Open source pinball

Pro Pinball Big Race USA turned out to be a worthwhile purchase: I turn to it every now and then when I need a break from work. I finally got it working on Windows XP, too, but even then, I don't really need to switch operating systems because it works perfectly under Ubuntu and Wine. (I had a small problem with the sound, but I fixed it by selecting the proper sound device in winecfg.)

But Big Race got me thinking, though: are there any open source pinball games out there? It turns out there is: Emilia Pinball. The project has been around for some time, and actually ceased active development in 2004.

As a pinball game, Emilia is technically impressive. It's fully 3D (hence the need for a 3D card), emulates real-life physics very well (for example, I bounced two balls off each other), and multiple playing views. It even has a table editor so you can make your own designs.

Unfortunately, the two tables it comes with lack the polish of Big Race USA. They feel quite sparse, both in terms of layout, sound, and challenges. Yes, yes, I know: build my own tables. The process seems complicated, though, and not one that I feel that I'm up to.

Still, as a quick stress-buster, and without the $5 price tag of Big Race USA (*snigger*), Emilia is worth a look.