Flipper Pinball was designed by Jeff Corsiglia and coded by Mark Indictor in 1983. This game is also known as Spinball in the U.S. but both games play the same apart from having a different overlay, front-page of instruction page, cart label and title on the box. As a matter of fact even Flipper pronounces ‘Spinball’ on the games title screen, a mistake in translation perhaps.
One feature of Flipper, which is lacking in many other Vectrex games, is a pause button. Simply pressing button ‘1’ during play freezes the action which can be handy when a friend drops by or something interesting appears on TV. Scoring is a problem in Flipper as the score is not displayed during the game which can get kind of irritating not knowing how you are progressing, and I’m not sure if US Spinball suffers from the same problem.
Over the years videogame pinball has showed up on various platforms and with varying amounts of success. Bumper Bash (1983), Midnight magic (1988 Atari) and Intellivision Pinball (1983) are all quite well known releases which have been enjoyed by gamers over the years.
Various bells and whistles appear on Flipper including, Centre Chute Diamonds, Six-sided Bumpers, Spinners, Drop Targets, Ball Splitter, Ball Savers and Glassies. And at stages you can have at least two balls playing on the screen at one time which adds up to pinball frenzy.
Flipper even has a ’tilt’ function just like a regular arcade pinball machine. Flipper does have it’s problems for the gamer however. For starters the distance between each flipper is way to big and on numerous occasions I found myself getting frustrated with how many balls I was loosing for such a little score. The table is extremely balanced though and with some perseverance the gamer can have a fun game of pinball if a little on the tedious side. The ball tends to stay in the top-half of the screen for a large amount of time and then when it makes it to the bottom straight through the middle of the flippers it goes. Going sometimes on ebay for $35.
Review written by Daniel Foot
Instruction can be found at: