Why microsoft dropped 3d pinball from windows (and how to bring it back)

Have you played the 3D Pinball Space Cadet game on Windows 2000 and XP? but after upgrading Windows to Windows Vista, 7 (Seven), 8, 8.1, 10 you’re missing this game. I remember that 3D Pinball Space Cadet was my one favorite game and I wasted my most of time with it. Over time, new versions of Windows came, but Microsoft did not include it again. But don’t worry if you really like this game then there are two ways with that this game can be brought back to your latest version of the Windows that you’re using.

How to bring back Microsoft 3D Pinball Game in Windows Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, 10?

To get back Microsoft 3D Pinball Space Cadet game on current running Windows version, you can use following two ways:

First Method: Using Command lines

It is the safest way to bring back Microsoft 3D Pinball Cadet game and I would also recommend you first use this method. I’m saying this because if you install this game directly through the Setup file then no one can give guaranty that it will not create any problem in your Windows-based PC. And if the setup file is affected with malware which can infect your computer without your knowledge. But for this method, you’ll need a Windows XP SETUP CD. If you have one then go as follows

  • First, go to the C Drive, create a new folder and give the name it as pinball.

Why microsoft dropped 3d pinball from windows (and how to bring it back)

  • Now Insert the Windows XP OS Setup CD to the CD/DVD Optical Drive. After putting the OS Setup CD into the drive, open the Command prompt. And after that switch to your optical drive by entering its name, for example, for me it is H: in my Computer, Type the correct drive here hit the enter button. But make sure you’re entering correct optical drive letter otherwise you’ll get an error.
  • Next, you’ll need to locate the I386 folder, for this type cd I386 and hit the enter button, If you have selected correct drive then you’ll come under the I386 directory.
  • Now type the following command:

expand -r pinball*.* C:\pinballz

Why microsoft dropped 3d pinball from windows (and how to bring it back)

Now type these commands one by one to extract the sound, font, table and wavemix file into the pinball folder.:

expand -r sound*.wa_ C:\pinball

expand -r font.da_ C:\pinball

expand -r table.bm_ C:\pinball

copy wavemix.inf C:\pinball

That’s it, now you have successfully installed 3D Pinball for Windows – Space Cadet game to your PC. To play the game open the pinball folder which you created in the C drive and double click on the pinball.exe to launch the game.

Why microsoft dropped 3d pinball from windows (and how to bring it back)

I have tested this game on the Windows Vista, Seven, 8, 8.1 and Windows 10 and worked fine without giving a single error. So you can use above method to play this game on any latest Windows version.

Second Method: Through Setup file

The Second method is for those people who do not feel comfortable with the command lines or don’t have a Windows XP Setup CD then you can get 3D Pinball Space Cadet game setup file for Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10:

After downloading the setup, open the containing folder and double click to run the setup file and follow the one screen steps to install it on your Computer. In case you’re facing any problem to installing it on your PC then please let me know.

About Author

Why microsoft dropped 3d pinball from windows (and how to bring it back)I’m Pramod Kumar Yaduvanshi, creator and editor in chief of PCMobitech. I mostly write about Computer, Smartphone, VPN, Security related articles and tips & tricks etc. Follow me on: Twitter.

2 thoughts on “How to Bring back Microsoft 3D Pinball Game in Windows Vista, 7, 8, 10.”

Hi Pramod,
thanks for wealthy information really miss this game loved your article soon i will installed this in my laptop

Why microsoft dropped 3d pinball from windows (and how to bring it back)

Windows XP was the last client version of Windows to include the Pinball game that had been part of Windows since Windows 95. There is apparently speculation that this was done for legal reasons.

No, that’s not why.

One of the things I did in Windows XP was port several millions of lines of code from 32-bit to 64-bit Windows so that we could ship Windows XP 64-bit Edition. But one of the programs that ran into trouble was Pinball. The 64-bit version of Pinball had a pretty nasty bug where the ball would simply pass through other objects like a ghost. In particular, when you started the game, the ball would be delivered to the launcher, and then it would slowly fall towards the bottom of the screen, through the plunger, and out the bottom of the table.

Games tended to be really short.

Two of us tried to debug the program to figure out what was going on, but given that this was code written several years earlier by an outside company, and that nobody at Microsoft ever understood how the code worked (much less still understood it), and that most of the code was completely uncommented, we simply couldn’t figure out why the collision detector was not working. Heck, we couldn’t even find the collision detector!

We had several million lines of code still to port, so we couldn’t afford to spend days studying the code trying to figure out what obscure floating point rounding error was causing collision detection to fail. We just made the executive decision right there to drop Pinball from the product.

If it makes you feel better, I am saddened by this as much as you are. I really enjoyed playing that game. It was the location of the one Windows XP feature I am most proud of.

Update: Hey everybody asking that the source code be released: The source code was licensed from another company. If you want the source code, you have to go ask them.

3D Pinball was one of the most popular games on any Windows XP computer. Have you ever wondered why Microsoft decided to remove it from later versions of Windows? Most speculated that the reason was legal, but it was not.

The 3D pinball was originally written for Windows 95 and had a rendering loop that painted the frames as fast as possible. However, when porting to Windows XP, Pinball’s frame rate on modern hardware (at the time) was over a million frames per second. Microsoft later added a limiter in Windows XP that limits the frame rate to 120 frames per second. This was sufficient to reduce CPU usage from 100% to 1%.

Only admnistrator owned posts can execute the include me shortcode

When porting several million lines of 32-bit code to 64-bit, Windows was a program that had problems, Pinball.

The 64-bit version of Pinball had a nasty bug where the ball passed through other objects like a ghost. Especially if you started the game, the ball would be delivered to the rocket launcher, and then it would slowly fall onto the screen, through the piston, and from the bottom of the table. The games were generally very short. Two of us tried to debug the program to find out what was going on, but since this code was written a few years earlier by an outside company and nobody at Microsoft ever understood how the code worked (let alone understood it well), and most of the code was not commented on at all, we just couldn’t understand why the collision detector didn’t work. We couldn’t even find the collision detector. We still had several million lines of code to port, so we couldn’t afford to spend days studying the code to find out which obscure floating point rounding error caused the collision detection failure. We just made the decision to drop Pinball’s product, says a blog post on MSDN.

You can always add Pinball to later versions of Windows, but it was not recommended.

Windows 8 users can now try Pinball FX2 and let us know how you think it will compare to the original game. There are also other pinball game applications for Windows 10.

Only admnistrator owned posts can execute the include me shortcode[toggle title=”Related Video”][/toggle]

Why microsoft dropped 3d pinball from windows (and how to bring it back)

Writing about Windows Solitaire recently got me thinking about another classic game bundled with Windows: Pinball. Windows Pinball was actually a stripped down version of Full Tilt! Pinball, a 1995 game from Cinematronics. Starting with the Windows 95 Plus! pack, and continuing through all consumer versions of Windows up to XP, users could play Full Tilt‘s “Space Cadet” table for free.

Why microsoft dropped 3d pinball from windows (and how to bring it back)

There were slight variations between the Windows version (which was simply called “3D Pinball”) and the Full Tilt table, but the game offered millions of Windows users a fun escape from work and studying. When Windows Vista rolled out in early 2007 to replace XP, however, Windows Pinball was nowhere to be found. So what happened?

Because Windows Pinball was developed by Cinematronics and published by Maxis, many speculated that Microsoft’s license to include the game in Windows had expired, or that some other legal dispute between the companies resulted in the game’s removal. The real answer was less dramatic, but more technical.

Why microsoft dropped 3d pinball from windows (and how to bring it back)

Raymond Chen / Microsoft

As explained in a 2012 MSDN blog post by Microsoft engineer Raymond Chen, the real reason for the loss of Windows Pinball was the switch from a 32-bit to a 64-bit architecture. Although Microsoft released a 64-bit version of Windows XP, it wasn’t until Vista, and especially Windows 7, that 64-bit Windows hit the mainstream. This required updating and writing millions of lines of code to support the new architecture, and some older programs were more difficult to work with than others:

The 64-bit version of Pinball had a pretty nasty bug where the ball would simply pass through other objects like a ghost. In particular, when you started the game, the ball would be delivered to the launcher, and then it would slowly fall towards the bottom of the screen, through the plunger, and out the bottom of the table.

Two of us tried to debug the program to figure out what was going on, but given that this was code written several years earlier by an outside company, and that nobody at Microsoft ever understood how the code worked (much less still understood it), and that most of the code was completely uncommented, we simply couldn’t figure out why the collision detector was not working. Heck, we couldn’t even find the collision detector!

We had several million lines of code still to port [to get Windows XP 64-bit Edition ready to ship], so we couldn’t afford to spend days studying the code trying to figure out what obscure floating point rounding error was causing collision detection to fail. We just made the executive decision right there to drop Pinball from the product.

While Windows Pinball would have likely been salvageable with enough time and resources, it simply wasn’t it worth it to Microsoft to keep the game afloat. Thankfully, advancements such as virtualization now let Windows users of a certain age revisit this classic game. By simply loading up a Windows 98 or Windows XP virtual machine, Windows Pinball, Solitaire, and other classic games are all within reach once again.

Here’s a bonus fun fact: Windows Pinball almost didn’t even make it into Windows XP. Computer hardware had advanced so far between the development of the game and the launch of Windows XP that early builds of the game on XP ran at over one million frames per second, wasting resources and maxing out the system’s CPU. Thankfully, solving that problem (by adding a frame rate limiter) was a lot easier than solving the transition to 64-bit, and so Windows Pinball was saved, letting a generation of XP users also experience the game.

Why microsoft dropped 3d pinball from windows (and how to bring it back)

Writing about Windows Solitaire recently got me thinking about another classic game bundled with Windows: Pinball. Windows Pinball was actually a stripped down version of Full Tilt! Pinball, a 1995 game from Cinematronics. Starting with the Windows 95 Plus! pack, and continuing through all consumer versions of Windows up to XP, users could play Full Tilt‘s “Space Cadet” table for free.

Why microsoft dropped 3d pinball from windows (and how to bring it back)

There were slight variations between the Windows version (which was simply called “3D Pinball”) and the Full Tilt table, but the game offered millions of Windows users a fun escape from work and studying. When Windows Vista rolled out in early 2007 to replace XP, however, Windows Pinball was nowhere to be found. So what happened?

Because Windows Pinball was developed by Cinematronics and published by Maxis, many speculated that Microsoft’s license to include the game in Windows had expired, or that some other legal dispute between the companies resulted in the game’s removal. The real answer was less dramatic, but more technical.

If you ever used an older version of Windows such as Windows 95, Windows XP, Windows ME or Windows 2000, then you probably remember that there was a pinball game included for free with the operating system. The game was called 3D Pinball Space Cadet, and for the time it was a great little version of classic pinball. It was a fun way to blow through a break period at work, and many of us did just that. Unfortunately, with more recent versions of Windows, Microsoft decided to stop including games, and so 3D Pinball disappeared forever…or did it?

Why microsoft dropped 3d pinball from windows (and how to bring it back)

However, 3D Pinball Space Cadet was a customized version of a commercial release by the old gaming company Maxxis, and the executable files are still available online. If you have the urge to play 3D Pinball Space Cadet, you can still get it and run it in Windows 10.

Why microsoft dropped 3d pinball from windows (and how to bring it back)

Play 3D Pinball Space Cadet in Windows 10

The original game was dropped partly because Microsoft decided to stop including games in the operating system, but also because it wasn’t optimized for 64-bit computers. This is a dumb decision for multiple reasons, the most obvious of which is “oh no, the game written twenty years ago won’t run at top speed on my computer that is a hundred times faster than the one the game was designed for? However shall I continue to live?” There was also apparently a ‘collision detection bug’ but it doesn’t seem to be an actual problem in play. Here’s how to get 3D Pinball running on your Windows 10 machine:

  1. Go to this website and download the executable.
  2. Extract and install the file onto your computer.
  3. Find the game in your Windows menu.
  4. Play!

I downloaded the game from the source and it passed my browser’s security check and a virus scan. The game should run just fine on any version of Windows 10, whether 32- or 64-bit. No crashes, no issues and nothing that would prevent you losing more hours of your life chasing high scores.

The controls for the game are simple. Use the ‘Z’ and ‘/’ to control the flippers and hold down space to pull back the plunger to launch the ball.

As 3D Pinball Space Cadet was originally created for early computers, the resolution isn’t great. It runs in a small 640×480 window which you may have to squint at to see. You can use it full screen which might make it easier to play. Open the Options menu and select Full Screen.

You can also modify the controls from the options screen should you wish to.

Why microsoft dropped 3d pinball from windows (and how to bring it back)

3D Pinball Space Cadet cheats and codes

As usual with games of the time, mischievous coders built secret codes into their games to allow a few extra modes or features. I’m going to list some of them below so this is where you see the spoiler alert. Only continue reading if you want to know the cheat codes.

Type these codes when you first launch the game and before you launch the first ball.

  • Type ‘hidden test’ to enter debug mode
  • Type ‘Incredible or Imax’ to increase the field multiplier
  • Type ‘hmax’ to get 1,000,000,000 score
  • Type ‘omax’ to play in red
  • Type ‘gmax’ to enable the gravity well
  • Type ‘rmax’ to advance one rank.
  • Type ‘1max’ to get an extra ball when you lose your current one
  • Type ‘bmax’ to get an unlimited supply of balls

Debug mode, available through typing ‘hidden test’, allows you to dig under the hood a little. Press H to edit your high score. Press M to show how much system memory is available. Press R to increase your game rank. Press Y to display the FPS. You can also click the left mouse button on the ball and drag it wherever on the table you like. Press Space to exit debug mode.

There are a couple other hidden tricks within 3D Pinball Space Cadet.

To use the Skill Shot tunnel in 3D Pinball Space Cadet, you need you get the ball halfway up the launch chute so it rolls back down the yellow arch light. Hit those lights for bonuses.

  • 1 light = 15,000 Points
  • 2 lights = 30,000 Points
  • 3 lights = 75,000 Points
  • 4 lights = 30,000 Points
  • 5 lights = 15,000 Points
  • 6 lights = 7,500 Points

Knock down all three tombstones directly above the flippers and you advance one rank. Do it again within one minute to advance another rank and get a replay. Do it again before all the lights go out for another rank and another replay.

3D Pinball Space Cadet was immensely popular at the time even though most players thought it was their guilty secret. If you’re looking for a bit of nostalgia, 3D Pinball Space Cadet delivers.

Get Other Classic Windows Games

Why microsoft dropped 3d pinball from windows (and how to bring it back)

3D Pinball was probably the most visually-exciting basic Windows game, but there were a number of other classic Windows games available in different versions of the operating system, from Solitaire to Mahjong. Luckily, versions of those games are also available online, and for free! You can download the installer here. I have tested this download for viruses and malware and it is clean.

The install is simple. Just follow these steps.

  1. Download the ZIP file.
  2. Extract it to a directory on your computer.
  3. Run the setup program.
  4. When the setup program asks, give it permission to change your computer.
  5. Select the game(s) you want to install from the setup program. Why microsoft dropped 3d pinball from windows (and how to bring it back)
  6. Unselect the “Discover Winaero Tweaker” option on the setup screen to avoid installing their utility program.
  7. Hit “Finish”
  8. Enjoy your new games!

Why microsoft dropped 3d pinball from windows (and how to bring it back)

The new games will now appear in your Start menu and you can run them like any other Windows 10 application. Note that some users have reported that the games disappear from their Windows install after a Windows 10 update runs, so you may want to keep the original install package in your downloads directory so that you can reinstall if necessary. The games included in this package are Chess, FreeCell, Hearts, Mahjong, Minesweeper, Purble Place, Solitaire, Spider Solitaire, Internet Spades, Internet Checkers, and Internet Backgammon.

Looking for more games you can play on Windows?

Remember the Game Boy Advance? Yep, you can play GBA games on your Windows desktop.

If you’re trying to play games on a budget PC, you’ll definitely want to read our article on enabling Game Mode on Windows 10.

Why microsoft dropped 3d pinball from windows (and how to bring it back)

Microsoft has seen nine major releases since 1985. Over 36 years later, Windows looks very different but somehow familiar with elements that have survived the test of time including increases in computing power and a shift from the keyboard and mouse to touchscreen.

With each version of Windows released, Microsoft included different types of games for all types of players. There were puzzle games, pinball, and even classic card games. We’re looking back at all the games that have been included with previous versions of Windows.

Windows 1.0 and Windows 2.0

Windows 1.0 was the first true attempt at a Graphical User Interface (GUI). This version relied heavily on the use of a mouse before the mouse was a common computer input device. To help users become more familiar with this new input system, Microsoft included a game, Reversi. Reversi relied on mouse control, not the keyboard — to get people used to moving the mouse around and clicking onscreen elements.

Windows 3.0

Windows 3 was released in 1990 and introduced the ability to run MS-DOS programmes in windows. This feature brought multitasking to legacy programmes and supported 256 colours bringing a more modern, colourful look to the interface.

The Microsoft Entertainment pack — released with Windows 3, was a collection of 16-bit games. These games were developed in house by Microsoft to show the gaming ability of Windows at a time when most games were being produced strictly for DOS.

This was also the first version of Windows to introduce the card game, and mouse-use trainer — Solitaire.

Windows 3.1

The next notable release of Windows was version 3.1. This was the first version to introduce TrueType fonts and required only 1MB of RAM to run. This is where Minesweeper made its first appearance, replacing Reversi which was first introduced.

In 1992, Windows for Workgroups 3.1 was released and included the card game Internet Hearts. The game was included to show off the networking capabilities of Windows 3.1, allowing players to play simultaneously across a computer network. A version of Hearts has been included with every major release of Windows since and was completely reprogrammed for Windows Vista.

Why microsoft dropped 3d pinball from windows (and how to bring it back)

Why microsoft dropped 3d pinball from windows (and how to bring it back)

Windows 95 and Windows NT

Freecell was introduced throughout the NT versions of Windows as part of Microsoft’s Entertainment Pack Volume 2. FreeCell was bundled with the Win32s package that allowed 32-bit applications to run on the 16-bit Windows 3.1. Its purpose was to test the 32-bit data processing subsystem, which had been introduced as part of Win32s. If the data processing subsystem didn’t run correctly, FreeCell wouldn’t run.

3D Pinball for Windows – Space Cadet is a version of the Space Cadet table bundled with Microsoft Windows. With blinking lights and arcade sounds, it was originally packaged with Microsoft Plus! 95 and later included in Windows NT 4.0, ME, 2000, and Windows XP.

Windows 98

Windows 98 was the first version to introduce features that would become standard in future generations of Windows, such as Disk Cleanup, Windows Update, multi-monitor support, and Internet Connection Sharing.

Microsoft used Microsoft Hearts to showcase the new NetDDE technology by enabling multiple players to play simultaneously across a computer network. Hearts was released with Window 98. The original version called Internet Hearts was released with Windows 3.1 in 1992 and continued to be included in every release of Windows until Windows 7.

Windows 2000 and Windows ME

Spider Solitaire is known as Microsoft Spider Solitaire and was the most played game on Windows PC, surpassing the shorter, and less challenging game of Windows Solitaire.

Internet Backgammon, Internet Checkers, Internet Reversi and Internet Spades were all introduced with Windows ME. Windows Me was targeted specifically at home PC users and included Internet Explorer 5.5, Windows Media Player 7, and the new Windows Movie Maker software.

Why microsoft dropped 3d pinball from windows (and how to bring it back)

Why microsoft dropped 3d pinball from windows (and how to bring it back)

Windows XP and Windows Vista

Windows Vista includes a Games folder (also known as the Games Explorer), which provides access to all installed games from a single location, thereby making it easy to manage multiple games.

Inkball was a game that was introduced in Windows XP Tablet PC Edition and Windows Vista except for the Starter and Home Basic Editions. Inkball wasn’t a very popular game and was removed when users updated from Windows XP or Vista to Windows 7.

Purble Place was first introduced in Windows Vista. Purble Place was a suite of three games developed for Microsoft and was also included in Windows 7. Microsoft Mahjong was also introduced in Windows Vista, along with Chess Titans, Tinker and Hold ‘Em. Microsoft Mahjong and Chess Titans were the only two carried over to Windows 7. They were only available on the Home Premium, Professional, Ultimate, and Enterprise editions.

Windows 7

The Microsoft Windows 7 operating system was originally released in several “editions” including Home Premium, Ultimate and Professional. The operating system includes games that are considered to be part of a compilation — not available elsewhere as stand-alone games.

In several cases, the games are repeated versions of those included with previous versions of Windows, but with upgrades to graphics, sound, and options similar to those in Windows Vista. Initially introduced in Vista, Purble Place is the only game aimed at children. Mahjong and Chess are included in Microsoft Windows Vista Business Edition.

All of the Internet games that were part of Windows XP (Backgammon, Checkers, and Spades) have been recreated. However, Hearts is an offline-only application, titled The Microsoft Hearts Network in XP.

Reviewing the Windows version, a reviewer for Next Generation said that while the Space Cadet table is fairly good, the other two tables suffer from cluttered graphics and weak ball physics, making them “incredibly difficult to follow.” He gave it two out of five stars. [1]

3D Pinball for Windows – Space Cadet

Full Tilt! Pinball

Author

Developer

Released

Operating system

The look and feel of Full Tilt! Pinball and 3D Pinball are similar, with a few exceptions: The latter contains only the Space Cadet table and only supports 640×480 pixel resolution, while the former supports three different resolutions up to 1024×768 pixels. The image on the side is a two-dimensional image as opposed to pre-rendered 3D. The words Maxis and Cinematronics have been changed from the yellow to a dark red, making them harder to see. It sports a splash screen that merely says 3D Pinball and shows a small pinball graphic with faded edges. Music is not enabled by default in 3D Pinball. It has fewer soundtracks that are inspired by the original game.

There are only a few minor differences between the gameplay of the two versions. The completion of a mission in the Maxis version results in a replay — actually a ball save, rather than a special — being awarded. In addition, hitting a wormhole that has the same color light locks the ball, which if done repeatedly activates the multi-ball round. This is not the case in 3D Pinball: Completing a mission merely awards bonus points and hitting a wormhole in the above circumstances awards a replay. Also, the three yellow lights above the bumpers (both in the launch ramp and in the upper table zone) act differently: In 3D Pinball these are turned off if the ball passes on them while they are on. This is not the case in the original game, where they just remain activated.

3D Pinball for Windows – Space Cadet was removed from later releases of Windows due to a collision detection bug in the 64-bit version of the game that Microsoft was not able to resolve in time for the release of Vista. [3]

Chuzhou North Railway Station Incident

On September 4th, 2015, when a passenger attempted to take out a ticket, it was found out that the ticketing machine were displaying screens of the Full Tilt! Pinball game. This incident sparked immediate controversy among train lovers, dubbing Chuzhou North Railway Station as “Pinball North”. In response, such games were cleaned from the operating systems. [4]

The beloved pinball game basically vanished – but why?

Why microsoft dropped 3d pinball from windows (and how to bring it back)

If you came up with a computer in the 90s or the early 2000s, there’s no doubt that you became familiar with Space Cadet Pinball. The game came preloaded on Windows computers and we boomers would spend hours trying to beat our high score in the game.

Back in the early days of the modern internet, computer time was spent a lot differently. I remember spending half an hour to get Runescape to finally load up just to be kicked offline when my mom’s friend would call for their daily chat. The internet came through the phone line, so you couldn’t talk on the phone and be online at the same time. Torture, I know.

That’s where Space Cadet Pinball came in. I somewhat envy the generation that grew up playing with physical pinball machines (queue The Who’s Pinball Wizard), but Space Cadet Pinball was the shit. The flashing lights and satisfying sounds had me on that game for hours at a time, playing against myself, trying to beat the family high score.

So what happened to Space Cadet Pinball?

I had a hard time pinpointing the exact time, but I vividly remember getting a new family computer one day and being disappointed to find out that it didn’t come with the iconic game. As it turns out, the introduction of Windows XP was the ultimate demise of Space Cadet Pinball.

But why did Windows leave the game off of Windows XP and all versions of the OS that came after? Long-time Windows developer Raymond Chen said back in 2018 that the reason for the game’s demise was the advancement to a 64-bit version of Windows.

But one YouTuber is not buying the claims. YouTube channel NCommander set out with a goal to find the reason behind the demise of Space Cadet Pinball.

With NCommander’s findings, it seems like 64-bit processing wasn’t the ultimate problem. In fact, Space Cadet Pinball even launched on one 64-bit version of Windows XP, though it did have some graphical bugs.

The TLDR version of NCommander’s findings is that Space Cadet Pinball was simply too outdated for newer technology. As it turns out, the game was actually developed by another company and later acquired by Microsoft.

NCommander speculates that Microsoft either didn’t have the rights to further develop the game or it simply didn’t want to spend the time and money it would take.

For us 90s kids, Space Cadet Pinball is super nostalgic and it was sad to see it go. But with today’s technology, the game would likely feel out of place, and there are hundreds of options that you can find through your web browser to take its place. But nothing will ever compare to finally beating that high score after hours of failed attempts at getting online.

Have any thoughts on this? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

2 2

Since there are like 4 top level posts/responses claiming to be TL:DW from people who also didn't watch I'll post this:

This guy got multiple working versions of 64-bit, but they were smaller resolution. Pinball was licensed from a 3rd party and this guy thinks Microsoft didn't want to/couldn't do the art upgrades due to the licensing. Everything else worked – including in versions that are in certain builds of Windows that had it disabled.

Guy who made the video here: I spent the vast majority of this video debunking Raymond Chen's blog post, as well as digging up Itanium hardware to take it further.

In addition to the versions of Pinball I featured, I also have it for DEC Alpha, PowerPC, and MIPS. I actually spent some time disassembling the DEC Alpha one on a Discord based live stream (very very impromptu) over VNC.

From what we could tell, the Alpha version uses 32-bit FPU precision, but the lag was so bad, I couldn't really tell how it played. The viewer who gave me VNC access said it seemed fine though. The original Full Tilt Pinball was a Win16 app, and according to Dave Plummer, had quite a bit of hand written assembly that was replaced for the NT builds (and probably the version in 95 Plus!)

Why microsoft dropped 3d pinball from windows (and how to bring it back)

The release of Windows 11 has come and gone, but already there’s feature wishes for future releases of the newest Windows upgrade. One in particular from me is for 3D Pinball to make a return.

As a child, one of the primary reasons for using the family computer would be to see what search engines would bring in the way of games. While there were random Flash games of British Soaps and non-sanctioned Matrix games to play online, Windows itself had its fair share of games pre-installed.

One from Windows XP was 3D Pinball, where hours would easily be wasted in achieving a high score. With a programmer now having reverse-engineered the game to work on web browsers, and even Sony’s PlayStation Vita, it’s time to see the game return for Windows 11.

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Playing 3D Pinball on an iPad

Steve Jobs once said that having iTunes on Windows was akin to having a glass of water in hell, and while this quote is harsh in retrospect, playing 3D Pinball on an iPad Pro feels strange. It’s similar to playing a Sonic game on a Nintendo console, or using Apple Music on a Google Pixel device.

Using the Z and / keys for the flippers, alongside the spacebar for launching the ball instantly takes you back to Windows XP. The sounds and graphics are intact, and you can even play 3D Pinball on your smartphone if you wish.

Using this in Windows 11, within a web browser, instantly takes you back to that time as well, and there are ways of using it as its own app as well. Playing 3D Pinball on a laptop with a touch screen is also possible, but a full screen mode would be much better for this orientation.

There are plans for new music tracks, multi-ball and other features to come soon, but as it stands, you’re at risk of losing many hours already to this new way of playing 3D Pinball, as I already have in iPadOS 15 and Windows 11.

Time for a remake in Fluent Design

We’re in an age where remakes are a valuable commodity in the games industry. Pokémon, Resident Evil and other franchises have already seen critically acclaimed remakes. They tap into the nostalgia associated with our childhood years but updated for modern times with improved graphics and gameplay, and 3D Pinball can fit that brief perfectly.

While there were other games included in Windows across the years, such as Minesweeper and Solitaire, 3D Pinball brought a competitiveness to the family PC. There was a thrill about beating the high scores of your relatives with every visit you made to them once a week.

A new 3D Pinball game that’s built from the ground up in Windows 11 could add to the mantra that Microsoft has about this release; that it’s an upgrade meant for everyone.

With a new focus on gaming thanks to HDR and the Xbox app being heavily featured for the Windows upgrade, a new 3D Pinball game with online multiplayer and leaderboards, alongside native touch-support for those with laptops that have this feature, could be a big temptation to many who are still waiting to update to Windows 11.

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Daryl had been freelancing for 3 years before joining TechRadar, now reporting on everything software-related. In his spare time he’s written a book, ‘The Making of Tomb Raider’, alongside podcasting and usually found playing games old and new on his PC and MacBook Pro. If you have a story about an updated app or one that’s about to launch, drop him a line.

Microsoft’s 3D Pinball Space Cadet game was included in Windows XP and previous versions of Windows, going right back to Windows 95. The latest XP version was one of the most popular free Windows games but, sadly, it was never included in Vista or later versions.

According to a Microsoft blogpost, the reason they dropped Pinball completely was that they were not able to successfully port it across to 64bit versions of XP.

However, the game plays fine in Vista and later versions of Windows as long as the 32bit version of Pinball is used – there seems no real reason why that version of the game was not included, right up to Windows 10…

For those with fond memories of the game or who want to relive past glories, here are 2 methods to get the old 3D Pinball Space Cadet game running on Windows 10, 8, 7 or Vista:

1. Copy the 3D Pinball Space Cadet folder from XP

For this method you will need access to an XP computer (preferably running Service Pack 3).

Copy the entire Pinball folder located in C:\Program Files\Windows NT\Pinball\ on the XP PC to a USB flash drive or similar – the folder is tiny, less than 3MB in size.

Now paste this Pinball folder from the USB flash drive into any suitable location on your Windows 10, 8, 7 or Vista computer.

3D Pinball Space Cadet is effectively a portable program i.e. that Pinball folder contains the whole game so there is no need to ‘install’ it.

Just run the Pinball.exe program file within the folder to start the game. The game itself played fine in my testing (including the sounds and music if required) but see the notes on Configuration lower down this page.

Tip: for future quick access to the game, why not create a shortcut? Right click on Pinball.exe and select ‘Send to’ then ‘Desktop (create shortcut)’ to create a shortcut to the program on your desktop.

Remember me?

2. Download a Ported copy of 3D Pinball Space Cadet

An enterprising developer has ported the 3D Pinball Space Cadet code to run as a portable program on later versions including Windows 10, 8, 7 and Vista – both 32bit and 64bit versions of Windows are supported.

Download the installer from the developer here (the first version is smaller at 1.33MB and suitable for all users). Install the program, accepting the default destination folder of ‘Program Files\Microsoft Games\Pinball’ to make it easier to find the program afterwards.

After installation, run the program from the new desktop shortcut or from the Start button \ All Programs \ Games folder.

Note: there is no uninstall feature – to remove the game just delete the desktop shortcut and the one in the Games folder and the whole of the Pinball folder – within C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games if you accepted the default location during installation.

The game itself played fine in my testing (including the sounds and music if required) but see the notes on Configuration below.

Tip: if Pinball has brought back happy memories, why not see our article on how to play the free Bejeweled Classic gem-swapping game in Chrome or on mobile/tablet.

Configuration / Notes On Playing

F1 (Help) hotkey – doesn’t work but there is little need for a help file anyway. You probably remember how to play but, if you need a reminder of which keys do what, press F8 to display the Player Controls menu.

F4 (Full Screen) hotkey may not work if you have Windows Aero enabled in Windows 7 – the screen resolution will go wrong (press ESC to revert back to the standard sized game window).

To fix this problem and enable full screen mode in future, close the Pinball program then disable Desktop Composition (i.e. Windows Aero) only for this program by following these steps:

  • Navigate to the location of Pinball.exe within the Pinball folder – wherever you saved it in the first method above or in C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games if you followed the default installation of the second method.
  • Right click on Pinball.exe and select ‘Properties’ then select the Compatibility tab as shown below:
  • Tick the Settings box to ‘Disable desktop composition’ as shown above then press OK to finish.

The next time you run the program, the Full Screen (F4) option should work ok as it will now bypass Aero.

3D Pinball Cheats

If you really need them, there are a few cheats for the game listed here.

Conclusion

It’s a shame that Microsoft didn’t include this classic Windows Pinball game after XP but it is easy to play it in all later versions of Windows if you want some nostalgic table top action!

Y ou can download the Windows XP copy of 3D Pinball Space Cadet at: https://gamingph.sgp1.cdn.digitaloceanspaces.com/pinball.zip (1.26 MB) The copy above comes from the fresh install of Windows XP.

How do you get the 3D Space Cadet Pinball?

If you have the urge to play 3D Pinball Space Cadet, you can still get it and run it in Windows 10….Play 3D Pinball Space Cadet in Windows 10

  1. Go to this website and download the executable.
  2. Extract and install the file onto your computer.
  3. Find the game in your Windows menu.
  4. Play!

Why was Space Cadet Pinball removed?

3D Pinball for Windows – Space Cadet was removed from later releases of Windows due to a collision detection bug in the 64-bit version of the game that Microsoft was not able to resolve in time for the release of Windows Vista, though this reason was later proved false, as working versions of 64-Bit Pinball have been …

Did Windows 7 have pinball?

Microsoft Windows Pinball also known as 3D Space Cadet Pinball was introduced in Microsoft Plus 95, it then became so popular that it was included in Microsoft Windows NT 4 by default. But today you can download it for Windows 7, 8 and Windows 10.

How do you install pinball?

How to Install 3D Pinball Space Cadet on Windows 10

  1. First, download the 3D Space Cadet executable file.
  2. Install the game in its default location, and it will show up in the Games folder, just like it did in legacy versions of Windows.
  3. To launch the game, hit the Windows Start button and look under the Games folder.

What does tilt mean in pinball?

Tilt is meant to protect the machine from damage caused by the player. In tournament play, it also prevents someone from cheating. Players who are familiar with a particular machine may know how to use the tilt of a pinball machine to their advantage.

Does Windows still have pinball?

Head to Program Files > Windows NT and you’ll find an entire folder called “Pinball.” Drag that to your desktop, or wherever you want. You’ve now got Pinball on your Windows 10 system! Enjoy!

Does Windows 10 come with pinball?

Pinball FX2 Windows 10 Edition is now available, you can download it from the Windows Store for free today! A classic arcade game becomes a whole new adventure with the original pinball tables of Pinball FX2.

Is Space Cadet Pinball copyrighted?

When did 3D Pinball Space Cadet come out?

Pinball developed by Cinematronics and published by Maxis in 1995 with only Space Cadet table. 3D Pinball: Space Cadet had been packaged with Microsoft Plus! 95 and later included in Windows NT, Windows Me, Windows 2000 and Windows XP.

What does Windows Pinball Space Cadet do for You?

Microsoft Windows Pinball – Space Cadet tries to emulate the analog experience as much as possible through the actual design of the board, ball behavior and physics, while even offering the option to ‘bump’ the table as you would do in real-life now and again.

Is there a pinball game for Windows XP?

In Windows XP, there is an interesting arcade game called 3D Pinball, which comes built-in with the operating system for free. The pinball video game in Windows XP has the full name of 3D Pinball for Windows: Space Cadet, and is licensed from the pinball software collection Full…

Is it possible to download 3D Pinball for free?

Play pinball by downloading 3D Pinball for free The Windows operating system usually comes with a few entertaining games that have become classics over the years. This is the case of Minesweeper, Solitaire or the popular 3D Pinball, which was incorporated to Microsoft Plus 95 and was still available until Windows XP.

Why microsoft dropped 3d pinball from windows (and how to bring it back)

Microsoft has released its highly publicized, widely scrutinized newest operating system, an update to its pioneering software simply called Windows 11, and it features one glaring omission.

As with any major overhaul to your PC’s operating system, the new version improves some things, and sadly leaves a few innovations on the table, most notably fucking godamn Space Cadet 3D Pinball , which they always used to just throw in there for fun. It would appear that this top ten game of all time that was given to every PC user for years has been deemed unfit to be included in Windows operating system releases these days. What the fuck.

Windows 10 was released in 2015. That means these losers had five years to fine tune some things and steal some innovations from their competition. They also had five years to get their dumb heads out of their shitty asses and put the classic games back on there. You can’t tell me they didn’t also have time to tuck some fun little games into a folder or some shit. Looking for an amalgamation of Chrome OS and macOS? Check. Trying to play SkiFree ? Go fuck yourself, I guess.

Now of course a lot of these games that we fondly remember from the Windows computers of our youths are readily available online, but that’s not the point. While Microsoft keeps bending over backwards to answer complaints no one ever had, such as “The Windows Start button is still on the bottom left of the screen, where it’s been my entire life,” the very real complaints of “Hey where’s that fun game that used to be on here,” remain unaddressed. Microsoft simply refuses to listen to us, the people.

Did you know that there’s no longer a 32-bit install option? Do you know what that means? I sure don’t, but I know how to make it to the Fleet Commander rank in SC3DP. That’s what Windows means to me. Once again, uninspired corporate “innovation,” leaves the consumers that have turned this software into a household staple from Windows 95 to XP with their dick in their hand. Shame on you, Bill Gates. I wanted to play the pinball game.

So there you have it. It’s Windows. It’s still the same, but they took some stuff from other things that have come out. If you’re reading a review, you probably already have some idea what to expect. What I find shocking, however, is that with all the talk of upgrades and centered toolbars, not one press release mentioned that they wouldn’t be including the greatest pinball game not played on an actual pinball machine. Everyone really dropped the ball here. Enjoy Cloud Streaming and rounded edges to your onscreen boxes, I guess. This shit sucks.

It’s time to Review the Reviewers!

Most video game publications shove their video game reviews down your throats and you’re just forced to deal with the fact that they called your absolute favorite video game in the world a mere 8/10. But who Reviews the Reviewers? Here at Hard Drive, you do. Drop a vote below to decide if this reviewer was Objectively Correct or Objectively Wrong.

Microsoft shipped Maxis and Cinematronix’s 3D Pinball – Space Cadet with the Windows 95 Plus! Pack, and with every subsequent Windows version. While there are plenty of Web sites out there that offer cheats for the game, I haven’t found any that discuss playing strategy. After playing a particularly good game, I decided to create such a page based on my experience.

The building blocks of a high-scoring strategy are several shots you must master. (I assume the reader is familiar with the table and its components; if you’re not, consult the game’s help.)

The Three Shots to Master

Why microsoft dropped 3d pinball from windows (and how to bring it back)

#1: Launch Ramp Shot

Send the ball up Launch Ramp from the middle of the right flipper. Aside from its obvious uses, this is also a safe way to transfer the ball from the right flipper to the left (a nice setup for a Hyperspace Chute shot).

Why microsoft dropped 3d pinball from windows (and how to bring it back)

#2: Hyperspace Chute Shot

Send the ball up the Hyperspace Chute from the middle of the left flipper. With practice, you’ll be able to do this as a reflex shot, putting the ball up the hyperspace chute several times in a row.

Why microsoft dropped 3d pinball from windows (and how to bring it back)

#3: Left Medal Target Shot

The key to a high-scoring game is the ability to hit the medal targets consistently. The left medal target is the hardest of the three to hit, so practice this shot. Flip the ball off the right flipper near the flipper’s midpoint, a little above where you launch a Launch Ramp shot.

Two Other Useful Shots

Why microsoft dropped 3d pinball from windows (and how to bring it back)

#4: Yellow Wormhole Shot

Useful for getting replays. Flip the ball off the left flipper as it reaches the flipper’s tip.

Why microsoft dropped 3d pinball from windows (and how to bring it back)

#5: Fuel Chute Shot

Extends the time available to complete a mission, and gives you a chance of putting the ball into the green wormhole. Flip the ball off the right flipper near the flipper’s tip.

Strategy

Get multiple extra balls from the medal targets. The secret to a high-scoring game is the ability to consistently drop all three medal targets within a short time, lighting the purple medal light and earning an extra ball. While that light is lit, each time you drop all three medal targets you’re awarded another extra ball. If you can drop these targets consistently, you can rack up several extra balls in short order. Whenever you notice the red medal light is on (or even the blue medal light, if you’re good at hitting the medal targets), start shooting for the medal targets. Practice the left medal target shot and hitting the medal targets in general.

Play defensively. Try to always play from a position which minimizes the chance of ball drain and the penalty thereof: get a replay, raise the center post, and light the extra ball lights in the out lanes. Use the yellow wormhole shot to get a replay as soon as you can. Use the hyperspace chute shot to light four hyperspace lights, which raises the center post and lights the extra ball light in the out lanes. (Of course, you want to pass a ball through an out lane only when the lane’s triangular yellow kicker light is lit.)

Always keep lit three or four (but not five) hyperspace lights. The third (center post) and fourth (extra ball) lights improve play, but the fifth (gravity) works against you by screwing with the ball’s path. When you’ve lit three or four lights, whichever you prefer, avoid the hyperspace chute until your chosen light goes out, then send the ball up the hyperspace shoot to relight it. Alternative strategy: If you’ve mastered the hyperspace chute shot, light the fifth hyperspace light, then continue putting the ball up the hyperspace chute with reflex shots until you’ve once again lit four hyperspace lights. This difficult strategy is worth mastering, as it simultaneously keeps the center post raised and the out lanes’ extra ball lights lit.

Go for replays. A replay is better than an extra ball, so prefer a replay. If you’ve mastered the yellow wormhole shot, you should be able get replays consistently. Put the ball into the yellow wormhole when the light above that wormhole is lit.

Don’t waste time on unprofitable missions. Some missions don’t pay off as well or are harder than others (e.g., the Secret mission). If you’re on an unprofitable mission, abort it by letting the fuel run out, then try for a better one.

General Tips

When the ball lands in the black hole kickout while both the right medal target and bottom booster target are down, the ball usually drains when it’s kicked out. To avoid this, flip the right flipper as the ejected ball hits the booster target bank. If you time it right, the tip of the flipper will deflect the ball from draining.

Don’t be afraid to let the ball bounce off your flipper. This often bounces the ball to the other flipper.

The Payoff

Practice and someday you’ll see something like this:

(Unretouched, after ending a two-hour-plus game with the rank of Fleet Admiral.)

A Final Thought

The best game is one you can walk away from at any moment.

Game Notes

In the original release of Space Cadet Pinball, the included help was two files: an image of the table, and a Word document describing the table and game play. Somewhere between Windows 95 & Windows 2000 Microsoft integrated help into the program. Unfortunately, the integrated help contains less information than the original standalone file. For example, the details of the different missions have disappeared. If you want the full scoop, Google "pinball.doc maelstrom".

The cheats can be useful if you want to practice particular shots or completing particular missions.

There’s a known bug in Space Cadet Pinball that you can use to your advantage. When you go up in rank, all the progress lights will flash for a few moments, then reset. The bug: if the ball drains or you start a new mission while all the progress lights are on, the next level begins with all progress lights on. After completing another mission you’ll progress immediately to the next rank. If your timing is perfect (and you have a lot of luck), you could in theory attain the highest rank after only eleven missions (three to attain the second rank, and one per rank thereafter). This suggests a counterintuitive challenge: attaining the highest rank with the lowest possible score. Any extreme Space Cadet wizards out there?

The primary goal of the 3D Pinball game Space Cadet is to launch the ball and then earn as many points as possible by hitting bumpers, targets, and flags. The game is divided into nine levels of play, represented as ranks. The lowest rank is Cadet, and the highest rank is Fleet Admiral.

Advancement to the next rank is achieved by selecting and completing a series of missions. As you advance in rank, new and more challenging missions become available to you. The higher the rank, the greater the point reward. The game supports Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10 and Windows XP.

There are two ways to start a game of Pinball. On the Game menu, click New Game or y ou can also start a new game by pressing F2. To launch the ball, hold down the Spacebar and then release it. The longer the Spacebar is held, the more powerful the launch.

You can also launch the ball by clicking the Game menu. You can change your flipper settings, and pause/resume the game at any time. To play the game with multiple players, click Select Players and then the number of players.

Regardless of your skill level, you start each game with three balls and the rank of Cadet, and you earn additional balls and rank advancement as you play. For multiple players, click Options, click Select Players, and then click the number of players.

Download and play the classic 3D pinball game on any Microsoft Windows operating system of Windows 7, XP, Vista, 8, 8.1, and Windows 10 PC. Below you can read some of the features of the classic pinball game.

Why microsoft dropped 3d pinball from windows (and how to bring it back)

To Earn Extra Balls:
Drop all three medal targets three times in a row to earn the level three commendation, which awards an extra ball. Drop any medal target when the purple medal light is turned on.

Roll the ball down one of the out lanes when the extra ball light is turned on. When you have earned an extra ball, one of the extra ball lights located above the out lanes on each side of the table will be turned on.

Bumpers:
Bumpers are round, mushroom-shaped objects that kick back when hit by the ball. There are two sets of bumpers on the Space Cadet 3D Pinball table: four attack bumpers and three launch bumpers.

Attack Bumpers: The four large bumpers are the attack bumpers. Attack bumper status (indicated by the lights on top of the attack bumpers) is upgraded one color (from blue to green, then to yellow, and then to red) each time all three re-entry lights are turned on.

The higher the attack bumper status, the greater the number of points awarded when the bumpers are hit. After 60 seconds, the attack bumper status is degraded.

Launch Bumpers: The three small bumpers are the launch bumpers. Launch bumper status (indicated by the lights on top of the launch bumpers) is upgraded one color (from blue to green, then to yellow, and then to red) each time all three launch lane lights are turned on.

The higher the launch bumper status, the greater the number of points awarded when the bumpers are hit. After 60 seconds, the launch bumper status is degraded.

Targets:
There are two kinds of targets on the Space Cadet 3D Pinball table: drop targets and spot targets. Drop targets are yellow panels that drop when struck by the ball. Spot targets are round red spots.

Drop Targets: Booster targets, Field multiplier targets and Medal targets.

Spot Targets: Fuel, hazard, & space warp targets and Mission targets.

How to Play Classic 3D Pinball Game on Windows PC:

• Left Flipper – z
• Right Flipper – /
• Left Table Bump – X
• Right Table Bump – .
• Bottom Table Bump – UP
• Plunger – Space Key

To change game controls, choose the control options you want, click the Arrow buttons to change specific keys, then choose OK. To restore 3D Pinball game control to its original settings, choose OK.

To use the Arrow keys on the numeric keypad, make sure Numlock is off. To play the game full screen, click Full Screen. To return to the smaller window, press F4.

File Name: Space Cadet 3D Pinball Game

Download Size: 2.76 MB

Category: Classic Arcade Game

File Type: .Exe

OS: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 & 8.1 and Windows 10

Why microsoft dropped 3d pinball from windows (and how to bring it back)

Lil Uzi Vert CREDIT: Jerod Harris/Getty Images for West Coast Cure

A track on Lil Uzi Vert’s new album ‘Eternal Atake’ is making fans nostalgic for the early ‘00s after some listeners uncovered a throwback sample in the song.

‘You Better Move’, the fifth track on the long-awaited second album, boasts a beat built around a sample of the Microsoft Windows game 3D Pinball – Space Cadet, as Genius notes.

The song begins with the sound the game made when the ball was shot back up the right-hand side of the board after landing on a switch next to the initial launchpad. The beat, which was produced by Brandon Finessin, continues to incorporate that noise throughout the song.

3D Pinball – Space Cadet appeared on Windows operating systems including Windows 2000, Windows ME and Windows XP, but was removed from the company’s computers after it encountered an unresolvable bug.

You can listen to ‘You Better Move’ and a recording of the sound effect from the original 3D Pinball – Space Cadet above.

‘Eternal Atake’ was released today (March 6) despite Uzi not confirming a release date for it in advance. The rapper had been teasing the album since 2018 when he first tweeted the title.

Earlier this week, he shared a trailer for ‘Eternal Atake’, featuring the song ‘Baby Pluto’, while he confirmed the tracklist on his social media pages yesterday (March 5).

Between completing ‘Eternal Atake’ in December 2018 and its release, Uzi appeared to announce he was quitting music. “I wanna take the time out to say I thank each and every one of my supporters but I’m done with music,” he tweeted in January 2019, before reversing the decision.

On expelling a ball from the Hyperspace Chute, a Left Nudge should ensure the ball finds its way up and over the Launch Ramp. Potentially the start of a mission.

A Left or Right Nudge as the ball drops from the rightmost Re-entry Lane could influence the ball going into the Red Wormhole for a chance of a replay ball.

As ball is expelled from Left Out Lane, a Left Nudge should ensure the ball reaches the top centremost part of table and the chance of passing through Re-entry Lanes.

Using Left or Right Nudge to alter the angle it comes off the Rebound Bumpers (above the flippers) ensures a better chance of not being directed towards either of the Out Lanes. This can also affect the potential mission that will be selected, as it could hit one of the mission spot targets. Likewise it could hit the Booster Drop Targets, getting you a little closer to three booster lights being lit.

A Left or Right Nudge with the ball in the area of the three Attack Bumpers could allow either set of Hazard Target Bank lights to be lit and the appropriate gate being opened – causing the Out Lane for that side of the table to not be an imminent threat – if it was closed.

Consider using a nudge in conjunction with the Centre Post being up – this can be a better option that using a flipper that is just out of reach of the ball.

Either left or right nudge to direct the ball in the direction of the other flipper – this would be in preparation for a shot at the Hyperspace Chute/Launch Ramp.

Tilting [ edit ]

It is normally never a good idea to get a tilt as the ball is lost. However, there is one unique instance where this is recommended. At the highest rank of Fleet Admiral, carrying out a Time Warp mission and accidentally completing the mission with a Time Warp Forward, a hasty and frenetic use of every nudge available will ensure that you do not time warp into oblivion and just get a tilt instead!

Microsoft has removed many classic features from Windows 7 like Classic start menu, Quick Launch toolbar, etc. Although most of them can be enabled using 3rd party apps or simple registry tweaks:

There are 6 more classic programs which have also been removed from Windows 7 but most of the people don’t notice them. The programs are:

  • 3D Pinball Game
  • InkBall Game
  • Hold ‘Em Game
  • Windows Movie Maker
  • Windows Calendar
  • ClipBook Viewer

3D Pinball game is an awesome game and Microsoft removed it from Windows 7 for no reason. Similarly Windows Calendar is a very useful application but Microsoft removed it to force people to use Windows Live Essentials pack.

Our reader “scritperkid2” has shared these classic applications files which can be copied to Windows 7 to enjoy these missing programs in Windows 7.

Simply follow the instructions to get the programs back in Windows 7:

Table of Contents

Get 3D Pinball Game in Windows 7:

Download following ZIP file, extract it and copy the Pinball folder to “C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games” folder. If you have installed Windows 7 in any other partition, change C: drive letter to the correct one.

Why microsoft dropped 3d pinball from windows (and how to bring it back)

Get InkBall Game in Windows 7:

Download following ZIP file, extract it and copy the files to “C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\InkBall” folder. If you have installed Windows 7 in any other partition, change C: drive letter to the correct one.

Why microsoft dropped 3d pinball from windows (and how to bring it back)

Get Hold ‘Em Game in Windows 7:

Download following ZIP file, extract it and run the install.bat file:

Why microsoft dropped 3d pinball from windows (and how to bring it back)

Get Windows Movie maker in Windows 7:

Download following ZIP file, extract it and copy the appropriate folder to “C:\Program Files\” folder. If you have installed Windows 7 in any other partition, change C: drive letter to the correct one.

Why microsoft dropped 3d pinball from windows (and how to bring it back)

You can also download and install Windows Live Movie Maker which is an advanced version of default Windows Movie Maker:

Or check following free alternatives to Windows Movie Maker:

And if you want the good old Windows Movie Maker 2.6 version, check following:

Get Windows Calendar in Windows 7:

Download following ZIP file, extract it and copy the extracted folder to “C:\Program Files\” folder. 64-bit users copy the extracted folder to “C:\ Program Files (x86)\” folder. If you have installed Windows 7 in any other partition, change C: drive letter to the correct one.

Why microsoft dropped 3d pinball from windows (and how to bring it back)

Get ClipBook Viewer in Windows 7:

Download following ZIP file, extract it and copy the clipbrd.exe file to “C:\Windows\System32\” folder. If you have installed Windows 7 in any other partition, change C: drive letter to the correct one.

Why microsoft dropped 3d pinball from windows (and how to bring it back)

You are here: Home » Windows 7 » How to Get Good Old 3D Pinball Game, InkBall, Hold ‘Em, Windows Movie Maker, Windows Calendar and ClipBook Viewer in Windows 7?

Published in: Windows 7

About the author: Vishal Gupta (also known as VG) has been awarded with Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional) award. He holds Masters degree in Computer Applications (MCA). He has written several tech articles for popular newspapers and magazines and has also appeared in tech shows on various TV channels.

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Why microsoft dropped 3d pinball from windows (and how to bring it back)

1. How to Install 3D Pinball Space Cadet on Windows 11

Author: www.groovypost.com

Date Submitted: 08/24/2019 01:56 AM

Average star voting: 3 ⭐ ( 25378 reviews)

Summary: Enjoy a blast from the past with Microsoft 3D Pinball Space Cadet. Here’s a quick tip on getting it downloaded and installed on Windows 11.

Match with the search results: Launch the game and relive this Windows classic! Oh, just one more thing, be sure to down the volume if you’re playing at work. This baby is ……. read more

Why microsoft dropped 3d pinball from windows (and how to bring it back)

2. Here’s how to bring Space Cadet 3D Pinball back to Windows

Author: www.pcgamer.com

Date Submitted: 07/20/2019 04:10 PM

Average star voting: 5 ⭐ ( 50975 reviews)

Summary: 3D Pinball for Windows – Space Cadet was a digital table released in 1995 as part of the Microsoft Plus! upgrade package for Windows 95. It was later bundled with Windows NT, Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows 2000, and Windows XP 32-bit, after which it disappeared forever. Or did it? Obviously, since you’re here, you already know that the answer is no, it did not. You can download the executable file from groovypost.com, run it, and within a few seconds have the game back on your PC. It’s exactly as it was, although it might look a little smaller than you recall: The window is locked at 640×480 resolution. (Remember, 1280×1024 was cutting-edge visual glory back then.)

Match with the search results: …. read more

Why microsoft dropped 3d pinball from windows (and how to bring it back)

3. Microsoft 3D Pinball: Space Cadet

Author: classicreload.com

Date Submitted: 04/05/2020 04:17 AM

Average star voting: 5 ⭐ ( 66765 reviews)

Summary: The Space Cadet table featured the player as a member of a space fleet where they complete missions to increase their rank. Players accept a mission by hitting “mission targets” which select which mission they will take, and by going up the “launch ramp”. Each mission has a set number of things for players to do, such as hitting the “attack bumpers” (which were a set of four

Match with the search results: www.pcgamer.com › News › Pinball…. read more

Why microsoft dropped 3d pinball from windows (and how to bring it back)

4. The Best Pinball Games for PC Windows

Author: en.wikipedia.org

Date Submitted: 03/21/2020 03:16 PM

Average star voting: 3 ⭐ ( 83337 reviews)

Summary: The best Pinball games you can play right now, comparing over 60 000 video games across all platforms and updated daily, for PC Windows

Match with the search results: Cheats/Hints/Walkthroughs for Microsoft 3D Pinball: Space Cadet. No posted cheats for this game yet. Walkthrough….. read more

5. Why Microsoft Dropped 3D Pinball From Windows (and How to Bring It Back)

Author: www.microsoft.com

Date Submitted: 11/18/2019 09:53 AM

Average star voting: 4 ⭐ ( 74651 reviews)

Summary: Forget Solitaire and Minesweeper. The best game ever included with Windows was a virtual pinball table. With blinking lights and arcade sounds, 3D Pinball for Windows seemed like magic back in 1995, and is surprisingly playable even today.

Match with the search results: Full Tilt! Pinball is a pinball video game developed by Cinematronics and published by Maxis in 1995. … It features pre-rendered 3D graphics and three tables— ……. read more

Why microsoft dropped 3d pinball from windows (and how to bring it back)

6. The 10 Best Pinball Games for Windows PC | A Round Up

Author: www.50gameslike.com

Date Submitted: 11/06/2020 12:23 AM

Average star voting: 3 ⭐ ( 43581 reviews)

Summary: Go through this article to know about the best pinball games for Windows you can play in 2021 to make your leisure hours more enjoyable.

Match with the search results: Enjoy the best classic pinball game on Windows! Remember the good old days of pinball on your computer? Now you can re-live the experience ……. read more

Why microsoft dropped 3d pinball from windows (and how to bring it back)

7. Top 5 Pinball game apps for Windows 11/10 PC

Author: www.howtogeek.com

Date Submitted: 06/01/2019 11:50 AM

Average star voting: 5 ⭐ ( 24098 reviews)

Summary: Here is a list of the top 5 Pinball game apps for Windows 11/10 which are available in the Microsoft Store. Pinball is one of the most popular games on any Windows PC.

Match with the search results: Cool retro pinball game with customizable tables. … the past with an exciting new twist on classic zones while fighting against new bosses ……. read more

Why microsoft dropped 3d pinball from windows (and how to bring it back)

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You know the rules! Use your flippers to send the ball flying and rack up as many points as possible!
Your goal is to not let the ball get past your flippers and try and last as long as possible. The longer your ball stays in, the more points you can get!

Why you’ll love Space Pinball:
– Simple classic design like how we all played back in the day
– Straightforward two-button control
– Intuitive gameplay
– A great time killer whenever you need it!

What’s New

Ratings and Reviews

A Fun Classic!

I was reminiscing earlier today on my Windows XP days where I would spend a lot of my computer time playing this game, so I typed in “pinball games” on my app store thinking of this game but fully expecting it not to be on a mobile app store. But to my surprise, amongst a plethora of pinball games, I found this game I spent so much of my childhood playing. It’s not a perfect copy of the original desktop/PC game. It’s missing some key sound effects and the slightly more refined mechanics of the original game, but it’s still enjoyable and brings back good memories. My only other complaint, and the main reason I rate this four rather than five stars, is that the ads got annoying really fast. I understand why they’re on a mobile game like this, but they’re way too frequent and I’ve had them interrupt in the middle of me playing the game and not just in between games. Other than those issues, which I hope can be tweaked or fixed, I’m glad I downloaded this gem of a game.

Not quite what you’d expect.

I’ve got to admit I had some pretty high hopes for this game since I used to play it quite often on my Windows Millennium Edition PC, but this isn’t quite what you’d expect if you were looking for the identical game. Let me explain why. The game does not allow three balls per game, it only allows two. You can get an extra ball to play a full game but it’ll cost you an add and about 30 seconds of your life. The high score board only shows the highest score, the original showed 5-10 scores. When you go into a telliporter a light used to blink three times signifying which port the ball was going to launch out of. There are no initial shot bonuses like the original. If you earn an extra ball from shooting the ramp to the right you never receive an extra ball. Points are not added instantly, for example when you hit a spinner the points don’t show up until the spinner is done moving. We also lost quite a bit of the original settings here for some reason. For instance you could turn the music off and keep the sounds on in the original. With all that being said, it’s obvious there are plenty of bugs in the game, but if you can get past them then you’ll really enjoy this classic game.

Broken flippers and messy physics

The game is very fun and great for when you have a few minutes of free time. That being said; The flippers will give out and not work, conveniently when you need to get the hit to beat a score or hit a mission. After a high score is beat, the ball will drop straight between the flippers after the initial launch several times in a row. I beat my high score several times, and all times but one, the ball just fell straight through the gates right after the launch without me having the chance to hit it once. The inconsistencies with the flippers are ridiculous as well. The physics are all jacked up. I’ll hit the launch pad ramp several times in a row trying to engage a mission, and the second I get the mission and need one more hit on the ramp, the power in the flippers change so I can no longer make the same shot I just made 5 times in a row. The reentry ramp or whatever it’s called has a nasty habit of sending your ball straight through the gates as well. If it’s coming down that ramp there’s a roughly 7/10 chance that it’ll just eat your ball. In short, the game plays like it’s rigged.

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The developer, Azur Interactive Games Limited , indicated that the app’s privacy practices may include handling of data as described below. For more information, see the developer’s privacy policy.

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The following data may be used to track you across apps and websites owned by other companies:

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Privacy practices may vary, for example, based on the features you use or your age. Learn More

Information

English, French, German, Hindi, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, Thai, Traditional Chinese, Turkish, Vietnamese

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  • Developer Website
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Challenge friends and check leaderboards and achievements.

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Some in‑app purchases, including subscriptions, may be shareable with your family group when Family Sharing is enabled.

3D Pinball for Windows – Space Cadet, was a special version of the Space Cadet pinball table, that came bundled with Windows XP, and earlier versions of the Windows operating system including Windows 98, Windows 2000, and Windows ME.

The game, which was originally released as one table of Full Tilt! Pinball by Maxis, has not been made available for newer versions of Windows officially.

According to Wikipedia, the reason why Microsoft did not include 3D Pinball Space Cadet in Vista or newer versions of Windows was a “collision detection bug” in the 64-bit version of the pinball game.

While that may very well be the reason, it may come as a surprise to you that the game runs fine on modern Windows PCs. We have tested 3D Pinball for Windows – Space Cadet on Windows 7 and Windows 10 PCs, and the game ran just fine.

Download and install 3D Pinball Space Cadet

Why microsoft dropped 3d pinball from windows (and how to bring it back)

The pinball table is available on various download portals. We have uploaded the latest version of the game to our own server for your convenience.

You can download the 3D Pinball Space Cadet game with a click on the following link: 3d-pinball-space-cadet.zip

The game is fully compatible with all 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows. We have tested it on Windows 7 and 10, and it ran fine and without issues. Please note that we don’t support the download in any form.

The game is provided as a zip file that you need to extract first. You can right-click on 3d-pinball-space-cadet.zip for that and select the extract option that is displayed in the context menu, or use a third-party program such as Bandizip or 7-Zip for that.

Double-click on the executable file 3d_pinball.msi afterwards. It is the only file included in the archive. This starts the installation process for 3D Pinball for Windows – Space Cadet on your version of Windows.

The installation is straightforward. Please note that you cannot select a custom installation directory. The game is installed in the following directory: C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows NT\Pinball

Why microsoft dropped 3d pinball from windows (and how to bring it back)

Why microsoft dropped 3d pinball from windows (and how to bring it back)

Why microsoft dropped 3d pinball from windows (and how to bring it back)

You may check the “launch 3D Pinball” option in the last step of the installation, or launch it manually at any time from the directory.

The game does not get added to the Windows Start Menu during installation. You may add it to Start if you run Windows 10 in the following way.

  1. Open the installation folder of 3D Pinball Space Cadet: C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows NT\Pinball
  2. Right-click on PINBALL.EXE, and select “Pin to Start” from the context menu.

3D Pinball for Windows – Space Cadet Gameplay

Why microsoft dropped 3d pinball from windows (and how to bring it back)

The pinball game has been designed for Windows XP, and it shows. The core issue that you may run into when you play the game is that it supports a resolution of 640×480 only.

You cannot change the window size, but may run it in fullscreen which I suggest highly. The reason for that is that the pinball table looks tiny on modern displays when you run it in window mode. If you run the game in fullscreen, it gets a lot better.

As far as controls are concerned, you may want to check the Options > Player Controls window. The game did not map the right flipper or right table bump controls properly on the systems that I did install it on.

You can map keys if they are missing on your PC as well, or change them as well if you prefer to control the pinball table with different keys.

3D Pinball Space Cadet features several missions, 17 in total, each with their own objectives. While you don’t need to complete any missions, they make the game more fun by moving beyond the sole goal of accumulating points.

Missions increase in rank and difficulty. You find a complete list of all missions available in Space Cadet on Gamefaqs.

3D Pinball is a modified version of the Space Cadet table from Full Tilt! Pinball. Originally first bundled with Windows Plus! 95, 3D Pinball was included with the Windows operating system until the release of Windows Vista. The premise of the machine is the player is a Cadet in the Space Corps and must run missions to move through the ranks. The objective of the game is to get the highest possible score.

Select “Pinball” from the Games menu in the All Programs section of the Start Menu.

Use the Space Bar to pull the plunger back and release it to put the ball in play. The longer the Space Bar is pushed, the further the plunger will be pulled back.

Use the “X,” “.” and “Up” keys to “bump” the table right, left or up, respectively. This shakes the table and causes the ball to move slightly in the bumped direction.

Use the “Z” and “/” keys to use the left and right flipper to keep the ball in play.

Shoot the mission targets on the left side of the table (indicated by the blue arrow) to activate a mission. Shoot the ball up the ramp to start the mission.

Complete the objective on the display and marked by arrows on the table to complete the mission.

Repeat for all three balls.

Completing missions will eventually increase your rank, which allows you to access more rewarding and difficult missions.

Warnings

Using the bump buttons too much will tilt the machine. This means the ball automatically drops and you lose any ball bonus you would have gained.