Format: PS2
Ubi Soft
3 307210 156815
Age Restrictions: 3+

The latest game from Ubi Soft is based on the traditional pinball game
and plunges the player in to a psychedelic world with impressive animation and frantic missions. To unlock all of the pinball tables, players need to complete missions such as destroying UFOs, saving pink flamingos from deadly crocodiles or feeding malicious primates. There are four multiplayer mini-games, including football and basketball tables...

It's bizarre, but I'd never understood the appeal of pinball game conversions. Being a bit of an old bloke (well, in my 30's), I remember when it was cool to stand around the pinball table in the pub while your mates cheered on. So, to bring that atmosphere into the home gaming market has never really appealed to me. Until now.

Flipnic (which if you say it fast enough sounds like "flippin' eck!") takes the pinball idea and really rips it apart - creating something totally new and visually stunning. Unlike normal pinball games, you won't spend the entire time staring at the same old dull pinball table.

There is also a great sense of humour displayed throughout this game, with over the top American accents really hamming it up. From the opening "Drop of silver approaches the stage" to the numerous in game vocals like: "Multiball - Have a fantastic time!" you'll be grinning from ear to ear.

The main focus of the levels is a themed table, of sorts, which branches out into other areas. Each of these smaller levels sets the player challenges including hitting bumpers to get butterflies to land on them and hitting a tree with the pinball a set number of times to release other options. Once these challenges have been completed, other areas are opened. But be warned, completing certain levels - like climbing the pinball wall - can be very frustrating.

And if you want a change of pace, there are always the fantastically addictive two player games to have a go at. How about basketball or football where you use bumpers from the pinball game to control where the ball goes? Or how about a game of that old classic Pong - the football version?

If you're not a fan of pinball games, then you are strongly advised to try this before you buy. But, with an RRP of only £20, Flipnic puts many games that cost twice the price to shame. As original releases go, you're not going to get much better than this.

Pete Boomer

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