In the beginning, long before Power Drift, Chase HQ and Stun Runner were awarded their own corner in the Grevous Bodily Arms, in the days when the only noise at the local hostelry was the slurp of beer on lips, the one form of electronic entertainment available to revellers was the pinball machine - a wooden table featuring various electro-mechanical rebound devices and a steel ball careering this way and that, running up points and providing thrills. In the days when your Mum and Dad went two up on a Vespa and hung around coffee bars, pinball machines were all the rage.
Today we get our kicks from computer generated foe. Not content with the simple klaxon signifying a "tilt", we're blasted with a series of sophisticated silicon screeches that ear the eardrums of anyone not issued with a chest-mounted government heading aid. All this is about to change because French software house Loriciel have just released a pinball simulator that brilliantly mimics the behaviour of those archaic steel balls.
Pinball Magic is a faithful representation of pinball's coloured lights, crazy sounds, and addictive action. Beginning with a relatively straightforward pin table, you flip frantically to light sequences of lights, score points and progress to further levels. Twelve all-different tables make up the game, but you'll be flapping your fingers for a long time before reaching the final screen.
Incredibly accurate graphics ensure a pinball table display which is virtually indistinguishable from the real thing. With Buddy Holly on the hi-fi and an espresso on your desktop, you'd swear it was 1959.
Pinball Magic features super colourful graphics and true-to-life spot sounds. Add an authentic rolling ball sound and you've got a game that's as close to being there as, well, being there! And when you tire of the pins, there are fiendishly difficult Arkanoid-like screens that are almost impossible to overcome.
Classic pinball machines are now an endangered species. They don't exist outside a couple of enthusiasts' spare bedrooms. Even if a classic pin table could be found, you'll be filling the thing with pocket money for the privilege of playing. Pinball Magic provides you with the closest pinball simulator yet available (it's so close you can almost smell the burning of the electro-mechanical innards).
For a little under twenty quid you can journey back to the halcyon days of the fifties and sixties and have free replays for months to come.