11 August, 2012

Pinball Arcade by Farsight Studios

Pinball Arcade came to me as a surprise. I downloaded their demo with trepidation and I discovered another pinball-gem on par with the Littlewing pinballs or, come to think of it, with the famous (but, alas, defunct) Pro Pinballs. The formula is a surefire one: they have a top-quality simulation and instead of building their own tables (something calling for substantial talent) they trust the classics. In fact they purchased the rights to some of the greatest pinball machines. (I wonder how much this has costed: Littlewing is alluding to a prohibitive price for the rights of 8-ball proposed by Bally, which makes it impossible for them to revive that old pinball). 
Many tables do exist already, Arabian Nights, Believe it or Not, Black Hole, Theatre Magic

and many more ( Monster Bash, Medieval Madness, Creature from the Black Lagoon, Funhouse, Attack from Mars, Black Night, Space Shuttle, Pin-Bot, Circus Voltaire, Big Shot) through in-app purchase. 

Also PA is available both on the Mac and i-devices (although the in-app offers are not in perfect synchrony). I am a great fan of Funhouse, which had been cancelled twice till now (Amtex and the second installment of Microsoft pinball arcade). 

Funhouse would have been fabulous were it not for some PA quirks which spoil the gameplay for no apparent reason. First, why on earth do you have to use a physical plunger on a no-touch screen when you play on the Mac? Second, and much more annoying, the table focus shifts from a fixed, upright-table one (when, like myself, you make it your default one) to a variable-focus one when you go into multi-ball. I have lost count how many times I let a ball drain because of the shifting view. This is a serious flaw, both in the MacOS and iOS version and I am looking forward to Farsight fixing it.


  1. Hi Basil!
    Another stupid 10.7 only app! AAAAAARGH. Sorry, but when I first got into computers, software companies actually tried to accomodate *everybody*, within reason.. beinf FORCED onto the upgrade treadmill is, frankly, violating, especially as, uynlike in the past, every new OS apple *removes* critical functions, unlike how it used to be, when every new OIS *added* new features..
    Shame.. I really wanted to give this one a try..

  2. Hi there! Long time no see.. but I've had no internet for a half year.
    Hope you've been OK..While I've been away from the 'net.. looks like there's a whole lot of new pinballs that came out for OSX, and will still run on Snow Leopard (like "retro pinball", which I;'d love to give a spin at...)
    I'm sure it won't be long before the 10.6 versions are no longer available..like this one.. or so I thought..
    Well, I found out that the very first release *did* run on 10.6.6.. and I managed to find a copy..However, the game didn't have any facility for additional tables. I contacted Farsight support, who were VERY helpful, (especially considering they knew this version wasn't obtained , or even available anymore, through normal channels ;-). They "did a pow wow" and said that, since this version wasn't supported, or available anyways, as far as add-on tables, I was out of luck unless I got the "Lion" version, although this table should *play* just fine..
    So the upshot is that version 1.0 *does* run on Snow Leopard! ...Just none of the additional tables would work...

    OK I'm a little out of date also.. I know that "retro" and "arcade" pinball, as well as DAvinci and Snow Pinball, are OSX (also 10.6 capable) so I'd love to give them a whirl.. but also, a lot of the other recent posts of yours, don't actually mention if they're iOS or OSX.. You might want to mention that, for thiose of us that don't use iDevices...
    Anyways.. best regards.. after a long while.. My email is still the same even after I've moved (naturally) drop a hello!
    Regards Doc