Dragon’s Fury Review: Fantasy Pinball Masterpiece

Dragon’s Fury Review: Fantasy Pinball Masterpiece

Last Updated on January 15, 2024

I find the video game adaptation of pinball to be a fascinating one. While the medium allows for near-limitless creativity, most pinball games are firmly grounded in reality. Dragon’s Fury is a stellar example of what can be done without those restraints. 

Dragon’s Fury (also known as Devil’s Crush) is a gothic fantasy pinball game sporting a stylish 3-layered table. The graphics are par for the course for the system, and the soundtrack is full of absolute bangers.

  • Developer: Technosoft
  • Platform: Sega Genesis/Mega Drive

Pinball with a twist

Dragon's Fury Review: A fantasy Pinball Masterpiece
Image: Retro Gamer Base

As Dragon’s Fury is a fantasy pinball game, you can smash enemies with your ball and even destroy parts of the table. The ball physics are pretty primitive compared to what we see with games like Pinball FX and VPX nowadays, but they are serviceable. Ball movements are predictable, and no pinball game would be complete without the ‘hail mary’ nudge button.

While pinball is a simple premise, there’s plenty to discover on the Dragon’s Fury table. For example, a lady’s head occupies the middle of the playfield. By hitting specific targets, she morphs from a human into a scaled monstrosity, eventually granting access to a bonus stage.

The table is full of hidden secrets, including ‘skill-shots’ that pinball players love. As the table has three levels, the goal is to reach the top where it’s safest and stay there as long as possible.

Bonus Stages are a fantastic addition to the genre

Dragon's Fury Review: A fantasy Pinball Masterpiece
Image: Retro Gamer Base

The outstanding part of Dragon’s Fury for me is the bonus stages. There are 6 in total, and they can be accessed from the main table randomly or by completing specific objectives. Bonus stages whisk you away onto new tables, usually occupied by a boss, and conquering them always yields a ton of points. The difficulty of these areas ranges from easy to obnoxiously tough (I’m looking at you, Stage 5), and they offer a welcome respite from the regular playfield. 

On rare occasions, the bonus stages feature double flippers, completely changing how you approach the challenge. These stages are nerve-wracking as you return empty-handed if you lose the ball.

Dragon’s Fury is a game where I can find little to complain about. As a minor nitpick, having a few more objectives on the main table would be nice, but the bonus areas more than makeup for it. The nudge button also feels pretty pointless, as it’s so weak you’ll never save a ball with it. 

That said, Technosoft nails an addictive fantasy pinball gameplay loop and even includes an end boss. Most players will never see the final battle, as it’s ridiculously hard to reach, but I see that as a long-term goal instead of a downside.

Dragon's Fury (1992): Technosoft's gothic fantasy spin on pinball holds up remarkably well. The visuals and soundtrack are a treat, and the 3-floored table and bonus stages offer incredible replayability. If you have any interest in pinball, you owe it to yourself to try Dragon's Fury. yatesa

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