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Review by: Shawn Quigley
Published: November 17, 1997
It is a cloudy, overcast night when lightning strikes the starboard engine of your plane, sending you and your comrades crashing somewhere deep in the heart of Africa. This unknown land, or “the lost continent” is the setting of Sierra’s latest 3D Pinball game, 3D Ultra Pinball: The Lost Continent. This is not your everyday pinball game, and in fact, has a storyline that takes players through the different tables included in the game.
The Lost Continent is a pinball game with a theme. When the game starts, players are introduced to The Lost Continent by watching a video of their plane going down in the middle of the night. To their surprise, they have crashed in a place that has some strange things going on. This is the beginning of the story where, as a pinball player, you will guide your characters, Rex Hunter, Professor Spector, Mary, and Neeka from the plane crash to safety. During the game, the first three characters discover Neeka and rescue her from the perils of death and she joins the three in their quest to survive. What the characters soon find out is that they are in the middle of a plot where Heckla, a villain, has planned to morph all the local people into dinosaurs to help him rule the world. The is mainly centered around Rex (not to be confused with famous webmaster Rex Mendoza!), a brave mercenary who must save his comrades from the madman’s plans to rule the world.
Apart from the game offering a storyline that pulls players through Heckla’s plan to rule the world, the characters on the screen offer advice during gameplay. At certain times the characters will offer up comments and advice as to what you will need to do. This level of interactivity makes that game more fun and captivating. As you complete different objectives on the screen, you will be able to watch the players move about, responding to what you have done. There are times that you will even take over certain characters to perform different tasks, such as firing a gun at robots.
Because Sierra’s The Lost Continent has an interwoven story line, the game is more compelling than just a regular arcade pinball game. This scenario was first offered in Creep Night, another 3D Ultra Pinball game from Sierra. The game is based on a linear plot, with each table coming in a specific order. Some tables give players the chance to move to different tables, but the story always ends with a battle against Heckla. There are many different tables in the game and each is broken down into a theme. The Lost Continent has three main levels: The Valley Ruins, The Lost Temple, and Heckla’s Chamber. Each level has a set of tables that coincides with it. In the Valley Ruin, you have to guide your players through the valley while avoiding all the dangers that appear in front of them. There are six tables that make up the challenge of getting through the valley, including: The Colored Chasms, Neeka’s Rescue, T-Rex Attack, Woeful Water, Jungle Fever, and The Valley of Mystery. Each one of these tables brings the player one step closer to getting across the valley. The other two levels, the Lost Temple and Heckla’s Chamber, work in the same way, but have different goals and objectives than the others. By the time a player runs through the entire game, he or she will have completed 15 tables.
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