Mar 17, 2011
Ever since I was a young boy I’ve played the silver ball. From Soho down to Brighton I must have played them all. Alright, enough of that – you get the picture, I love pinball, as well as The Who. While my love of The Who actually has nothing to do with this review, my love of pinball is quite relevant. Pinball Ride attempts to put the pinball experience in your pocket. Making pinball portable is a tough order to fill, and Pinball Ride gets it right in some ways, and wrong in others.
Pinball Ride does a great job of miniaturizing the pinball control scheme. By tapping the right side of the screen, you flick the right flipper. By tapping the left side of the screen (you guessed it) you’ll flick the left flipper. Launching a ball requires you to slide your finger down to create “tension” and then release it to send the ball flying. You can even “shake” the machine by shaking your phone.
In addition to strong controls, Pinball Ride has solid physics. When you hit the ball, it goes where you expect it to based on trajectory, and the force of the hit. Between the controls, and the physics, the overall pinball experience in Pinball Ride is probably the best you’re going to find on a mobile phone. That being said, there are some significant flaws that hold the game back from achieving greatness.
There’s only one pinball machine in the game, and by performing various tasks in the story mode, you add upgrades to it. Unfortunately, those upgrades do very little to change how the game handles. To make matters worse, the virtual pinball machine in question is fairly simple. That’s to be expected from an Android game, but the lack of additional tables makes it far too easy to get burned out on this game.
Pinball Ride has the potential to be a great time killer, but that potential is eclipsed by the game’s flaws. The solid controls just aren’t enough to break through the monotony of a single simple table. If you really enjoy playing pinball games on your mobile phone, and you’ve played every other pinball game out there, Pinball Ride might be worth your time and money. Otherwise, you might want to get your pinball fix elsewhere.