|System: X360, PS3, Wii, PS2||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: FarSight Studios||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Crave Entertainment||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Sep. 22, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
From the outset some tables are locked, some require credits to play, and others are available for free play. Each table comes with its own set of goals that can be completed in order to earn credits. These goals can range anywhere from getting higher than a certain score to making specific things occur on the table. Getting a high score is pretty straightforward and so is completing the seemingly more obscure objectives. Thanks to a very handy tutorial provided for each table, figuring out how to activate a multi-ball on a certain table is as easy as just watching what needs to be done in order to trigger it before playing on the table.
Once all of a table's standard goals have been met, you'll be able to unlock a table of your choosing for free play. This will also unlock a set of more difficult wizard goals for the original table. These extra goals are a nice way to keep you focused on more than just trying to get a high score, but it does have a small flaw. If you happen to have a terrific run on a table on your first try and met the requirements for some of the wizard goals, they won't register. This is because you have to finish the standard goals for the table and finish playing before the wizard goals will unlock. This can be pretty aggravating, especially if you continually to fail to recapture the same success you already had in a previous outing.
Aside from just this choose and play mode, you'll also find a Williams Challenge mode as well as tournaments. Tournaments can take place on one to seven tables of your choosing and support you and up to three friends taking turns playing. However, the Williams Challenge mode is a one player trek through all of the game's tables. You're given three chances on each table to best a predetermined score and should you fail to do so, you'll have to start over again from the first table. This mode is definitely challenging, but if you spend a decent amount of time learning the tables prior to embarking on the challenge, it shouldn't take more than a few attempts to make it through.
This really is the best version of virtual pinball currently available on the market. With its spot-on controls and gameplay, authentic-looking and sounding tables, HD visuals, online leaderboards, and sheer variety of tables to choose from, TWC is the quintessential game for any pinball fan. Even if you've never played on an actual pinball table before, TWC is a great way to experience the pastime without having to seek out the real things or the pockets full of quarters necessary to play them. If you have even a passing interest in pinball, you really owe it to yourself to check out this title.
CCC Staff Contributor