Pinball Hall of Fame: The Gottlieb Collection Hands-On

We may not be the Pinball Wizard, but that didn't stop us from getting these impressions.


Last year, Crave released the critically acclaimed Pinball Hall of Fame: The Williams Collection, a collection of real-life pinball tables faithfully re-created for play at home. Now the company's bringing The Gottlieb Collection to the Wii. We were able to go hands-on with it at the E3 2009 booth, and what we saw impressed.

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After starting the game, we were able to explore a virtual arcade in which we could select one of four available tables, though the final game will reportedly feature 12. We decided to start things off with a space-themed table, because let's face it, space-themed stuff is awesome. With the table chosen, the game presents several options, such as exploring the history of the table more in-depth, checking out a scanned version of a flyer used to advertise the game, or watching a video walk-through of the table's features, which pointed out high-scoring locations. In addition, we could adjust how the game played, such as by varying the amount of tries that we had or how many balls were in play at once.

To get things started, you first need to launch the ball by pulling back on the control stick, like a plunger, and then releasing it, snapping the ball into play. At this point, the triggers on the Wii Remote and Nunchuk become your right and left paddles, respectively. In a particularly neat feature, you can tilt the table simply by shaking the controller, very similar to the real thing. We found the game particularly enjoyable to play when we tilted both the remote and Nunchuk so they faced inward, with the triggers on the outside. This more closely mimicked the way you play actual pinball, making it even more immersive (and yes, we know we're dorks).

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Given that the game is produced by the same developer as The Williams Collections, we weren't surprised to find that the physics felt spot-on, with the ball demonstrating proper momentum and bounding around the table realistically. Keep an eye out for more on this game when it launches this fall.

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