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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.


Balls of Steel Windows Duke Nukem - scroll mode
Balls of Steel Windows Darkside - scroll mode (video mode - target practice)
Balls of Steel Windows Mutation
Balls of Steel Windows Main menu

Promo Images

Balls of Steel Screenshot
Balls of Steel Screenshot
Balls of Steel Screenshot
Balls of Steel Magazine Advertisement

Alternate Titles

  • "BOS" -- Common abbreviation
  • "Balls of Steel: Pinball on Steroids!" -- Tag-lined title

Part of the Following Group

User Reviews

Pinball as addictive as any 1st-person shooter. Windows Andy Voss (1875)

Critic Reviews

Mega Score Windows Apr, 1998 90 out of 100 90
Adrenaline Vault, The (AVault) Windows Feb 08, 1997 4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars 90
Gamezilla Windows Dec 06, 2000 89 out of 100 89
NUKE Computer Gaming Windows 2000 8.9 out of 10 89
Imperium Gier Windows Oct 10, 2001 8.3 out of 10 83
GameStar (Germany) Windows Jan, 1998 78 out of 100 78
GameSpot Windows Feb 23, 1998 7.5 out of 10 75
Power Play Windows Jan, 1998 73 out of 100 73
Gameplay (Benelux) Windows Mar 31, 1998 72 out of 100 72
PC Joker Windows Dec, 1997 68 out of 100 68


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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.

Pinball Wizards

Pinball 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.


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 Dmichal and Pseudo_Intellectual

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Contributed to by Andy Voss (1875) and LepricahnsGold (142494)
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