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Full Tilt! Pinball

From the Database of Home of the Underdogs

GAME DESIGNER:

GAME DEVELOPER:Maxis

GAME PUBLISHER:Maxis

Copyright 1997, Maxis

Full Tilt! Pinball is an excellent pinball game from Maxis, a company best known for Sim games. The game will be familiar to anyone who has the Microsoft’s Plus! Windows 95 companion pack, since one of the tables – Space Cadet – was included there as a bonus. All the tables in this collection are one-screen tables: viewed from an isometric 3D angle, so you do not need to scroll the screen to see the entire table.

There are only three tables in FTB – too few compared to most pinball games that feature six or more. However, all the tables are quite well done. The version of Space Cadet table in FTB is the same as the version in MS Plus!, except it has been enhanced with improved graphics, multi-ball play, and support for multiple resolutions. With the largest viewable surface, Space Cadet is the simplest and easiest of the three tables. All the tables have a nice built-in help feature: small arrows light up to show you the next target/ramp/bumper to hit for bonus points.

One of the best features of FTB is the soundtrack. You will hear hear digitized pirates telling you to walk the plank on the pirate-themed Skullderduggery table, kings commanding you to slay the dragon on the fantasy-themed Dragon’s Keep. Sound effects such as laser fire, cannon fires, and water splash are all realistic and add significantly to the atmosphere. The problem is FTB is the same as with most one-screen games: the ball is too small to follow its trajectory accurately, so only sharp-eyed pinball experts will have a chance at high scores in this game.

While Full Tilt! Pinball is by no means a classic pinball game, it is fun enough to warrant a revisit once in a while. Compared with other one-screen games, it’s not as good as Crystal Caliburn, but much better than average fare. Thumbs up, but not a Top Dog.



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