Monday, July 1, 2013

The Pinball Arcade: What It Is And Why You Should Care

For those of you who've been around the block more than a few times, you may well have heard of The Pinball Arcade from Farsight Studios.  But what is it, and why should you care?

Before I explain what exactly it is, I need to talk a bit about my love for pinball.  I've seen more pinballs than you could ever possibly imagine, moreso the more recent Stern pinballs (like The Simpsons Pinball Party) than anything else.  Pinball, for me, is the sort of game I absolutely love: Easy to pick up and play, but difficult to master.

Now, The Pinball Arcade's goal and mission is to recreate some of the most legendary real life pinball tables in a digital form that can be played by anyone, regardless of the skill level or the platform you play it on.  The Pinball Arcade pinballs are NOT like the Zen Pinballs of the world in that every single pinball table in The Pinball Arcade is a real life pinball machine.  If you've seen that pinball at, say, the Pinball Hall of Fame in Las Vegas, Nevada, then you will (eventually) see that pinball in The Pinball Arcade if it isn't there already.

But, you ask me, why on Earth should I care about a digital facsimile of real pinball?  What is in it for me?  The idea of a digital facsimile of real pinball is really cool for me.  If you've ever played games like "Kirby's Pinball Land" (and I know I have), you know that some of the things you can do in that game are NOT things you can do on real pinball tables.  Even Zen Pinball (and the Marvel pinball game) on platforms like the 3DS are guilty of this in certain instances.  But what's in it for you?  If you like pinballs like Star Trek: The Next Generation (yeah, they made a pinball of that) or Twilight Zone, or even Medieval Madness, or Elvira and the Party Monsters, or Scared Stiff, or even Bride of Pinbot, you are going to go absolutely ape for this game.

Currently, it's on the Xbox 360 (in a very deprecated state courtesy of Crave Entertainment going bankrupt, but there should be news on this front soon), Playstation 3, Playstation Vita, Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Android, and coming soon to Steam, Wii U, Ouya, and the Playstation 4.