BG Games Production is eagerly ramping up Amstrad enthusiasts’ anticipation of its impending full release of its port of the classic Amiga pinball simulator, Pinball Dreams.
Development of Pinball Dreams for the Amstrad CPC is pretty much completed with the game at the final stages of testing. I was fortunate enough to have been granted a trial version of the game featuring all four game tables found in the original Amiga game, which include:
- Ignition – featuring a rocket launch/space exploration theme;
- Steel Wheel – an Old West theme centering around steam trains;
- Beat Box – carring a theme around the music industry; and
- Nightmare – themed around graveyards, ghosts and ghouls.
Each of the themed tables on offer feature high production values with great looking graphics takings full advantage of the Amstrad’s colour palette, backed up with some great sounding music tracks to accompanying the pinball action.
Having great looking screens is all good and well but counts for little in a pinball game if game performance is lacking. Fear not though, as the Amstrad port delivers at a high level with quick and smooth scrolling and somewhat realistic ball physics all combining so well to provide a fun gaming experience.
I reached out to Rhino at BG Game Productions to ask him what inspired his team to take on the challenge of recreating a game originally developed for technically superior platform, he responded:
After our Batman Forever demo was well received, we wanted to further show that the Amstrad can also make amazing games at 50 FPS and with a smoothness of movement and physics as fluid as Amiga’s original.
Well, BG Games Production certainly have achieved their objective but such an objective was surely not an easy accomplishement as Rhino went on to confirm to me:
Faithfully bringing to Amstrad a game designed for a 16-bit machine as powerful as the Amiga was a challenge and there were difficulties in every aspect, mainly the implementation of the physics necessary to get the same gameplay as the original game. This required not only a very fluid scroll that can only be properly seen in the real hardware, but a realistic behavior of the ball, an instant response controls, the full OST and, in short, put every feature of Pinball Dreams in a humble CPC.
A preview of the Pinball Dreams port for the Amstrad was first unveiled way back in 2016 that had the Amstrad community in a frenzy. It has taken a few years for the game evolve to the near final product that I have been able to take a look at. I asked Rhino what has been the community’s response to the port leading up to its eventual full release:
We are very grateful and surprised by the feedback, considering that for the moment we can only show the game in videos, as we must wait to close the license agreement before we can release it to the public. We get a lot of messages from people eager to play and we are also eager for everyone to play it!
Well I can certainly attest to the great gaming experience on offer with Pinball Dreams for the Amstrad CPC but take note that you will need a machine with a minimum of 128K RAM (i.e. a CPC 6128 or a CPC 464 with a RAM expansion).
Before I finished off speaking to Rhino, I asked him whether his team had their eyes on any other ports for the humble Amstrad machine:
Our next project won’t be a port, with Pinball Dreams we’ve been a bit hand and foot bound because it had to be a port as close as possible to the original, but in our next project we want to be free to show everyone what a CPC is capable of. Stay tuned to our channel, soon there will be news about our next project!
Pinball Dreams will be available as a free download (and fingers crossed it will also see a physical edition release as well), however, the release date for the game is unknown at this stage as BG Games Production is still in negotiating the license agreement. In the meantime, if you want to see more of the game, you can find a video preview of Pinball Dreams below.