Pinballvania!

“Pinballvania!” by Jose Guerra.

“Collect all the green pickups to open the exit […] of each stage. Finish all [twenty] stages[.]”


Even though the game is called “Pinballvania!”, it is not an actual pinball game in the traditional sense. You do not just control the take-off speed of the ball with the plunger and afterwards activate the flippers whenever you feel like it. Instead, you control each ‘course’ by rotating the whole level!

To solve a level, you have to collect all the orbs, as only then the exit to the next level will open. Bumper-like monsters and structures will make “Pinballvania!” more difficult over time, and there are even some boss fights. You will encounter a big green slime in every fifth level, which has to be eliminated by direct hits with the ball. But there are two problems with that: For one, the slimes are pretty bouncy and the recoil will shoot you back, and secondly, the one-eyes creatures will teleport themseleves after losing some health to another place.

All these elements make “Pinballvania!” a fun arcade game, even though some aspects might feel somewhat tedious over time. It can feel discouraging to fall back into a former section of a ‘course’, just because you did not react fast enough. But on the other side, that is exactly the point and can make the title a quite exquisite speedrunning challenge. [PLAY]

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