23 March, 2014

Another Farsight pinball

The people at Farsight are churning up pinball after pinball with an exemplary regularity. Who’s there to complain? Well, me for one. I wouldn’t have objected if they were taking more time to improve all that is not OK with their games. Don’t get me started on this. I have been complaining since ever about their chameleon ball. But that is not all: the physics of their games is at best mediocre. There isn’t even a decent nudge. (Nudge should be assigned to the space bar not so some non-configurable key which, depending on the language of your keyboard, may end up in some crazy place). 

Well, the new, season-three, table is WHO dunnit

Too flashy colours make the game almost unplayable even with the black ball. And then there is the price (a 100 % price hike with respect to season two). Where it not for the blog I would have stopped bothering about Farsight pinballs.

22 March, 2014

A milestone

Just in case somebody is counting (well, blogger does), the previous post was the 100th since the blog was launched

It's a milestone. When I started posting at this blog, a year and a half ago I was not quite sure I was going to maintain it in such a regular way. All I was looking for was a way to save my Mac Pinball history. Since that beginning the blog evolved in a slightly different direction, with a strong iOS component and an occasional entry about Mac pinballs. However, this is just the tendency now-a-days, moving to iDevices to the detriment of Macs (and, even more so, of Windows PCs).

ProPinball: the importance of detail

True to their promise, the ProPinball team is now issuing weekly progress reports of the work on Timeshock.  According to these reports we are not very far from the alpha version. here is a excerpt form the most recent post:

The first view is almost complete now with just some missing switches and locks for the time zone lock points to come, but that's all the big stuff done. It's possible we'll need more frames for some of the animations, but we'll find out when all the objects start going into the game and we can see them in motion. There is the backbox light to go in at some point too, including a reflection in the glass.

People who do not have access at the VIP forum are not left in the dark. There is weekly update through email for all the participants of the Kickstarter campaign. In the most recent update one could find some shots of the spinning crystal. Here is a still frame

What is really amazing (and can be more readily appreciated from the renders posted at the forum) is the extreme attention to details. Compared to this, most pinballs already in the iTunes- or App-Store look like they have been cobbled together by ham-fisted developers. Timeshock, when ready, will most definitely be the best digital pinball ever.

16 March, 2014

Plants vs. Zombies pinball

I have been patiently waiting for this pinball to come to iOS and/or OSX. It turned out that Zen Studios decided to implement the latter version first and, to my eyes, this is a good choice. Nothing can be compared to the comfort of playing on a large screen. 

The least I can say about this game is that I am not disappointed. Of course I am a Plants vs. Zombies fan and the pinball is based on the characters that had made the game so popular. For once, I do not complain about the Zen animations, which in this case are not excessive and do not spoil the game. In fact I find them most welcome, in particular when the zombies start creeping upon you. Despite the appearances, the table is uncluttered and one can play in a very comfortable way. The physics are the standard Zen pinball physics (something I have never complained about). The ball does not over-drain and once one gets accustomed to the game one can go for multiballs (perfectly fluid) and really high scores.

Did I tell you that the standard ball is perfectly visible? Zen manages this feat while using a green ball in a game where green is abundantly present. A flame and an ice ball do also appear at special moments of the game but the standard ball is the pea-looking one. The trick is that the ball is opaque and not the chameleon ball of Farsight. (But then having an unplayable ball allows Farsight to sell extra balls, so making the standard ball almost invisible is perhaps deliberate).

To put it in a nutshell, the Plants vs. Zombies pinball is real fun. Moreover the price is reasonable, so you should not hesitate to give it a try.