Epic Pinball is a retro game that was created in 1993 by developers James Schmalz who went on to later develop a series of games that fell under his umbrella of Digital Extreme Games. At the time, Epic Pinball was published by Mega Games which now goes under the name Epic Games. It was released in November of 1993.
Epic Pinball takes a top down perspective of a pinball machine and is designed with 2D graphics which, at the time, were quite cutting edge. The playing window scrolls through the game and it is accompanied by a musical soundtrack. Bear in mind that when this game was produced, it really blew everyone away. It was distributed on a floppy disc…yes, you read that correctly…and was written in MS DOS. It was followed at a later time by shareware versions and a version called super android.
The graphics of the game were somewhat inconsistent. Whereas some of the table were well designed and looked great such as the Deep Sea and Enigma tables, the others left a lot to be desired. Cybergirl was also a pretty cleverly designed table where colours would morph throughout play although the onus was on the player to determine how they could change the colours. The weaker examples were the Magic table or the Pot of Gold table which were very one dimensional and did not offer anything of great interest. –
The game was accompanied by a soundtrack and with this they did a pretty good job. Every table offered a different musical background and the songs were carefully selected to coordinate with the movement of the game as well as with the theme. The best sound examples from the games were in the tables for Cybergirl, Enigma and Android.
The gameplay was cohesive enough. Every one of the tables had a different goal for the player so there was enough variety to keep anyone entertained, particularly at the time. On the Android table, the goal was for the player to install parts on the android himself and eventually bring him to life. Essentially, the primary objective of all of the different tables was to score the highest and beat your last high score. The game offered a multiplayer mode which was rather impressive for a game written in DOS.
All in all, there wasn’t really the same kind of science on the video game that you might experience in an actual pinball game. They didn’t really effectively employ the use of geometry or physics and this made this a bit of a weak point for Epic Pinball. Surely, with the tools available today, that would not have been an issue.
On the whole, however, it was a fantastic effort for 1993 with graphics that were very sound at the time, background music, and it was fun to play. The game was recreated in part in 2011 by Fuse for iOS and marketed under the new name Retro Pinball.