I’ve never been a huge fan of pinball games. Something about the pastime has always felt so singular, even when played among friends in the good ‘ol arcade. While the flashing lights, over the top table designs, and reflexive paddles obviously appeal to many in the masses, something about it just never enraptured me. At least not until now.
Pinballistik puts a multiplayer-oriented spin on the classic formula of a ball and paddles. Instead of brainlessly knocking a ball around on a tacky-themed table for X amount of points, you’ll find yourself directly competing against the CPU (or preferably a friend) to reach a set score before time runs out.
Pinballistik’s atmosphere is busy to say the least, and not in a bad way. Lights, jingles, and rings all accompany a very-lively pinball experience. With the base game alone, you receive the ‘Circle The Wagons’ table. A ‘Wild Wild West’ like soundtrack loops in the background as Can-Can Dancers and gold coins sprawl across the table just begging to be collected and added to your score count. The game is simply a visual delight.
In addition to the aforementioned ‘Circle The Wagons’ table, you can additionally purchase the intergalactic ‘Sector X’ and wealthy 70’s-esque ‘Made of Money’ tables as DLC. In my experience, the DLC tables offer refreshing graphics and play elements but don’t really do it for me like Circle The Wagons does. Without a doubt, all three tables will keep you on your feet versus a friend or the CPU as the AI is simply impeccable.
If you thought the competitive element stopped with reaching the score limit first, think again. Parameters for victory can be customized with anything from Amount of Balls to Number of Points. Powerups make things even more zany, imbuing your ball with effects like fire and electricity. Should your ball find its way to your opponent’s side (and vice versa), they must stop it from falling through their flippers or they’ll lose 5% of their total points. There have been many times where I’ve come so close to victory vs. the CPU only to lose due to a 5% deduction. Equal parts patience and catlike reflexes are required to keep all balls in play.afloat.
Trophies are present, rewarding you for things such as reaching a score of 5,000,000 in a 10-minute game. Also available are Leaderboards. The Leaderboards allow you to sort users by score, type of table, time limit of game, and many other features. At this time of writing you can find me as #201 on the Circle The Wagons table. Unfortunately, network play is not available. I find this to be a shame, as this could have really made the title shine. Fear not however, because local play is a seamlessly entertaining experience.
All in all, Pinballistik is a pretty great title. Hours can be spent addictively playing with any friends you may have over. Each of the available tables is varied and distinct, bringing unique elements to each and every playthrough. Most everything runs smoothly and I’ve encountered no glitches or bugs as of yet. Pinballistik is an eye opener to those who aren’t exactly partial to pinball games. I recommend Pinballistik to anyone who isn’t exactly a fan of pinball but would be open to a familiar pastime with a competitive twist.