This pinball simulator was the first one to simulate a real pinball machine. With support to high resolutions (1024x768) it only includes one pinball game. As special features the player can change the voltage levels and an un-common magnet ball option that allows guiding the ball and discovering the different combos for a best score.
Pinball machines... the silver ball... the flashing lights... the music and sounds... Man, I love pinball machines! Growing up as a kid, video games had not made their way onto the arcade scene. On the other hand, pinball machines were scattered around various restaurants and establishments.
Eight Ball Deluxe is a computer simulation of the actual pinball machine by the same name. Pinball machines involve the player to a greater degree than most video games. It really is a shame that Bally-Williams went out of business. Pinball games like Pinball Dreams and Pinball Fantasy are certainly great games, but there is something endearing about a game that reminds you of times you played the real thing.
Eight Ball Deluxe - as you can see in the screen shots - features decent graphics that capture the spirit and feeling of a painted playing field. The sounds and digitized speech are taken from the physical Eight Ball Deluxe pinball machine serving to enhance the experience.
Up to four players can compete at once. Controls for pinball simulations are pretty much the same across the board. Start a game using "S", which you can press up to 4 times to add players. ESC to exit the table and return to the diner, while "A" toggles the sound. "Alt" draws back the plunger, shift keys operate the flippers on their respective side, while "Z", "/" and "Space" nudge the table.
The playfield tends to lend itself to drains down both side of the table, making it difficult to build up bonuses or trigger specials, but there are many "back board" settings you can adjust that may help. Since pinball games are pretty simply entertainment there isn't much more I can say except "Stop talkin' and start chalkin'!"
Second in Amtex' line of computer pinball games (after Tristan Pinball) and the first to simulate an actual pinball machine, Eight Ball Deluxe is an excellent replication of a popular Bally Midway pinball machine of the same name. The game features hi-resolution graphics, supporting modes from 320 x 200 all the way to 1024 x 768. One of the game's strengths is the ability to change the voltage levels, which allow you to either supercharge or deaden the bumpers, and the ability to change the pitch of the playing field, making the action faster or slower. Another unique feature is the magnet ball, which allows the player to, using his mouse, drag the ball around the playing field, to experiment with the different scoring methods and to develop strategies.
Unfortunately, the game has one large drawback: lack of variety. Other computer pinball hits such as Pinball Fantasies and Epic Pinball include several different pinball games, while Eight Ball Deluxe includes only one. To it's credit, however, there is nothing wrong with the game itself. It's perfect for those times when you've got five minutes to play something.
The ball and flipper physics are of proper simulation quality. The sound effects realistically capture the sound and speech synthesis of the time and convey a charming arcade feel. I can't much criticize the game for anything, as its goal is to replicate an actual pinball machine, and it does it well. If you don't like an older, slower pinball machine that mainly has a target bank, a few bumpers and rollover lanes, you probably won't like this computer equivalent either. But if you want to relive a bit of nostalgia on your PC, Eight Ball Deluxe succeeds in spades. Highly recommended, especially for fans of the real table.
PLOCK - *click* *clickaclick* The typical sounds of a pinball machine. Add some happy nonsense music to it and you got it. This game recreates a great "realistic" pinball atmosphere. You play on a billard themed table that simply looks great (thinking of the time it was made). The sound is also nice, some digitized speech in the beginning. Gameplay itself is not quite as good as the graphics if you ask me - it's still good, but not good enough to beat the really big pinball games. Still enough to have a lot of fun with this.
The controls are accurate - you can even push the table from different sides (don't overdo it or you'll TILT it). Basically good work here from the technical side and a sure must for every pinball fan.
People who downloaded Eight Ball Deluxe have also downloaded:
Royal Flush Pinball, Epic Pinball, Pinball Dreams, Full Tilt! Pinball, Extreme Pinball, Earthworm Jim, Electranoid (a.k.a. Arkanoid Replica), Microsoft Pinball Arcade
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