Posts Tagged ‘The Pinball Arcade’

The Flare Path: Truck Stop Temptations

I’ve talked about companion texts in Flare Path before , but I’m not sure I’ve ever used this column to air my companion games theory. In short I believe certain games have soul mates – titles that compliment them so perfectly that the idea of playing one without the other is almost unthinkable. The two games that make up a companion pair are usually very different. The partnership works because themes cross-pollinate. Because pacing and player demands balance out. Because game (A) creates a craving for game (B) and vice versa. This week by a happy accident I found myself in the presence of the most perfect pair of companion games I’ve ever encountered. This week I’ve been bouncing, like a jet-kicked ball bearing, between American Truck Simulator and The Pinball Arcade. Read the rest of this entry »

Have You Played… The Pinball Arcade?

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.

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Pinstriped: Pinball Arcade Addams Family Table

If I write an entire post highlighting a Kickstarter for a downloadable pinball table, chances are I’ll receive seven thousand angry emails (92% from other members of the RPS staff), sixteen angrily worded letters and one visit from a door-to-door punchagram. However, when that table is The Pinball Arcade’s digital rendition of one of the greatest and most celebrated machines of all time, there are a select few who will send me pleasant emails, kindly worded letters and a door-to-door hugagram*.

Farsight have raised half of the license fee for The Addams Family table, which was created by the brilliant Pat Lawlor. The Kickstarter is here and the remainder of the post contains reflections on events in digital pinball since I last wrote about my passion for the game.

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Gaming Made Me: Pinball

A pinball table is more than balls, flippers and lights, although the uninitiated may see it as an almost literal collection of bells and whistles. I see tables in the corner of bars quite often, usually neglected and often unplugged, and was delighted to see an Addams Family machine – one of the great designs of its kind – in Larian’s studios a couple of weeks ago. It was as quiet as a crypt, missing parts dooming it to a long sleep. That’s often the case and it makes me sad because all of those lights and sounds helped to make me. This is one reason why The Pinball Arcade has consumed many of my evenings.

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Bally Good: The Pinball Arcade Released

Earlier this week, the Pinball Arcade finally landed on my PC, via the medium of Steam. Pinball tables were among the games that made me and the Arcade contains some of my favourites, so I’ll write more about this soon. The free download contains one table, Tales of the Arabian Nights, and there are two season packs available for purchase, with more to come. Tables can also be bought in packs of two. I’ve tried every table and while there are some camera issues, where I’ve also played the physical counterpart, I’ve found the actual recreations hugely impressive. It’s like owning a lovely digital museum. However, I do have some quibbles and they are below.

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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.

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