As with Pinball Dreams, the tables scroll vertically depending on the position of the ball – a feature your eyes will probably take a while to get used to. Loads of imagination has gone into designing the game, with each of the four tables based on a single theme: Partyland, featuring ducks, snacks, cyclones and skyrides; Speed Devils, with pit stops, speed bonuses, off-road and speed ramps; Billion Dollar Gameshow, including expensive prizes, super jackpots and cash bonuses; and Stones ‘n’ Bones, featuring bats, devils, mummies, ghosts and the Grim Reaper.
The graphics are excellent: there are large, colourful backdrops which scroll smoothly up and down, and a plethora of features crammed into each table. The sound manages to recreate exactly the repetitive tunes that are found on traditional pinball tables, but thankfully they can be turned off if required. The spot effects are excellent, with some nice sampled sounds adding to the atmosphere of the game. It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly what it is that makes pinball addictive, both with this version and the ever popular ball-bearing-based arcade game.
Maybe it’s just that utterly infuriating feeling when the ball drops down between the flippers, and you curse and swear that it won’t happen the next time; or then again it could be just the bells, pops, whistles and flashing lights that draw you in time and time again. Whatever it is, the pull just gets stronger each time you play. Pinball Fantasies is certainly one of the best pinball simulator games released on the Amiga, and one of the most maddeningly addictive games we’ve come across in the 90s.