LAST WEEK IN (DIGITAL) PINBALL
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FOR THE MOBILE USERS
PinOut – Free to try, $2.99
Think of this as the longest stretching pinball table ever. You are continually sending your ball north on the screen into new areas, reaching checkpoints before time runs out. Visually it looks like something out of Tron and has a great soundtrack. While not pinball in the traditional sense, it has a lot of the same trappings including that “just one more time” feel.
Atomic Pinball – Free to try, $2.99 each
There are two tables available from developer Color Monkey, Masks of Glory which is Lucha Libra wrestling themed, and Revenge of the Rob-o-bot. These are fantastically imagined and very whimsical 3D rendered pinball tables. The ball moves a bit too fast as if it were a BB and not steel, but the physics are decent and clearly the makers of this have actually played pinball before, something a lot of mobile pinball apps can’t claim.
Bethesda Pinball – Free to try, $9.99 for the pack
Aliens vs Pinball – Free to play with ads, $5.99 for the pack
Zen Studios has quite a few pinball apps out there, but these two are a product of them experimenting with the freemium model of pricing. Each pack contains 3 different tables, and all 3 offer full games of pinball that are not simply trials limited by time or score. With Bethesda you can play ‘matchup’ style pinball to earn coins that can then be spent to play full 3 ball games of pinball. For Aliens, you first must unlock the 3 tables by meeting certain goals before being allowed to play full games. You do have to watch ads in between games if you want to play for free. The good news is that if you want to just purchase the packs outright, you can do that too. These are top notch games of pinball and highly recommended.
Williams Pinball – Freemium
Simply the best pinball experience available on mobile. The tables are beautifully rendered and show little in downgraded fidelity from their console or PC counterparts. You can choose physics options, tournament scoring options, and even customize your flippers, ball, and ball trails. That’s the good news. The bad news is if you are someone that wants a straightforward way of purchasing the tables. This Zen app fully embraces the freemium model, meaning you can actually fully unlock each table if you are willing to grind for table parts and tickets. If you don’t want to do that, then you have to purchase Zen coins which in turn can unlock tables to different levels of access. This means the price is a bit hidden in the conversion, and you will in fact be paying more here than on any other gaming platform. For the record though, I have done the grind and have not had to pay a single cent for any of the 21 tables currently offered.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Hi, my name is Chris Friebus and I am the host of the BlahCade Pinball Podcast. I have been covering the digital pinball scene extensively since 2012 and have been asked to post a summation of all the latest goings on in the digital community for TWIP. I’m calling it LWI(D)P, Last Week In (Digital) Pinball. This will cover the goings on with pinball that is being offered commercially. That means I won’t be dipping my toes into the Visual Pinball (VPX) waters, as those are extensive and deep and I forgot my life vest. Commercial pinball includes offerings from the two major studios making digi pin today, Zen Studios and Magic Pixel, as well as what is going on with the newly emerged digital pinball cabinet market.
Sometimes there is a flood of news, more often than not it’s a drought, so apologies in advance if posts become sporadic. I’m willing to entertain requests of topics too, so send those to TWIP at firstname.lastname@example.org. I do have my opinions and biases, and I love speculating about things. I don’t have access to everything either as I’m not made of money, so many times I will be speaking from a viewpoint of interpreting what I’ve seen in videos or press releases.
All that being said, I look forward to engaging with all the TWIP readers and hope you get something out of this you might not have known before!