Greetings and Salutations good people. .
Today, I've come across something very special and close to my heart. I used to spend a lot of times in arcades and amusement halls when I was younger. Raining down my wrath upon Galaga machines, destroying countless hardwood floors with my horrendous bowling skills, and gorging on frosty chocolate milkshakes. Arcades were a golden age for gaming. So when I discovered a pinball simulator that not only has actual physics but also recreates real life tables from back in the day, I was sold.
This is.... FUTURE PINBALL.
A lot of folks write off pinball as a simple and easy game. After all, it's just a little chrome ball bouncing a glass enclosure right? BAH, BE GONE PHILISTINE! Having played countless tables in my hayday, I can honestly tell you, it's a game nobody truly masters. Any Tom, Dick and Harry can spank a table like it owes them money, there's no real talent/skill in that. It's learning the ins and outs of each of those tables that gives pinball such a unique appeal. Future Pinball delivers on that aspect in spades. It's a completely open source and free sim, which means there are hundreds of tables premade ready for download (I'll include links below) and you can even make your own. I tried my hand at recreating one of my favorite tables (A Williams "Simpsons" Table from 2003) but my hazy memory caused me a bit of trouble. You could easily lose hours in the editor, even if you have no designing experience like myself. Controls are quite customizable as well, you can set them to whatever you wish in the options menu. Personally, I used Xpadder to set the flippers to the left and right triggers on my XBOX 360 Controller. It adds an excellent sense of spring and feedback to the game and made it a much more immersive experience.
If this is your first time playing any sort of pinball game, think of each table as a collection of mini missions. Every one will have a different set of objectives and way to earn points and snag extra balls. For example, on the table "Medieval Castle", one of the objectives is to knock out of a group of knights gathered at the center in order to advance into the castle itself. From there, you can surf the moat, do little jousting matches, free prisoners, and a variety of other things. Every table is full of little things like that, which gives the game so much replay value. Most of the time, you can look up at the top screen of the cabinet to see what to do next, but by no means are you obligated to complete any missions. Feel free to just mess around and knock your balls against those flippers till you pass out.
It also doesn't hurt that FP is a strikingly gorgeous game. There's plenty of options to make it look as drool worthy or as plain as you want. Pretty handy for letting just about any computer to run it. The majority of the tables I played were all vibrant and well done with just the perfect amount of flash. The redone classic tables from the 60's/70's/80's/etc were also perfectly treated. The people who take the time to recreate them usually have the actual table within their grasp, so accuracy is always a top priority. You can also switch up your views on the table from a low perspective (Flipper View), to the scrolling perspective (Following the ball), or just to a zoomed out perspective (Whole Table view).
If you were never around to enjoy the art that was Pinball in it's glory days, definitely take a gander at this one. It takes the best tables ever created, adds a bit of polish, and even lets you craft your own maniacal creations. Give it a shot!
Download Game Here!
Get Tables Here!
Default Controls: (I highly suggesting mapping to a gamepad's triggers instead of the keyboard).
Left Shift: Flipper
Right Shift: Flipper
1: Start Game
5,6,7: Insert Coin
': Special 2
Space: Nudge Up
/: Nudge Right
Z: Nudge Left
Edited by frickfrock999 - 10/27/11 at 6:32pm