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3D Pinball: Space Cadet (PC) artwork

3D Pinball: Space Cadet (PC) review


"3D Pinball: Space Cadet is really just your typical pinball game. The main difference with this game is that it comes free with any Windows 98 or higher operating system. But with that fact, it also means that there are a few flaws with the game. Things that are free are rarely any good. Rarely. "



3D Pinball: Space Cadet is really just your typical pinball game. The main difference with this game is that it comes free with any Windows 98 or higher operating system. But with that fact, it also means that there are a few flaws with the game. Things that are free are rarely any good. Rarely.

Gameplay
Well, itís pinball. How much gameplay can you expect from a pinball game? 3D Pinball: Space Commander comes for free when you purchase a Windows 98 or higher operating system. As a result, there is only one pinball table available to play on. And as you can probably guess from the title, this one board has a very evident space theme. Space-related items are all over the board, from rockets to stars.

You start off every game with three balls. When you first put a ball in play, your first objective is to hit this small set of targets on the left side of the board. This is where the trouble starts. These targets are so hard to hit, you can go through your entire game without ever hitting any of these targets. Your chances of hitting one of these targets rely purely on chance. Then if you ever manage to strike one of the targets, your then supposed to hit the ball up a ramp. Hitting the ball up this ramp is easy. A little too easy. You can easily hit the ball up this ramp five or six times in a row. Once you do this, youíre then asked again to hit various targets all over the board. Well, isnít that the whole objective of pinball?

Yes it is. But what makes this pinball game so frustrating is that it relies purely on luck. In real pinball machines, you are able to time it so that you are able to hit the desired targets. But in this game, your only real goal is to just prevent the ball from slipping by the flippers. The gameplay is just plain frustrating.
Rating: 4/10

Graphics
3D Pinball: Space Commander has decent graphics. It has everything a pinball game should have. There are lots of blinking lights, colorful table, bright bumpers, etc. But there could have been more added to the gameís visual department to make it an overall better experience. The background behind the pinball machine is just an empty black screen. The people behind this game could have shown a little creativity by adding something here. But I suppose that is only a minor detail. Everything on the table is nice-looking. The artwork on the table, such as rockets and aliens, are a good touch. In the end, this game doesnít look too shabby.
Rating: 8/10

Sound
Well, at least they tried. There are tons of sound effects in this game. Each one has their own distinct sound. But what really hurts this gameís audio is that a lot of these sound effects skip and are not very smooth. There are also no voices or anything like that. Just the endless array of beeps, whooshes, and rings. Nothing really special here.

The music is turned off by default. (Isnít that a bad sign already?) But donít expect the music to be the gameís savior. The music is some odd kind of MIDI music. It has a sort of ďdark and mysteriousĒ feeling to it. However, this is the only song in the game, and is just played on a loop. I hope you didnít get your hopes up.
Rating: 4/10

Replay Value
Replay value? In a pinball game? Excuse me, but I donít believe pinball games usually have any kind of replay value. I guess that the only form of reply value in this game is the high scores. Playing over and over again to beat a high score can be challenging. But even that gets boring fast. The bottom-line is that this game just doesnít really have any replay value.
Rating: 2/10

Overall
What more can I say? Itís one of those games that are already in your computer when you purchase it. I guess I should take into account the fact that itís free. Anyway, 3D Pinball: Space Commander may look nice, but the gameplay is utterly frustrating at times, the sound effects skip too much, there is no music whatsoever, (Well, now there is), and this game simply becomes boring after awhile. Thatís my story, and Iím sticking to it!

Rating: 4.3/10

cdbavg400's avatar
Community review by cdbavg400 (November 15, 2004)

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