Released after Pinball Illusions in the same year.
As its namesake, "Pinball World" has nine pinball tables (rather then usual four), based on places around the globe - Africa, Australia, Far East, Germany, Hollywood, United Kingdom, New York, North Pole and South America.
Players start the game at unique pinball table menu using flippers to shoot the ball towards their chosen destination.
Each pinball table has hidden access to other countries. This is achieved by activating the relevant lights or earning enough to get bonus points. Bonus tables are specially linked to the location you are playing eg. Africa goes to Egypt.
This is one of the last great Pinballs by the 21st Century Entertainment. The idea for it is unique actually.
Last pinball game I reviewed was Pinball Fantasies, and I said something like:"A plot? It's a pinball game for crying out loud!"
This game proves me corrected. After starting the game, you'll select the difficulty level and be given an option to restart a saved game. A saved pinball game? That's a new one. Next you'll be taken to a rather unimaginative table. Don't worry, you're not really playing yet. This only serves to decide, which table (location) you'll start the game at. The one that is lit at the time the ball escapes you, is your starting location.
And now, you're on the way to your first table. You'll get bonus options for unlocking a secret table. Once you lit the name of this table, you'll be traveling to the next one. You need to steer the vehicle you're given (even an ocean liner near the Bermuda Triangle) to your next location in the given time.
Once you complete all the tables around the world, you'll complete the game. But it's not as easy as it sounds.
You won't be loosing balls. You'll see boxes with a numbers at the bottom of the screen. When your ball enters such a box, the number will lower. Once the numbers reach 0 you'll loose a ball.
The scoring seems quite complex, but then again, this is not a pinball game you'd play for reaching the highest score. No, you'll need to tour the world and get to the next location, rather then to improve your own personal best score at a table of your choosing.
So finally, this is a pinball with a twist.
The graphics are very nice and representative of the location you're at. The sounds are OK, but nothing really special (they're generally not going on your nerves). And the game shows certain variety, by letting you drive around from location to location.
At every table there's something different to do, but the main premise is the same - lit up the name of the table and go on!
For the very novelty of the idea, this game would already deserve a 5. Adding the flawless gameplay doesn't hurt either.
Pinball World is one of the last releases from 21st Century Entertainment, arguably the best developer of PC pinball games alongside LittleWing. Since Pinball Dreams, the company had consistently delivered exciting, high-quality, and well-designed pinball games. Right on the heels of Pinball Illusions is Pinball World, a little-known sequel that offers some new twists to the genre, although it is not as polished as 21st Century's other titles.
Breaking the rule of the classic four tables game, Pinball World features no less than 9 tables. As the title suggests, each table represents a real country. You will visit Africa, Australia, the Far East, South America, Hollywood, and many more famous locations through a wide variety of pinball designs. The tables' sizes change from one table to another-some are so large that they span three times the screen width.
Your goal in the game is to travel around the world and find the secret location. Each table contains hidden secrets and two or fewer exits that lead to other countries. The secrets are usually bonus tables, special bonuses you can collect, or words you light to activate bonuses and exits. If you enter the bonus table, you will find yourself in another table whose theme is related to the part of the world you are currently visiting. For example, when you enter the bonus table from Africa, you will play with the Egypt table. This means that Pinball World does not include only 9 tables that you can immediately access, but actually 15 plus the secret location.
As if giving fans their money's worth with this number of tables isn't enough, Pinball World also offers new rules that truly break the mold. The game starts with a very unusual table design. Although the two flippers at the bottom of the table still exist, the bumpers, lanes, and other traditional elements of a pinball table are gone. What you will see instead is a series of targets with names of different destinations. For example, if you shoot the ball into Hollywood and then lose your ball, your first stop will be this particular destination. You also have more flippers to control. These are usually placed as pairs, which means you have a pair of right and left flippers on the left of the table and another pair on the right. Although confusing at first, you will soon get the hang of this control scheme after some practice. Another neat idea is that when you open the exits leading to other tables, you will sometimes play with transition sequences. In these sequences, the space bar will move any vehicle forwards, the down arrow will move them backwards, while left and right shift keys make them go to the left or right. If you fail to reach the destination before time runs out, you will lose one of your three balls.
With a lot of cool ideas, Pinball World is another excellent game from 21st Century that pinball fans should add to their collection, although the graphics are not as astounding as their previous games.
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