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Pinbo - November 11, '00 by Dorsola
Game:PinboCompany:Strike/Jaleco
Type:PlatformPlayers:1/2

Oy vey... Okay, in the world of video pinball simulators, there are good pinball simulators... and then there's this. Pinbo, a small game released by Jaleco in 1985, is a game that attempts to play a basic pinball game with a few add-ons - something that's rather popular in arcade and console renditions of pinball machines. But... well, maybe I'm just losing my touch as a reviewer, but I can't really adequately describe just how bad this game is. Maybe I'll start by picking it apart from a technical standpoint.
Well, lessee... there's next to nothing in the way of enticing graphics. The playfield is a basic outline much like what you'd expect to see in an old 1978 game, but with color. There are various targets to hit, rollovers, etc, and some different themes that you can access by hitting various combinations of targets, etc. Toward the bottom is a "Safety Zone", whose purpose doesn't become clear until it actually disappears. (When it's gone, a couple of walking robot-like things can come down and eat your flippers! Now doesn't that suck?) Ball movement isn't all that great - there are a lot of times where the ball moves as though it was pre-programmed to move that way, and often times this means you have a 75% chance of losing the ball. And to top it off, there are various "bonus modes" where you can score extra points by completing a certain goal in a short amount of time. I've only seen a few of these, and they're really not all that great - one of them even has corrupted-looking graphics in it, though that might be due to a bad ROM dump or bad emulation.
Alrighty, enough about the graphics and gameplay. Let's look at the sound: We're talking very basic noises here - mostly musical jingles and bends that try to call out what's happening while you play. The music is sparse and nonsensical, really not adding anything to the game itself. There's really not much more to say.
About the only thing this game has going for it is the fact that it performs like a champ in MAME. (Not that that's all that hard to do - the game is so basic in terms of its hardware requirements that I'd think there was a serious problem if it didn't work well on a 486...)
For an example of a REAL pinball simulator, see Pinball Action. (I wrote the review for that game some time back - it's a real beauty!) Don't bother with this game - it ain't worth it. :P
Graphics
3
3
Sound
Play Control
4
4
Challenge
Replay Value
1
10
Performance

Screen Shots

Screen Shot 1
2000 EmuViews