23 May, 2016

No, this is not a pinball

If you search toucharcade.com with the keyword pinball you will find that they apply the term "pinball" in a somewhat loose way. Of course many (most?) of the classics are there (the articles on Zen Pinballs being the most prominent), but you'll find also many games which are not pinballs at all, games where flippers are used in order to push the ball around. One such game is Pinball Breaker Forever.

It is just a brick breaking game where instead of a reflecting pad one uses flippers. One can forget the physics and the graphics are definitely not to my liking (but, remember, this last point is just a question of personal taste).

Speaking of breaker games with pinballs I prefer and by far, ZenDots. It is not really a pinball but at least it is a clever game: coloured balls are falling from the upper part when you hit them and what you have to do is not let the white ball drain.

A few days ago I wrote a post on INKS to which I accepted (grudgingly) to confer the status of pinball, essentially because of its originality. However Pinball Breaker Forever is a no-go. This is not a pinball and after having played a little with it (just the time to make a screenshot) I am going to forget about its existence.

11 May, 2016

A bizarre but original pinball

Last week a new pinball made its appearance. To tell the truth the question is: is it a pinball at all or what I usually brush aside as a game with flippers? Had I decided that the game belonged definitely to the second class I wouldn't have bothered writing about it here. But the new game, INKS, is intriguing

As a pinball the game is a very simplistic one and the physics are adequate but not something to write home about. The aim of the game is to hit all coloured targets and have colours spill around creating patterns which may appear pleasant to the eye (it depends on one's personal taste). While the first levels are very simple, later on the game becomes more of a puzzle which, at times, can even be frustrating.

I did play the game up to and including one set of levels which one has to purchase in-app. I must admit that it was rather fun playing the game while it lasted. Will I be going back to INKS? Certainly not. Although the idea is original it is not really a pinball. Still, if you can spare two dollars, it is worth a try.

05 May, 2016

The mysterious case of the FarSight Kickstarter

Two days ago FarSight proposed a new KickStarter campaign. It was a substantial one of more than 100000 $ for the production of the AC/DC Stern pinball

The presentation was particularly interesting since they were talking about the Pinball Digitization Process 2.0, based on a technology allowing them to compile actual game code from Stern into the pinball engine. A promise for new physics was also made and there was question of a Stern Pinball Arcade comprising AC/DC, Ripley's Believe it or Not!, Star Trek, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Starship Troopers and Ghostbusters.

I was preparing a post on this KickStarter project (which I supported without hesitation) when I got a mail: the funding was cancelled. 

No explanation was offered and so the whole thing sounds a little bit mysterious. Perhaps some info will come along and as soon as I get it I will pass it on.

Updated on 06/05/2016

I just received a mail from FarSight saying that they managed, thanks to a new partnership, to secure the funds for the development of the Stern Pinball Arcade without crowd-funding. All's well that ends well.

03 May, 2016

Alien vs. Pinball by Zen

The new pinball by Zen Studios is a collection of three tables based on the movie "Alien" saga. Being a fan of the original movie and an admirer of Sigourney Weaver as Ripley I decided to give these pinballs a  try despite the fact that I cannot stand the other movie-based Zen collection, Star Wars. Well, Alien vs. Pinball is, to my taste, definitely better than Star Wars. On the other I am not sure I will ever become addicted to this pinball (like I do for the Pat Lawlor's creations).

The collection comprises three tables. Aliens is a direct reference to the movie with the same name.

A nice table, with few animations which manage to remain unobtrusive. And for once I let the sound on and did not regret it. (I like to play without sound the only exception being FunHouse, where I wouldn't, for the life of me, miss Rudy and his remarks).

The second table, Alien Isolation

is based on an Alien-based game that was released some time ago. Here the animations are a little bit more intrusive. This is the table that I liked the least.

The third table, Alien vs. Predator,

is the one I found most interesting. I have yet to reach the predator-vision mission, 

but I find the concept fascinating. Plus this table is more attractive overall and the ball does not drain that easily.

The Alien vs. Pinball collection has the same graphic perfection of all Zen pinballs (well, except the late-lamented Rollercoaster and Inferno) and, for once, the designers were not as heavy handed as usually when it came to animations. If you are a fan of the Alien tetralogy (or hexalogy, I admit that I'm losing count) you can invest safely in this pinball. The same is true if you are a fan of Zen pinballs. (As a general rule, I'm not).