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Reviving the video gaming era of the 80's

PINBALL  -  MATTEL ELECTRONICS  -  1981  -  SCORE 0%


Even way before the first television screen flickered the first video game, Pinball halls were the popular pass-time for many during the 50's.  Video game manufactures picked it up with modest success, and still to date, the electronic thing never really could replace the genuine thing.

When comparing graphics, sound effects and action, Intellivisions version would be the winner.  Points are scored by hitting certain springs, buzzers, bangers and most importantly, your game play advances when you shoot your ball straight into the basket, that appears at the top of the screen.  This is done by shooting your ball into certain spots to open gates.  When you have opened the two gates that appear at the top of the screen, the basket appears.  Take aim and pop it right in, and you're off into the second frame. (red) Game play is pretty much the same, but your ultimate objective is to get to the blue frame, where once again a basket appears. 

This is where the game play becomes interesting.  After opening certain gates, certain objects appear, and hitting the right one will give you a 100,000 point bonus.  With the blue frame, you will go off to a mystery destination, when you pop that ball into the basket.

Unfortunately the game was produced with a bug in its programming, which makes it impossible to play.  It seems that your game play is limited to the red frame.  Often your ball will hit the magenta buzzer, located in the middle of the screen, which will shoot your ball back into the green frame (level one), and often right down to the bottom, where your ball is lost.  No real challenge here. 

In the green frame, make sure that you have all the openings under your shooter guarded. (purple ring)  This is done by shooting the ball into the holes located underneath the donkeys.  If your ball sinks down the side, the guards will shoot it back to the top.  Each guard disappears after three uses, so keep this in mind, as well as aiming for the basket.  If a guard has one use left, it will appear red.

The next objective is to shoot the ball high enough to open the pink gates at the top.  Between each set of gates is a blue light.  A white light will indicate that the gate has been opened, and when both lights have been switched to white, the basket will appear.  Shoot the ball into the basket, and your off into the red frame.

The red frame contains two sets of bricks that flicker white and yellow.  One set of four on the left, and two on the right.  Knock out one full set of bricks and the basket will appear.  Successfully popping the ball into the basket will advance the game into the blue frame. What happens here is uncharted territory, as I haven't got this far.  The instruction booklet mentions a 100,000 point bonus, when hitting certain bricks, and if you pop the basket in the blue frame, you'll be off to a mystery destination. 

This is one place you'll never get to, as the three magenta bangers in the middle, will shoot your ball down to the green frame, and ultimately between your yellow shooters, where you'll never be able to reach it. This is where the game ends, without you controlling it.  Seems very much like a program bug.

You can greatly decrease the chances of this happening, by lowering the volocity of the ball, but this tends to make game play rather stale.  Most of the time you'll be hitting the ball into the side walls, not scoring any points.  It seems the main objective of the red frame is to avoid the ball from hitting the magenta bangers in the middle.  The skill of this frame seems to be finding the right volocity speed for the ball, which somewhat sidetracks your attention from the main purpose of game play.

INTELLIGAMING  -  REVIVING THE INTELLIVISION ERA:
     Introduction to computers and the start of computer games.
     History of Mattel Electronics and the Intellivision Video Game System.
     Games Review Page One  -  Space Armada.
     Games Review Page Two  -  Pinball.
     Games Review Page Three  -  Snafu and some game bugs.
     Pretty Patterns in Snafu.

INTELLIGAMING  -  REVIVING THE EARLY YEARS OF ARCADE GAMING AND MAME:
     Introduction.
     The all time top five games.
     Games Review Page One.
     Games Review Page Two.
     Games to avoid.
     The worlds best MAME Links.

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