Cubed3 Nintendo gaming, Wii and DS

Pinball: Revenge of the 'Gator (Game Boy) Review

Review for Pinball: Revenge of the

Although better known for its Kirby games, HAL Laboratory has developed a myriad of different types of titles over the years, including pinball. In fact, HAL's very first pinball game was released on the Commodore 64. With the release of the Game Boy came a portable pinball simulator, known as Pinball: Revenge of the 'Gator. This more-than-20-year-old game is now available on the Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console.

Hit a ball into stuff using the flippers and win points. That's the gist of just about every pinball game, right? It's no different with Pinball: Revenge of the 'Gator. Rather than simulating a true arcade pinball experience, however, this one is a bit more on the cartoony side of things. Granted, it would have been mighty difficult to emulate pinball simulators perfectly on the black-and-white 8-bit portable, anyway, but there's no reason at all why fans of table top arcade games wouldn't have enjoyed this at the time.

Screenshot for Pinball: Revenge of the 'Gator on Game Boy - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

As the name suggests, alligators are the main graphic on each screen, as the idea is to keep the ball from falling to the bottom pit where a hungry 'gator will eat it. Activate switches and open doors on certain screens to get higher up the table and travel to bonus stages to rack up points and try to get that high score. Naturally, as with many pinball games, there can be an element of luck involved; sometimes there is no way of getting the ball to go exactly where the intention is, or from stopping it from falling down the sides, but persistence is key to getting up to the higher screens. There really isn't anything complicated about the game, and it can be both a pleasant and mildly frustrating time-waster.

Sadly, due to the original game not having battery backup, high scores are never saved and recorded. They will only remain for as long as the game is not reset, and this unfortunately makes it a pain when coming back to challenge old scores. There is a two-player mode in which players can take turns by passing the 3DS back and forth when a ball is lost, so that's always a plus point, but the versus multiplayer options are locked due to the Video Link Cable requirement of the cartridge version. Nothing has been edited in this download variant to enable these modes, which comes as a shame.

Screenshot for Pinball: Revenge of the 'Gator on Game Boy - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Gameplay

D-pad for left flipper; A or B for right flipper. There's nothing complicated about this, so it makes finding someone else nearby to have a go at two-player much easier. It can be sometimes frustrating, but it's nothing unusual for a pinball title, and is generally quite amusing.

Graphics

Large and simple; no distractions. It's just how a Game Boy game should be.

Sound

There's only a very small selection of different tunes, but actually rather catchy ones. Thankfully, there aren't any annoying sound effects, either.

Value

It's just the one table but has around seven or eight different screens, including the bonus stages that can be reached. Compared to modern pinball games, it has a difficult job of holding its own, and the lack of high score saving is unfortunate. It's good in short bursts and the turn-based two-player may appeal to some, but it's unlikely to hold attention for the majority.

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Mediocre

About this score

There isn't much particularly wrong with Pinball: Revenge of the 'Gator; it's more down to the fact that the game is over 20 years old and it's just unlikely to really keep many occupied for very long today. Money is better off being put towards Zen Pinball 3D, or waiting for the upcoming 3DS version of Star Wars Pinball, instead. That said, if there's still a strong desire to satisfy a portable pinball urge, Pinball: Revenge of the 'Gator will fill that gap for a short time.

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19.09.2013

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Developer

HAL Laboratory

Publisher

Hal

Genre

Table Games

Players

2

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10 (1 Votes)

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Reader comments - add yours today Comments on this Review

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

I always think it's such a missed opportunity to not unlock the multiplayer modes for use over local Wi-Fi. I suppose they'd have to put more effort into the game, but it may help sales.

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

Hal Labs best games have to be Adventures of Lolo's! I love those games! 

When in doubt....Whip it out!
Senior ModeratorStaff MemberOur member of the week

I have fond memories of revenge of the gator. Never owned it personally, but a good game nonetheless Smilie.

Cubed3 Limited Staff :: Review and Feature Writer

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