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     " They even included the little digital screens with their wacky animations. "

      Title: Williams Pinball Classics by Encore Software

      Format: Pinball games for PC

      Reviewing Monkey: : Simi N.

      The Hype: This game has recreations of four classic pinball games. Relive the classics, these tables are what pinball is all about, they are designed by the best pinball makers of all time the Williams Company.

      What This Monkey Thought...

      Graphics: It's almost as if they just took a picture of the original table and made the game out of it. Every thing looks either as good or better than in the actual tables except for a few details. In an actual pinball game when the ball hits a bumper there is a little rubber thingy that pops out and pushes the ball away, but in this game there is no rubber thingy, the ball just mystically bounces off of nothing or the plastic core of the "bumper." This normally wouldn't be such a big deal, but since the point of this product is that it replicates the original pinball experience I felt offended that the designers just thought that they could slip that by me (nice try). But otherwise these guys didn't leave out any details; they even included the little digital screens with their wacky animations. 3.5 out of 5.

      Sound: The sound is very much of the same quality as I would imagine the original tables to be. Whether that is a good thing or a bad thing is up to you. I personally like that old nostalgic feel that this game gives off, but there are many people out there who don't care about the days gone by and want good quality music, those people will hate this stuff. In essence the sounds are not quality, but classic. The sound effects are all top notch. All the bells and whistles are here to distract you from your objective. The one thing I wish they had included was the sound of a quarter being put in the machine when you start the game. 3 out of 5.

      Game Play: Have you ever played pinball? The point of the game is to rack up as many points as possible by keeping a steel ball in play on a table riddled with obstacles that is sloped towards you. There are various targets to hit to give points and multipliers and you have two or more flippers that are your only defense against the ball rolling out of the playing field. The really cool part of this game is that you can change the difficulty by adjusting the slope of the table, the more slope the faster the ball rolls towards your flippers. But other than the difficulty setting, this game doesn't bring anything new to the table (but then again that's the whole point isn't it). 4.5 out of 5.

      Level and Environment Designs: The environments are all designed after the original tables and I must say they are all very cool. Playing this game really gives a good nostalgic feel that is welcome among today's games. The only problem is that some of the tables are just too full of objects to see keep track of the ball. In real life the a person can move around to change their view of the table, but all too often in this game you will see the ball disappear only to see it again as it whizzes past your flippers. 4 out of 5.

      Multiplayer: Like the original tables these replications all offer a four-player mode. But of course that mode is the standard "who can get the most points" which probably won't be appealing to most people, as it is all turn based. What would be cool to see is a mode where all four people play at the same time and the first person to hit all the designated targets wins, but alas that isn't present here. 2.5 out of 5.

      Replayability: You will play this game forever. I don't think that anyone can ever claim to have mastered to pinball machine, but even if you do this game is quick and easy to get into, so chances are you will play it all the time, when you're bored or waiting for someone, whatever. But by itself the game doesn't really offer any specific incentive to play over and over. 4.5 out of 5.

      Story/Dramatics: N/A

      Instructions and Learning Curve: The packaged instructions are incredibly brief and basically tell you how to install the game. To learn anything beyond that you will have to use the software instructions, which are very thorough and will tell you everything you need to know about playing pinball. And if you aren't good at pinball, you can set the game to easy and work your way up to playing on hard. 4 out of 5.

      Installation and Real System Requirements: The installation is easy, but was really slow on my computer. I would think that for a game this simple it would take no time at all to install on a system, but this game took a good three or four minutes for me. However you really don't need a good computer to run this game effectively. I mean it works on mine so it should work for almost anybody's. Specifically the requirements are: Pentium 266 or higher, 32 MB of RAM, 100 MB free disk space, SVGA video card supporting 16-bit high color, 4X CD-ROM drive and a 16 bit sound card. 3.5 out of 5.

      The Verdict:

       Man if you are a fan of classic pinball games you will absolutely love this one. It brings some classic tables to your computer. But for those people who think that pinball has become stale and pointless (I pity you) you probably won't like this game at all.

      The Good: Great job of recreating tables, good classic sounds, four different tables to choose from.

      The Bad: Nothing new brought to the table, the installation takes too long.

      The Overall Ugly: A great buy for those who are into nostalgic gaming (especially for those who grew up in the 50s, 60s and 70s).

      What it's Worth: $17.99.

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