Ah, pinball machines. I love their looming physical presence, their obnoxious lights and buzzers, their cheesy music and their ridiculous Vegas-esque themes.
They don’t make pinball machines like they used to. In fact, they pretty much straight up don’t make pinball machines anymore. They are insanely expensive to develop and their finicky and delicate machinery requires too much maintenance to be worth fooling around with anymore. Nowadays, as game companies like Konami are discovering, the real money is in video pachinko and slot machines. Which is a shame because pinball machines are uniquely charming, like miniature carnival attractions decorating your favorite pizza parlor.
When I was a kid, I defined “adult success” as owning my very own pinball machine. So you can guess that I was pretty damn excited when the very first computer that our family owned came fully loaded with Space Cadet Pinball.
Oh my lord, that music…
Space Cadet Pinball came free with the Microsoft Windows 95 Plus! Pack. I am certain I spent more hours playing this quirky little game then I ever spent playing on physical pinball machines. It was so convenient! And the missions mechanic gave you an incentive to keep working towards something beyond a mere high score. It was the original addictive casual game, the ancestor to a thousand Angry Birds and Fruit Ninjas.
PS: How is Angry Birds getting made into a movie and not Space Cadet Pinball? I would love to watch a movie where this little guy has to pilot his spaceship around as it goes pinging off of asteroids and blasting through wormholes. Hell, you could even have multiple versions of the same ship from different timelines converge into a multi-ball scenario.
There’s not really much else to say about this old school gem.
Say goodbye to your productivity!