Royal Flush 1.2.1
Author: Gerard Putter
Mike: Royal Flush may sound like a card game, but really it’s an exact mockup of a pinball game from the 1970s. The playing board and the sounds are all authentic, even down to the physics of nudging the table! Royal Flush was originally going to be a commercial product, but the project was scrapped, and the author decided to release it as freeware. Unfortunately, the lack of polish shows, and Royal Flush suffers from too many bugs and problems to recommend it.
Adam: From the minute you open Royal Flush, you notice the lack of polish. The interface is very confusing, and you have to click on the “pinball” table to play. However, I didn’t know it was a pinball game, so I was very confused when a scene depicting a restaurant came up!
Mike: I agree with that, Adam. The opening scene is supposed to depict a 70s-style diner, but it gives no instructions or indication of what to do next. The menu bar is hidden when the game starts up, but you can’t start the game without moving the mouse cursor up to the menu bar. This is obviously not very intuitive.
Adam: And it gets worse, Mike! You have to select “insert coin” and then “new game,” but you can still open the pinball window before you do either of these, so it can become very confusing as to how to begin. Locating both of these options on the “table” (in the table window) would be a much better strategy, much less confusing, and much more intuitive.
Mike: Once you’re finally able to get the game started, the game play is straightforward and decent enough. You control the two flippers, and there are also keys to nudge the pinball table in different directions. Nudging quickly becomes a crucial part of your strategy.
Adam: While the gameplay is straightforward, smooth, and mildly entertaining, there are no real “bells and whistles” to this part of the game. There are sound effects, but no music. While you’re supposed to feel like you’re in an arcade, I felt like I was still at my computer.
Mike: I realize that the game was meant to be a 100% conversion of an old game, and in that regard it does a fairly good job. But the beeps and boinks (70s-style sound effects) get annoying very quickly. Also, I prefer modern pinball games, with extra flippers, loops and curves in the playing table, and special bonus points. Starplay’s pinball games, such as Crystal Caliburn and Loony Labyrinth, are just a couple of examples of great pinball games on the Mac that have those features…
Adam: I agree. Modern pinball games are much more enjoyable to play! Also, Royal Flush is plagued with bugs that caused it to crash several times on 3 different machines that I tested it on: a PowerBook G3, an iMac, and a Power Mac 7200/90.
Royal Flush requires System 6.0.7, 3.5MB of hard disk space, and 3.6MB of free RAM. You can download Royal Flush from download.com, at http://www.download.com.
Adam: Royal Flush is a freeware game that does what it says, and nothing more. No special features, and nothing to attract potential players. While being a conversion from a commercial game is an excuse for the lack of bells and whistles, it is no excuse for the lack of compatibility with Mac OS 8.x and the numerous bugs and crashes that I experienced. Unfortunately, due to these stability problems, The Game Guys cannot recommend Royal Flush.
Mike: We would instead recommend that players interested in a good pinball game for the Mac look into come of the commercial offerings, many of which can be had cheaply! (Starplay, for example, ships both of the games I mentioned earlier on one CD-ROM.)
Download Royal Flush 1.2.1