3-D Ultra Pinball is a series of pinball computer games developed by Sierra Entertainment's Dynamix. The games try to escape from the traditional, arcade pinball and feature animation, more than one table at once, and "temporary targets"(such as spaceships, goblins and dinosaurs appearing throughout the table).
The original game, 3-D Ultra Pinball, released in 1995, is based on the space simulation game Outpost. There are three tables (Colony, Command Center, and Mine), each with a set of five challenges. Each table features smaller "mini-tables" with its own set of flippers. The overall goal is to build and launch a starship.
- Castle, fragmented in town, castle area and graveyard. Its challenges are Zombies (three zombies appear for you to knock down), Goblins(goblins randomly appear in the table), Runaway (a goblin riding an ATV runs through the table), Vortex (multi-ball, in which you must shoot in the vortex) and Wraith (a female magnetic ghost tries to capture the ball).
- Tower, a mad scientist lab. The challenges are: Rat (similar to the "Runaway"), Energy Gate (similar to Vortex, but "single-balled"), Beast (a squid appears in the table's giant water tank, and you need to hit its tentacles), Goblin and Dynamo (you need to a hit a dynamo). After finishing all 5 challenges, you revive a "Frankenstein monster" and need to hit him 5 times.
- Dungeon. The Challenges are: Gobbler (a ghost chases the ball to eat it), Spiders (similar to "Goblin"), Dimension Door (that if hit, activates a "Simon"-like game), Trapdoor (similar to "Vortex") and Skeleton Escape (six skeletons come out of the cells for you to hit). Like in Tower, after beating them a Catapult appears, and you have to hit it some times.
And after finishing all the 3 tables, you go to a changed Castle table, with 5 new challenges.
Lost Continent(1997) had a Jurassic Park-like set. It followed a storyline, in which a plane falls on an island where an evil genius, Heckla, creates dinosaurs of other animals. After a plane crash, a scientist, his daughter and the adventurer Rex try to escape the place and stop Hekla.
It has no challenges, but features 16 tables, divided in 3 "sectors": Jungle, Temple and Lab.
The game only has 3 fields: garage, track and pitstop.
Thrill Ride has one primary table, which doubles as a region for "Fun Zone" puzzles, and a secondary "Thrill Zone" table to one side. There are two multiball ramps, one a roller coaster (the Wildcat) and one a water ride (the Coal Cracker). Two of the Fun Zone puzzles send you to secondary tables, a River Rafting table and a Lightning Racer Virtual Coaster where the bumpers construct a roller coaster that is then replayed from 1st-person point of view to provide a brief respite.
General play proceeds as you complete the six trials—completing 5 Fun Zone puzzles, completing 5 Thrill Zone puzzles, getting Thrill points (the letters spelling THRILLRIDE) in order to activate and complete the Nighttime Fantasy puzzle, going on all the rides (activating all 10 zone puzzles), activating both multiballs, and frequently visiting the Snack Bar sinker. Completing all six trials activates a "Lights Out" puzzle breaking light bulbs with the ball; when this is done the table goes into Nighttime Fantasy Multiball mode before resetting the table (play continues, and multiple Lights Out are possible).
In addition, there are a number of other minor tasks and rewards (hitting markers to activate the Fun Zone sinker, etc.) and a Hershey's Hide and Go Seek for hitting the Snack Bar 50 times, in which a number of animated treats hide around the primary table and must be caught with the ball.