3-D Ultra Pinball is a series of pinball computer games developed by Sierra Entertainment's Dynamix. The games try to escape from the traditional, arcade pinball and feature animation, more than one table at once, and "temporary targets"(such as spaceships, goblins and dinosaurs appearing throughout the table).
The original 3-D Ultra Pinball game was released in 1995. This game is based on the space simulation game, Outpost. There are three tables named Colony, Command Post, and Mine. Each table holds a set of five challenges. Smaller "mini-tables" are featured with their own set of flippers. The goal is to build and launch a Starship completing the game's entire course.
Reviewing the Macintosh version, a Next Generation critic commented that "There is some substance to the argument that pinball is not a game meant for the monitor, but 3-D Ultra Pinball works, and it works very well." He particularly praised the fact that the graphics and physics both include elements not possible on a real pinball table, while remaining "true to the pinball spirit." Despite this, he gave it only two out of five stars.
The second game, Creep Night(1996) had a horror film set, and 3 different tables(and after finishing all challenges in a table, you could travel to the other ones):Castle, fragmented in town, castle area and graveyard. Its challenges are Zombies, Goblins, Runaway (a goblin riding an ATV runs through the table), Vortex (multi-ball, in which you must shoot in the vortex) and Wraith (a female magnetic ghost tries to capture the ball).
Tower, a mad scientist lab. The challenges are: Rat, Energy Gate (similar to Vortex, but "single-balled"), Beast, Goblin, and Dynamo. After finishing all 5 challenges, you revive a "Frankenstein monster" and need to hit him 5 times.
Dungeon. The Challenges are: Gobbler (a ghost chases the ball to eat it), Spiders, Dimension Door (if hit, activates a "Simon"-like game), Trapdoor (similar to "Vortex") and Skeleton Escape (six skeletons come out of the cells for you to hit). Like in Tower, after beating them a Catapult appears, and you have to hit it some times.
After finishing all the 3 tables, you go to a changed Castle table, with 5 new challenges.
This was also released with several demos of other software titles also by Sierra Online.
Lost Continent(1997) had a Jurassic Park-like set. It followed a storyline, in which a plane falls on an island where an evil genius, Heckla, has created dinosaurs of other animals and the cavemen who live there. Professor Spector, his assistant Mary, and adventurer Rex Hunter try to escape back to the modern world, rescue Neeka (a tribal woman), and stop Heckla and his army of robots.
It has no challenges, but features 16 tables, divided in 3 "sectors": Jungle, Temple and Chambers (Heckla's Lab).
As the title reads, it is a NASCAR-themed pinball. Released in 1998.
The game only has 3 fields: garage, track and pitstop.
It features several famous NASCAR drivers like Dale Earnhart and Bobby Labonte as playable characters, but the choice affects only audio commentaries and field decorations.
Power(1999) was a compilation released in 1999, featuring the first game, Creep Night and Lost Continent, and as a bonus, The Incredible Machine and a demo of 3-D Ultra Golf.
The last released, Thrill Ride (1999) also received a Game Boy Color version. The PC version was included in Sierra's Game Room for the PC in 2004. It is set in Hersheypark with rides and theme park elements as puzzles and table features.
Thrill Ride has one primary table, which doubles as a region for Fun Zone puzzles, and a secondary Thrill Zone table to one side. There are two multiball ramps, one a roller coaster (the Wildcat) and one a water ride (the Coal Cracker). Two of the Fun Zone puzzles send you to secondary tables, a River Rafting table and a Lightning Racer Virtual Coaster.
General play proceeds as you complete the six trials—completing 5 Fun Zone puzzles, completing 5 Thrill Zone puzzles, getting Thrill points (the letters spelling THRILLRIDE) in order to activate and complete the Nighttime Fantasy puzzle. Going on all the rides (activating all 10 zone puzzles), activating both multiballs, and frequently visiting the Snack Bar sinker are also needed to complete General play. Completing all six trials activates a "Lights Out" puzzle, breaking light bulbs with the ball; when this is done the table goes into Nighttime Fantasy Multiball mode before resetting the table (play continues, and multiple Lights Out are possible).
In addition, there are a number of other minor tasks and rewards (hitting markers to activate the Fun Zone sinker, etc.) and a Hershey's Hide and Seek for hitting the Snack Bar 50 times, in which a number of animated treats hide around the primary table and must be caught with the ball.