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Duo Pinball
Insert Tommy joke-of-choice here
 Handset: Duo Pinball 
 Manufacturer: Discovery Bay Games 
 Price: £37 / $59.99 
by Matthew Diener
There's a lot to like about the Pocket Gamer Bronze Award-winning Pinball Collection HD for your iPad.

The virtual tables are all rendered in bright, vibrant colours, the gameplay is as exciting and geometrically punishing as a real game of pinball, and the sounds that accompany each action, bump, and flip all transport you back to your favourite pinball table memory.

In fact, the only thing missing from the Pinball Collection HD experience is the pinball table itself.

The US-based Discovery Bay Games aims to change that with the release of its Duo Pinball - a specialty controller for the iPad that simulates the look, feel, and function of a physical pinball table.

Become part of the machine

Unlike the Duo Gamer, which launched at the same time, the Duo Pinball feels solid.

Once you've popped in your iPad, the Bluetooth sync process is refreshingly easy. All you need do is go into 'Settings', enable Bluetooth, and wait for a few seconds. 

Then you just launch the free Gameprom Pinball Collection HD app and you're ready to play.

One nice feature of the Duo Pinball is that its connection with your iPad automatically unlocks five gorgeous tables for Pinball HD: DaVinci (above), Wild West, The Deep, Jungle Style, and Snow Pinball.

Feeling all the bumpers

Each table has different bumper and flipper positions, along with several gimmicks that make them all quite enjoyable and different experiences.

Yet, for all of their differences, they all begin with a pull on the spring-loaded plunger located on the right of the Duo Pinball to send the ball flying into play.

Once the ball is launched, simple pinball physics take over and all that's left for you to do is to press the buttons on the side of the controller to smack the ball back into play with the flippers.

There's very little lag between pushing the buttons and the on-screen movement of the flippers, which makes all the difference in a fast-paced game of pinball, and the action feels sharp.

The experience of playing with the controller takes a bit of adjusting to at first, but after a few minutes you'll feel like you're at a real pinball table: sounds and story messages play when the correct triggers are hit, and there are plenty of mini-quests to achieve by hitting the correct sequence of bumpers.

A pinball wizard

While everything about the Duo Pinball is exciting and enjoyable, its price of $59.99/£37 is a bit steep - especially considering that it will only work with Pinball Collection HD.

The feeling of being able to press the buttons and launch the ball properly with a plunger adds a level of realism missing from the iOS simulation, but is it really worth the cost?

Ultimately, that decision is yours to make - but if you want to bring your pinball game to a new level and enjoy some of the best pinball tables available on mobile then Duo Pinball is the certainly a controller worth looking into.

Reviewer photo
Matthew Diener 8 October 2012
A fun, if expensive, way to bring the tactile pinball table experience to your iPad.
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Specs Size26cm x 18.5cm x 6.5cm
Battery3x AA
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