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Pinball Deluxe for BlackBerry Review

CrackBerry Idol - Nick
By Kevin Michaluk on 28 Jun 2010 10:39 pm EDT
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Game Time! Review of Pinball Deluxe for BlackBerry Smartphones

Alright kids, grab your cherry sodas and throw some change at the jukebox its pinball time!! If you're an avid follower of CrackBerry.com you've already heard great things about the extremely popular game, Pinball Deluxe. The two flippers, a reassuring shake of the bumpers and the rapidly ascending score counter proves that simple is often the most addictive. If you're on the lookout for an alternative to BrickBreaker as your go to vice to pass the time, read on cause were covering all the ups, downs and bumpers of a game you've probably already mastered!

Pinball Deluxe  Pinball Deluxe
left: Your table; right: Quick overview of Pinball Deluxe

About Pinball Deluxe

Mobigloo first consumer version (1.0.0) of the timeless arcade game of pinball is currently available through the CrackBerry App Store and BlackBerry App World for $4.99 on all current blackberry devices. While taking up only 700 kb of space, I'm sure everyone can easily find the necessary real state to accommodate. Now that everyone is up to date, let's get to the good stuff!

Pinball Deluxe
Home Screen

Initial impressions from a Bold 9700

This game is polished! The graphics are crisp, the game play is smooth and the controls take no time at all for you to channel your inner pinball wizard. The developers have put a lot of effort into designing one of the best handheld pinball experiences. What I noticed immediately is that the vibration effects are remarkable. The game uses a good amount of vibration levels to accurately represent what you should be feeling and along with the realistic physics, makes a great first impression.

Pinball Deluxe
Pinball Deluxe in action

Gameplay

The controls are super simple. All the left side keys control the left flipper, the oposite for the right side with the exception of "P", which pauses the game. Clicking the trackpad resets the game and the spacebar allows you to gently "nudge" the table as you could in real life, a nice touch. The ability to use the convenience keys to control the flippers is not an option.

Unfortunately, I had a lot of expectations for this game. Because of this I thought the devopers could have expanded the game quite a bit more. If you ever played Pokemon Pinball for Gameboy (Haha, I know...) you know there are plenty of options to make a really complete portable pinball game. One issue I have is that Pinball deluxe has only two mini games; truck attack and mirror. Though decent, they get tired and repetitive. I would loved to see more mini games or scoring objectives to keep the game play fresh, and give players more of a sense they are progressing through the game.

Pinball Deluxe
"Truck Attack"
Pinball Deluxe
More Pinball Deluxe in action

Performance

For the most part it feels as though this game holds up the advertised 25 FPS, which is awesome. While not perfect, the minor hiccups didn't ruin the experience. Even while playing my own music in the background the action remained fluid. Strangely enough the only time that the game play become noticeably laggy was when the sound effects were turned up to maximum. I would be curious to know if other users are experiencing similar issues. Overall, Pinball Deluxe offers some nice visuals and delivers smooth game play.
I found the battery drain to be quite reasonable. To compare this I used BrickBreaker as a referenced with both games being played for 25 minutes after a battery pull and all radios turned off. The results:

  • Pinball deluxe: 5% battery loss
  • BrickBreaker: 4% battery loss

By comparison

  • 3G call for 25 minutes: 8% battery drain

Essentially what this means is that with moderate playing time you won't notice too much of a hit on battery life.

Pinball Deluxe
"Default high scores"

So what's the bottom line? Buy or pass? Don't get me wrong, this game makes a great addition to your phone and if you're a casual gamer looking for something a little different that looks great, I would definitely suggest picking this one up. If you're a serious pinball junkie you might feel this offering comes up a bit short, but then again there may not be a better option out there for a quick fix. And since an original Bally's "Twilight Zone" pinball machine is going for $5000 online, this seems like a steal to me

Editor's Game Ratings

Replay value: 8/10
Depth of game: 7/10
Performance: 9/10
Battery: 9/10
Total: Ignore - 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 - Recommend for all

Community ratings

App World: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
CrackBerry App Store: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

** Sale Update: Pinball Deluxe is currently on sale for $3.99 in the CrackBerry App Store and BlackBerry App World. **

** This review was written as part of the CrackBerry Idol 2010 competition. Click for details. **

Reader comments

Pinball Deluxe for BlackBerry Review

18 Comments

Kevin (aka Ryan Seacrest): Nicely done Nick. Loving the summary overview and editor and community ratings you tied to the game. Pinball Deluxe is one of my favorites for BlackBerry and I'm pretty spot on with your thoughts. Let's see what the judging panel have to say....

CrackBerry Idol Judges

Dieter: It's great to see you hit the little points like battery drain and how music works, you hit all the major points, but where's the excitement, dog? The video hits us with settings and then once we're past that, it's pretty ho hum. It's all there in your review and video, it just needs a little style.

Georgia: For the review you did a good job on hitting most of the important points on the game. The video was well done though I wish that you had increased the audio as I found it slightly difficult to hear you. It was nice that you showed the difference between when the game has music playing and without. I found the video did get a bit monotonous as it went along, you could have added something to keep us interested or maybe even cut it shorter.  Sometimes less is more - it takes practice in knowing when to go for less or more though. Good overall job Nick.

Craig: Well written article, although for some reason it seemed to ramble on a bit. Gave me a great sense of the game and whether I should buy it or not, which is what a game review should do. Before you record your next video maybe shoot an espresso or two. If you ever want to join us on a CrackBerry Podcast you will have your work cut out for you in getting any words in when you hang with a motor mouth like Kevin. Nicely done on the ratings and overview as well - that's a feature I wouldn't mind CrackBerry doing on all their reviews. 

A little too long in reading terms (although very in depth). I liked the graphics for the good points & bad points. Audio in video was too low, had to turn speakers up to hear you. - Music was good though!

Overall B+

A couple of things; the audio needed to be jacked up a bit. The review was a little too long. I would have to agree with Craig on your scoring system as it was a nice addition to your review. Kudos to you sir!

I think the article was perfect, he mentioned every single aspect of the game; pros and cons, and included some nice screenshots, the video on the other hand was poor, I guess with some training he might do great things

As one who does not own the product, I took a particular interest in your review. I loved your write up. The pictures and summary of pros and cons was very helpful. Loved your use of the customer ratings. I liked your use of categories in your review, where we could read a quick glance of what the performance and gameplay was like. Reminds of a game review you might find on IGN.com. I agree with the judges that your video could use more enthusiasm and a louder voice. People can always turn down the volume but when you're really quiet, they can't turn you up to hear what you have to say. Work on your video presentation, but you certainly have the writing skills for good reviews. I look forward to your next review.

I liked it. Your writing style is spot on - I am an Edge reader myself and see many things I like.

Just one thing I would recommend - make use of a spell checker.

volume on the video was quite low...no excitement, it seemed like he didn't even want to review the app....the actual written review was nice though....but im more so for video reviews than written reviews so i'll have to say NO to this one

I have to agree that the video could have used a little more volume in the audio for better listening. It might have been because of it being your first video review, but you came across a little timid to me.

The other thing I noticed was a lot of "ums". This, um, makes it sound, um, like, um, you're just, um, trying to fill in audio so you don't, um, have a lot of, um, dead silence while, um, continuing to, um, tape. That adds to the timidness and also makes it sound like you are unsure what your want to talk about.

The other thing I noticed was that the beginning of the video was very dark. I don't know if it was the wood paneling behind you, or the lack of good light, but it was very dark. I can understand having lights down for viewing the BB screen, but you need to boost up the light when the camera is giving you some face time.

The write-up was very good, though.

I own this game and love it, that being said, if i were to base my purchase decision on this review/video I would pass on the app.

The review was disjointed and lack luster. The video was unimpressive and lacked any enthusiasm what so ever, he might as well have been reviewing a spork.

The video was way too low in both volume and excitement. I'd give it an 8/10 because it did have a lot of important info.

Like the review Nick. Finally an in depth review of what I believe is the best Blackberry game available. Review gets a a 8/10. Might want to turn off your radio use before starting a review. No one wants to see a red blinking LED.

Good review. Slightly too long. The volume on the vid was low and ask the guys to give you a CB sticker for the next review.

Great game. I bought it a while ago.
Game CONSISTANTLY crashes while listening to music stored on media card when the next song plays. Either pause the game before the end of a song, listen to pandora (goodbye battery) or no music at all while playing.

I liked the whole linking Pinball Wizard to the video, though as Georgia said the volume on your speech was rather low, and at the end it was rather hard to hear what you were saying. Other then that decent review.

When we read an article we want the FACTS, not the entire background of the application. Keep it simple or you lose the reader's attention. The article was well written aside from a few errors but it was just too long.