Quite simply Pro Pinball's Timeshock! is the closest thing you will get to realistic pinball next to dragging a machine into your house. For those of us with small apartments we will have to settle for this amazing simulation.
The game provides only one pinball table, Timeshock!, which is its greatest downfall, but this one table is packed with many features. The theme is a time travel scenario where you must journey into 5 different periods from the prehistoric age to the distant future in search of pieces of a crystal. Once you find all of the pieces you must journey back in time and use the crystal to fix the rip in time. This motif is not the most exciting but it does lend itself to fun and easy to follow combinations and advancements.
The pinball table itself is pretty basic. You got your bumpers, flippers and left and right ramps. There are special missions in each time period and a great multiball. There are also 3 different ways you can shake the table to try and save a doomed ball, but beware of the infamous TILT penalty. Basically almost anything you can see in a pinball machine at your local arcade you will find in Timeshock!. There is a dot-matrix screen much like the one on every modern machine which shows cool animations, the current objective, and of course, the score. It also and displays the mini-games that you can aquire by sinking the right hits. All of these features, plus smooth and accurate ball physics make the game seem like a real pinball machine. There are no fancy computer animations or special effects, just solid simulation.
To try and prevent the repetitiveness that may come with only having one board, the makers threw in some great options. There are different modes of play including regular, beginner, and tournament where you can save your score and match it via website to all the other Timeshock! players to see if you are the top pinball wizard. There is also a feature to customize the table changing any aspect you wish just like a programmer of a real pinball machine would. Not only that but you can keep record of all of the different events to see how well you have been doing and what areas the ball has hit most frequently. All this makes for some nice variation but does not really alleviate the problem of the monotony of the one table.
The question you should ask yourself when considering buying this game is an obvious one, "Do I like playing real pinball?" If so then I will go so far as to say that you will enjoy and appreciate this game as a fan just as you would a real machine. The difference is that with Timeshock! you get to kick back in a comfy lounger or a couch eating Doritos. How many pinball machines accomidate that?
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