After Epic Megagames' two releases Epic Pinball
and Extreme Pinball
, Apogee finally got their own pinball game in late 1997, Balls of Steel. It features five testosterone-packed tables, each with its own theme, missions, and special bonuses. Like the Epic games and the classic "21st Century" pinball games on Amiga, BoS has a top-down scrolling screen, with an animated dot matrix display at the bottom. It also features a full-table view. Very high scores are awarded with a "powerball" end bonus mode, and could be posted on the "WorldScores" net site (no longer available). Being a Windows game, all tables boast high-resolution graphics.
This game was included in Encore's "Pinball Madness 2" collection in 1999.
- "BOS" -- Common abbreviation
- "Balls of Steel: Pinball on Steroids!" -- Tag-lined title
The Press Says
||Oct 10, 2001
||8.3 out of 10
|PC Games (Germany)
||Jan 07, 1998
||80 out of 100
|Computer Games Magazine
||May 07, 1998
||78 out of 100
||76 out of 100
||Feb 23, 1998
||7.5 out of 10
||73 out of 100
|PC Gameplay (Benelux)
||72 out of 100
|Computer Gaming World (CGW)
|PC Player (Germany)
||66 out of 100
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Devil's Island Pinball
A sixth table, Devil's Island, was made but not included with Balls of Steel
. It was finally released in early 2000 as a seperate product
- not an add-on. Also, it was distributed by Expert Software
, rather than Apogee
or GT Interactive.
is actually a project group of Apogee. In 1997, Apogee decided not to develop/release games under their own name, but rather specialized divisions of themselves. Most of their new releases have gone under the roof of 3D Realms
, but Pinball Wizards was created for Balls of Steel
(after all, it's not 3D). As of 2011, the Pinball Wizards name was never used again.
The table "Mutation!" features catchphrases of C. Montgomery Burns from the TV Show The Simpsons
done by a very similar voice.
References: Duke Nukem
The first appearance anywhere of a pinball machine named "Balls of Steel" is in level 1, "Hollywood Holocaust", of Duke Nukem 3D
. Since 3D Realms and Pinball Wizards are both divisions of Apogee, either this early appearance inspired the actual Balls of Steel
product or was a leak / early promotion of their pinball video game that would come out of the pipe nearly two years later.
In any case, the references went both ways, as Balls of Steel
includes a Duke Nukem 3D
-inspired table, with ramps and bonuses named after Duke enemies (octabrain, pig-cop
) and power-ups (jetpack, HoloDuke
). Icing the cake is the recording of original Duke-y quips by Jon St. John
, the official voice actor for the Duke Nukem character.Information also contributed by
This entry to the MobyGames database was contributed by Andy Voss (1635)
on Feb 19, 2000.