Pinball. A staple in most arcades and a genre that is quite misunderstood by most of the, dying, arcade going public. There is more to pinball than what players see as they pass by on their quest to put quarters into the latest one on one fighting game. There is finesse, strategy and technique mixed with sheer luck and player intervention between the ball and the playfield. Simply batting the ball around for points is not the only thing going on here. Alien Pinball for the Atari 2600 looks to bring a lot of that second sense play to one of the earliest home gaming consoles. So far, they are close to accomplishing that goal.
Everyone reading this, even those not familiar with the Atari 2600, can tell by looking at the screenshots that Alien Pinball is not going to be that 100% version of the arcade game. Graphically the Atari 2600 is left in the dust which leaves that second sense of gaming. This is where the Atari 2600 can shine though and Atari Age forum member, and developer of Alien Pinball, “winkdot” is focusing attention.
Flippers are enabled individually, and simultaneously for those rare moments, and there is even a tilt option to be concerned with. Yes, you can “sway” the ball a bit by bumping the machine- do it too much and you will get a tilt which causes you to lose all of your points for that round (including any bonus points racked up). Tilting can put a serious damper on a good run.
Some recent additions to Alien Pinball include gravity effecting the ball, corrected collision elements and gameplay switches are active. Alien Pinball will probably continue to become better with the second sense side of gaming as development continues. Winkdot is not scared to edit, re-edit and work out the kinks in the code as evidenced in his ongoing devlog posts on Atari Age.