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Flipper-To-Ball: The Pinball Arcade

Pinball is one of the few things I'm actually good at. I imagine that would be impressive if I hung around in diners in the '50s, or something

I sank countless hours into Pinball Dreams and Epic Pinball when I was a nipper, and then countless 50 pence coins into the table in the college bar at my university. I’ve always maintained that a good way to measure the true wealth of a man is to count the number of pinball tables he owns and I won’t consider myself a proper adult until I have at least one. For some people it’s a mortgage, a child or marriage, for me it’s about having a colourful, tuneful machine with metal balls bouncing around inside it. Until I do have my own pinball kingdom though, The Pinball Arcade may be of use to me, with its computerised recreations of real tables, the first four of which you can see in the trailer below.

The first four, did I say? Why, yes I did say that. The current plan is to release two new tables every month as paid DLC. Hopefully that means the game itself will be relatively cheap.

The developers are responsible for the Pinball Hall of Fame games, which never made their way out of consoleland but are very good indeed. I would have been happy to have those two ported across but I’d much rather have an ever-expanding collection of tables. Of course, it’s no replacement for the real thing, which is as much about assaulting the physicality of the table with hip and hand as it is about flippers and plungers, but if the ball physics are up to scratch, this could become a superb historical repository. The motion in the video seems a bit floaty but I’m probably worrying about nothing. I’m sure it’s a very believable ball.

Almost as important as ball-believability is licensing and FarSight have signed up an impressive roster, including Gottlieb, Williams, Data East, Stern Pinball and Bally. If I owned a company, whatever its purpose, I’d want it to be called Bally.

It’s not out until early next year, but now I want to fire balls at shiny doohickeys. Time to reinstall Future Pinball and see what’s new.

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Adam Smith

former Deputy Editor

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