Ruiner Pinball is a pinball Video Game for the Atari Jaguar, developed by High Voltage Software and released in 1995. The game cartridge contains two separate Digital Pinball Tables, presented with a scrolling overhead view. The only common theme between the two tables is in their uncommon designs:
- "Ruiner" consists of two pinball playfields connected side-to-side with each other. Taking place in 1962 during the Cold War, you must raise global tensions to DEFCON 1, then start World War III against the enemy in a multiball exchange across both fields.
- "Tower" takes place in a six-screen-tall playfield, representing the evil tower of an Evil Sorceress. Defeat her minions, then cast three magic spells to destroy the tower and end her reign.
Ruiner Pinball left gamers with mixed feelings. Fans enjoyed the game for its straightforward action, unorthodox gameplay, and creative use of its video pinball design. Detractors bemoaned the choppy scrolling, lackluster music, and unrefined polish.
Ruiner Pinball demonstrates the following tropes:
- Absolute Cleavage: The Sorceress of "Tower" wears a bustier to emphasize her cleavage... which is cut down to her navel for more emphasis.
- Alternate Company Equivalent: "Tower" is often seen as Atari's take on Devil's Crush.
- Death from Above: A recurring theme in "Ruiner" — in addition to a bomber and two Nose Art gals dropping bombs, the right side of the table has a family anxiously looking skyward as more bombs fall down.Watch for Bombs
- Defcon Five: Averted; the game properly uses DEFCON 1 to indicate imminent nuclear war.
- The End of the World as We Know It/World War III: The theme of "Ruiner".
- Evil Sorceress: The antagonist of "Tower".
- Evil Tower of Ominousness: The setting of "Tower", of course.
- Faceless Eye: One of the enemies in "Tower" are eyeballs wandering around the playfield.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: Seen on the sorceress.
- Green-Skinned Space Babe: The Evil Sorceress has dark violet skin and neon green hair.
- Hammer and Sickle Removed for Your Protection: Although the game is set during the Cold War and the player is clearly identified as the United States, there is no indication of who the opponent is.
- Human Sacrifice: Heavily implied in "Tower", particularly with the hooded guard holding a bloody sword over a pool of blood.
- It's Raining Men: In "Ruiner", hitting certain targets will cause paratroopers to fall from the sky onto the playfield.
- Magic Staff: The sorceress has one.
- Ms. Fanservice: "Drop Target" and "Da Bomb," the bomb-dropping pinup girls on "Ruiner".
- Mutually Assured Destruction/Nuclear Option: Invoked with "Ruiner", as avoiding war is not an option.
- No Ontological Inertia: Played with; casting the three magic spells are supposed to destroy the Tower and cause it crumble, but we never actually see it happen.
- Nose Art/Pin Up: The top of the left "Ruiner" table features two bomb-dropping pinup girls done in Nose Art style.
- The Operators Must Be Crazy: Inadvertently invoked with the loading screen for "Tower", which readsWelcome to Hell. Please Hold...
- Ominous Multiple Screens: Seen on the bottom of the "Ruiner" board.
- Past Victim Showcase: The "Tower" board includes a previous victim who is shackled spread-eagled to a rack.
- Reveal Shot: In "Ruiner", starting multiball causes the camera to zoom out, showing both playfields at the same time.
- Top-Down View
- Vain Sorceress: The playfield art for "Tower" puts a fair amount of focus on the sexiness of the Evil Sorceress.