You've probably seen our in-depth review of Stern's latest Playboy pinball, well here it is on-site in the usual place for the newest games - The Casino arcade in Central London.

The new arrival is upstairs and placed next to the Monopoly pinball game. Pricing is not unreasonable at £1 for 2 games or £2 for 5 games. Replays start at a fairly easy 30M but climb rapidly if you continue winning free games.

This machine is fitted with the UK All-Skill extra posts in the outlanes and between the flippers but they're not operative. This is compensated by the total lack of any tilt and death saves are certainly achievable. Surprisingly for an arcade, this game is fitted with the "nudity" package of images.

So what has changed from the sample games we saw at ATEI?

The answer has to be: not much!

The appearance is identical - the backglass hasn't changed from the one we saw earlier which is a shame as it's not one of Kevin O'Connor's finest works.

The rest of the game is indistinguishable from the earlier version so has anything changed at all?

A few differences were apparent once we actually started playing the game. The Grand Champion score was a lowly 64 million so we had to do something about that!

The multiball jackpots are now harder to score as the drop target guarding the centre ramp resets more often and prevents too many jackpots.

About half the time the "Shoot Again" display was not shown, although the lights did flash as expected.

The first (and only) fault to develop concerned the centre ramp shot. Slow shots weren't registered although faster balls did register correctly so perhaps it needs adjusting.

A thought struck me as I was playing (it does occasionally) that the bonus score needs to be more enticing. At the moment it is simply the number of bunnies collected multiplied by the bonus multiplier. With a good game this can easily reach 4-5 million points.

There really needs to be more elements included in the final count to make it more representative of the player's progress through the game.

Without thinking about it for too long you could have the number of Playmates collected, the Mansions and the photo-shoots all contributing to your bonus. That way you are rewarded for playing the full gamut of modes and features.

Even after playing Playboy for over two hours it was still annoying to have to leave - and equally annoying to leave behind nine credits. Nine credits, that's worth about £4 or half a pint of beer at London prices (only joking).

I'm happier to report that by the end the GC score had moved up to a more respectable 145M but there were no extra rewards for becoming Grand Champion.


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