Pinball Fantasies Review

We don’t want to date ourselves, but here at Slide to Play many of us fondly remember playing computer games on our Commodore home computers. What began as text based adventures in our dads’ studies turned into well designed, colorful computer games like Pinball Fantasies for the Commodore Amiga.

Pinball Fantasies was the second in a series of pinball simulators on the Amiga, following Pinball Dreaming. Fantasies has four different pinball tables for you to play, each one a colorful, novel delight.

The four tables available are large and very detailed. They look like the pinball tables you always wish your arcade had, with ghosts, leggy blondes and creepy clowns instead of the same, tired licensed movie pinball themes. The Playland table is a hodgepodge of carnival-themed images, with a disembodied clown’s head dominating the scene. The Speed Devils table has a fast car and a driver’s dash beneath a winding pinball track.

Do you have any idea how fast you were going?

The Billion Dollar Gameshow table is one of the most elaborate, with beautiful women and a vacant-eyed game show host around a games wheel. The fourth table, Stones and Bones, is a bit of a disappointment. It is the only one of the four tables that has the standard two paddles instead of three, and it only has a few supernatural creatures on it. A grim reaper, mummy and a few generic ghouls populate the rest of this large table.

Gameplay is very straightforward. You simply tap the left and right sides of the screen to activate the left and right flippers, and shake the device to bump the table. The goal is to achieve the highest score possible. You can play by yourself, or with up to seven other players. Unfortunately, everyone has to use the same iPhone to play, passing it around like a flu bug.

While the tables are great, we wish there was a little more to this game. Some extra unlockable tables or an option that allowed you to upload your scores or compete against friends online would have been nice. As it is, once you’ve played each of the four tables once, you’ve seen everything there is to see in the game.

Ahh! It’s Pennywise!

Despite being a little short on content, this is a really great pinball simulator, and it’s worth taking a look. We never would have thought we’d be walking around with dad’s Commodore games in our pocket, and games like this one make us feel a bit luckier for it.

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