CrackBerry Idol - Nick

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 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


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


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. **