Ultima 3 Pinball – Atari 800 Pinball Construction Set

This is the second and as far as I know final Ultima pinball table, from the same author as the Ultima 2 table I looked at yesterday. It’s available as a free download from http://www.atarimania.com/game-atari-400-800-xl-xe-ultima-iii-pinball_20429.html. This one has a similar layout with the table split into halves and compartments in each corner. It’s a lot busier than the Ultima 2 table though with plenty of bumpers and targets to aim for.

I wouldn’t say that I could do all that much aiming having said that. It’s more of a case of just making sure you hit the ball at all. Once it gets into a compartment, it can bounce around racking up points for several seconds and I had it stay up in the top right for a couple of minutes at one point without me having to do anything.

Unusually, the game starts with a ball in play at the top left before you pull the plunger. The best tactic presumably would be to play this ball first and then launch the other but I wasn’t patient enough for that.

The physics on this can be even stranger than the last table with the ball going off at crazy speeds and angles. I’ve also had it go into slow motion in the bottom half of the table at times. This is particularly strange when the other ball is pinging around like it’s made out of rubber in the same area.

In short, the price is right but I still couldn’t say that anyone should go out of their way to play this.

There are a couple more books in the replacementdocs holding area of the downloads. I’ve redone the Dig guide having got hold of a copy myself recently. The original was much smaller but a bit too compressed for my liking. I’ve also uploaded the Sam And Max Hit The Road hintbook.

Ultima 2 Pinball – Atari 800 Pinball Construction Set

This is a fan game that I’d never heard of until I discovered it yesterday, Ultima 2 Pinball on the Atari 400/800. It was created with the Pinball Construction Set by Charles Duncan and is available as a free download from http://www.atarimania.com/game-atari-400-800-xl-xe-ultima-ii-pinball_20428.html

I’ve played half a dozen games on the table and it’s better than I expected but I can hardly recommend it. The pinball physics don’t feel anything like the real thing. The ball can bounce around at ridiculous speeds at times and combined with flippers that are a little too slow it doesn’t make life easy. Also the sound could be straight off a PC speaker and it grates quickly.

As for the actual table, the playfield is split into several compartments with small entry holes to aim for. There isn’t much in the bottom half of the table and you will want to keep the ball in the top half as much as possible. The bottom right compartment has a nasty tendency to get the ball up to supersonic speeds and throw it out between the flippers.

The top half of the table has Lord British sat on his throne where you get to bounce pinballs off him while taking out the surrounding drop targets. There is also a ball gatherer for multiball on the top left, but I never managed to get more than 2 balls in here. Behind LB is a hole which swallows any ball that makes it up there and needs to be avoided.

I do like the idea of an Ultima themed pinball table (although Wing Commander would be better), but the technology here isn’t up to doing it justice. It might have been fun at the time but this is more of a curiosity than something you would actually want to play these days. Having said that, the same author did an Ultima 3 table which I’ll be having a go on next.