital Illusions in 1992 have got to be some of the best. The first instalment was Pinball Dreams, and what a result.
What brought these versions of Pinball to life is the way that the game is viewed. Most pinball games are either played on a full size flat screen or with the tables angled back to give a 3D perspective, not so with these. The pinball table actually scrolls up and down the screen to give you a much larger playing area, tied together with good sized bold graphics, great sound tracks and effects, these games became great to play in a group of friends making them very competitive and addictive.
With Pinball Dreams and Pinball Fantasies you could choose from four different tables within each game.
The games on Pinball Dreams were:
- This game is themed around outer space featuring a rocket being launched and areas to light up called Fuel, Sun Light & Warp.
Steel Wheel :
- This game is themed around the Wild West with a Stream Train as the main feature
Beat Box :
- This game is themed around the Pop Music Industry
- Unlike the other games, their name is featured on the table whereas the name Graveyard is featured in this one. The theme is set within a graveyard featuring Ghost nightmares and Demons.
I personally like Pinball Dreams but the sequel Pinball Fantasies took the game to another level. Although the layout was similar to Pinball Dreams the game had many more features enabling the player to get higher scores and becoming much more involved in the game.
Party Land :
- Happy Hour: When the word PARTY is lit, “all targets” score 1,000,000 for 30 seconds only and the Jackpot is lit until the clock runs down. 1,000,000 is also added to the bonus for free. The “HIT” spot targets, slingshots, and bumpers count on Party Land. Pinball Fantasies counts very specific “targets” for each table’s target-hitting mode.
- Mega Laugh: After lighting the word CRAZY, all ramps and sinkholes are worth 5,000,000 for 30 seconds, the Jackpot is again lit and 5,000,000 is added free to the bonus. Note that both modes cannot be played at the same time, although one can be waiting to begin right after the other; this will risk the second mode’s loss by draining and unlike Pinball Dreams this game features side flippers.
Speed Devils :
- Off-Road: Started by earning 10, 40, 60, and every 20 Miles after; all targets (the slingshots, the BURNIN’ spot targets, bumpers, and PIT lanes) are worth 100,000 for 30 seconds.
- Turbo Mode: This starts whether or not the Jackpot and/or Super Jackpot are collected, which light when 1st place is attained. The entire race resets such that it can be begun again during Turbo Mode itself. All ramps and sinkholes are worth 5,000,000 for 30 seconds. Again, both modes cannot be played at once but can be stacked, where one will start after the other ends.
Billion Dollar Game show :
- Money Mania: This starts after every six Skills except for the Extra Ball at 12. There are two types, both of which last 30 seconds. The target version is first seen at six Skills: all targets (the four unlabelled drop targets, the two $ targets, slings, and bumpers) are worth 500,000. First seen at 18, the ramp Money Mania awards 1,000,000 for all ramps and sinkholes.
Stones & Bones :
- Tower Hunt: This is the second mode of the cycle of eight. The Tower is lit for 30 seconds, with each succeeding shot scoring 5,000,000, 10,000,000 and 15,000,000.
- Ghost Hunt: The fifth mode in the cycle, lasting 30 seconds. All targets (the STONE-BONE spot targets, slings, and bumpers) are worth 1,000,000, and additionally the Jackpot is lit on the Tower. Picking this up lights the Super Jackpot for 10 seconds, and will close the Tower after it expires or is collected.
- Multi Demons: The sixth mode; this fake multi-ball turns locks on in the Vault and the Well for 30 seconds or when the “Demon Value” is collected, whichever is sooner. The two locks each double the Demon Value from 5 million to 10 and 20, which can be collected any time at the Scream ramp even after the locks turn off. Locked balls will prevent other balls from entering the sinkholes until the ball drains or the Demon Value is scored.
- Grim Reaper: The eighth mode, effectively the “wizmode” of Stones. All ramps and sinkholes are worth 5,000,000 for 50 seconds. A special rule of Grim Reaper is that a ramp and a sinkhole located on the same pathway count separately (there are no connecting ramps): the Vault ramp and the Vault, plus the Tower ramp and Tower, count for two awards. Finally, the Jackpot and Super Jackpot are lit as in Ghost Hunt.
Due to the popularity of these games other sequels were written called Pinball Iullusions and Slam Tilt but I personally prefer the first two instalments.
Unbelievably, there is a Commodore 64 version that has only yet been partially created. Still this demo shows how good the conversion is comiong along and I for one can’t wait for it to be finished