Pinballvania!

“Pinballvania!” by Jose Guerra.

“Collect all the green pickups to open the exit […] of each stage. Finish all 20 stages[.]”


Even though the game is called “Pinballvania!”, it’s not an actual pinball game in the traditional sense. You don’t just control the take-off speed of the ball with the plunger and afterwards activate the flippers when you want to. Instead, you control each ‘course’ by rotating the whole level to your liking!

To solve a level, you have to collect all the orbs; just 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. Each fifth level a big green slime 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 second, 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 a bit tedious after some time. It can feel discouraging to fall back into a former section of a ‘course’, just because you didn’t react fast enough. But on the other side, that’s exactly the point and can make the game a quite exquisite speedrunning contests. Overall, a great physics game made with PICO-8.

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