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Available exclusively at the Target retail chain, Sonic Pinball Party features themes and locales from three of Sonic Team's most recognizable properties, including Sonic the Hedgehog, Samba de Amigo, and NiGHTS. Each table offers animated sequences, bonus events, and music pertaining to a specific game. The Sonic-themed table, for example, presents familiar environments, like the Neo Green Hill Zone and Secret Base Zone, in addition to characters such as Tails and Dr. Eggman.
Arcade Mode, Versus Mode, Story Mode, Tiny Chao Garden, and Casinopolis are the five modes of play, with the latter featuring bingo, slots, and roulette mini-games that earn players coins for use in raising a Chao. By advancing through Story Mode, players can unlock various extras and secrets, while Arcade Mode is a single competition on a choice of tables. Tiny Chao Garden lets players raise Chao included in the game or downloaded from the GameCube titles Sonic Adventure DX and Sonic Adventure 2 Battle.
Sonic Pinball Party also includes three multiplayer games playable using a single cartridge. Air Hockey has players using their flippers to shoot balls into an opposing player's goal while defending their own. Hot Potato involves quickly batting balls away so other players are stuck with bombs, while Ladder Climb is a cooperative effort in which players attempt to keep a ball moving upwards through a vertical column lined with flippers. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide