Pinball Hall of Fame: the Gottlieb Collection

Pinball Hall of Fame: the Gottlieb Collection

Chris Baker

With collections such as Midway Arcade Treasures and Namco Museum out there, it’s nice to see a totally different, less expected type of arcade compilation as well. Pinball Hall of Fame: The Gottlieb Collection compiles seven of the manufacturer’s best-loved machines from the ’50s to the ’90s in a nearly perfect manner (right down to that weird “click, click, click” noise), interactively combining excellent pinball gameplay with a veritable history lesson.

One of the biggest kicks you’ll get out of Collection is living the evolution these games went through, from the simplicity of Ace High (1957) to the ramps of Genie (1979) to the dot-matrix screen accompanying Tee’d Off (1993). The game also briefs you on the historical significance of all the machines (Who knew that 1981’s Black Hole is the most profitable pinball machine ever?) and excellently details their scoring systems. You’ll find this particularly helpful if you hope to place highly on the Xbox Live scoreboard (you Central Park master, you) or unlock cool arcade-themed extras like the Love Meter and Xolten, the mechanized fortune-teller.

As much of a history lesson as Collection provides, though, you can’t help but want more. Developer FarSight provides seven machines but teases with the knowledge that Gottlieb produced about 200 more. Sure, it’s not practical to adapt every single one—especially in a budget title—but why not at least include a list with pictures and brief details? Gottlieb is an important, interesting company, and you might just find yourself compelled to learn more about it after playing this compilation. Which you most definitely will if you call yourself a pinball fan.

07 OUT OF TEN

PUBLISHER: Crave // DEVELOPER: FarSight Studios // PLAYERS: 1-4 // LIVE: Yes // MSRP: $19.99 // ESRB: E

Copyright © 2005 Ziff Davis Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. Originally appearing in Xbox Nation.