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Have You Played... The Pinball Arcade?

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Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

My love of pinball began with the real tables that I encountered in my youth but I soon found digital tables to occupy my evenings. Pinball Dreams, Pinball Fantasies and Epic Pinball were all among my favourites, and the Pro Pinball series filled a gap in the mid-to-late nineties. Nothing compares to The Pinball Arcade [official site] though.

The Pinball Arcade is like a digital museum, packed with tales from the biggest manufacturers in the long history of pinball. While the interface is basic and comes complete with a cheesy theme tune that I never want to hear again, the recreations themselves are wonderful, and if you’re a pinball fan you’ll find at least one of your favourites here. There have even been Kickstarters to buy the licenses for some of the more popular tables.

Farsight Studios are still adding recreations, which means almost every time I log in there’s a new set of rules to learn and master. It’s one of my favourite games but, truth be told, it’s not really a game – pinball is a medium, and this is a collection of games within that medium.

There are blockbuster action tables, built around combos and ramps, and there are grim minimalist survival horror tables. There are puzzles and there are pratfalls. And even the least intriguing entries are slices of history.

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Adam Smith

former Deputy Editor

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