pinball simulations on CD
( made for DOS, win95 + 98, XP )

Pinsims existing for download in the 90ies of last century weren`t often fun to play. When I got the first CD`s (PC with win 95) the fun to play even with usually scrolling playfields was growing. With "The Web" from 1996 there was no excuse not to play pinball on the PC. Still releases with scrolling or bad physics/graphics happened but the majority was one way or another fun !

CD cover of Balls of Steel plafield of The Web.
Even if most pinsims on CD were made for XP or older OS, my experience is that quite a lot (made for XP) run without problems in win 10. Having still XP is an advantage because some pinsim (win 95/98) may run until XP. As well as some may run only on DosBox in XP whereas most can be started in DOSBox running win10. In the description I give you my experience, so just have a try ! Not everything may work as expected but the rest will be fun.
There are enough tables/CDs thats just fun and will bear comparision with Steam or VP/FP.

The details given may not be all accurate, the reviews are old but I hope still helpful if you want to try an old CD pinsim. On the www you still find a lot of pinsim CD`s for little money. Be aware that you don`t buy a bundle shareware, too often just 1 table is fully playable. I recommend one of the "Pinball Madness" packages with several better pinsims that should run on XP (few perhaps even in win10).

To see screenshots and reviews of pinsims on CD and by download I use jalbum with the very flexible

tiger skin for pinsims on CD

The earlier skin Fotoplayer was marvelous but was running only with flash playaer so I (had to) changed.

The reviews were done regarding the following aspects:
# of balls: I would say half pinsims start with (my favorite) 3, half with 5 balls, few with 1 ball.
physics: There are some with miserable physics most are playable and several (partly using the same engine and/or release date 2017 and newer) close to natural ball movement and rebounce.
graphics: Many are made in 2D some 3D, some in the manner of real pinballs or with nice graphic ideas/storys.
scrolling playfield: Because of the small smartphone screen the vertical scrolling of the playfield is quite common sometimes with horizontal scrolling. Sometimes the view may be changed to static with the problem of the small screen to play. The %-info shall tell you how much of the playfield is visible without scrolling.
lost: Some tables will kill your ball in seconds=6. As well as bad is a ball that just won´t get lost.
game: Do you have a chance with a good ball to hit the jackpot and other features of the table? Are there tasks to play for and/or timers used.
table layout: Some pinsims have only few targets or bumpers to hit but several levels that get more difficult to hit the right targets. May be challenging but also getting boring by the time. Moving targets are rare, other features like spinners, holes, ramps or ?, the more the better.
fun: Is it fun playing the table. Even tables with a bad "lost" rating may be fun (with a rare good ball) playing.
A #1 is good wheras #6 is a bad mark. As reviews depend on the person who makes them, these reviews and ratings are therefore completely subjectiv at the time done.
Of course my personal highscore mustn`t be missing. If there is something to say about the table, it will be at the end.