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Taking Pinball To Another Dimension... AND BEYOND

Which World Will You Conquer First?

Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Stake out vampires as you search for the Invisible Girl! Take your best shot and discover the mausoleum's secret passage. Beware of the Zombies!

Shatter hive eggs and annihilate the Alien Queen! But watch out! Hatching larvae can explode from the Queen's stomach and snatch your ball away!

Track down the Predator in the jungle and the city! Collect human and alien skulls for bonus points! Set traps and plan your escape!

The Fly
Enter the telepod and be transported. Destroy the Brundleflies as the table mutates. Don't get caught in the spider's web! Are you good enough to uncover the bonus vintage fly table?

  • Make difficult shots and target combos to trigger cool animations, score jackpots and intensify gameplay. Watch film clips on the video screen, play mini-games, and a keep an eye on your score. Artwork morphs and interacts with the table as you battle your way to a high score. 
  • Accept the coolest pinball challenge ever, with four of the hottest sci-fi characters in any universe!
  • Rack up your score as over 100 movie clips and sound bites transport you to the heart of the action!
  • Make daring skill shots and target combinations to flip your way to 11 bonus mini-games for extra play!
  • Battle your way to higher levels as playing fields morph to reveal new challenges!
 Additional Game Features
  • Three levels of difficulty from Novice to Arcade
  • For 1-4 players
  • Play using keyboard, mouse, or gamepad
~ from the back of the box
Digital pinball, in my view, is always entertaining. In short bursts at least. They can vary drastically in quality, and the worst succumb to a poor representation of metal ball physics. The best take a compelling theme and run with it. Sci-Fi Pinball by Fox Interactive does both of these things right, so it should be a top-tier pinballer. Alas, it is not.

There are 4 tables to choose from, each based on a famed movie or TV property. We have Aliens, Predator and David Cronenberg's The Fly flying front and centre - the latter of which has an unlockable bonus table based on a real-world retro machine. The one that seems to get the most prominence is  the one promoting Fox's brand new television hit; Buffy the Vampire Slayer (it was only a year old in 1999 when this game was released). All four main tables are packed with special features, hidden mini-games some great theming. They also have precise and predictable controls so even a novice can practice lining up shots with precision. The layout of each table, however, is a little uninspired, overly fiddly and devoid of spectacle.

The Fly table (left). Open and enter pods to trigger events.
Punch a Predator by finding the mini-game in the Predator table (right).

The table is on full display at all times on the left-hand side of the screen and even with the 800x600 resolution some of the small details go unnoticed by my aging eyes. Buffy claims she must get to class, but it took me a few seconds to understand where it is. As this table progresses, you will be tasked to go to different 'locations' (but heading up ramps or hitting targets) but each entrance is small and narrow so your aim will have to be close to exact. It's not impossible thanks the great controls, but it is a little annoying if you want to follow the adventure elements of each table.

The rest of the screen is an LCD screen and a  themed animation representing the plunger. These are quite fun be it a giant flying proboscis sloppily spewing shiny spheres or an alien egg popping out pinballs, it sure is inventive. The LCD screen does more than just show you your score. On occasion, video sequences from the movies play out, though they are hard to make out due it trying to replicate the low-res, monochromatic nature of a real-world machine. Like those found in your local arcade, it will also host some mini-games. Whether you find them depends on your skill, but the one I got to play were simple yet fun distractions from flipping those flippers. Sometimes, it was such a distraction that as soon as normal play resumed, I fumbled the ball and lost it immediately. Sadly, this is more of an indictment to my skill than the design of the game.

We're on an egg hunt (though not for Easter Eggs) in the Alien table (left).
Slaying vampires by the school lockers in the mini-game found in the Buffy table (right).

While I probably spent more time on the Buffy table - horror is more my jam - the best of the bunch is probably one based on The Predator. The layout is the clearest, with triggers placed in logical positions, many interesting ramps and an imposing cabin in the centre towards the top that will trigger events. The cabin is just hard to enter so that events are still special and rare but not so hard as to be impossible. You even get to punch a Predator in the face in one of the mini-games, so it's an instant win. With its more focussed design, this one would make for a great coin-waster in a real-world arcade.

Even though I've been a little critical of Sci-Fi Pinball overall, my first sentence still stands. Pinball games are always at least a little bit of fun. This one is that, but nothing on offer stands out to be particularly memorable other than the classic licences they've acquired. It was originally a budget release back then, so when taking that into account I guess you get your money's worth. Hardcore digital pinball fans of the era should stick to Full Tilt Pinball instead.

To download the PC game, follow the link below. This custom installer exclusive to The Collection Chamber uses dgVoodoo to run on modern systems. Read the ChamberNotes.txt for more detailed information. Tested on Windows 10.

File Size: 71.0 Mb.  Install Size: 200 Mb.  Need help? Consult the Collection Chamber FAQ


Sci-Fi Pinball is © Fox Interactive
Review, Cover Design and Installer created by me

Like this? Try These...

https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/star-trek-pinball.html  https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/full-tilt-2-pinball.html  https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/3d-ultra-pinball-space-colony.html


  1. Digital pinball has really matured to the point of perfection with Zaccaria and Pinball FX3 (the newer Pinball FX is still a bit rough). But the road to these was very very rocky.

  2. Thank you for another great entry! However, after downloading I get an error message telling me to insert disk to play.