Thursday, September 18, 2008

iPhone Series: ZEN Pinball: Rollercoaster

ZEN Pinball: Rollercoaster brings the joyous gameplay of pinball to the iPhone and iPod touch, but how truthful is this game to its quarter-eating brethren?

The game features standard gameplay, with the ability to use each flipper by simply clicking on the right or left side of the screen, and luckily, it is very responsive. The game also allows you to use the tilt functionality by shaking your device. The ball physics are also very good with the ball moving smoothly and realistically.

Unfortunately, the game only features one board to play on, however, that board is pretty crazy, with lots of stuff going on and little features and modes you can unlock. The ball is always streaming across the screen or hitting some bumper or going on some track, so it’s always doing something, keeping your eyes and fingers busy, although you will never lose the ball, which is good. Like all pinball games, you will want to play again and again, trying to amass the high score and attempting to get the multi-ball and other special modes.
The graphics are pretty decent, and do what they need to to make the pinball game realistic enough and really get you into the experience. There is also a neat LED banner-bar on the top of the screen, which displays your screen and any other graphics or messages, which makes it feel like real pinball table.

The sound effects are good and give good feedback to what is going on, but isn’t annoying, and the music goes well with the feel of the game. Fortunately, if you don’t like one or the other, you can choose to mute one or both. You can access this menu simply by tapping in the middle of the screen. From this menu, you can also choose to lock or unlock the camera. If locked, the camera will simply stay on top of the table. However, if unlocked, you can tilt your device to tilt your view of the table, and really see it in 3-D, which is neat, although there is really no use for this feature, and it can be disorienting or make it hard to keep your eye on the ball.

Overall, ZEN’s pinball game is really good and has a solid feel to it, however, with only one board to play on and at $4.99, it is a tad expensive. If you like pinball and don’t mind dropping $5, then this game is definitely for you, but if you are strapped for cash, you may want to hold off until another pinball game comes out that will offer more. ZEN has a great engine here, so hopefully they will be releasing some other pinball tables in the future to add to the experience.

Overall Score - 7/10

You can buy ZEN Pinball: Rollercoaster on iTunes.

Posted in collaboration with GamersPlatform.

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