Pin-Bot (NES)

Critic Score
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
User Score
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Written by  :  DarkBubble (376)
Written on  :  May 02, 2007
Platform  :  NES
Rating  :  2.75 Stars2.75 Stars2.75 Stars2.75 Stars2.75 Stars

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A good video conversion of Pin-Bot killed by one bad decision.

The Good

Pin-Bot was a smash hit at the arcades when I was a kid. Digitized voice, motorized ramps in the playfield, and goal-oriented gameplay set it apart and set the stage for pinball machines to come. It was already dated when the NES version was released.

Video pinball wasn’t very accurate on physics at the time of Pin-Bot’s release, but things were handled well enough that fans of the original machine or pinball in general should get some enjoyment out of this rendition, if only until they reach beyond level 1.

Regardless of the limited color palette, targets on the playfield are easily recognizable. Again, fans will be right at home and likely pleased with how well things were drawn.

The Bad

Unfortunately, the developers decided that the console version of Pin-Bot needed to be “more exciting”. Their version of exciting amounted to adding enemies that eat your balls, fire missiles when killed, etc. Once you finish Level 1, you start running into this. It seems that there are no Game Genie codes to turn these ridiculous “improvements” off, which is a shame. Granted, $50 was a lot to pay for a console port of a pinball machine, but they basically ruined what was an otherwise good rendition of Pin-Bot. It may work in games designed to combine pinball and enemy killing, but not with a port of a standard pinball.

The Bottom Line

Pin-Bot begins with a fun romp through a classic pinball game, only to turn around and punish you for having fun and playing well. This should only make its way into the collections of fans of the original machine, collectors, or masochists.