Experience the magic!
By Darryl BrundageJanuary 12, 2005
Midnite or Midnight?
Is this not the sweetest pinball game you've ever played (on a 2600)?
Flipper, flipper, faster than lightening!
Wow. Oh wow. Oh wow oh wow oh WOW! (Or in
the words of the near-insane father Frank on tv's Everybody Loves
Raymond, "holy CRAP!")
THIS is what a pinball game for the 2600 should have been like, NOT
Video Pinball was a bit fried. It was too easy for me personally,
there wasn't much to do with the playfield, the physics of the ball was
screwy as anything ('course adapting a pinball game to a video screen
was still pretty new back then), and getting extra balls and all wasn't
much of a challenge.
But Midnight Magic really rocks! It wipes away the sore feeling
from Video Pinball (why didn't Atari just port their arcade
Video Pinball here?) big time. When I told one of my penpals from
Australia (no, not the insane Croc Hunter, although I wouldn't mind
hearing from his attractive wife, though) that I was obtaining it
through a trade, he said I'd love it, since it "shites" (heh) all over
And he was right. Coming out years before as a legendary game for the
Apple computers, Midnight Magic (hey, how come on the title
screen it's spelled "Midnite"?) actually gives you INCENTIVES in order
to enjoy it, which it instantly became one of my all time favorites for
the Atari 2600 library, which is not an easy thing to do (yeah, I was
THAT impressed!). And it gives you these incentives through racking up
your point multiplier.
Knocking down all of the drop targets at the top of the screen will
increase the multiplier, and not only are you rewarded with the ability
to increase your score exponentially that way, but the playfield also
changes color with each increase, which is a pretty neat touch. (This
might've helped the "arcade" version of 2600 Pac-Man out, maybe,
by having the ghosts change color...and then disappearing altogether, ha
ha. Come on, it wasn't really Pac-Man anyway!) It's amazing how
you might not even hit 30,000 after several games, then you can get
lucky and rack up that multiplier and end up with games in the one or
two hundred (or more) thousand range, which is how real pinball games go
anyway, at times (and all I need to complete this near-arcade experience
are out of order signs on some nearby machines, an attendant that's
nowhere to be found when the change machine won't take my dollar bills,
dammit, and a screaming kid or two being dragged off by Mom the Monster
when they DON'T WANT TO GO!).
The action is also fairly real with a spinner, the gravity and all, plus
you get four flippers, which kicks so much pinball butt for the 2600
it's not even funny. Heck, this is making me REALLY want to pop in the
game and play it right now as I write this, but I'm currently without a
tv; grrr. (Must...continue...fighting...urge...to dump on credit card
while in debt...must...fight...)
The only real small drawbacks that I have with this is that there's not
a lot on the playfield to aim at; also getting the (*#! ball where you
*want* it to doesn't always happen. Some of the sounds get old fast,
since they're taken from Adventure, Berzerk, and other 2600
games, so we've been there before, but at least the controls and
especially the flashing visuals when you've increased the multiplier are
nothing short of amazing for the 2600 (although the sounds when this
happens ARE actually quite good, and just the regular game graphics are
So, anyone want my copy of Video Pinball? Snirk snirk...actually,
it's not for sale: I can't wait to have my first victim check it out,
see how fried it is, and then I'll pop in THIS. They'll be amazed!
Not bad, especially since I traded Home Run for this sucker,
which, yeah, *I* was the one who hit the home run in that deal.
So enjoy this while you can, since pinball machines are, in the real
world, dying out, along with arcades, unfortunately. But at least this
isn't too difficult a cartridge to locate though, and it's pretty