This republished review was originally written in 2002, this review is unedited and appears as it did back then. We hope this review gives you an idea of how the reviewer felt at the time and at the end you’ll see a small review from today where you can see how well the game held up over time.
Woo, finally a fully 3D pinball game with all the crazy tunnels, loops, ramps and setpieces that you only dreamed about before, after watching the 123456789,10,11,12 Sesame Street pinball animations. Each ‘table’ is huge and is more like a gameworld, with ramps and loops leading to other areas, and only the lowest part leading to oblivion. You can also decide if you want to ascend to another part of the table or stay where you are.
There are lots of ‘missions’ for points and certain areas that only turn up once objectives have been completed. For example, a hidden ramp on the jungle area leads to a table with bumpers that once bumped, attract butterflies. a chameleon on a tree eats them if you take too long so you have to get them all quick. once you get them all, the pattern on their wings read FREEZE OVER. the whole level does just that, the amazing gameworld totally changing apperance, waterfalls freezing, snow on trees etc.. and you carry on. keep smacking the ball against the cliff previously having a waterfall. when its frozen and it breaks the cliff face off, revealing another table that ascends the whole 60ft cliff…..
After enough points have been gained you go onto a boss level occupied by a very Rez-like monster or a shapeshifting beast made of fire… and then after a pyrotechnic fight it’s onto the next stunning table. Innovations include the flipper buttons controlling not only the flippers, but sometimes the barrier at the bottom, bumpers that come out of and into the ground (timing right can sometimes rappel you up things) and sometimes jumping your ball or avoiding things in special circumstances where the tunnels go into open air sections.
This has to be one of the most atmospheric games I have ever played and is definitely one of the most fun pinball games i’ve ever played. 2 player co-op/competative is the most frantic thing ever.. sort of like an air-hockey, windjammers and hungry hungry hippos all in one with skill
The game is also very etherial, it’s definitely got a Fantavision quality to it (but lasts a lot longer) so much so, and with that same sort of female announcer, it’s got to be by the same genius team… is it?
Yes, those are the real graphics and the game would be worth buying on graphics, atmosphere and music alone, even if there wasn’t a brilliant pinball game underneath (I know my stuff, i’ve played and loved the Pinball Dreams, Fantasies and Illusions on the Amiga, Kirby, Sonic etc etc). Most of the screenshots I can find are zoomed right out, when the ballis rocketing somewhere. action is normally focused squarely on the ball and never falters, even intelligently keeping focus on all balls in a multiball situation without distracting you. I’ve unlocked 4 tables by the way and each is absolutely massive and of course there is plenty of incentive just to get higher and higher scores on each…
And the game starts with an LED monkey who looks like he’s holding a rod and pulling a fish out of the water with his todger, that will make you choke on your drink with laughter… so that’s got to be worth the price alone?
Arcades and video games killed pinball so its nice to see over the last year pinball on games consoles has had a bit of a resurgence thanks to the likes of Zen Pinball on the 3DS and Xbla. So Flipnic, its not traditional pinball, but video game pinball. The tables are huge with you using the ball not only to play pinball to for use in fantasy feature games and with that respect its quite unique. Purests might not enjoy this but for casual pinball players theres a lot of fun seeing how the tables change and react to your playing.
As you can see from the screenshots its a lovely looking game with a nice art style that works ten years on, its gameplay holds up well thanks to being a fantasy pinball style game so if you have a hankering for some fun pinball check out Flipnic.