Sonic Spinball was one of two Sonic spin-off games released in 1993 (the other being Dr. Robotnik's Mean bean Machine). Both games were met with applause and high sales, perfectly serving their purpose of holding people over until Sonic 3 & Knuckles. But while Dr. Robotnik's game was a fantastically fun Puyo Pop-alike, Sonic Spinball is a pinball game gone wrong.
Putting Sonic in a pinball game is a concept that seems practically foolproof. After all, one of Sonics big powers is that he can curl into a ball and cut through practically anything, so bouncing Sonic around inside a pinball table ought to be fun. However, Sega seems to have done everything in their power to punish the people who chose this over Dr. R.
All the basic elements of pinball are here, but they're almost completely obscured by all the nonsense Sega threw in. To make it through each level, you must collect a set amount of chaos emeralds. This is accomplished by flipping Sonic around in the hopes of hitting the drain switch to get rid of the poison around the emerald, and dropping into the tank to grab it. This is easier said than done though.
The thing is, putting adventure elements into a pinball game just doesn't really work well. And when you take into account that the direction in which the flippers shoot Sonic is completely random. half the time you try to aim for anything specific, you just end up flying off in a completely different direction. Getting through even the first level is a major chore because of this, and only the most die-hard of Sonic and pinball fans should even bother playing this game in the first place. As much as I hate to say this, Sonic Spinball just plain stinks.