Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Emilia Pinball

It's a shame that Emilia Pinball isn't getting worked on anymore. It's not a bad pinball game at all, and it would be nice to see someone taking this and adding a few more pinball machines to the package.

Everyone in the Western and Eastern worlds is familiar with pinball, so I'll spare you a deep description of the mechanics of play. The first board, 'Tux' is a Linux-penguin-themed level that has a couple of special spots to shoot for, and a ball trap, and... well, the bare essentials to call it a well filled-out pinball board. The second one, 'Professor', is more bare-bones, and basically boring, though it does do some neat things with elevated tubes that are fun to look at. I think it may be unfinished.

Both boards are pretty minimalistic - it seems more like a proof of concept that never got any more work. The graphics are nice-looking, and the physics and sounds complement one another for a good play experience. But the two boards that come with the game are limited, and don't do anywhere near as much with the engine as they could/should.

Emilia Pinball works fine windowed, but be leery of full-screen. I ended up having to do a hard-reset for the third time today, as after quitting the program I got a black screen with a mouse-cursor and nothing else. After the game proved decent, and performed flawlessly, it seemed doubly a shame that it would crash on me when I was done with it.

If you're looking for a free pinball game, look no further, but don't expect it to hold your interest for very long. Neither of the two boards are quite up to the level of complexity of the pinball game which shipped with certain versions of Windows, quite, but the potential is definitely there. Contrasting the the great projects that are dead, and the overly-ambitious projects that somehow keep treading water while never nearing completion is a depressing thing, I think.

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