12 August, 2012

Dishonourable mentions

First we have our superstar: Pinball. (The name hints at a pinball-monotheism: there is only one pinball. I agree with the developer: there is only one pinball of such a bad quality). This time they hired some professional designer to draw the tables. 

There are 10 of them! Unfortunately adding uninteresting playfields only multiplies the user's annoyance. 

I have an acid test for pinball table designers. Suppose you are back in the golden era of electro-mechanical pinballs, let's say the 60s. Would you invest your own money into building a real pinball machine based on your table design? (If not, then why are you inflicting your contraptions on us).  How many such machines would you hope to sell? In the case of Pinball! (I am adding an exclamation point just to make clear I am talking about this specific, ridiculously-named, one) the number would have been something between 0 and zero. (And I should point out here that we haven't said anything about physics: in a real machine physics is taking care of itself. Unfortunately, this is a wholly different story in simulations).

Two more pinball by Nuclear Nova, Pinball Massacre 

and Pinball  Shuffle

belong to the same category: bad physics and uninteresting play.

Finally there is another pinball which is special in the sense that it is not available outside the U.S. (Why? Does the developers fear european-taste-based harsh critiques?). It is called Pinball Yeah! (I did not add the exclamation point this time: it was there from the outset) and it comes with four tables, A.I., Pirate Cove, Liquid Bread, Classic

The developers claim "real world physics" and "real 3D simulation". I beg to differ.

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