Video Game: Psycho Pinball
Because nothing says "psycho" like a circus clown.Psycho Pinball
is a pinball video game
developed by Atoll Soft and published by Codemasters. It was released in 1994 in Europe and Australia for the Sega Mega Drive
and IBM Personal Computers
The "Psycho" in the title is Psycho the Armadillo, the mascot of this collection of four Digital Pinball Tables
- "Wild West"
- "The Abyss"
- "Trick or Treat"
The playfields are presented with an overhead view, scrolling vertically to follow the ball, with a display superimposed over the action. Each table also offered multiball and various Video Mode
minigames for skilled players, along with several difficulty levels.
The first three tables are oversized "multitables", with extra flippers to facilitate playing the upper areas. While they could be played on their own, "Psycho" was only available in the "Multi-Table Game"; in that mode, the ball starts on the "Psycho" table, but by activating certain jumpers and then launching it into a circus tent, would be transported to the other tables, and returned after draining.
Psycho Pinball demonstrates the following tropes:
- Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: "Psycho" has a pair of pink elephants prancing near the bottom of the table, while "The Abyss" has pink octopi and a large pink whale.
- Amusement Park: "Psycho" takes place in one, complete with thrill rides, clowns, and attraction tents (that lead to the other tables).
- Button Mashing: Done in the "Strong Arm" Mini-Game of the DOS version.
- Cap: The score display rolls over after 999,999,999 points, requiring players to track the number of billions manually.
- Chekhov's Volcano: "The Abyss" has an underwater volcano that erupts to shoot the pinball up the playfield.
- Evil Redhead: The witch of "Trick or Treat" has a thick head of (unkempt) red hair.
- Flying Broomstick: A witch flying on a broomstick can be seen silhouetted against the moon in "Trick or Treat".
- Haunted House: One appears on the "Trick or Treat" table as an elevated playfield.
- Mascot with Attitude: Psycho, who's almost never seen without a smirk.
- Mini-Game: In addition to the Video Modes, "Wild West", "The Abyss", and "Psycho" have full-screen minigames, but they differ according to the platform.
- In the Mega Drive version:
- "Wild West" has "Runaway Train", where Psycho has to run across the top to reach the locomotive, dodging various obstacles.
- "The Abyss" has "Whale's Belly", with Psycho jumping across floating rings to throw crabs at the whales' ulcers.
- "Psycho" offers "Moonsquares", where Psycho must travel from one rocket to another across a set of disappearing platforms.
- In the DOS version:
- "Wild West" has "Dodge the Express", where Psycho must avoid a series of oncoming trains, and "Big Deal", a higher-or-lower card game.
- "The Abyss" features "Blubber Belly", where the player stops a selector for a random prize.
- "Psycho" has "Strong Arm", with Psycho arm-wrestling a circus strongman.
- Nonindicative Name: You'll be forgiven if you were expecting Psycho Pinball to be an edgier, adult-oriented game than what it actually is.
- Non-Ironic Clown: Seen on the "Psycho" table.
- Numerical Hard: Harder difficulty modes started you with fewer free markers and letters, requiring more shots to activate features. On "Psycho", for instance, the easier modes spotted you one or two of the lights needed to activate each table's warp tent.
- Protagonist Title
- Spelling Bonus: Each table has numerous spelling bonuses, such as C-A-T, S-P-O-O-K, and G-H-O-U-L for "Trick or Treat", R-E-W-A-R-D, G-U-N, and E-N-G-I-N-E on "Wild West", and W-R-E-C-K, L-A-V-A (at least it should be, but it always looks more like L-A-U-A - compare against the V of V-E-N-T-S), and T-A-I-L in "The Abyss".
- Swallowed Whole/Too Spicy for Yog Sothoth: The "Whale's Belly" Mini-Game; Psycho escapes by throwing crabs at the whale's ulcers.
- Traintop Battle: Done in "Runaway Train", the "Wild West" Video Mode in the Mega Drive version.
- Under the Sea: "The Abyss" table takes place entirely underwater.
- Video Mode: In addition to the full-screen Mini Games, each table has a Video Mode:
- In "Wild West," the player plays a simple game of blackjack (or, alternately, an even simpler game of hi-lo).
- "Trick Or Treat" has "Spook Shoot", where the player has to hit 20 ghosts which pop up in three pre-defined positions.
- "The Abyss" has "Fast Fishing", where the player must time button presses to catch fish swimming by a hook.
- "Psycho" has a shell game where the player must track the letter "P" under three moving cups.
- Wicked Witch: The witch of "Trick or Treat", complete with large nose, missing teeth, and a pointy black hat.
- The Wild West: "Wild West" takes place in The Theme Park Version of this, complete with a bank, jail, rodeo, and nearby gold mine.