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iPhone  header logo

Quantic Pinball

For: iPhone   Also on: iPad

Bumper package

Product: Quantic Pinball | Developer: Shine Research | Publisher: Shine Research | Format: iPhone | Genre: Arcade | Players: 1 | Version: Europe | App version: 1.00
 
Quantic Pinball iPhone, thumbnail 1
Pinball seems to be one of those rare cultural institutions that remains cool regardless of the passage of time and the fickle nature of public affection.

It's like the David Bowie of arcade games.

So when someone decides to mess with its kitschy allure, well, they'd better have a darned good reason.

Wizard

Quantic Pinball effectively gives the great game a completely new wardrobe, tossing out the cheap casino lights, ear-piercing bings, and gaudy fantasy artwork for an outfit more worthy of the 21st century.

Each table subscribes to a unified, starkly coordinated neon colour scheme, and is backed by tasteful trance music. It looks and sounds very slick indeed, and the pinball ball physics are also present and correct.

Control is a simple matter of touching the bottom-left and right sides of the screen to flip the appropriate flipper, and the balls bounce and react as you might expect.

There's none of that off-putting scrolling, either - each futuristic table sticks to a single screen, which helps you to judge the flight of the ball and time your flips for maximum zingage.

On the flip side

The only trouble is, Quantic Pinball loses some of that hyperactively cheesy pinball magic in the process.

The whole point of pinball, aside from those moreishly tactile ball physics, is the thrill of the spectacle. Sending a shiny ball up a flashing ramp was exciting because it might disappear into a giant green dragon's gullet, or prompt a crackly sample taken from an '80s action film.

Here you get a monotone robotic voice and a prettily generic digital light show. It's nice, but it lacks that almost intangible spark.

Where Quantic Pinball does offer something interesting is where it strays from the normal pinball recipe.

Certain brief bonus elements might have you playing a rudimentary shoot-'em-up for a few seconds, and another blacks out the screen except for a small section around the ball(s). The special level, meanwhile, has you targeting waves of aliens Space Invaders-style in a thrilling time attack mode. The game needs more tables like this.

There's plenty here to enjoy, then, but the developer needs to step further away from the pinball template if it's to really rack up a sky-high score. After all, pinball is just fine as it is.
 
Quantic Pinball
Reviewer photo
Jon Mundy | 3 January 2014
Quantic Pinball is a well-executed modern take on pinball, but it needs to step further away from the classic pinball structure to really make us flip out
 
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