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PlayStation Vita  header logo

Pinball Arcade

For: PS Vita   Also on: Android, iPhone, iPad

Full tilt

Product: Pinball Arcade | Developer: Farsight Studios | Publisher: Farsight Studios | Format: PS Vita | Genre: Conversion, Retro | Players: 1-4 | Networking: wireless (network), on one device | Version: Europe
Pinball Arcade PS Vita, thumbnail 1
Video pinball is back in business on handheld, it seems. Fans of the steel ball-bouncing pastime are already being treated to Zen Pinball and Marvel Pinball on 3DS this year, and now Vita owners have a rendition to call their own.

What's more, Pinball Arcade might just be the best of the bunch. It looks brilliant, plays better, and contains four classic real-life tables (with more to come as DLC) from the world's best-known manufacturers.

Bang back

Bally, Williams, Stern, and Gottlieb all have tables present, in the form of Black Hole, Theatre Of Magic, Arabian Nights, and Ripley's Believe It or Not!. If you have even a passing interest in pinball then you'll recognise all of those names immediately.

To the uninitiated, pinball seems like a simple case of ensuring the ball doesn't exit the playfield via the drain, your only participation being to flap the flippers when the ball happens to roll over them. After an hour or two with Pinball Arcade, though, you'll begin to grasp the game's intricacies.

Each table in the collection requires a specific approach to maximise the score you'll receive from three balls. For example - and without spoiling too much, since working out the right strategy is part of the fun - Black Hole is very much based on risk and reward systems.

Getting the ball into the lower section of the multi-levelled table yields the most points, but it's a tight area in which you'll have little time to react.


The controls are more than up to the task. There are some duff options that use the touchscreen for the flippers and plunger, but you'll probably go for the much more precise shoulder buttons instead.

The left analogue stick jukes the table about a bit to nudge the ball in the direction you want, but over-zealous use of it sets off the Tilt and the flippers lock until the next round.

There are few other hooks to keep you invested in the title, other than online leaderboards. The trophies are underwhelming, mostly revolving around getting high scores. However, in-game objectives - such as enabling a multiball on a table - are a welcome inclusion.

The quality of the tables and the action that plays out on them is unbelievably high. To sum it up in a word, Pinball Arcade is authentic. Everything looks right, everything plays right, and if you have any interest in pinball that should be all that matters.
Pinball Arcade
Reviewer photo
Peter Willington | 7 August 2012
There's a paucity of challenges to keep you engaged, but Pinball Arcade makes up for that with sheer power of presentation and rock-solid ball physics
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