Sometimes video games are a nice thing to do in between. Maybe on reason why operating system manufacturers add some basic games to their products. But what can you do in case the “pre-installed” games became a little bit boring too?
Today I found two very nice free pinball simulators (for MS Windows) which do have a good support by a table building community. Both simulators are basically tables editors which can execute the designed tables.
… does not need any kind of installation. It is just a zip file you can unzip where ever you want on your computer. Even the tables do not need to be copied into a special folder. The system requirements are quite low and every kind of notebook which is not older than 4 years should be able to run the game.
… has higher … much higher system requirements than Visual Pinball. I tied to run it on a system with 2×2,26 GHZ and an on-board Intel GMA X4500 but this was definitively to low. Main reason was the Intel on-board graphics chip. So in case you do have anything else like Nvidia or ATI you should be able to run it on a low spec laptop too. On the other side you will get an pinball simulator with a very nice graphic. The simulation does not simply and at the end of the table. It simulates the “game room” too. Beside the simulator itself you can find the table Sci-Fi on the website of the simulator. The Sci-Fi table is really a must! Graphics are very goods and the table physics are great too. The installation of Sci-Fi is a little bit tricky, because by default the installer of the table proposes the wrong default directory to install to. During the installer of the Sci-Fi table you need to tell him to install into the right folder.Otherwise the table launcher of Future Pinball is not able to find the table. Example: In case you installed Future Pinball into “C:\games\future pinball\” you need to tell the installer to install into “C:\games”.
Tables and Forum
A good place to find tables for both simulators is http://www.irpinball.org/. This site offers a wide range of tables which are sorted by simulator types and years when the original/physical pinball tables were release. They also offer other pinball-like tables like Pachinko.
On other good place to go is http://www.vpforums.org/. The forum is specialized on pinball and especially on both of the simulators mentioned above.