24 December, 2017

The sad state of iOS pinballs

I am regularly visiting the TouchArcade page, where one can find most useful info concerning iOS games, both released and upcoming. They are not particularly fond of pinballs but one can find an occasional reference to Zen and FarSight tables. Today I ran across their sum-up of the year in games.

They are giving their list of the top 100 iOS games. And, guess what, not a single pinball  has made the list. I cannot judge the value of their list not being an expert in games other than pinballs. I could recognise some games I do appreciate like Flip-flop, Framed, Monument Valley but no pinball. (By the way, I went back to the best of 2016 and 2015 lists. Same thing: no pinball). Although we are talking here about the TouchArcade people preferences, the fact that pinballs have been totally ignored is telling. Are we witnessing the end of digital pinball? I am not very optimistic.

23 December, 2017

Just before the turn of the year: two new Zen pinballs

Two new Zen pinball tables made their appearance recently. They are part of what was initially the Zen one line, which now has expanded to include all the non-franchise tables. The first table is Adventure Land, and is based on a theme which is very popular among pinball devs, an amusement park.

It is graphically superb although the high in colours playfield makes following the ball somewhat difficult. Still I did enjoy the game, all the more so since the ball does not drain too easily. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this game.

Quite the opposite is true for the second table: Hercules. Given the title one would expect something loosely based on Hercules' labours. Unfortunately what we got was an ugly table without any link to the hero's myth. 

While I am not a great fan of Zen pinballs I do acknowledge their good taste when it comes to creating original tables. In this case they did disappoint me. So, unless you are a Zen pinball collector you can safely forget about this table.

10 December, 2017

They've done it again

I have frequently written about these awful games which have pinball in their title just because they use flippers to hit on a ball. They are not pinballs. I don't know why I keep downloading and trying these games. They are definitely not worth the effort. 

The latest in the series is a game called "Battle Pinball".

One is facing an opponent (who can be the CPU) and try, by hitting on a ball, to make it drain on the opponent's side. Once you play a game you have to watch a 20 second video before being allowed to play again! 

I cannot understand why people are doing this. I am not saying that there are no pinball inspired, non-pinball, games which are not worth their while. Pinout and INKS spring to mind. But they are the two exceptions (along with perhaps ZenDots which is so-so but acceptable) in a quagmire of sh...y games which are slowly polluting the iOS pinball landscape. Anyhow, Battle Pinball is a game with uninteresting gameplay, bad physics and simplistic graphics. We can easily forget about it.

01 December, 2017

Two oldies by FarSight

This time around we were treated to a double feature by FarSight, two great oldies from the 70s. Those who follow my blog know that I have a soft spot for old pinballs. I do like the simple play and unsophisticated tables. The first and oldest of the two is Spanish Eyes

It's a nice pinball and I did like particularly the bumper over the drain lane. It adds an element of suspense to the gameplay because when the ball enters this zone you never know whether you'll manage to get it back into play. But perhaps the best feature of Spanish Eyes is the artwork of the backglass. Have a look for yourselves.

The second table is Wild Card. One game sufficed for the table to join my top list. It is really great. I find the gameplay particularly well balanced. 

The graphics are nothing special but the table is uncluttered and one can easily find a visible ball (this time I chose a yellow one). I managed to score all top scores after just a dozen games and I keep improving. It's been quite some time since I have enjoyed a pinball so much. 

So, do not hesitate, give these two tables a try.