Pokémon Pinball is a pinball-based Pokémon spin-off video game for the Game Boy Color. It was released in Japan on April 14, 1999.
The central theme of Pokèmon is simple: catch all 150 Pokèmon scattered all over the land. Now, how can you do that in a pinball game? Here’s when Nintendo’s innovation and creativity kick in. First, you can pick from either the Red or Blue field (no Yellow nor Green). Which domain you choose determines the Pokèmon you can catch. Next, you’ll get to pick your starting location (it could be Pallet Town, Rock Tunnel, Viridian City, etc.). This also determines the present Pokèmon there. You’ll still have to get all 150 Pokèmon, but to do that, you’ll have to meet a particular goal to access the Catch their Mode. Once there, you have to bump the Battle Bumpers until the Pokèmon finally shows up on the lower part of the field. Bump him three times, and you have just caught him (or her)!
Another creative mode inserted in the game is the Evolution Mode. If you’re tired of merely catching them, you can evolve them into their next form. In this game, when you get to access the Evo Mode, you have to touch specific targets and then Exp. Points (or Elemental Stones) will appear on a random area on the screen. Touch the three of them, and you have a new Pokèmon in your line-up.
There are more fun and exciting stuff present in the game, such as the amusing Bonus Stages (wherein you can annoy some Meowths, Seels, Digletts, Dugtrios, and even Mewtwo), the expansive Pokèdex, the unlimited use of the Tilt buttons, the gratuitous amount of exposure Pikachu gets, the Rumble feature, the decision to make various Pokèmon appear as field items, the cute power-ups, the ability to change your ball’s appearance (it could go from a Pokè Ball into a Master Ball) and some other unmentioned stuff. There’s a lot of them, so you won’t feel deprived of all the cuteness in the game.
Graphically, the game looks great. The game runs at a smooth pace, the ball is made into a Pokè Ball, and the fields look impressive on the whole. You’ll also find the same excellent artwork as found in the original game. They didn’t import the artwork from the original games, though: they just made new ones.