Pinball Arcade Review
- Almost a history lesson on pinball; some of the arcades' finest tables recreated digitally, with more released each month.
- Great recreation of the tables with the ability to even tilt or call the arcade attendant.
- The paid versions of each table are underneath a hefty pay-wall.
- Small amount of lag on flipper controls with some tables.
- No Retina-ready visual optimizations.
Despite some minor control annoyances and the pay-wall, this is a must have app for lovers of pinball, especially those that used to pump coins into the machines when arcades were in their heyday.
- Full Review
- App Store Info
Anyone who has frequented an arcade has most likely had an encounter with a pinball machine. Part videogame with its animated scoreboard and goals, part mechanical contraption with its flippers, bumpers, ramps, and mischievous metal ball flailing around the table. They're a unique annal in the history of the arcade that at least in western countries has become a relic of the past. Enter Farsight Studios with Pinball arcade, recreating some of the most famous and popular pinball tables in the genre digitally, with the promise of more to come month by month. Essentially it's a pinball history lesson in app form.
As of release, four tables are available. These are Arabian Nights, Ripley's Believe it or Not, Black Hole, and Theater of Magic. The paid app allows you unlimited access to Arabian Nights, but the other tables have score restrictions on them until you pay to unlock the table (and prices vary depending on the table you wish to unlock, if the price for all of them isn't too hefty for you). This starting package certainly is varied, with Theater of Magic offering ridiculous scores, Ripleys being designed for beginners and experts alike, and Black Hole having a reverse table underneath the main board.
So how do the tables play in their digital forms? Well the flippers are controlled by tapping on the right or left of the screen and for the most part they are responsive. On Arabian Nights, there was a noticeable second or so of lag between tap and execution which made play frustrating, but other tables this problem was not encountered. As long as the flippers move when you tap them, there's nothing to worry about other than the bad luck you may or may not have at the game of pinball (reviewer's experience speaking here).
The presentation of these tables is immaculate with one wishing for a bigger screen just to follow all the action going on (especially when multiball occurs). The sounds of the flippers, bumpers, and the table's sound effects give you a sense of being in the room with the table, but sadly the lack of tactile feedback is missing, which has always been a problem with videogame versions of pinball. Nonetheless, if pinball interests you at all, and the prices don't scare you away, Pinball Arcade looks to be the definitive table collection on the App Store. Time will tell if they deliver on their promises.
DescriptionWinner of the Best Mobile Game of 2012 on G4TV!
Pinball Arcade by FarSight Studios features exact recreations of the all-time greatest pinball tables from Williams®, Bally®, Stern Pinball®, and Gottlieb® together in one game.
Tales of the Arabian Nights™ is unlocked in this version.
This update adds Earthshaker™.
Earthshaker™ (1989): Designed by Pat Lawlor, this entertaining table features a shaker motor built into the cabinet that physically shakes the table when an earthquake is triggered. Early versions of the table featured a building that sunk down into the table during the earthquake but was removed for cost reasons. 200 of these special tables were released. A bright colorful playfield, interesting rule set and great music and sound make Earthshaker™ a true pinball classic. 5,265 units of this table were produced.
High Speed™ is free to play as the Table of the Month!
Every flipper, bumper, sound effect, and display pixel has been painstakingly emulated in astonishing detail.
Twilight Zone™, Star Trek: The Next Generation™, Theatre of Magic™ (named the best video pinball simulation of all time by G4TV), Scared Stiff™, Elvira and the Party Monsters™, Monster Bash™, Gorgar™, Circus Voltaire™, Funhouse™, Medieval Madness™, Pin•Bot™, The Machine: Bride of Pin•Bot™, Creature from the Black Lagoon™, No Good Gofers™, Big Shot™, Taxi™, Harley-Davidson® 3rd Edition, Black Knight™, Cactus Canyon™, White Water™, Space Shuttle®, Centaur™, Flight 2000™, Goin’ Nuts™, Terminator 2: Judgment Day®, and other great tables are also available from within this great game.
Each month, regular updates will add classic pinball tables for years to come!
We’re excited to introduce streaming videos to the Arcade (the new Videos icon on the main menu). Our first video is The History of Pinball, a fascinating chronicle of our favorite pastime. Check it out!
Our goal is for the Pinball Arcade to become the most realistic and comprehensive pinball game ever created. Please support us in our efforts to preserve these tables and join the indelible part of Americana that is pinball!
What reviews are saying:
“Simply one of the best pinball games I’ve ever played” – Touch Arcade
“As close to the pinball experience as you will ever get in the palm of your hand” –Pocket Gamer
“Pinball doesn’t get any more real or fun on mobile” –Gamezebo
“This game is superb along with great presentation” – Inentertainment
“an impressive title, and one that is bound to please pinball fans” -148 Apps
“Authenticity is the name of the game here, and Farsight has absolutely nailed it” –GameLive.TV
“quite impressive… with content this great, it doesn’t need to use the hard sell” -iLounge
“a pinball nerd’s dream come true” –App Addict