• Pokémon Pinball


  • Pinball


  • Jupiter


  • Nintendo

Release Date:

  • June 28, 1999 (U.S.)


  • Game Boy (Color Enhanced)

Box Art Credit:

  • GameFAQs

Systems Used:

  • Game Boy Advance SP (recently, at least)

On Wikipedia:

The following is almost a verbatim copy of the original "evenings with old games" that followed. The original date will still be from February 2012.

Pokémon Pinball is the first evenings with (old) games game, primarily from my post from Carbon-izer. A spin-off from the popular Pokémon games of the time, you can play on two tables based off of Red or Blue versions. There's no hidden Green or Yellow tables, but basically, it's pinball. Besides racking up scores, you use the ball (a Pokéball, of course) to activate "catch" modes, where you can catch Pokémon based after what area you are (Viridian Forest, Lavender Town, etc.), also based after the game. These captured Pokémon (there's also ways to "evolve" Pokémon as well) show up in the "Poké Dex" of this game.

That's the basic run-down of it anyway. It was one of the first games my brother had on his Game Boy Color, and I got to play with it pretty often. It was always neat because it had an oversized cartridge with a AAA battery that could rumble. For example, landing on Pikachu produces a "Pi-kaaaa" from the speakers, but a buzz from the rumble pack.

You can definitely catch the stuff in the music. You can hear the "cycling" music in the Catch 'Em Mode for the Red Table and the Japanese theme song to the Pokémon animé in the Blue Table's Catch 'Em Mode (of course, when I was a kid, I didn't know that).

As a pinball game, it's kind of crippled by the fact by that you can't see the whole table at the same time (this also affected many other Game Boy pinball games), so there's a white screen for a second as it redraws between the top and bottom (unfortunately, emulators cut this out, making the music skip as well as making it harder).

The lower half of the Red Board.

But it does carry a certain element of nostalgia, at least for me. Like Pokémon Yellow, I do remember good times with it, like at my grandfather's house, which was a great source of old Mac and Apple IIGS games (which I'll cover at a later point). In the case of Pokémon Pinball, it was on the enclosed patio with the cheap 1970s carpet and on a warm night. My favorite noise is the End of Ball Bonus and Game Over sequence, of course, which never gets old. I recorded a bit (poor quality) of this. To be honest, it is missing all the bonuses you could wrap up, so it's definitely not the same thing and needs to be really experienced for itself (especially with more things to get points for). Here it is, along with a bit of the High Score display music.

The High Score music is different if you actually get a high score. The Blue table is the only chance you'll have at even breaking the 100,000,000 lowest-score (unless you're a better player). It is possible to break the default highest score (500,000,000), but it's VERY difficult and all depends on whether you could keep from losing the ball. There's all sorts of crazy things hidden in here: the Mewtwo mini-game, winning extra balls, the always-dummied out "Again" light actually coming on, the works. Of course, I've never gotten that far to tell (though I think the "Again" light came on once).

Overall, it's a fine game for the time, but only really worth it unless you are/were really into Pokémon.

February 5 2012