One pinball to rule them all.
PLAYERS: 1-4 alternating
RELEASE DATE: June 1990
There is only one Pinball King on the NES, and his name is Pinball Quest. Yes, your king delivers on his promises. He appeals to different types of players: three unique pinball tables, four-player capabilities, and an RPG-mode with six levels! Enticing, yes, but how does our king carry out his promises? Each of the three tables has a different theme. “Pop! Pop!” has a Fifties dancehall theme, complete with jukebox and polished wood (if we could just find some bobbysoxers…). Knock down all the pins at the lower half of the board to open up a pool minigame. “Viva! Golf” is the hardest and it’s also my favorite, a golf-themed pinball course that reminded me slightly of Kirby’s Dream Course for the SNES. The little details make this course special, particularly the female golfer teeing off the pinball at the starting ramp, the watering hole and the gophers. Finally, “Circus” is most definitely circus-themed, and its highlight is the slot machine. If you get all Gold on the machine, a bonus stage will appear, where your task is to protect a girl from ravenous circus lions. Cage them up by hitting them and your inhumane work is done! Of course, you and three other players must take turns while playing in the different machines, but that just makes sense. Can you imagine four-player simultaneous pinball? Chaos!
The RPG-mode is six level of questing pinball madness that, thankfully, doesn’t take itself too seriously. Each level is a pinball table in its own right, complete with enemies to destroy. You start off killing skeletons in the woods, then killing goblins in the mines, and finally, vanquish Beelzebub himself. Truly, you are one brave Pinball Warrior. If I had one request to ask of my king, it would be for slightly different controls. Instead of pressing ‘Up’ and ‘A’ to hit the left and right flippers respectively, you press ‘Left’ and ‘A.’ It takes some adjustment, and I was never fully comfortable with it, but it doesn’t take away from the sheer joy that comes from playing Pinball Quest. The variety on display is generous and overwhelming. Yes, my good citizens, the king is here. Long live the king.