The basic idea behind a pinball game has been the same since its inception: keep the ball away from the hole, and get points for hitting things. The idea of bringing pinball to the video game market is not unprecedented. As long as you can get the physics right, you’ve got a workable pinball game. The Jerky Boys Pinball by Inner Four takes the Jerky Boys franchise and brings it along with pinball to your iPhone. Which means, basically, that if you’re a fan of either of these two things, you’re going to enjoy the app. Otherwise… well, it’s just another pinball game.
There are several ways a manufacturer can customize a pinball game, obviously. There are an infinite amount of configurations, and so long as you have paddles on the bottom that hit the ball back up to the top, you’ve got a successful machine. And this is one area where Jerky Boys Pinball fails. There is exactly one configuration that is shared between four different themes. So the game looks different and sounds different (with different Jerky Boy characters yelling at you with their own catchphrases), but it plays exactly the same. Don’t get me wrong; that one configuration is a pretty engaging one. It’s a fun pinball game to play. But if you’re going to have four different themes, I would expect four different games. Or at least four different levels of difficulty.
A minor squabble I have is that it doesn’t allow you to tilt. I mean, c’mon… this is the first portable console with an accelerometer and you give it a pinball game that doesn’t tilt? Something’s wrong with that. We’ve got about a dozen different Labyrinth games where you tilt the iPhone to guide the ball into the appropriate hole, how about a game where you tilt it to try and keep it away from the hole?
All of these things aside, however, the game really is playable and the Jerky Boys characters are exactly as hilarious as ever. They’ll even call you out if you end up not playing for a while. Fans of the off-color prank callers will have fun for hours. Also, the creators of the game have said that they welcome fan input. So tap the information button to find their email address and give them feedback. Tell them about the tilt function!
The Jerky Boys Pinball is compatible with the iPhone and iPod Touch. It requires the iPhone OS 3.0 or later. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review.