Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Enigma Pinball (PC)

It’s always a heartbreaker to see a dollar store closing, but, on the other hand, it always means they’re going to be getting rid of a lot of stuff and at ridiculously low prices.  Take this case, where I stumbled upon a PC game for only 10 cents.  The front box artwork features an alien’s face beckoning us, and in the background mysterious red lights, or if you have a taste for theatre, you can pretend it’s a red curtain after some thrilling extraterrestrial performance, but I digress.

“Targets appear and disappear in the blink of an eye!” the box proudly states, which is a kind way of marketing the programmer’s bad design skills as a special feature.  But, let’s not stop there, there are a lot of fabulously absurd quotes to be read: “Whoa!  You have just turned on the most unusual and challenging pinball game ever!” which is one of the boldest lies I’ve ever seen; and how about “Want to get the full arcade effect?  Turn up the stereo sound full blast, set the game for multi-ball, and really go crazy.”  Well, I’ve got the disk in my hand; let’s really go crazy!

Here’s three separate title screen images… the official logo (sucks), the main menu (arbitrary), and the game menu (asinine).  So far, I’m thinking things can only possibly get better from here.

I would apologize for only having one screenshot of the game itself, but honestly this single image shows you pretty much everything.  As you can see from the game menu screen up above, the actual layout for the pinball table is incredibly lacking.  They didn’t bother building a decent game, obviously; the table seems only 15% complete, and the only features are the ball occasionally changing colors (hence the gold hue in the above photo) and being able to “tilt” the table (thus disqualifying and losing your ball) by hitting the space bar.  You’ll get extremely tired of this game within the first 5 minutes of playing it, and that’s a guarantee.

Above is an image from the supposed last page of the built-in tutorial; however, there’s a page 34 that they’ve “hidden”, asking why you’re still looking around, and then a page 35 where they give you a secret code.  This might be kind of cool, in a not-so cool way, but the secret code doesn’t even work… so I hate you Enigma Pinball.  I guess some things aren’t even worth 10 cents.

Overall Grade: D 

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