Angel Egg

LittleWing has been responsible for some of the Mac’s best pinball games over the past nine years, including Tristan, and Loony Labyrinth. Golden Logres, released in late 1998, was a giant leap forwards in terms of graphics, and the heraldic theme made for excellent gameplay. With such a pedigree, Angel Egg has a lot to live up to. Graphically, Angel Egg is highly impressive: 16-bit colour, a table optimized for an 832-x-624-pixel display, and lightning-fast screen redraws – smooth and colourful. Technically, it’s a three-flipper design with six ramps and bridges, two upper floors, and a three-way nudge. The theme is of a biblical nature. Playing the part of an angel, you have to help God achieve Genesis, the creation of Earth, summoning the seven Archangels by collecting angels’ eggs, and invoking the Spirits of Fire, Water, Earth and Wind. However, LittleWing has gone overboard on the multiball play aspect. Invoke one of the spirits and a second ball fires up; hit various targets and a third appears. In fact, you can have up to six balls on the go at the same time. This makes Angel Egg almost unique among Mac pinballers – and tough to play, for unless multiball play can be mastered there is very little chance of completing the game. The other important aspect is the three-way nudge. While left and right nudges are usually a nicety, they’re essential here, especially to control the path of the ball as it falls from the right upper floor. Ultimately, reaching Genesis requires the summoning of all seven archangels, completion of the ‘heaven’ light sequence, all four spirits invoked, and the lighting up of ‘bridge complete’ and ‘melodies complete’ during the course of a multiball play. Big bonuses arise from such achievements.

OUR VERDICT

In terms of pinball physics, Angel Egg is fantastic. With the table filling the height of your screen, the experience is totally enthralling. Flipper reaction is faithful to the real thing, and all the standard arcade techniques – such as holding, dead flipper bounce, and flipper pass – are there. The attention to detail is impressive – the biblical side has had some serious research, with a lot of thought going into the scenario. Reading the manual is not mandatory, but the scene-setting helps in understanding the order in which the various features must be achieved. Music and sound effects add to the atmosphere, even down to the "thank God" voice-over when a new ball appears on losing one very early in play. At a price that puts many shareware games to shame, Angel Egg is a must for pinball fans.

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