When I was growing up, this gem was my best friend. I am aware this might make me sound both old and like a Nigel-no-mates but this game had everything I needed. 3D Pinball: Space Cadet was an already-installed game that came bundled with every Microsoft PC. This meant that as soon as you got your hands on a computer you were good to go! It was accessible everywhere – at school, at your friends place & at your dads office and boy did I take up every opportunity. But wait there’s more!! Not only do you not have to bug your parents to buy you a computer game after they just forked out for a PC but this game was fast. No waiting for the dial up to connect and then grinding your teeth every time it froze, it all happened there and then.
Ahhhh living the dream.
But how does a computer game that literally resembles a pinball machine capture the hearts of so many? Simplicity. I remember being about 6 years old when I was first introduced to this game and it didn’t take me long to work out how to use it. I have never been one to read the instructions but logic lead me in the right direction and I had the ball rolling quickly (excuse the pun). The flashing lights and rewarding noises every time you hit a target was satisfying and this satisfaction made the game oh so addictive. At the ripe age of 6 I was immersed into the world of a Space Cadet without even realizing.
Looking through reviews of the game today I am informed that the game had missions to complete which increase the level of difficulty. Like i mentioned before, I often neglect to read the instructions before engaging in play and seemed to have missed this detail. I think this raises an interesting point. Even though I did not play the game to its full capacity and I did not follow the rules of the game, I was still entertained and fully immersed. I continued to play this game for years and years, over and over just to see if I could beat my high score or my sisters high score. For something so simple it provided a lot of entertainment which makes me think about the video games released today. With the big scale games like Grand Theft Auto and Assassins Creed which are so realistic and cinematic in style, are we becoming spoiled? Have we reached a point in which the games are so real that they’ve become off putting?
Will we begin to crave the nostalgic simplicity of games such as 3d Pinball: Space Cadet?