25 May, 2014

Beyond Timeshock

Timeshock was supposed to come out at the end of 2013. At the pace at which things are advancing I am not sure if a 2014 deadline will be respected. Please, do not get me wrong. The ProPinball team at Barnstorm Games are doing a fantastic job. The new version of Timeshock will certainly be the best simulation ever. But I am not sure that it will be profitable enough, so as to justify investing into another ProPinball resurrection. I frankly hope to be proven wrong on this point but I am not overly optimistic. 

So, let us consider the worst case scenario, one where the revival of ProPinballs ends with Timeshock. As far as iDevices are concerned there is no much hope. However for the Mac the situation is less gloomy. One can always install Windows under BootCamp and play the Windows version of all ProPinballs. However, this week-end I stumbled upon another solution. Following some links on the web I ended up at the page of

Paul the Tall

It’s a website devoted to porting Windows games to the Mac. And, what is most interesting, the site proposes ports of Timeshock, Big Race USA and Fantastic Journey. Since BRUSA is my favourite ProPinball I decided to concentrate on it.

The port is based on the commercial application Crossover. I had Crossover for quite some time back (when it went free for one day). Purchasing Crossover will set you back 48 € but it is worth it when you have to use regularly apps from the dark side. Paul’s website proposes what they call a CrossTie as well as a wrapper for the game. The former makes the installation of the pinball into Crossover pretty straightforward. Finally one has to obtain the Windows binary of the game. I happen to have the Good Old Games version of all three available ProPinballs; if you don’t you can purchase each for 5.99 $, a more than reasonable price. Moreover the games come DRM-free, something that I do appreciate a lot. I had BRUSA installed within a few minutes and it plays perfectly.

The next I will try will be installing The Web. Since the game was produced for Windows 95 I expect some difficulties. In any case I will keep you posted.

11 May, 2014

Farsight’s Junk Yard

No, for once I am not vilifying Farsight. Junk Yard is the name of their new, season 3 table. It just came out and I must say that I like it a lot. 

The scenario is funny: you must collect junk and use it to escape from Crazy Bob's clutches. The table has plenty of interesting stuff: a toilet (!), a magic bus, a demolition ball, to name but a few. Still the playfield is uncluttered and the ball does not drain too easily (except through the outlanes which are a nightmare). Not a very easy game; but definitely one that I have really enjoyed playing.

The difficulty with Junk Yard, as implemented by Farsight, is that one simply cannot find a ball visible over the whole playfield. It’s “White Water” all over again. I experimented with different balls and the golf ball is the one that I found less disconcerting. You can shape your opinion on the ball’s visibility on the screenshot above.

Obviously the new, season 3, prices, with their 100 % increase, are here to stay. But I had decided not to nag at Farsight this time so I will not say more on pricing. (I will certainly have the occasion when they produce a table that I do not like).

01 May, 2014

Zen Pinball new Stars Wars tables

Zen Studios have just announced the third instalment of the Star Wars pinball series: Heroes Within. It is a four-table game. All four tables, 


Episode IV, a new hope

Han Solo

and Masters of the Force

are graphically superb. Moreover every table costs less than half those of Pinball Arcade.

As you probably have noticed already, I am not a big fan of Zen Pinballs. Still the pinballs of Zen Studios are among the best available today on OSX and iOS and if you are not, like myself, allergic to their excessive use of animations, you could give them a try. I do not intend to do so. Thus it would be great if someone could comment on these pinballs after having tried them.