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Steve Evans
Arcade: Pinball
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Tony Worrall
Chris Bourne

Cripes! A pinball simulation on the Speccy. I haven't seen one of these for a long, long time. Macadam Bumper was the last, and that was light years ahead of this budget offering from Alternative.

In fact there's not an awful lot to say about Micro Ball. If you go for pinball machines it may satisfy you for a while, but it will bore the pants off anyone else.

The trouble is Micro Ball is so average. Neither mega-good or terribly bad - just oh-so-average. It is perfectly adequate as a simple pinball conversion, but there is nothing special about it. Nothing flashy, nothing different enough in the programming to make you suit up and take notice.

It features, if you really want to know, a four player option, two flippers (wow!), a selection of very complicated bonuses and a useful tilt button. The ball can travel at a fairly nifty pace at times which makes it interesting to play, but because of a bug in the layout the ball sometimes gets stuck making a system reset the only way to continue. Bad news.

It is below par budget fare (try saying that fast!), but if you like this kind of thing it could be good value. One thing's for sure - it will never turn you into a pinball wizard.

So-so pinball simulation. If taken in large doses a very good cure for insomnia.