Written by  :  Roedie (5255)
Written on  :  Dec 27, 2001
Platform  :  DOS
Rating  :  3.75 Stars3.75 Stars3.75 Stars3.75 Stars3.75 Stars

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A good pinball game that could've been great if it wasn't so buggy.

The Good

Great visuals, great music and great sound effects. Pinball Illusions supports 640 x 480 & 800 x 600 SVGA graphics, which enables you to view the whole table at once. If you select one of the lower resolution VGA modes the game uses a very smooth scrolling mechanism. The thing I probably like the most about the graphics is the animated scoreboard / LED display at the bottom of the screen. It shows some very cool animations, especially while you're playing one of the special modes.

This game has amazing music for it's time (1995). Best of all the music ALWAYS suits the theme of the table and the gameplay. The music shifts from calm to urgent when you start a multi-ball mode.

Nice table design & a good collection of ramps. The table themes have really been worked our well into the gameplay. Pinball Illusions features some great modes. For example shoot 3 balls in the juke box and select a tune, challenge death while free falling - the longer you wait before you open your parachute the more points you receive. That is if you open your parachute in time, otherwise you'll only get the extreme death bonus ;->.

The Bad

Both the diskette- and the CD-ROM version are plagued by bugs that take a lot of the fun away:
  • First of all, there is a bug that makes the Babewatch table almost unplayable. Almost every time I play this table, the ball gets stuck behind the blue light on the right side of the juke box. That's right, the blue light that is supposed to be part of the background.
  • Sometimes the ball simply stops rolling, this is especially the case when the ball is in one of the slits next to the lower flippers.
  • Sometimes the left flipper doesn't seem to respond very well (disk version).
  • The CD-version has a problem with finding the right track on the CD when you start a special mode. Often all you here is silence.

The Bottom Line

Pinball Illusions and I have a long history together. I first played one of the tables from a pinball shareware CD-ROM and was very enthusiastic about it. When I accidently came across the CD-ROM version of the game about a year later, I immediately bought it. A couple of moths ago I found the diskette version on the Internet and I immediately downloaded it. In other words, I've played several versions of this game (although never the original Amiga version) and always become very enthusiastic & fanatic when I play this game. It's truly a shame that all those bugs weren't removed during beta testing! To my knowledge Pinball Fantasies never had these problems.