Once again, Empire delivers. In Pro Pinball: Fantastic Journey
, you’re off to save the world by collecting crystals and leading an assault on the Mysterious Island or some such. You go on adventures in different contraptions, like drilling to the center of the earth or diving into the ocean. They’re all steam-powered, of course (of course!), and you’ve got to keep the pressure up or the adventure is all over.
The ball ricochets around the board realistically, which is always a good thing. Unlike its predecessor, Big Race USA, Fantastic Journey only has two flippers. That’s plenty enough to keep track of, though. You can also jiggle the machine with your controller, which is a wonderful way of keeping a ball from slipping down the sides and going the way of the dodo. You have to build the Contraptions to go on the Adventures to collect the Crystals to win the game, but chances are you’re not going to succeed in that for a while. Just enjoy the pretty lights, okay?
All of the required components of a good pinball table are here, from the ramps to the sinks and the lovely Magnasave that keeps you from having to pump that tilt for all its worth. Of course, figuring out how everything works is an important part of the pinball experience, and luckily the game comes with a manual packed with details as to how to get the various bonuses and activate many of the different modes. There’s still plenty to be learned on your own, though.