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Hot Pinball (Arcade) artwork

Hot Pinball (Arcade) review


"The theme of each board? Health class diagrams of the female reproductive system!"



Hot Pinball is best described as neither.

If lifeless images of bushy-haired -- and I'm speaking of both carpeting and drapes here -- eighties pinup girls turn you on, perhaps you will find this title hot. If your bare minimum expectation is a silver ball ambling about a board until struck by a flipper, perhaps you will find this title pinball. Personally, I'm not ready to compromise my definition of either word just yet, especially not for such an atrocious mess.

Hot Pinball. My initial hunch told me this would be a salacious, smutty take on the classic formula, but then again, it's ambiguously named still. So I had to know, superego be damned. If it was, I could think of worse places to interject naked ladies. Pinball is the one genre that damn well needs something new to stay marketable; why not throw a couple of suggestive hussies on the tabletop background? It seems like a fairly carefree proposition compared to the tentacle rape prurient companies normally offer the adult male.

Any ball whacking here will be flawed in both senses though. Some questionable photography -- such as a crooning black woman pissing in white nylons -- certainly hurts the allure; it's safe to say all audiences won't "get" the supposed appeal. Meanwhile, unrealistic physics make the game all but unplayable, adhering to virtually none of the mechanics of an everyday machine. Somehow, it's the latter that resounds as most vulgar, regardless of familiarity with golden showers and Newtonian laws of motion.

There's an erratic and unexplainable nature to the way the ball bounces, sometimes rocketing off flippers at the speed of light and other times lacking the oomph to do anything more than dribble halfway up the screen. Sometimes the ball will traipse about the board from one area to the next without any input from you at all; sometimes it will hit an edge and ricochet downwards instantaneously with no time to react. Worst is when it does both, lulling you as it saunters about off obstacles on the top-reach of a board before spiraling down like a bat out of hell after some impossible shift in momentum. Do your best to propel the sphere back away from the gutter; ultimately there's a predisposition for it to end up there, with the fourth of four boards the absolute worst, a tricky bounce practically sending a just-launched ball there at the start. Another common occurrence is the chain reaction of bumpers to impel a ball into a side gully as you sit idly watching, a mere bystander to the agonizing ordeal.

On the bright side, one flaw works to your benefit: flipper collision detection is spotty, often only connecting on the upswing (if then). Often a ball will have slipped past your guard and beneath the flippers, only for some frantic button mashing to miraculously see it careening off to the top of the screen once more. Now, if only there were rhyme or reason to it. Tolerate this nonsense long enough and your score -- which conveniently doesn't even appear on screen -- will grade out to one of five rankings and an accordingly naked picture revealed (you're going to have to do better than a 'D' to get the pants off). Warping allows you to bounce between the four different boards without fuss; tire of one of the board themes and you can easily move to the next aside from the continuous risk of a physics malfunction ending your turn prematurely.

The theme of each board? Health class diagrams of the female reproductive system!

Some are worse than others. The first of four boards is fairly tame if not the most bizarre; as it loads, a woman's voice whines "Take me to the carnival" to which a male responds "Okay, go!" Appropriately (I suppose), a naked blonde poses sideways in the backdrop of the board, her arms outstretched behind her against a cascade of carnival themed colors. The board itself consists of two sets of flippers, respectively for the ultra-compact upper and completely barren lower sections; three bumpers bare the letters 'P' 'I' 'N' for pinball. Or maybe the order is 'N' 'I' 'P' -- it's hard to know what they were going for. Some random lights and trinkets flash on screen; don't be surprised to see "FANTASIA" light across on occasion. Resemblance to the female anatomy: 2/5.

A different naked gal poses for the second board, a brunette seductively bending over with legs closed tightly as she faces away from the screen. The foreground of the board is clearly a frontal diagram of a woman's anatomy, only needing labeling. So I will. Warp pathways form the outline of the endometrium and give shape to the uterus; a pink egg lies in the center of the womb. Bizarrely, it has a fluorescent green shell surrounding it and a golden ring orbiting. Now is a good time for a reminder not to drink during pregnancy. Resemblance to the female anatomy: 5/5.

For the third board a topless, anime-looking gal is mostly obscured by bowling pins and two pink rings hovering level with her tits. The upper portion of the board curls into fallopian tubes, but overall, this is another non-suggestive one. Again, the lower half of this board is altogether empty. Resemblance to the female anatomy: 2.5/5.

The fourth board is plainly and blatantly a side view diagram of the uterus with some bizarre extra baggage -- blue and pink buttons to jostle the ball around seem otherwise out of place. The accompaniment this round is a brunette splashing herself with water. Some teaching and preaching: never leave pinball bumpers in your vagina. Resemblance to the female anatomy: 5/5.

The fact that such ratings are appropriate should say it all, but my honest recommendation would be to not play Hot Pinball. Or, more crassly, leave curiosity to the cats and stay away from the pussy here. This is a game that simply fails at both its primary objectives, with pinball so bad it's not even amusing as a kitsch title in any MAME library. A game may have never been more inaptly named.

Rating: 2/10

drella's avatar
Staff review by Jackie Curtis (December 15, 2008)

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Lewis posted December 15, 2008:

Bloody wonderful review. By the time you started labelling the female anatomy, I was surpressing giggles in the hope that I wouldn't wake Mrs Lewis. That's always a good thing in my books. Probably not hers.
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drella posted December 15, 2008:

Thanks.

I can only hope Mrs. Lewis would approve of my foul-mouthed hijinks as well. Remember kids, I have tenure (both a blessing and a curse, but really now, mostly a curse), so be careful when testing Venter's patience for such.
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zippdementia posted December 16, 2008:

Indeed, you get thumbs up from me as well. Very funny, very bashing.

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