The Game: In a game that bears some slight resemblence to a Japanese offshoot of pinball, you control – for lack of a better description – a man stuck in a gigantic Pachinko playing field. You attempt to keep your ball in play, scoring points as often as possible by landing the ball in one of five cups marked with a point value – some targets can score zero points, others as high as ten. The other player – either a human being or the computer – can temporarily take over your ball by touching it, just as you can with theirs. (There’s nothing quite like making someone else’s balls work for you.) And a third man roams the playing field as well, grabbing your…well, let’s start that again. If the computer-controlled third man grabs a ball in mid-flight, he’ll relaunch it in a random direction, maybe to you, maybe to your opponent. Whoever accumulates 100 points first wins. (Magnavox, 1980)
Memories: Hey, we do requests here at Phosphor Dot Fossils, and this one’s overdue. A reader recently wrote to remind me that the Pachinko! review has been “coming soon” for a dog’s age, and wanted to know if “soon” was getting any sooner. I’m glad he wrote in, for I discovered that I had never actually played this game. I’ve had the cartridge sitting on my shelf forever, but I hadn’t plugged it in until now.
Reading the directions didn’t really help me to comprehend this game any better. If the above description of the game sounds like I’ve never laid eyes on the manual, trust me, it’s not that – I just think that the back-of-the-box blurb barely does the sheer strangeness of this game justice. It’s almost like someone’s second or third-hand idea of what Pachinko is, expanded to Land Of The Giants proportions.
Definitely one of the stranger titles in the Odyssey2 canon, but I will give it credit for being more fun than Thunderball as pinball-esque simulations go.