Balls of Steel (video game)

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Balls of Steel
Balls of Steel (video game).jpg
Developer(s)Wildfire Studios
Publisher(s)3D Realms
Platform(s)Microsoft Windows, Mac OS

Balls of Steel is a pinball computer game developed by Wildfire Studios and released on September 3, 1997. It is the only game to be published under the Pinball Wizards label, a division of Apogee Software (today known as 3D Realms).

When the game was originally released, it was possible to upload high scores to the WorldScores server, for a global ranking. This feature has since been discontinued.


Balls of Steel features five original pinball tables:

  • Darkside: Set on a remote space station under attack by alien creatures.
  • Barbarian: A classic medieval fantasy quest with a huge dragon on the table.
  • Firestorm: Set in a crime-ridden US city, a mad bomber is on the loose.
  • Mutation: Set in an underground science lab where a bio-hazardous accident has occurred and a large, slimy monster has taken over the lab.
  • Duke Nukem: A special table featuring the Apogee video game character Duke Nukem.

Another table, Devil's Island, was dropped from the game when Wildfire was given the opportunity by Apogee to include a Duke Nukem table. Devil's Island was later released as a standalone game.[1]

Duke Nukem tie-in[edit]

The game includes a table based on the Apogee/3D Realms video game Duke Nukem 3D including graphics from that game and original voice-overs by Nukem actor Jon St. John. Pinball missions include fighting monsters like octabrains and pig-cops, and using powerups such as jetpacks and the Holoduke, from the Duke Nukem 3D video game.

Graphics of a pinball game named Balls of Steel appear in Duke Nukem 3D itself, in the first level, "Hollywood Holocaust", when Duke encounters the table. Balls of Steel reappears in Duke Nukem Forever.


Balls of Steel was a finalist for Computer Games Strategy Plus's 1998 "Classic Game of the Year" award, which ultimately went to Centipede. The editors wrote that Balls of Steel "demonstrated that you can do the Bally table on the PC, and do it well."[2]


  1. ^ Mooney, Shane (September 3, 1997). "What's Coming Out in September?". CNET Gamecenter. Archived from the original on June 13, 2000. Retrieved December 5, 2019.
  2. ^ Staff (February 11, 1999). "The Best of 1998". Computer Games Strategy Plus. Archived from the original on 2005-02-03. Retrieved 2018-11-01.

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