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1-2 Player

Game Type


Mem. Card

Review Date

March 1997

Setting the Scene

Take a beat-em-up from the arcades, then provide a replica on the Playstation and you have a successful game and with the availability of the steering wheel, the same can be said of any racing game.

Pub transitions are a different kettle of fish, if a fruit machine was made into a video game it would inevitably fail because the main thrill of the gamble has been removed. Darts is a definite non starter due to the fact that the entire game is dependant on the human touch and skillful aiming, so if this was placed in the hands of a computer, the challenge would become inconsequential. Pool has been attempted a number of times and I suppose can be classed as reasonably successful but I would still prefer to use the cash price of a video game for 112 games of real pool in my local (approx conversion).

That leaves pinball, a game that companies have invested a great amount of time and resources to perfect an actual simulation, with some claiming relative success while others have failed miserably. So can pinball work in a video game format? Virgin Interactive claim to have painstakingly recreated Tilt to perform in the manner of a real pinball table. Lets see.


Pinball is a game that frequents both arcades and pubs where it is usually tucked away in a dark corner due to the size of the table. It was immensely popular in the 50's, 60's and 70's and has recently acclaimed a mini revival. The object of the game is to launch an oversize metal ballbearing around a sloping table that contains colorful backdrops, a number of rebounding obstacles, usually a couple of ramps and two flippers which are used to flip the ball back into play.

The Playstation has received a mixture of Pinball games over the last twelve months, I suppose you could say there has been a good, a not too bad and an ugly.

Empire's Pro Pinball-The Web, presently sits at the top of the table, with it's graphical supremacy and quality gameplay, although it lacked lastability due to the fact that there was only one table to play, but what do you want, quality or quantity? Well, both actually. Ocean's True Pinball was OK with it's selection of four tables, three viewing angles and a number of suitable tunes to accompany the action. EA's Extreme Pinball was awful, with many minor flaws in the gameplay and the graphical content, and the unbelievable problem that incurred when the silver ball crossed the silver backgrounds, made me wonder if this game was ever tested before release.

The best pinball video game that I have played is Codemasters Psycho Pinball on the Megadrive, with its 2D top view, crisp and colorful graphics, suitable music, four tables and many sub-games. It seems clear that programming the 3D view is creating the major problem for developers, as a stroll around the arcades and pubs will quickly show which pinball games play the best and prove most popular. All we want is something that feels right and is challenging, but fun to play, just take a look at Psycho.


There are two views on offer in Tilt, a 2D top scrolling version which is playable on all of the tables and a 3D table view that has been the bug bear of all previous pinball games, but we will go into this later.

Let's start with the backgrounds. There are six different table tops in Tilt, covering a wide variety of themes. First up is Roadking USA which has roads for ramps, subways to cut through and plenty of flashing lights but the background tends to look rather clustered and non descript. Next is Fun Fair which features the best graphics seen on a pinball table to date. It is bright, colorful and spacious and includes every detail associated with all the fun of the fair from merry-go-rounds to the big wheel. The Monster has a backdrop of Frankenstein with his monster strapped down and plugged into an electrified table. Gangster has a 30's style look to it but is another of the over clustered tables that makes special shots a little difficult to spot immediately. Star Quest is a spacious table with a background of dark blue space and twinkling stars and has spaceships, asteroids and docking bays as its theme. Finally we have Myst and Majic, once again a cluttered backdrop with just too much going with its medieval theme.

Right, lets get straight to the point. Until someone invents a screen that has an upright rectangular form, pinball table shape, then I do not believe that a pinball game will work in 3D. Virgin have selected the best possible angle to show off these games but the problem remains that unless the table is void of features then it will always appear clustered, but you need the features to make the game entertaining. It's a no win situation. The only tables that work in 3D are the Fun Fair and Star Quest, because they only have a loop at the top of the screen whereas the other tables have skill shots, bumpers and generally every important aspect of a pinball game shoved up to the top of the screen where the 3D effect renders them unplayable. Switch them onto 2D scrolling and you have six varied and entertaining games, point made.

Each game is interrupted by a FMV when a ball is locked but thankfully it can be switched off.

Sounds and Effects

What Tilt lacks in 3D effects is more than made up for with its sounds and effects. The musical selection is absolutely superb with each table accompanied by a fitting soundtrack, perfect. Rockin' road music for Roadking, 30's style jazz tunes for Gangster, a slow moody sound that you could easily spacewalk to backs Star Quest and a medieval soundtrack of horns and trumpets for Myst and Majik. A special mention for the Fun fair with it's excellent 'merry-go-round' fairground tunes and The Monster with it's haunting 'Adams Family' type harpsichord music.

The sound effects have been so well thought out with each theme surrounded by accurate noises. When launching your ball in the Roadking game you hear the sound of a car ignition, then the screaming tyres as your ball takes off. On losing your ball the sound of a car hitting the breaks, skidding and then crashing accompanies the action. The Fun Fair is jam packed with fun sounds from the crashing of cymbals as your ball is launched to the mocking giggles as your ball disappears down the hole. In fact all of the sound effects are superb within each game apart from Myst and Majik where the sound of the ball crashing against the bumpers appears to be the noise of a multiple car crash, strange one that.


The one thing that Tilt offers you is variation with the selection of six tables, each sporting a different theme and an individual gameplay.

A fast and furious game to begin with where the gentle launching of the ball should result in a skill bonus. Control of the ball is imperative in Roadking as wild flipping will only result in an early exit while aiming for the subway will lock your ball for the multiball feature. The wide ramps are not too difficult to hit but beware as the ball will return at lightening speed. Definately a game for the quick thinkers. Out of the six games, I found this table the most difficult to get going on because of the pace.

This table has been designed to ease novice gamers into pinball. A fairly strong launch is required to reach the loop where there is an extra flipper to flip the ball around the ball lock loop. Multiballs are awarded for ten loops. An accurate shot is required to enter the ghost train where bonus points and features are awarded. The upper part of the table has an inner game and to enter you must light up the letters FUN, once inside control of the ball with the small flippers should boost your score. This table was most enjoyable due to the excellent sound effects and music although the ball spent most of the time going round and round the main loop.

A gentle launch will see your ball fall into one of the three holes for a skill bonus. This game features many ramps but keep an eye out for the guillotine where a bonus is awarded for entering. Monster is one of the more skillful games where control of the ball, rather than just thrashing at it, will reap many points. I found the special targets difficult to find in Monster, as one of the unusual things about Tilt is there are no tips given to reveal bonus shots, therefore you will have to stumble upon the special targets to access the jackpot.

A tricky skill shot that requires an element of luck as well as control as the skill shot will change on each launch, so you would be as well to gently send the ball up the opening ramp to have a sneaky look before your initial launch. Created in the style of Williams / Bally machines, Gangster could be your quickest game unless you remain in control of the ball. The bonus ramp is set in the centre of the table and is not too difficult to reach.

The ball is launched straight into a bonus tunnel that offers a multiball every fourth entry. Shooting into the spaceship offers special bonus tasks while docking the ball in the bay provides a random award. There are plenty of opportunities to increase your score, too many if you ask me. The manual states that this table is pitched for the beginners, your telling me. I scored well over 1,500,000,000 on my first ball and as an extra ball is awarded for every 150,000,000 I had ten extra balls to use up before I was onto my second ball. After two hours I reached 7,000,000,000 and over twenty balls to play, so I quit the game.

For experts only this medieval game should test the best pinball wizards out there. A fast moving game that will prove difficult to master and the cluttered backdrop will only add to the challenge. The random bonus shot is quite tricky and the side ramps will take some accurate shooting.

There you go, Tilt offers clear graphics, six tables, an excellent music selection, lots of sub-games and two views.

Value for Money

If you would like to own a pinball game for your Playstation then look no further than Tilt. No other game features six tables with each requiring a different style of play, but forget about the 3D option and the two tables I found it a quite frustrating view. Apart from this, Tilt is as good as your going to get.





The challenge in all pinball games remains to beat the best score and with six tables to select Tilt should hold your attention for many weeks. The lack of instructions for the multiple or bonus shots was slightly frustrating but this can only add to the lastability.








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