I am a huge pinball fan, but sadly there are few places to actually play pinball machines anymore. There are a few arcades and events throughout the United States but the days of being able to play pinball nearly everywhere sadly does not exist any longer.
Now thanks to the Pinball Arcade from Farsight studios you can play many classic pinball machines on nearly every gaming system or portable device. I have reviewed many of the games in the past (Click Here) and while I’m usually not the biggest fan of licensed machines I do have a fondness for a few and one of them is Bally’s Doctor Who.
Released in 1992 by Bally/Midway with a run of 7,752 units and was very successful at the time. It was based on the long running BBC series and included the first 7 Doctors at the time the machine was made. All of the original audio and graphics have been used in the digital version of the machine. While the machine did not have any of the actors voices it does however include the Dalek classic exterminate line of dialog.
As with all of the Pinball Arcade machines the digital version plays just like the actual original machine and while it by no means replaces playing the actual machine it’s about $4990.00 cheaper to own and takes up no space except the space on your hard drive.
The Doctor Who pinball has a great design that is both easy and challenging. The thing that I like about the game is that the playfield is pretty open and there is not a lot of junk on the playfield to get in the way or make the shots super difficult. While it’s easy to play it does have a lot of challenge to it. You must make certain shots to get each of the seven doctors. That can be quite a challenge but each of the various playfield zone features relates to one of the individual Doctors. This also affects gameplay rules. Completing a Doctor’s playfield zone does not award that Doctor, but earning that Doctor will make earning the zone’s award easier.
This really ramps up the challenge on the game and one of the biggest is the multi-ball. You have to lock two of the balls then once you lock them a third ball is released. You must then unlock the Dalek by lighting the 15 Time Expander Factors then the third level is getting all three of the Dalek’s. If it sounds hard then you would be right. It takes a lot of time and skill but if your able to do it then you really start to rack up the points.
Doctor Who is not necessarily my favorite pinball machine of all time but it’s pretty high on the list of good machines. I have to give the original designers Bill Pfutzenreuter and Barry Oursler who designed many great pinball machine include one of my all time favorite ones PIN-BOT. They wisely designed the game to be accessible to novice players but with great challenges for more seasoned players.
Overall the Pinball Arcade version is a great addition to the every growing selection of classic pinball machines that is both affordable and as close as you can get without spending thousands of dollars and space to own. They recreated the machine in the digital world and having played the original machine I can very much recommend this version to anyone who is not only a pinball lover but if you’re a fan of Doctor Who then you should really check this game out. At only $4.99 you really can’t go wrong with this game.