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The first in a series of fantasy-style pinball titles that also includes The Lost Continent, Creep Night and Thrill Ride, this is a first class simulation if you're into such things and should definitely be added to your collection. It's almost good enough to sway even non-believers so is probably worth a look even if you're just curious about the genre. There are three tables on offer here, each with a definite fantastic twist to them and which do a great job of showing why you'd play a computer simulation rather than an actual table. Each one has several different objectives to them, in addition to the usual array of bumpers and flippers, so one second you'll be building yourself a mine on a colony world while a tank attempts to blast you off course or a comet comes crashing down on your head. Each table is pretty extensive, with very substantial playing areas that again give you a reason to play on the computer, and each one has a whole heap of features which will keep you in pursuit of that elusive high score for some time. Any pinball sim lives and dies by its physics system but fortunately, this one scores very highly in that regard, and the ball handling is very realistic. The three tables are all quite varied too, while the ability to flick back and forth between them also helps to keep you on your toes. The visuals are sharp and detailed, with lots of things to catch the eye, and the controls are simple and responsive. The only real issue is the sub-par music but apart from this, you have a fine pinball game here.
Really original, showcasing why digital pinball is so cool!
I kind of feel sorry for unimaginative pinball games, especially the digital kind; I mean, I get it, you might want to have the real tables you love in digital format, but once you're done with those, it's kind of a shame not to use the advantages of the digital format to create some really outstanding tables, tables that would only work in digital form! And, fortunately, 3D Ultra Pinball is one such game, that profits from being digital and 3D and doesn't mind creating these really extraordinary tables, tables that really use the format to their advantage. Let me give you an example; there's this table whose style and theme is that of a mine. If it were to have been designed for a real world arcade machine, it would have been impossible for the developers to cram as much into it, 3 actual playing fields, air transportation areas, zones that warp the trajectory of the ball and, besides these digital only things, also manage to load the game with all the classic staples of a normal pinball game. Visually, 3D Ultra Pinball looks more than alright, looks as good as you'd want it to be, with crisp graphics, really detailed textures and like I said, lots of digital only bits, which is just perfect. So play it, and also consider the sequel 3D Ultra Pinball 2 which brings more of the same with even more detail.
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- Hyper 3-D Pinball Simulation, 1995
- 3D Pinball Express Simulation, 1999
- 3-D Ultra Pinball: Creep Night Simulation, 1996
- Pinball World Simulation, 1995