I have loved computer pinball since the dawn of Pinball
Contruction Set on the Commodore 64 and then the Amiga. It
always seems that in pinball you have more control of your own
destiny. Aiming at ramps and lights just happens to be a fun thing
to me. This pinball game is a worthy effort from a relatively
unknown Japanese company named LittleWing but it may not hold
up when compared to some of the classics of the past in the world
of computer pinball.
As far as a pinball game goes, this is one of the best I have ever
seen in terms of graphical elements. It even takes advantage of
3D hardware for acceleration during play. The lights and layout of
the board are both colorful and well thought out. There are no
real negative aspects to this part of the game as far as I am
concerned except possibly for the rather large ball size in
relationship to the size of the flippers themselves.
All the good pinball sound effects made it into this title. The sound
effects also didn't lag behind the action like they did on Lost World
from Sierra that was released almost a year ago. Sound effect
quality was crisp and definitely a welcome addition to the overall
This is the area to me where the game falls flat on its face in
comparison to long standing pinball classics like some of the ones
that came out in late 1995 and 1996. The option menu NEEDS an
option for the gravitational force on the ball. The ball acts as if it
weighs somewhere in the neighborhood of two pounds. It thuds its
way around the playing surface like a pinball table would act if the
back two legs were raised up about a foot or so. Also the flippers
themselves are built way too small to handle the rather large size
of the ball. The early shots on the flipper that cause the ball to
almost go opposite of the way the flipper is meant to shoot the ball
are non-existent. This is one of my favorite tactics when playing
real pinball in the arcade. There are a number of quality
sub-quests and things to shoot for when you are hitting the ball
around, but without the control of a normal pinball table these
quests are pure luck if and when you can complete them.
There are three tables in the game. The first one is the default
table you get when you start the game with the new game option.
It is basically your run of the mill pinball with quests to find
knights of the round table and to visit Stonehenge.
The second table is called Lands End. This is by far the most
intresting table especially the nice use of color for presentation.
You use famous knights such as Sir Gawain to rescue the kingdom
from dragons and save people from capture.
The third table is titled Fischer King. The most boring table of the
three, the layout of the obstacles and overall presentation of this
table is completely lacking in quality. It seems almost like an
afterthought that this table was included in the game at all.
Fun Factor: 12/20
The fun factor would have been way on up there in my book had
the game employed some added options in the gravitational area
of the ball movement. This makes the fun factor rating go way
down because of the lack of control and pure randomness to some
of the shots that are taken throughout the game. With a gravity
option this game would deserve a MUCH higher score.
Multiplayer Play: 0/5
Not a bit of multiplay in this puppy. Enjoy your pinball solo if you
want to play at all.
Overall Impression: 7/10
Overall impression is that this game falls short when it comes to
the raw gut feel of real pinball. LittleWing Entertainment did a
nice job of making the sounds and graphics very professional but
they needed to hire a physycist for the correct ball movement on a
real-to-life pinball game. That said, it is still something that is
maybe worth your time if you are truly wanting to play a new
pinball game on the PC and need a challenge.