Ever wonder what happened to the Windows pinball game from back in the XP days? Turns out like most old software – it’s still around if you know where to look.
Recently, Jess and I got stuck on a 5 hour flight with, through a series of unfortunate events, no cached video streaming content and none of those “irl” books to entertain ourselves. As we were flying over the massive dead-zone that is the Pacific, the in-flight wifi wasn’t even an option. We were forced back into the dark ages of offline, pre-downloaded mobile games, of which I had a few solid options including a GBA emulator with Pokemon Pinball.
Jess, being the nerd that she is, wouldn’t settle for anything less than the old Windows “3D Pinball Space Cadet” game from the XP days. I didn’t have a copy at the time, but as soon as I debarked from that flight I found a rather convincing mobile adaptation. It was great, but Jess thought the sound was a bit off. I knew for a fact the physics were off, as the mobile version was much more fluid and forgiving than I remembered. There’s also a slight tail behind the ball making it easier to follow, which definitely wasn’t in the original game.
This morning, I took to the Internet in search of the real deal. I was prepared to have to find and set up a Windows XP VM to find the true copy, but I was amazed to find a .exe download within about 5 minutes of looking. Turns out, the kind folks over at Groovy Post have a page dedicated to this very question with a download link and instructions (for those too used to single-click installs for apps off an app store)
Coming in at a whopping 1,367 KB, I ran the installer (totally expecting malware) and was greeted with the familiar welcome screen:
Here it was, after so many years. The sound effects really take you back. The music was the same as the android version, but the bass was more pronounced for a choppier, retro sound. The android version is slightly tilted up from the original, and there’s no tail to be seen. The ball is way faster in the desktop version, and it feels almost warpy. The android version is definitely slowed down, probably to appease modern gamers. My computer hasn’t crashed from malware yet, so it’s probably a legit exe. Download at your own risk though.
All in all, a morning well spent. Who wants to beat my high score?
Desktop Download: File Download
Android Download: Play Store