Back in high school, I’d often stop to play a quick game or two of pinball on my walk home from school. In those days (don’t ask when), the only pinball machine near my house was in the back of an old gas station. I’d pop in my quarter and proceed smacking the flipper buttons and shaking the thing trying to control the ball. The challenge was jolting the machine at just the right time to bump the ball, but not too hard to tilt the machine. As you can probably tell, reviewing the Pinball HD game has brought back many old memories. Enough memories, lets get on with the review.
Pinball HD on the iPad has quickly popped to the top of my favorite iPad games list. And, it appears that I’m not the only one that likes this game. Pinball HD won a 2010 Apple Design Award.
Pinball HD includes 3 pinball tables: The Deep, Wild West, and Jungle Style. Each game provides a completely different style of play. Although the game comes with instructions, you can simply jump in and start playing. You may not know the various strategies without reading the instructions, but you can have a lot of fun before digging into the details of the game.
Basic play is simple. You drag your finger on the screen to pull back the spring and launch the ball. Flippers are controlled by tapping the bottom corners of the screen with your thumbs. There is a slight delay, but overall it is quite responsive. Other than that, its all about strategy and how you get points. Each game has its own mission and goals for getting points.
You can save your score both locally on the iPad, and compare your scores with friends and family. You can also post your scores online, and compare them with high scores from around the world.
Check out these YouTube videos to get some additional reviews and some demonstrations of the game.
The HD graphics are very impressive. You have both a portrait and landscape view. Vertical or portrait view shows the whole table. Landscape view shows the table tilted as if you were standing at a real pinball machine. It is called the “flying table” view because you get the camera panning and zooming over the action. The game also provides a 3D mode to view the game in 3D, assuming that you have 3D glasses. The graphics are clearly some of the best available on the iPad.
The physics of the game are very good. The ball moves the way you would expect it to move, even when bouncing off objects. The flippers hit the ball where you would expect it to go, assuming the you get the timing correct. You can even shake the iPad to nudge the table. But, don’t shake the table too much or you will “tilt.” The fundamentals of physics are very close to a real pinball machine. No strange behaviors.
This game is a lot of fun. It is easy to learn and play. It also provides strategies and missions to challenge your game play. The missions take you beyond just hitting the ball to get points. They provide a strategy for accumulating points. If you want to be points leader you need to work your way through the missions and increasing levels. For the moment, it is the favorite game on my iPad.
For more information see the Pinball HD game on the
review: Games Reviews