Pinball Yeah! Review
Despite its shortcomings, a fun and addicting pinball game with many redeeming qualities.
Pinball Yeah! signifies not only the return of Interplay to publishing but the flagship title of the Interplay Discovery program and developer Code Runners first title. As a pinball game, Pinball Yeah! has some great ideas with excellent execution in many aspects, however, a few shortcomings mar what otherwise is a fantastic game.
The download will work on either an iPhone/iTouch or an iPad; the game will automatically configure itself depending on the device you use. We tested the game on an iTouch 2G (not officially supported) and an iPhone 3GS. The game ran fine on our iPhone 3GS, the 2G gave us some issues with the Pirate Cove table crashing upon loading along with a few technical issues, but asides from that it was pretty playable. If you want to play the game but aren't able to upgrade to a supported device you might have some success on your current device but it's best to air on the side of caution. We've been told the next update will feature a "low detail" mode which will allow users with older devices to play the game.
Each table is skinned uniquely and in a way that keeps with the mood of the table, the texture quality isn't bad and to a certain extent dictated by camera angles and play mode. Portrait mode for example will reduce the level of detail and anti-aliasing present on objects. For the Code Runners table I found it a bit hard to follow the ball due to the clashing color schemes, similar can be said about the A.I. table when heavy use of the table lights are made. Certain texture issues may pop up depending on the orientation of your device and the camera setting you're playing at. The ball physics are implemented very well, a game of pinball plays out just as you would expect it to. The way the ball interacts with the environment is also done very well, from the shape of the walls to how it handles on the flippers.
A total of four tables are included with the game of which one is locked. The first table, Liquid Bread is an Irish Pub themed pinball table, the second is Pirates Cove which takes in the heat of a pirate ship battle against a Kraken, the third an A.I. table which involves you battling a rogue A.I. capable of transporting you to different tables, and the fourth is the Code Runners table which is locked and is perhaps the closest example to a "real" pinball table present in the game. Unlocking the table is somewhat difficult and not very apparent; without giving too much away it's unlocked via the A.I. table. The tables are all done really well, they all have unique qualities to them that make them memorable and fun to play. Items unique to the game such as item pegs will feature unique skins depending on the table you play.
It's difficult to find a clear cut objective for tables other than score points. In reality, there are plenty of objectives one can attempt to complete from unlocking new areas, gaining attributes such as multipliers, and even access to locked items. Some of these are detailed in the "Table Info" menu but others are hidden and left for the player to discover. As a result the game could have benefited from some sort of an accomplishment or check list system, given the number of objectives present in the game it's difficult to keep track of what you have and haven't unlocked long term. Not only would this add more replayability to the game but it would also give the game more direction.