Pinball is a genre that has been hit or miss on mobile devices, especially touch only ones, since the experience is quite visceral and physical- bumping the table, the music and the lights just to name a few niceties. Most pinball titles over the years have lost out on quite a bit of the fun of pinball due to bad graphics or sound effects just not “hitting the right chord” so to speak.
First of all, let’s get this out of the way immediately. Pinball Rocks HD has In App Purchases. If that is a deal breaker for you then there is no reason wasting your time reading the rest of this review to find that out. Sadly, if you feel that way, you are missing out on a pinball title that gets as close to the feeling of the real thing as I have seen so far.
Okay, now that that is out of the way, Pinball Rocks HD is, without buying into it with IAP, a single table experience. The question is, how much fun can be extracted from that single table? AFter a few hours total of play time, I can safely say, there is plenty in that one table. If the other tables are similar in depth then why buy a different pinball title when these offer so much?
The free table features over 20 missions and three bonus games not to mention some cool music from artists signed with Sony Music (exclusives for the game from time to time). If names such as Chevelle, The Sword, Filter and All That Remains, among many more then you are going to be in music heaven with Pinball Rocks HD. Me personally, I have no experience with the musical choices available but I can say that didn’t stop me from enjoying the songs and the added atmosphere they brought to the experience. Rather than hearing generic audio, or worse just pinball sound effects, the licensed music really helps augment reality and let you lose yourself in the game and feel like you are in a pub or a arcade (at least the ones I visited played music really loudly through speakers throughout the venues). Good work on that part, Sony Music Entertainment.
Graphically, the free table is pretty awesome. Lights flash, bumpers do what bumpers do and generally, the table comes alive when you hit certain areas. That is the fun part of Pinball Rocks HD, the level of visual treats is just awesome and truly lends to the fun that can be had here.
Now, onto the IAP. Additional tables can be had for a fee and additional songs to expand the audio compliment on hand. The pricing is a little high on the songs for my tastes though. Additional tables are easily purchased and added to your repetoire of pinball tables though. IAP tables include Alice in Chains Pinball Rocks, AC/DC Pinball Rocks, Slayer Pinball Rocks and more.
Turn the music up and rock out with Pinball Rocks HD on your iOS device. To borrow Nintendo’s past PR slogan, “Play it Loud!”
Pinball Rocks HD by Sony Music Entertainment
Platform: iOS (iPod Touch 4th Gen used for review)
Available now on iTunes for iPhone/iPod Touch and iPad.