Game Review Data
Game Title
Sonic Pinball Party
Sega/Sonic Team
Battery Save, 3 Multiplayer Party Games for up to 4 players & NGC connectivity.
Pinball and more.



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Sonic is back on the GBA, and this time it's for some pinball and mini-game fun. There have been quite a few pinball games released on the GBA so far, but none quite as unique and featuring a variety of extra games as this title offers. No matter if you're playing the game to beat the challenges, or just playing it as a fun game to waste some time away, Sonic Pinball Party has something for everyone.

Screen Shots


Features and options is what Sonic Pinball Party is all about. With 5 modes in total; Arcade, Story, Party, Tiny Chao Garden & Casinopolis; you should be able to find something to suit your needs. Story mode features the Sonic Pinball table, one of 3 tables available in this cartridge. You play as Sonic in a pinball tournament organized by the evil Dr. Eggman, he has kidnapped your friends and brainwashed them to turn against you. Your task, to defeat your friends (Knuckles, Tails and Amy) in the pinball tournament and make it to the finals to face off against Dr. Eggman himself. Each round has a different challenge, ranging from score a certain amount of points to making a set score within a time limit. Each round is quite challenging and rewarding. With the cartridge save feature, if you have troubles with getting past one of the rounds, you are able to just try it again. As you beat each round in story mode you unlock extra tables in the arcade mode and more mini-games in Casinopolis.

In Arcade mode you have a choice between 3 very unique tables; Sonic, Nights & Samba de Amigo (locked when you start). In the cartridge there is also a menu option "Tutorial" which describes for you each tables unique features and objectives. What caught my eye the most was on the Samba de Amgio table, you actually get to play mini-games of Samba de Amigo (a music/rhythm game) to score bonus points.

Party mode is where you find this games multiplayer feature. 3 pinball based, but very unique, games that play against or in cooperation with up to 3 of your friends. These games include Hot Potato, Hockey and a cooperative Ladder Climb game. Unfortunately I do not have multiplayer capabilities, so I am not able to comment on these games, but I wouldn't expect anything less of what I've seen in the single player features of the game.

Remember tamagotchi? In most of Sonic's recant releases (including all of the GBA releases) they have included a feature called Tiny Chao Garden. This is a virtual pet extra tied in with the game. On the Sonic table and in Casinopolis (which I will talk about next) you collect and win rings. These rings you can spend on your Chao (virtual pet), buying him/her food and gifts or even another Chao for yours to play with. Also in the Tiny Chao Garden is 2 mini-games for you to earn more rings. In Sonic Pinball Party the 2 mini-games are a bust-a-move clone and a game of memory. This is one of my favorite features of the game because it just brings everything all together and lets you enjoy some simple entertainment from a cartridge already stuffed full of fun.

Last option is Casinopolis. This features 3 pinball and casino game clones including Roulette, Slots (locked when you start) and Bingo (locked when you start). Each game is a pinball game with a casino game inside it. Each ball you play and lose costs you a ring, in Roulette and Slots each bet that you make costs you a ring and each time you play a new game of Bingo costs you 20 rings. But if you play the games right, you have the chances to win lots of rings back so you can buy your Tiny Chao more expensive food and gifts.


As everyone knows in pinball control is key to keep your game alive. Sonic Pinball Party defaults to the controls of D-Pad Left and A Button as your flippers, but thankfully if this is not your configuration of choice the designers have included in their options menu the ability to configure the controls to exactly what you want. The physics of the ball react exactly as you would expect them to and this game is a joy to play. And the camera work is very well organized as well, including during multi-ball sequences.


Each table is unique and features highly detailed and animated graphics. The Sonic and Nights tables actually has multiple graphical skins for each of the different worlds seen in the actual video games. Samba de Amigo is the simpler of the table designs compared to the rest, but the extra feature of being able to play an actual mini-game version of Samba de Amigo makes up for this. The detail that the Sonic Team has put in to the graphics of this title surpasses all GBA pinball titles on the market to this very day.

Sound & Music

This game is Sonic at heart, including the style of music. Each table, mini-game and even the menus have their very own unique music. The pinball and casino sound effects and true in every way. Sonic Team has done a great job with the variety and quality of music and sound effects in Sonic Pinball Party.

Final Comments

This game is a pinball enthusiasts dream come true. In Sonic Pinball Party the difficulty factor is just right, so you won't get too frustrated. Also with so many levels to play, extras to unlock and multiple different unique types of games to play, the replay value is just insane. This only leaves me with one question at hand, when can I get one of these tables for my rec room?

@ EAGB Advance 2002. All rights reserved.