Another pinball table collection has popped up for Pinball FX3, featuring more classic Williams tables. This time around we have: Funhouse, Space Station, and Dr. Dude and his Excellent Ray in Volume six.
Once again, we find that two of these tables have previously been released digitally: Funhouse originally appeared in Pinball Hall of Fame: The Williams Collection and The Pinball Arcade, along with Dr. Dude. This release does however mark the first appearance of Space Station digitally.
Notably, this trio all use an alpha-numeric display and were some of the last Williams tables to do so. Space Station released in 1987, Dr. Dude and Funhouse both came in 1990, and a dot-matrix display was introduced in 1991.
Funhouse is arguably the most famous of the trio, featuring Rudy the ventriloquist dummy front and centre of the table’s art, and on the table itself. In Funhouse your main aim is to advance a central clock to midnight, at which time the Funhouse closes, and Rudy goes to sleep. Then, shoot the ball into its mouth to start the main multiball mode off; hitting the trapdoor will award you with the jackpot. This can be repeated.
The head of Rudy towards the back of the table is the real star of the show in Funhouse; hitting it can award points, and indeed once the mouth is open you can score big. It also isn’t afraid to start chirping off at you too, and his lips move in sync with what he is saying. His eyes also move around the table; it’s certainly not designed to be creepy or unsettling but for those with a fear of ventriloquist dummys, this table should be avoided.
It is one of the classic pinball tables however, and it’s great to now see it in Pinball FX3.
Next up is Dr. Dude and his Excellent Ray, which I had to check after playing it wasn’t based on a late 80’s film, because it really feels like it is. Dr. Dude has created his latest invention – the Excellent Ray – which has turned him from regular joe Ben A. Glich, into the doctor himself. The table asks you to repeat this method by collecting the ingredients that make a person ‘cool’: The Heart of Rock ‘n’ Roll, a Magnetic Personality and the Gift of Gab can all be gained using the various lanes and ramps.
Collecting these hip items and then shooting the ball into the Mixmaster will allow you to progress to the next level on the Dude-O-Meter. But don’t let the bully Big Shot insult you – hit him with the boxing glove to boost score payouts on the outlanes.
Finally, there is Space Station; it is easily the weakest table of the three but is also the most unique. To complete this table, players must ‘dock’ three balls to the station in three different lanes to unlock multiball, and then re-dock two of them for the Rescue Jackpot.
What makes this table unique though is the large open area in the lower half of the table. Because the slingshots are set further apart – and without any return lanes between them and the outlanes – there is a large expanse with nothing in. Almost like space itself.
This is designed to make games faster, and it definitely works as it is the hardest of the three to get any real score on. But it also means it lacks a bit of personality – a stark contrast when considered against the other two tables in Pinball FX3 – Williams Pinball: Volume 6.
There is also the issue of the animated astronaut having a nasty habit of floating around near your flippers and obstructing your view. It can easily be toggled off as it isn’t part of the standard table design, but having it fly so close to the flippers in the first place seems like an odd inclusion.
As always, these tables come with the usual Pinball FX3 flair and attention to detail, along with the table challenges and upgrades where available. And after having some trouble animating the alpha-numeric display, Zen Studios have once again done an excellent job.
New achievements are also present – another three for 15G. The achievements for Funhouse and Space Station aren’t all that tricky in comparison with some legacy table achievements in Pinball FX3, but the same can’t be said for Dr. Dude’s. That achievement will require a lot more time and effort.
Once again, you can’t fault the effort that has gone into digitising and preserving these pinball tables, and Williams Volume 6 on the Xbox One is no different. How the tables actually play is slightly different though, with Space Station the weakest of the three by a long way. Funhouse and Dr. Dude and his Excellent Ray are worthy inclusions though, and go some way to making up for Space Station’s shortcomings. If you’ve been picking up these additional table packs for Pinball FX3 as and when they release this is a solid addition to the collection. If, however, you are a pinball dabbler, there may be one or two better licensed packs more up your street than this one.