What’s better than pinball? Free pinball.
Wild West Pinball from developer OOO Gameprom proves again that simple is good when it comes to iPhone games. A highly popular free game on the App Store (formerly $0.99), Wild West Pinball is a decent rendition of an old-school pinball table and a great pick-up-and-play game.
Wild West Pinball does away with unnecessary menus and options and throws you straight into the action. The game begins with a floating fly-by of the table and a simple instruction to ‘Touch to Start’ or slide the screen over to view the online leader board.
The controls in Wild West Pinball also dead easy. You just tap in the bottom left and right corners of the iPhone to control the pinball levers. There are special areas on the table that activation “missions” – like robbing the bank, raiding the gold mine and killing “Harry”. Once activated, you then need to be try and manoeuvre the ball into the right position in order to complete the mission. It’s not easy – but the missions score you big bucks (points) and definitely add an extra level of challenge to the game.
Unfortunately there is a bit of a lack of variability in Wild West Pinball – there is currently only one table, and the table itself still leaves a little to be desired in terms of playability and design. A moving “camera” follows the ball around the table and frustratingly sometimes the ball seems to move faster than the camera does. Quite often you will lose a ball to a random drop before you can even see your flippers to try and block it. The side lanes and gutters are also a source of annoyance – you frequently lose balls down them and there is no way to re-raise the protective ‘gate’ that is lowered after the first time your ball falls down there.
Wild West Pinball definitely has some room for improvement, and hopefully future updates will address some of the issues – but slick 3D graphics and animations in addition to authentic pinball sounds round out what is otherwise a very decent and enjoyable game.
Wild West Pinball requires the 2.1 iPhone software update and is compatible with both the iPhone & iPod Touch.