The first in a line of pinball games from 21st Century and Digital Illusions, with four tables covering themes such as the wild west for Steel Wheel, space rockets for Ignition, a haunted graveyard for Nightmare and pop music for Beat Box.
The portable versions for the Game Boy and Game Gear only have 3 of the 4 original tables with the removal of Beat Box.
The iPhone version includes updated graphics (optional) and gameplay in both portrait and landscape orientation.
Pinball Dreams is the first chapter in a long series of arcade games, developed by Digital Illusions and published by 21st Century Entertainment. Back in the day, these companies were the synonyms for good computer-simulated Pinball.
How does it work? It has an easy to learn, but hard to master, kind of gameplay: Your goal is to keep the ball on a table for as long as possible and gain gazillions of points. Sounds pretty easy, but it's not. The ball often accelerates after bumping, and you need a certain level of skill to control it. In the beginning, shooting the ramps and bumping is pretty random, but after some time spent with the game you will learn where to shoot and how to aim for the biggest points and extra balls. Remember: giving up is not an option!
Pinball Dreams offers four different tables: Each one has a completely different theme and a unique set of elements. On every table there are standard elements and possible ways of gaining rewards and bonuses, but placed and drawn in a different way. If you allow me to make an analogy to the significantly younger Pro-Pinball series, where one table means one game, you can say that here you have four games in one - and that's one big reason why you won't get bored fast.
Here is a list of available tables:
* Ignition - futuristic, space travel style
* Steel Wheel - old times, Wild West style
* Beat Box - music, concert style
* Nightmare - the title says it all: horror style
Technically, the game at the time of release was considered high quality. Every table is shown in colorful VGA graphics with smooth scrolling. The physics of the ball are very good, even by today's standards. Last but not least is the music: a very good addition to each theme. You can imagine what is drawn on the table without even looking at the monitor (but don't try to play it this way.) Many people claim that the music from the Pinball Dreams series is one of the best in gaming history. I enjoyed it myself, but not that much.
If you like this type of game - you need to try this title. By today's standards, scrolling makes the gameplay, especially aiming, a bit difficult, but it can still provide a lot of fun and keep the player in front of the monitor for a long time, for just one more attempt to earn a better entry in the High Score table, and another one, and just one more...
Well, this is just another pinball game. You can choose from four different tables to play on. The tables sport different themes - the wild west, nightmare, music and space.
The four tables don't offer any really unique setups. They are actually much the same except for the layout of course. The graphics are okay and the sound is pretty good. All in all a pretty nice little game, that will give some hours of good play.
Pinball Dreams on the Amiga, developed by Swedish developer Digital Illusions, ex-demo group members, was a huge hit and a revolution in the genre. This PC conversion was done by "they-proved-to-be-uncapable" Spidersoft and it doesn't keep up with the original game. The tables are the same, four different well-designed multi-screen tables called Ignition, Steel Wheels, Beat Box and Nightmare. Also the great music and sound effects have been carried over by a MOD replayer - however I didn't get sound to work on my PCI card. Still, it's lacking something... Probably it's because the graphics use some tweaked graphics mode, which looks a bit squashed and dull compared to the Amiga game. But still, it's a good pinball game for your PC, a decent conversion for its time. Also check out the excellent sequel, better converted to the PC, called Pinball Fantasies.
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