Whenever you think of pinball games during the 90s, there should only be one company that comes to mind, 21st Century Entertainment. Since their first title on the PC, they achieved a constant quality in their products delivering an exciting and thrilling experience for the player through high-quality and well designed pinballs. Pinball World is the follow-up to Pinball Illusions and delivered a whole new challenge to the game.
Breaking the rule of the classic four tables game, Pinball World features no less than 9 tables. As the title may suggest to you, each table makes you discover a different part of the world. You will visit Africa, Australia, the Far East, South America, Hollywood and much more through a wide variety of pinball designs. As a matter of fact, you have never seen tables similar to the ones you will play with in Pinball World. Their sizes change from one table to another, and don't be surprised if you play with a table three times your screen width! With such designs, you need more than a pair of eyes to follow the ball that bounces everywhere with a frantic speed!
Pinball World's goal is to travel around the world and find the secret location. Each table contains hidden secrets and two or less exits leading to other countries. The secrets are usually bonus tables, special bonuses you can collect, and words you light to activate bonuses and exits. If you enter the bonus table, you will find yourself in another table whose theme is related to the part of the world you are currently visiting. For example, when you enter the bonus table from Africa, you will play with the Egypt table. Therefore, Pinball World does not include a total of 9 tables, but 15 plus the secret location. It is certainly above anything expection you have ever had a pinball game! But Pinball World is not only innovative with its huge amount of tables, but also by the new rules that it contains. With the only rule remaining being the number of balls you start off with, you might wonder what really awaits you in Pinball World.
The game starts with a very unusual table design. Although you will immediately notice the two flippers at the bottom of the table, you will wonder what happened to the bumpers, lanes and other elements of a pinball. What you will see instead is a series of targets with names of different destinations. If you shoot the ball into Hollywood for example and then lose your ball, your first stop will be this particular destination.
Once you start with your first table, you must get used to the new features. First, you will have more flippers to control and generally, they are placed as pairs which means you have a pair of right and left flippers on the left of the table and another pair on the right. It is extremely confusing at first, but don't worry, you will get through this difficulty with practice. Then, when you believe your ball is lost and that you must shoot the second ball, you discover that the ball went into the red light ball-traps at the base of the screen. Each time the ball goes into one of these, the number written on the ball-trap will decrease by one. If one of the counters reach zero, you will lose one of your three balls, otherwise the ball that went into the trap will be put back in the game. The bonus tables have similar rules, but instead of a counter, there is a timer that counts down to zero. Each time you lose a ball in this table, the timer decreases further and once you reach zero, you will return to the table you were before.
Finally, when you open the exits leading to other tables, you will sometimes play with transition sequences. In these sequences, the space bar will move any vehicle forwards, the down arrow will move them backwards, while left and right shitf keys make them go to the left or right. You should also know that your time is limited to accomplish this and if you fail bringing the vehicle to its destination, you will lose one of your three balls.
Pinball World was a new genre of pinball game in which accuracy is more important than keeping the ball on the table. Of course, you can't always allow the ball to escape, and the main goal is to open exits and discover the bonuses hidden throughout the game. As always, the digital sound track from the CD is entertaining, and as you travel around the world, you will be rewarded with tunes inspired by local folklore.