In yesterday’s The problem with pinball feature I somewhat indirectly implied that Pinball Arcade was the best pinball game for iOS, so it won’t come as much of a surprise to find that this review is mostly positive. Mostly.
Behold: the many reasons why I believe Pinball Arcade is the bestest. In fact, there’s one reason in particular. One very, very good reason.
As I said in the aforementioned feature, there are several tables in Pinball Arcade, but I’ve spent most of my time playing Arabian Nights, so I’ll focus on that in this here review. Dig?
So, Pinball Arcade. Why is it so freakin’ good? The secret is that FarSight Studios has gone for what it describes as “exact recreations” of the “all-time greatest pinball tables”, and it really works a treat.
You may or may not have heard of Bride of PinBot, Ripley’s Believe It or Not, Theatre of Magic and/or Black Hole, but even if you’re coming at this – like me – as a relative pinball noob, there’s tons of ball-whacking fun to be had.
I’m sure you can imagine the dealio with the Pinball Arcade controls: the left of the screen controls the left flipper, while the right… do I really have to say it? I’m pretty sure there’s no tilt, but I’ve never really found it to be of much use. Er, maybe that’s why I suck at pinball.
EDIT: yes, there is a tilt function, but you have to unlock it - something I've emphatically failed to do over countless hours of play. Man, I really do suck at pinball.
Additional Pinball Arcade tables range from £1.49 to £2.99, but you can grab Arabian Nights for starters for a measly 69p. It’s well worth it, man, even if you have no intention of buying those other tables. Also, you can try before you buy, which is nice.
I have to admit: I have little to no idea how Arabian Nights works. Essentially I’m just smashing the ball around and hoping for the best. Ultimately the goal is to rescue the princess, and I’m vaguely aware how to do so, though I haven’t quite managed it yet.
If you’re a pinball nerd, however, there’s a massive (seriously, it's freakin' HUGE) manual thingy that explains each and every element of the table. There’s lots going on, including camel races, a big blue genie fellow, a magic lamp, magic carpet rides, and fights with skeletons. Excellent stuff.
My only gripe with Pinball Arcade: Arabian Nights is – again – the randomness. There are times when the ball will freeze as a potential bonus scenario unfolds; ‘Here we go!’ you think excitedly, only to watch as the ball drops between the flippers. Son of a mother fugging…
- Arabian Nights is just 69p – a barg
- Spot-on physics
- Based on real tables, and they is good
- Pinball is random as furg
Summary: Pinball Arcade is pretty much as good as mobile pinball gets. Go play it.
Developer: FarSight Studios
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Requires iOS 4.3 or later.
Price: 69p @ App Store (additional tables from £1.49)