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Ruiner - The Atari Times


Is this the worst video pinball ever?
by Andy Robertson

August 8, 1996
Ruiner takes a trip back to 16-bit land with its flat overhead scrolling tables and cartoon graphics.

The game has a vague plot to each of its two (that's TWO!) tables that look straight from the NES but there isn't any point telling anyone.

You see, Ruiner has an intro sequence so embarrassing that you should never, ever show ANYBODY but instead skip immediately past it. Ruiner has sound effects so disgustingly bad that a dot-matrix printer would shine in comparison. It's as responsive as a kitten stuck under a heavy wardrobe and as well animated as a flicker book made up of completely unrelated pictures.

Ruiner is not even a very good pinball game. It's a travesty that is flawed in almost every department and it hasn't even got the courtesy to boast more than two tables. Hang your head in shame Ruiner. Buy Pinball Fantasies instead.

Title. On. Fire. Can't. Read.
Well, it's nice and purple anyway.
System: Jaguar
Publisher: Atari
Genre: Action
Graphics Score: 18%
Sound & Music Score: 24%
Gameplay Score: 8%
Control Score: %

Final Score: 20%

Reader Comments for Ruiner

It's not THAT bad by RJ Turner on 1996-08-08 12:00:00
I'd like to say that this game gets a tough press because visually it is disappointing. The graphics are actually not so bad, but the colour choices were very poor, which is what makes the graphics look less good. Animation is, I think, good enough, and the music/sound is not bad too.

What one has to remember is that Ruiner (with the two tables only) is NOT Pinball as such, it is "Video Pinball" which is a different kind of pinball. For example, each table is huge, one is basically 3 tables high, and the other is about 1.5 tables high, and 2 tables wide too. On the war theme table, tanks drive over it, and also planes fly over it, these aren't pictures, they're real components of the game. As you push up the Defcon layer the game gets tougher, with more active items on the table, a sort of story element to your pinball.

The first time I played Ruiner in my local video game store in 199??? (it was new out, that day), I thought it was crap, but eventually I bought it anyway, got it home, and lo and behold, it gave me plenty of fun... As with games like Club Drive, some people hate it, and other people say it's a good game, looks poor. In the race for the best Jaguar pinball, it's a poor second, but in the race for best "Video Pinball" (as it describes itself) it is unchallenged of course, but I have no embarrassment in pushing the game into a Jaguar, once I've explained this isn't just pinball. I recommend you, and other Jaguar fans to get the game, (every Jaguar game is worth having, I say...) and then try it out.
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