Pinball Wizard?
May 27, 2010 4:38 PM   Subscribe

Are there any good pinball games for Windows PCs out there?

I'm running Windows 7 Ultimate, 64-bit version, 4gb of RAM, 1gb graphics card.

What are the great pinball games out there for Windows PCs? I'd prefer ones that can be downloaded. I don't mind paying for them.

posted by dfriedman to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
I used to really enjoy 3D Pinball, which came as part of XP I think. There's some waffle about it here, but I don't know if the downloads work or not.
posted by turgid dahlia at 5:22 PM on May 27, 2010

Response by poster: Yeah that did come as part of XP, and it occurs to me that I have the XP emulator installed on this machine.

Any more pinball games out there?
posted by dfriedman at 5:24 PM on May 27, 2010

Balls Of Steel was good fun too. Here.
posted by turgid dahlia at 5:25 PM on May 27, 2010

You should check out the VPForums. You'll find links to Visual Pinball and Future Pinball, applications that are essentially pinball construction kits for the PC. On the forums, folks share the tables they've built, both original creations and reproductions of classic games. Results can be impressive.
posted by eschatfische at 5:35 PM on May 27, 2010 [3 favorites]

I like the whole Pro Pinball series, but Big Race USA is my favorite.
posted by Mountain Goatse at 5:46 PM on May 27, 2010 has most (all?) of the Pro Pinball series, XP and Vista compatible, DRM free, and cheap. Might be a good place to start.

Like eschatfische, I'd also recommend looking down the VP/FP route, although that requires more digging for tables and is in a legal grey area.
posted by Remy at 7:19 PM on May 27, 2010

Future pinball is amazing. There are a lot of fan made tables that aren't clones of commercial ones. has a great selection of FP tables.
posted by wongcorgi at 7:45 PM on May 27, 2010

"Pinball Dreams" and "Pinball Fantasies" on the Amiga were pretty damn good despite their age.

I believe it's poosible to run these via the WinUAE emulator.
posted by mr_silver at 2:43 AM on May 28, 2010

If you can run XP games, try Little Wing's back catalogue. Crystal Caliburn in particular is awesome.
posted by permafrost at 3:30 AM on May 28, 2010

Agreeing with the Future Pinball and Visual Pinball routes, just make sure to use the setup guides that are provided on the websites. I have not bought any of the ones from GOG yet but remember Timeshock being excellent. If you have a steam account (free) there is also a Slamit pinball which is fairly recent and cheap.

Mostly I came to recommend two tables for future pinball :
3 Angels
Dead Hunters

Crazy fun!
posted by Mardigan at 11:31 AM on May 28, 2010

If you can run XP games, try Little Wing's back catalogue. Crystal Caliburn in particular is awesome.

Little Wing's Crystal Caliburn is, by far, the worst pinball game I have ever played. Compared to Crystal Caliburn, Windows XP 3D Pinball is Half Life 2.

I firmly believe that the people at Little Wing have never seen a real pinball machine. Ever.

Crystal Caliburn is poorly designed, frustratingly tedious and lacks any of the magical qualities of pinball. It's like Little Wing borrowed just the name "pinball" (without any understanding of it's meaning, charm or what makes pinball fun) just to make a buck in the laziest way imaginable.

Simply put:
Crystal Caliburn is to pinball what the Twilight series is to the vampire genre.
The "demo" version only lasts about fifty seconds (!) unless you pay $14 to unlock it. Fifty seconds? That's not enough time to evaluate a pinball machine. It's like Starbucks Coffee giving you a teaspoon of their new coffee and asking if you'd like to buy a cup. Of course, Starbucks would never be as crass or cheap as Little Wing.

Fifty seconds was nowhere near enough to evaluate it so I got the full version. You know what? I uninstalled and deleted it on the first day.

Don't waste your time or money on Little Wing's Crystal Caliburn.

The free alternatives mentioned above (like Future Pinball) are so much better. They are made by people who obviously love pinball (and have class).
posted by stringbean at 9:20 PM on May 28, 2010

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