13 August, 2012

On iOS pinballs

I had convinced myself that I would never enter the iOS-pinball jungle. The reason is that in just three-four years the iOS-pinball production surpassed that of Mac-pinball, which was spread over almost thirty years. Also I was not willing to devote a non-negligible budget to the purchase of all iOS-pinballs around (which, even if I did, would have been an almost impossible task since some games may exist only for some specific iTunes store). Moreover, the necessary time for playing thoroughly every table and shape an opinion would have been both prohibitive and unwarranted. 

Still, since I was fatally attracted to both the iPhone and iPad, I ended playing pinballs and shaping an opinion on many of them. Thus, albeit reluctanty, I decided that it was time for some entry on iOS pinballs. However my presentation will focus only on the pinballs I deem worth mentioning. No mention of the infamous Pinball! any more. (By the way it is called Pinball-HD in iOS: the name  "Pinball" was already taken by some other forgettable game). 

You will not be astonished if I tell you that my preferred pinballs are the ones I already like most on the Mac. Thus the creations of Littlewing, Farsight and Gameprom offer the best pinball experience on the iPad. (Yes, one can play on the iPhone, but if one wishes to really enjoy a pinball one should rather use an iPad). Gameprom has some specific iOS tables of high quality (but all of them too complicated graphically for my taste), AC/DC, Da Vinci, Snow

Let's see how the new, under develoment tables will look.

There are several honourable mentions. First the big classics Pinball Dreams

and Pinball Fantasies 

have been ported to iOS. I played both of them on the iPhone (the iPad did not exist yet) and I cannot get hooked. Perhaps this is due to the fact that these were wintel-only pinballs and the nostalgia factor is absent for me.

Then there is a pinball which is definitely below-par, physics wise: Bronco.

Its main merit is that it reproduces a classical table. If only they could couple it with a decent physics engine…

ASK Homework have produced many pinballs in the series Real pinball and Age of Pinballs. They are decent but I somehow cannot get myself to like them. The only one I find somewhat more interesting is the single-table one, "Art of pinball, the Mummy"

Finally there is a pinball by Cartoon Smart called Kingpin:

The gameplay is not bad and the graphics rather nice. Unfortunately they are are insisting on the pistol-shooting aspect (even more so with the most recent Pinball Showdown) and this is spoiling the game.

In the first version of this entry I had forgotten another pinball (in fact the first iOS pinball I have seen, on a friend's iPhone, back when I had no i-device myself). It's the pinball in the iPhysics pack.

I like it because it has a very simple table. On the other hand the feeling is that of a flash-pinball and so, today, I find that it does not make the cut.

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