How To Play 3D Pinball Space Cadet in Windows 10

Posted by Jamie on December 15, 2018

Did you ever use an older Windows version, like Windows 95, Windows XP, ME or 2000? If so you might remember that there was a pinball game included. It was called 3D Pinball Space Cadet and for its time it was a pretty decent little pinball game. You could easily blow through a break period at work playing it, and many of us did. Unfortunately, with Windows 10 Microsoft decided not to include any games with the operating system so 3D Pinball disappeared forever…or did it?

As it happens, 3D Pinball Space Cadet was a customized version of a commercial release by Maxxis. If you have the urge to play 3D Pinball Space Cadet, you may be pleased to know that you can still get it and run it in Windows 10 if you like.

Play 3D Pinball Space Cadet in Windows 10

The original game was dropped partly because games are no longer part of the Windows 10 package but also because it wasn’t optimized for 64-bit computers. 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. Download the game executable from here.
  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.

When loaded, 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.

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.

One thought on “How To Play 3D Pinball Space Cadet in Windows 10”

Lesli Cutler says:
It does not load. It goes through the same processes over and over on my laptop screen but I never get the game.

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