"Oooh, let's party!" moans one-time horror-host Elvira as you pull back the plunger to kick off Atari's Lynx title. A great value for your gaming dollar, Pinball Jam includes a full-featured simulation of two real-life pinball machines, Elvira and the Party Monsters and Police Force. While some may complain that this is nothing more than another pinball video game, in truth these classic pinball cabinets are hard to come by these days ... which only makes video games like this more important.
With loads of realistic detail - right down to the longer, narrower flippers that characterize Bally/Midway and Williams machines - the games are carried on the strength of their authenticity. I have my doubts about the ability of the Lynx to generate clear images at the high speeds necessary to do an accurate pinball game, but Pinball Jam manages to do a pretty good job. The physics of the ball's movement are not always entirely accurate, but I've seen much worse.
Of the two machines included, the Elvira games is more interesting because of the variety in the playfield and the character's amusing digitized speech and sound effects in both games, but the high speed action of Police Force will surely be more appealing to the pinball enthusiast.
When it comes right down to it Pinball Jam is hardly the most exciting Lynx game on the market, but it does play a mean game of Pinball ... which is not always something you get on a portable system. If you're the type of person who is missing their Elvira fix (or even knows who Elvira is) then you should check it out, by now it's probably dirt cheap and will bring back a lot of nostalgia. If you've never been a big fan of pinball games in the first place then this won't do anything for you, but it's certainly a unique game that is a lot more enjoyable than it sounds.