Pinball Rocks HD iPad Review

By , on June 19, 2013
Last modified 10 years, 10 months ago

Pinball Rocks HD
Download on the AppStore
4 out of 5


  • Excellent pinball physics.
  • Tables are varied and well-designed.
  • Rock soundtrack is a blast.


  • Music IAP trappings are a little irritating.
  • Not as much visual excitement as you might expect.


Though the IAPs songs are a bit much, this solid entry in the pinball genre should satisy paddle-pushers and rock enthusiasts alike. 

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Pinball Rocks HD is an odd franchise. On the surface, it's a free-to-play pinball title, featuring a selection of purchasable rock 'n roll-themed tables. However, browse through the song selection menu, and you discover the trappings of a music game, one which is keen for you to shell out cash for extra tunes.

In actual fact, the expandable soundtrack is just that: a soundtrack. The only way music impacts gameplay is thematically. While the basic free-to-play table is dressed in generic rock 'n roll iconography, the four remaining tables are tailored to four classic rock and metal bands.

Alice in Chains, Bullet for my Valentine, AC/DC and Slayer all get their own tables, each of which are dressed in suitably gothic, gaudy, or ghoulish skins. Visually, we were drawn to the highly detailed fire and brimstone garnished livery of the Slayer table. We probably had most fun on the Bullet For My Valentine table, with its tracks and bumpers providing an entertaining playground.

To achieve decent scores, you'll need to activate chains of lights by completing mini-games. These range from firing your ball through a set number of gates, or hitting a jar of flies until the lid opens and the insects escape. You have to set your own goals, but the table gives you plenty of feedback when you're doing something right.

Though Sony's please-buy-our-music angle might seem a little forced or cynical, the actual pinball mechanics are very strong. Both the ball and the paddles have weight, and the way the ball richocets and rebounds around the bumpers and borders is feels both authentic and satisfying. There are fewer pyrotechnics and flights of fancy than you might expect for a game featuring Alice in Chains, but the fundamentals are sound.

Of course, you're going to have to drop a couple of bucks if you want to try out the band tables. If you're a pinball officianado, though, we'd recommend you download Pinball Rocks HD and give the free table a try. Unless you hate rock n roll, of course, in which case, hang on for yet-to-be announced sequel Pinball Celine Dion.


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