Every time pinball is mentioned as a possible candidate for some Saturday-afternoon game playing, eyes start to glaze over, and the unopened Microsoft Entertainment Pack that you got for Christmas last year starts looking more inviting. But the fact is, a good PC pinball simulation can be a great deal of fun, and Addiction Pinball is almost as good as any pinball sim around.
The game comes with two tables, both of which are based on other Team17 games. This device works well because the basic gameplay of the originals – Worms 2 and World Rally Fever – provides a good setup for the tables’ strategy. On the Worms table, the object is to score kills and complete missions by using specific combinations of shots to the various ramps. Here, hitting a specific ramp at a specified time is more important than scoring points. The Rally Fever table provides a more repetitive strategy where the duplication of certain ramp shots is the key to winning.
While it doesn’t have the ultrarealism of a game such as Pro Pinball: Timeshock, Addiction Pinball offers more sensory gratification. The table design is really impressive. The tables look and feel like they were meant to be full-fledged arcade table designs. The ball physics, surface friction, and momentum forces respond realistically within the game, and pinball purists will be hard-pressed to find faults. And for those of you who even like the video modes of current stand-up machines, Addiction Pinball gives you some arcade action as well.
Addiction Pinball does contain a few irritating elements. The first is the Worms 2 table. If you find the voices of the worms from the original game annoying, you’re going to be enraged by the time you finish one game on the Worms table. The Worms table provides too much flavor of the original game in the form of sounds and cutesy worm ambience. As for the Rally Fever table, such recycling of materials is justified and almost appreciated; in racing games, the squeal of the tires and the voice of the race announcer is an important factor.
In the end, Addiction Pinball is recommended if you’re looking for a solid simulation. If you can handle Team17’s style of self-promotion in the tables’ theme design, you’re going to enjoy the experience on the whole. –Tahsin Shamma
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