DescriptionAfter 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
|Pinball as addictive as any 1st-person shooter.||Andy Voss (1633)|
|Mega Score||Apr, 1998||90 out of 100||90|
|Adrenaline Vault, The (AVault)||Feb 08, 1997||90|
|Computer Games Magazine||May 07, 1998||80|
|PC Games (Germany)||Jan 07, 1998||80 out of 100||80|
|GameStar (Germany)||Jan, 1998||78 out of 100||78|
|GameSpot||Feb 23, 1998||7.5 out of 10||75|
|Power Play||Jan, 1998||73 out of 100||73|
|Gameplay (Benelux)||Apr, 1998||72 out of 100||72|
|Computer Gaming World (CGW)||May, 1998||70|
|PC Player (Germany)||Jan, 1998||66 out of 100||66|
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Devil's Island PinballA 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.
Pinball WizardsPinball Wizards 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.
ReferencesThe table "Mutation!" features catchphrases of C. Montgomery Burns from the TV Show The Simpsons done by a very similar voice.
References: Duke NukemThe 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 Dmichal and Pseudo_Intellectual
Related Web Sites
- Apogee/Pinball Wizards official homepage for Balls of Steel (Very informative, info on the game, screenshots, shareware demos, patches and more )
- Wildfire Studios official homepage for Balls of Steel (Includes information about the game, screenshots, patches, and cheat codes)