ZX Computing

Macadam Bumper

Publisher: PSS
Machine: Amstrad/Spectrum

Published in ZX Computing #22

Macadam Bumper

It is hard to simulate the old pin table, bumpers, buzzers, bleepers, nudges and all the paraphenalia of the arcade on a home computer. I love pinball tables and have awaited a good computer version for some time.

This one is as close as I think it is possible to get, all the usual features are implemented and you can almost feel the balls bouncing around, giving them ust that gentle nudge at the right time. Not only is the standard program very playable but there is also the option to design your own pinball table layout and play it. This is a simple matter although to get the best results a little planning is required at first. The screen is split into two, vertically, and the playing area is on the left while a typical pinball picture is on the right. This also shows scores and players turns etc. In design mode this picture is replaced by the graphic components of the table and they are selected and placed on the playing area as required.

Once designed and completed, you can save your work to tape, you can even send it to PSS as an entry to their competition and win your very own real pinball machine. Not bad. As a pinball program, it is very playable, and with the option of making your own designs the life of this program is extended greatly. Get bored, design a new game.

I must admit I enjoyed the fact that I didn't keep losing a game when an overenthusiastic nudge would usually produce a 'tilt' message, this feature does not seem to have been included. However, I keep getting the annoying feeling that I've cheated in some way...