Pinball is an arcade classic, and there’s nothing quite like hitting the steel ball across the wood tables. There have been some good versions of pinball on iOS with Pinball Arcade, Zen Pinball, and Pinball HD showing a nice digital translation. Pinball is good digitally, but still it’s not like the real thing, but they can be their own enjoyable creations. Pure Pinball is a new iOS pinball game that is based on a ten year old digital PC table that has been translated to iOS complete with intuitive touch controls, and six different camera angles. The feature set is similar to other pinball games as you can play in either orientation, and just tap on either side of the screen to press the respective flipper.
Pure Pinball attempts to live up to its namesake by focusing on the essence of pinball, rather than being inundated with clutter. There’s a single table, T-Rex Savage that has a nice focus with particular bonuses, and unlockable modes. You need to either hit the letters to spell out Prey for a combo bonus on each ramp, or hit three eggs at the back of the table to unlock multi-ball. There are all kinds of point multipliers, and specific sections to hit to really give you a constant identifiable goal. Some pinball games get bogged down with all these different modes to activate that you end up unlocking none of them. The entire game set-up keeps you coming back, as you know exactly what to do to better your score, and the table is designed to make sure you’re always ready to hit the ball for more action.
Any digital pinball game comes down to the physics engine, and Pure Pinball again tries to live up to its namesake. The ball reacts as you would expect as it bounces off your flippers, and knocks into walls, and that’s all you can ask for. It’s great to see the game in action with the high quality 3D visuals, and the multiple camera angles can fit the entire table on screen, or follow the movement of the ball. It really is just purely pinball action that is definitely enjoyable, especially on the iPad. The app isn’t the most feature rich though, and the single table will get a little tired relatively quickly. Also, there’s no way to customize the game to play with up to five balls, a one ball score attack, or to block the outside exits.
Pure Pinball ($1.99, Universal) delivers the essence of pinball in a well suited package for iOS that is worth considering depending on how big of a pinball fan you are. It’s fun, but the fun doesn’t last as long as it could with the limitations in place.