#282 – High Speed

Video pinball can do much better than this.
The world was wrong.
This looks far worse in motion.

PLAYERS: 1-4 alternating

PUBLISHER: Tradewest


GENRE: Pinball


I’m not sure when console pinball games have every really worked, save for curios like the Crush series, Kirby’s Tilt ‘N Tumble and Metroid Prime Pinball. I think the latter games succeeded mainly because they took the basic element of pinball and incorporated intriguing new features, like multiple screens with Devil’s Crush, tilting the Game Boy with Kirby or using the stylus with Metroid. High Speed, while not entirely a car wreck (bazing!), doesn’t work because it’s simple pinball. Only junkies who can’t afford to have actual tables need apply.

High Speed is actually based off a pinball table of the same name. Apparently, according to the almighty broad-brain Wikipedia, High Speed was quite the influential table. Check out these stats that may or may not be true!

“The game was noted for the following firsts:

  • First pinball to play a complete song
  • First Williams pinball game to use alpha-numeric displays
  • First diverter in a pinball
  • First “Kick-Big” (kicker and scoop) in a pinball
  • First use of Auto Percentaging (for replay scores)
  • First “Jackpot” in a pinball, during multi-ball
  • First Jackpot that carried over between games.”

That’s a lot of “firsts!”

I’ve never played the table myself, but I’m sure it’s far more entertaining than its console cousin. You start off with three balls and your goal is to get the most points you can. Besides the traditional flippers towards the bottom, there is one flipper around the top that guides you through the “Freeway.” Go through it seven times and you will slowly change the stop light on the table to “red.” Now you have to get away from the cops, which merely involves you going around the Freeway one more time. When you succeed in this, two additional balls pop out, leaving you to struggle to keep three balls in the air. The longer you do it, the more points you accumulate, but laws of gravity will eventually rule out and all the balls will come down. There are two bonus levels you can play: a racing level (achieved by collecting three helicopters) and a shooting level (achieved by collecting three safes). I never got to either of these levels, no thanks to an ominous yellow cloud that popped up from time to time on the table, and once hit, took my ball down the drain. This was beyond frustrating. Perhaps there was a way to escape from the cloud, but either way, I didn’t really care. I was playing console pinball! And had I not been playing High Speed for this quest, I would have to seriously ask myself why. It’s a sub-genre that doesn’t need to exist.


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5 replies on “#282 – High Speed”

I used to play the subgenre. It started innocently enough with “Revenge of the Gator” for Game Boy followed by “Kirby’s Pinball Land”. Both stellar. When “Pokemon Pinball” came out for Game Boy Color, I was hooked and it was then that I knew I needed help. That, and the fact that I was able to play by intuition and by sense of smell.

I used to love High Speed pinball when I was younger. I think you need to re-try it. Or maybe it’s just fun for the pinball heads. When you land in the yellow tumbleweed tap the select button and b button to shake it off of you. Those buttons shake the machine and get your ball free with ease. Also the two bonus games are a big part of the game. One involves a race track with a a car that is yours and you have to hit it with the balls to make it go faster and hit the other cars to slow them down. I still love this game. I’ve played the real pinball machine as well. Pretty damn similar other than the side games that you get when you collect items on the video game

I probably will give it another try, brainerdrainer. I still am not a huge fan of video pinball, but I’ve heard a couple different people tell me they really like this game. Far be it from me to write it off completely!

Yeah I am obsessed with pinball so any pinball game for the nes is considered fun to me hahaha weather it sucks or not. To be honest the best pinball game for nes is probably Rollerball

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