Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Android Game Review: Magma Mobile -- Pinball! -- another glorious waste of time!

Android Game Review:  Magma Mobile -- Pinball! -- another glorious waste of time!

Initial review:  Five stars -- trip down Nostalgia Lane
Game category:  Physics games
Game type: Arcade
Recommended device size:  any device
Who'd enjoy it?  For everyone, really.

I confess that I like Magma Mobile's games -- they're clean, visually appealing, and there's even help screens that explain how to play, something that's rather unusual in many Android games.  But there's a zillion pinball games out there -- so why THIS pinball over others?

It's all about the graphics.

I played Pinball back in the late 1960's and early 1970's, when it was on the cusp of a revolution.  Advances in electronics were just about to hit the pinball world and add digital scoring and digital displays would be added in a few years.  Eight years later, Pac Man and Pong would be regular offerings in the arcades and it was You Versus The Machine.  But in 1970, it was still all about the physics -- just you, a large table, and flipper buttons that you hit madly.  And if you got just the right tap at the right angle, the gods of physics smiled at you and you could get free games.  Particularly if you just happened to "bump" the table at JUST the right time.

Pinball was art.  Pinball was physics.  Pinball was hours of fun for a few quarters.

This version of Pinball for the Android has the "feel" of some of the older pinball machines that I've played -- they're simple, they're clean, and it relys on the right hit at the right angle and the right velocity.  Some of the others take advantage of the fact that computers are very very fast compared to humans, and the balls seem to move at speeds not entirely consistent with the way the balls felt back in the days when it was just you and gravity.

I also tried Pinball Deluxe, but the screens (tables) weren't quite as charming as Magma Mobile's table.  Maybe it's just me and my Old School ways, but the Magma Mobile game sure brings back fond memories of quiet bars and the music of my friend, Freddy Argir's band. http://www.fredyargir.com/music.html 

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