When you've done everything else you can possibly do with a game license, what's left? If Star Trek Pinball is anything to go by, the last outpost is apparently a pinball sim. This bizarre entry from Interplay (makers of the excellent Starfleet Command and Starfleet Academy) conjures up three 3D pinball tables using graphics and sounds from the original Star Trek series. Two of the games, "To Boldly Go" and "Qapla'" (the latter being the Klingon word for "success," which actually wasn't introduced until the era of Star Trek: The Next Generation), offer solo tables.
The 3D rendering is impressive, with traps and obstacles that would throw most pinball pros for a loop, but it isn't likely to keep amateurs and curious onlookers around for repeat play. The two-player LAN game, "Nemesis," has players (each representing the United Federation of Planets and the Klingons) battling it out side-by-side on an expanded table while trying to keep the ball from falling into the other player's hands.
While the graphics and sound are engaging, Star Trek Pinball falls victim to the same questionable physics that plague many a pinball sim. The keyboard controls, which can't be reconfigured, also add to the frustration. Star Trek Pinball is essentially providing simulations of three pinball tables that never existed, and begins to feel like the result of squeezing something out before the license expires. Die-hard Trek fans will probably not be phased by this title, but its poor gameplay may leave the casual gamer somewhat stunned.
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