Written by  :  Jeanne (76599)
Written on  :  Oct 11, 2003
Platform  :  DOS
Rating  :  4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars

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I'll always keep this one installed ..

The Good

I can't remember when I bought Extreme Pinball, but it's been installed on every computer I've owned since and will (hopefully) be playable on future computers. I've loved it for many, many years.

Whenever I need an action fix, I hop in and play it. I love all of the tables, but my absolute favorite is the Medieval Knights table with its awesome music and neat effects. Overall, the graphics and music are great - especially knowing how old this game is. Turn up the volume and you'll think you are in an arcade!

Extreme Pinball does not try to actually simulate a real pinball arcade machine. Rather it brings to the game unusual special effects that can only be achieved in a computer game. For instance, during play you will find your ball actually changes color and shape and, sometimes, the way it flies across the table. And ... it flies fast and furious to keep you mighty busy!

Flipper action is somewhat realistic. Once your ball is "caught" by your flipper, you can position it before plunging it into the play area. The keyboard reaction time and intensity of your touch does seem to effect how hard and fast the ball travels to its destination.

You can have up to 8 balls per game and multiple players can play any one game. (I've never been able to get the published cheats to work giving you 13 balls.) Each table has its own top scores too.

The game play is very similar to Epic's SilverBall, at least the demo which I played.

The Bad

After all of these years, I haven't mastered even one of the tables. (Maybe that's why I keep coming back to it!) It is hard to learn where all of the secret areas are, especially since the tables are basically 3 screens high. I can see why they did it this way because otherwise you'd be looking at a very small screen. But it is disorienting (at least at first) because you can't see everything at once.

With each new ball, you must repeat actions that you achieved the first time around (special buttons, etc.). Some things, like switches or bars, stay "down" but not enough of them. So you spend the first part of each new play doing things over again.

The Bottom Line

Extreme Pinball is a fast-paced, surrealistic pinball game that will keep you entertained and challenged for years. Each of the four tables has a unique theme with themed music and appropriate sound effects. None of the tables are alike in any way, so there is variety to keep everyone happy. This is one of those games that may stay on your computer forever, as it has on mine.