No matter how advanced video games have become over the years, pinball has never really been forgotten about in its entirety. In fact, there have been countless digital recreations of the arcade classic. Making a stand-out, memorable pinball title is no easy feat. Some are tied in with franchises like Pokemon or Marvel, while others offer a single table and not a lot of other reasons to keep playing. What Wildfire Studios decided to do with their late-1997 pinball-title Balls of Steel was to pump it full of content, and polish it to perfection.
The usual rules of pinball apply: hit the ball around with the paddles, tilt the table left and right, and rack up some major points. Four difficulty modes are available, which offer more or less leeway. For instance, anyone after a fun time will likely want to play on Regular mode with five-ball play and a chance to earn an extra ball at the end. On the other end of the spectrum, Tournament mode is there for anyone after a no-frills pinball experience with only three balls. Feels a bit pointless, having an option that limits content, but regardless, casual players or veterans will be in for a treat.
This isn’t an accurate respresentation of how to defuse explosives.
The whole thing looks nice and detailed. Each table is bright and colourful, and the animations that play on the dot-matrix display at the bottom look lovely, too. Playing full-screen is an option, but since it zooms out and glues the table to only half of the screen, it doesn’t look quite as impressive, visually. Alternatively, you can let the camera follow the ball, meaning you’ll usually have more than enough reaction time to swat it away if it reaches too close to the bottom, unless it’s travelling at