03 February, 2013

Retro Pinball

A new pinball by GearWorx, named Retro Pinball: Tropical Splash  

just made its appearance on the AppStore. The developer announces it as a first in a series of retro pinballs which aim at bringing back the classic feel of the arcade.  While it boasts realistic ball physics it falls really short of the target. In particular I found the flipper action quite frustrating. So the fun of the arcade is just not there (all the more so, since the gameplay is not particularly interesting). Let us hope they improve things in the future.

By the way I would like to point out that some Mac games listed under the category "pinball" will not be reviewed here. I only consider pinball simulations and not pinball-based games. Thus games like PinTiki Ball or Snowball (not to be confused with GameProm's Snow Pinball) will not get a review: to my eyes they are not really pinballs. (On iOS the situation is even worse. The profusion of mediocre pinballs makes it impossible for me to review everything. Thus for iDevices I review games according to some, absolutely arbitrary, strictly subjective, criteria).


  1. I was very unhappy with version 1.0, as the flipper delay of 1 second made the game, essentially, unplayable.. Well, I read the update information for version 1.2 on the App store info page, and the only review implied it was a big improvement, so I headed over to the Mac App store and bought a copy. Unfortunately, even though they state on the writeup that it is version 1.2, the copy I obtained from Apple was , in fact, NOT 1.2, but 1.1, with all the bugs that were claimed by Gear Worx to have been fixed in version 1.2. There is no version number anywhere on the app, but all the bugs that Gear Worx claimed to have been fixed in 1.2, still exist in my just purchased copy. The worst one is the ball goes right through the flippers.. Often, when the ball is by the flippers, activating the flipper passes right through the ball, if it does make contact, it moves the ball about a half inch. This bug is clearly described on the app page, and claimed to be fixed.. Furthermore, the date of the update is March 04, and the date on the copy I obtained from the App store, today, on May 23rd, is dated February 26th.
    I have not been able to get a reply from either Apple or Gear Worx, so far , either, but I guess a few days wait is necessary..
    Personally, I blame Gear Worx for not clearly stating in "get info" the version number. There is in fact NO WAY other than the date to tell the version...
    Shame, as I kind of like the table layout....

  2. Well, to their credit, very quickly i did hear from Gear Worx... As it is 1AM where they are, I was told a longer response was forthcoming. I look forward to seeing what they have proposed..... Also I dug deep into the app, and found out it is indeed version 1.2. Perhaps it would be a good idea to also list the version number in the "get info" dialog? ;-)
    On the App page, where "recent updates" were listed, the "ball passing through the flipper" bug was something they were aware of, and believed fixed. Looks as though it may not have been, after all..
    Still, so far, they have behaved creditably and responded promptly, and with the table, I *do* like uncluttered tables, and this one may appeal to me if the bugs are fixed. Perhaps because of my being a high level functioning autistic. I like different tables than Basil. We will see ;-)

  3. Update.. Well, the very next day the developer contacted me to let me know he was working on the code re the problems I mentioned, mostly the weird ball speed and the flippers, and would contact me when it he believed it fixed. Apparently this is his first solo coding project and he's done the art also..
    Today I heard beck from him that he had submitted the update to Apple for review..
    It seems to me that irrespective of whether any of us may like or not like this particular table, these kind of developers are precisely the kind we need in Mac pinball, and we all should support them..