Sonic Pinball Party

Sonic Pinball Party
Developer(s)Sonic Team
Director(s)Akinori Nishiyama
Producer(s)Yuji Naka
Hatao Ogata
Artist(s)Yuji Uekawa
Composer(s)Tatsuyuki Maeda
Teruhiko Nakagawa
Yutaka Minobe
SeriesSonic the Hedgehog
Platform(s)Game Boy Advance
  • NA: June 1, 2003
  • JP: July 17, 2003
  • EU: October 31, 2003
Genre(s)Action, Pinball
Mode(s)Single player, multiplayer

Sonic Pinball Party[a] is a video game released for the Game Boy Advance in 2003. It is a celebration of sorts for Sonic Team featuring many references to its previous games, mostly Sonic. There was also a release on a Twin Pack cartridge bundled with Sonic Battle and Sonic Advance respectively in 2005.


The story is set in Casinopolis (in Station Square), where Doctor Eggman turns the people gambling into robots, and brainwashes Miles "Tails" Prower and Amy Rose. Sonic must rescue his friends by winning a pinball tournament called the "Egg Cup Tournament."


Sonic Pinball Party is a pinball video game with the objective being to earn as many points as possible. During both the Story and Arcade Modes of the game, the player starts each match with three pinballs, each one shot onto the playfield from the plunger. When the pinball rolls into the hole on the bottom of the table, the player loses a ball and must try again with another. Losing all three pinballs ends the pinball match. The player can control each pinball on the table using the two flippers set on the lower part of the table or the lone flipper placed in the upper right side of the table, and has the ability to shake the pinball table in three directions. With these methods, the player can make the pinball sling and hit one of the pinball tables' targets in order to gain points.

Story Mode features five different matches, while the basic goal of Arcade Mode is simply to gain points until the player has run out of balls. The player's best scores from Arcade mode will be listed in the Rankings if they are high enough. Rings/Blue Chips collected in either Story or Arcade Mode can be used to purchase Chao Eggs and similar objects in the Tiny Chao Garden or as wagers in the Casinopolis minigames.

Development and release

Sonic Pinball Party was published by Sega and published by Sonic Team. The game was first announced in January 2003 by Sega of Japan.[1]

The game was released in the United States on May 27, 2003.[2] It was sold exclusively at Target stores.[3] The game was later re-released in 2005 in compilation collections for the Game Boy Advance with Sonic Advance, Sonic Battle, and Columns Crown.[4][5] In Europe, the game was co-published by Sega and THQ, with the latter holding exclusive distribution rights as well.[6]


Sonic Pinball Party received generally positive reviews from critics and journalists alike, on Metacritic, it has a score of 77 out of 100 based on 15 reviews and on GameRankings it has a score of 79.38% based on 16 reviews.[7] GamePro praised the graphics and the gameplay, stating it to have "enough extras to keep any Sega fan enthralled."[9] Frank Provo of GameSpot praised the game's overall gameplay and the artistic quality of pinball tables, while also saying that the multiplayer mini-games were "welcome additions to the overall conglomeration that composes Sonic Pinball Party, even if they don't really fit the premise of standard pinball."[10]

Craig Harris of IGN praised the game for the "virtual" aspect of the pinball gameplay and offering a huge amount of content, but criticized its lightweight physics which made it difficult to pull off skilled, bulls-eye shots, and the Casino mini-games for not being balanced very well. His overall statement was that Sonic Pinball Party was "a great game, but not quite a must-have."[12] Christian Nutt of GameSpy was not completely satisfied with the game, stating that it was "serviceable enough pinball romp that's too focused on presenting a pseudo-realistic game without the technical clout to back it up."[11]


  1. ^ Japanese: ソニックピンボールパーティー, Hepburn: Sonikku Pinbōru Pātī


  1. ^ Varanini, Giancarlo (January 9, 2003). "Sega announces Sonic Adventure DX, Pinball Party". GameSpot. Retrieved December 20, 2019.
  2. ^ Harris, Craig (May 27, 2003). "Sonic Pinball Party Ships". IGN. Retrieved December 14, 2019.
  3. ^ Harris, Craig (June 10, 2003). "Sonic Pinball Party Ship". IGN. Retrieved December 14, 2019.
  4. ^ Sinclair, Brendan (November 17, 2005). "Sega puts out a pair for portables". GameSpot. Retrieved December 14, 2019.
  5. ^ GamesIndustry International (November 8, 2005). "THQ And SEGA Bring Double Doses Of Sonic To PAL Territories". Retrieved December 19, 2019.
  6. ^ Calvert, Justin (September 11, 2003). "THQ to copublish Sega Europe GBA games". GameSpot. Archived from the original on September 29, 2007. Retrieved July 24, 2021.
  7. ^ a b c d e "Sonic Pinball Party". Metacritic. Retrieved 25 June 2016.
  8. ^ "Sonic Pinball Party". Game Informer. Archived from the original on 13 August 2004. Retrieved 3 July 2016.
  9. ^ a b "Review: Sonic Pinball Party". Archived from the original on 1 October 2007. Retrieved 26 June 2016.
  10. ^ a b Provo, Frank (25 June 2003). "Sonic Pinball Party Review". Gamespot. Retrieved 26 June 2016.
  11. ^ a b Nutt, Christian. "Sonic Pinball Party (GBA)". Archived from the original on 7 January 2006. Retrieved 26 June 2016.
  12. ^ a b Harris, Craig (28 May 2003). "Sonic Pinball Party Review". IGN. Retrieved 25 June 2016.

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