Review by Gbness

"There are better pinball games out there..."

On Windows computers, there are four absolutely free games that come with them in the Games section. Those are the card games Solitaire and Freecell, as well as Minesweeper and 3D Pinball: Space Cadet, in which I am currently reviewing. The card games are average, Minesweeper's pretty good, and Pinball is... well, the weakest in my opinion. Pinball just fails to give a good amount of innovation and gets pretty tedious quickly, and it doesn't beat what it takes to entertain me.

I think that everyone in the entire world knows how to play pinball, but just in case they don't... there's a shooter on the right side of a field. Press a button, and a pinball comes out. You can then have to hit targets with the pinball by hitting it with flippers at the bottom to earn points. In most pinball games, special challenges are also featured to go with them. But between the flippers, there's a ''drain''. If the ball goes through here, it's gone. There are sometimes special bonuses that bring the ball back, however.

For a computer game, Pinball's controls are pretty good. Z moves the left flipper, / moves the right flipper, Space shoots the ball, X bumps the left side of the table, the Up button bumps the bottom side, and . bumps the right side of it. The controls are pretty easy to learn, master, and memorize. It's also a good thing that you don't have to click, because doing so can be very annoying. Overall, the controls are probably one of the best points of 3D Pinball: Space Cadet.

Fortunately, there are also some features and options that 3D Pinball: Space Cadet can bring to you. If you're new to playing pinball, there is a demo option so you can see how it is done. If you don't like the controls, they can be changed. There's a list of the highest scores and an option to make the field take up the whole screen, and there's even a multiplayer option too. This allows multiple players to compete up. The options are a small plus that the game can give.

As I noted above, there are certain challenges to be played out in 3D Pinball: Space Cadet. Unfortunately, I have no knowledge of what they are, because 3D Pinball: Space Cadet is extremely hard. You have to hit a bunch of targets to start a challenge, and before you know it the ball always rolls down the drain. Also, the table really isn't that big, so this will mean that the ball has little space. This is the cause of it going to the flippers so often. You also have to concentrate so hard, or the ball rolls down the flipper into the drain... darn.

Most pinball games have a good deal of replay because they're easy to get the really addictive stuff ready and going, but unfortunately though, 3D Pinball: Space Cadet doesn't have very much replay value. It just gets very tedious playing it over and over again, mainly because it's very hard to get the challenges going. You'll really want to get a high score and impress people, as well as see what the challenges in the game are like, but unfortunately once you have managed to do so, you just will not want to play 3D Pinball: Space Cadet again... it's a pity.

Graphics aren't that great, but you can't really expect magnificent graphics from a computer game. Still, considering what some of them are like, 3D Pinball: Space Cadet's graphics are pretty good. There is an animated space cadet on the right of the screen that is pretty nice to look at, and the ball looks just like a real life pinball. There's a good option to make the table fill up the whole screen, which will make the game look less pixelated. Also, the table itself isn't bad looking, so overall 3D Pinball: Space Cadet's graphics aren't that good or that bad. Pretty much average.

There really isn't very much to music in 3D Pinball: Space Cadet. You can turn one song on, but unfortunately it gets rather repetitive quickly. As for sound, it isn't very good either. Sure, this is a pinball games, but the constant loud sounds that bumpers make when the ball hits them or the sound that you hear when the ball rolls down the drain... it just makes you want to cover your ears after a while of hearing it. Fortunately, there's an option to turn the sound off if it bothers you, which it likely will. Overall the music and sound are low.

Bottom line is that I do not enjoy 3D Pinball: Space Cadet very much. The controls are fine and there are good features, but the game is a little too challenging and it gets tedious very quickly, and you probably won't want to play it again. That's also not to mention that the sound sucks pretty bad, and the graphics are only average. Even now, I haven't played 3D Pinball: Space Cadet in over two months, and I doubt I will play it again. That pretty much sums up the fun and replay value that 3D Pinball: Space Cadet has.

And not to mention that on your Windows you can easily get much more fun. Minesweeper, Freecell, and Solitaire are all better than 3D Pinball: Space Cadet, in my opinion. They're also totally free so you don't have to worry about a thing like that. Also, Windows just happens to be a pretty good system when it comes to pinball games, so I think that quickly you can pick up a much better pinball game in short time. Anyway, that's a wrap.

Reviewer's Rating:   2.5 - Playable

Originally Posted: 11/08/03

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