24 April, 2015

Zen Pinball: Age of Ultron

Zen Studios have just updated their Avengers line introducing an Ultron-themed table. For the time being (and to the best of my knowledge) this is an iPad-iPhone only update. Most probably a Mac version of the table will be available in the near future.

As always I report on the Zen new tables but, as I am reluctant to try them (by throwing away money on a game I will most probably not like), I look for a video of gameplay on YouTube in order to have an idea on how the game feels. Age of Ultron is a typical Zen pinball: great graphics, good physics, uninteresting gameplay, and sound effects I cannot stand. I am going to pass on this game but if you are a Zen pinball fan, do not hesitate.

21 April, 2015

Moon Flight from Zaccaria

ASK Homework produced another massive upgrade of their Zaccaria Pinball line optimising several features and fixing scores of small bugs. Along with this upgrade they released a new table, Moon Flight,

an oldie (it’s a 1976 table) but unfortunately not very interesting table. Also I find the utter customisability of the ASK Homework pinball line somewhat disconcerting. You have to spend quite a lot of time finding the settings that are best for you. Somehow I prefer a situation where there is some minimal freedom and you have to adapt your way to the pinball quirks. (Of course, I draw the line at physics: if physics is not realistic, as is the case with most pinball crapware in the iTunes store, the game goes immediately down the drain).

02 April, 2015

The Farsight Cyclone debacle

Farsight’s new table came out as planned this month but with a small departure from the standard procedure. While the table was made available for the Mac the iOS version did not make its appearance, probably for technical reasons. 

After having waited for a few days I decided that I could not postpone the blog article on the new table and so I decided to give the Mac version a try. After all I have always maintained that playing on a bigger screen is better than the cramped space of an iPad (to say nothing of the iPhone).

I will not comment on the table itself. It’s an oldie and thus more to my taste than the newer ones. The interesting thing is elsewhere. I tried first the standard “chameleon” ball. (I will stop calling it invisible for reasons that will become immediately clear). Since the table is high in colours, playing with the chameleon ball is quite hard. So, I decided to look for a ball with a better constrast and opted for an all-black one. Here is what I saw when the ball appeared at the launcher

Farsight has invented the invisible ball! I was wrong complaining about the invisibility of the standard, chameleon, ball. Farsight could do even worse and they did. Just in order to be able to take a few screenshots I tried to play with this ball. Unfortunately the only one where I could see the ball was the one I took while holding the ball with the right flipper. 

In all other cases I could not find the ball on the table. The same happened when I tried to choose another custom ball. (Fortunately the older tables to not seem to be affected by this bug. One should count one’s blessings).

Frankly I have trouble understanding Farsight. When are they going to get their act together?

P.S. Just in case you were wondering. Cyclone is out for iDevices today (April 4th) but the custom ball bug is still present.