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Dream Pinball 3D (DS) artwork

Dream Pinball 3D (DS) review


"The table spans out on the bottom screen, the top sprawled with skulls, magic books and bumpers shaped like medieval castles. For some reason, a few of the bonuses unlock a tweeting bird song, but Iím willing to forgive it. Barely. Itís a very annoying side effect."



I'm not the world's biggest expert on Pinball, but when given this game, I figured who needs to be? It's hitting a ball with flippers while things go "pingpingping!" and funny lights flash on and off. I've played that free pinball game that came on some old Windows OS and I downloaded a template from "phoneinreviews.com" that tells me to talk about graphics, how many game modes are included and if the stylus is incorporated at all. So, here goes:

Fine.

Lots.

No.

According to my references, now I just slap on a score and wander off. I can't help but notice that even sites as notoriously long-winded as IGN could only squeeze a few paragraphs out of this review instead of the usual 24 pages so this should be as easy task, right?

So, why do I still have so much to talk about?

Dream Pinball squeezes five tables onto your DS, none of them radically different from the last, but all sporting individual themes and traits. Fantasy-inspired Amber Moon is perhaps the most adventurous of the selection. Sure, within lies obligatory and much-used functions like plunge holes needed to activate a multi-ball mode, multiple flippers lining the walls, allowing you the chance to catapult your ball from differing locations and angles, and the expected smattering of bumpers, peddles and flashing lights. Hit one particular plunge hole on this table, though, and you'll be transported to a perplex table that sits above the usual playing surface. Here, you'll control two mini-flippers and smack the ball at a line of spinning green triangles that moan like a slain orc every time you whack them. Squeeze the ball through a tiny hole in their ranks, or just continue to pelt them with PAIN to rack up big points -- but let the ball fall through the sizable gap between your tiny flippers, and it's back to the normal table with you!

The table spans out on the bottom screen, the top sprawled with skulls, magic books and bumpers shaped like medieval castles. For some reason, a few of the bonuses unlock a tweeting bird song, but Iím willing to forgive it. Barely. Itís a very annoying sound effect.

Other tables include Dino Wars, an area with top heavy bonuses. All the big points lay at the head of the table leaving the midriff and bottom all but bare. To get to the goodie-flooded section of the table youíll need, you have to employ the extra flipper located along the ways to keep pinging your pinball higher and higher. Then, as it zips around bouncers at increased velocity accompanied by screaming velociraptors as you struggle to hold it at the top and dial up the points. Observe Spinning Rotors, a pinball table dominated by a huge rotating helicopter blades orbited by wire-frame runways the ball can surge along, assuming you can launch them up the flight ramps with a well-placed flip. Even the traits the tables share are noteworthy on their own; collect materials by triggering certain bonuses to knocking down specific targets, and you can plunge your ball down a hole and have a brand new one pop out. Iíve constructed new balls made with marble, with walnut, with lead and several others. This isnít just for effect; the balls look and move noticeably different from each other. Perhaps itís my admitted inexperience in the genre, but trying to hit all the right shots to change my ball into a rusty brass orb is a completely new experience to me.

Iím happy to admit my inexperience with the genre, mainly because trying to bluff my way around it would probably make me look quite the buffoon, but I donít think my enjoyment of Dream Pinball 3D can be accredited to this. Itís a clever, clean and well-constructed game, all the more so when you donít have to look too far to see games of the same genre sharing the same platform falling so short of the mark it sets.

Rating: 7/10

EmP's avatar
Staff review by Gary Hartley (September 09, 2008)

Gary Hartley arbitrarily arrives, leaves a review for a game no one has heard of, then retreats to his 17th century castle in rural England to feed whatever lives in the moat and complain about you.

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