Penny Parlor review

Our modern technology marvels me each day, and it is easy to forget the great things inventors created in the past. The amount of moving parts in an arcade machine back in the thirties and forties is mindboggling. Now you get to try out four classic machines on a touch screen in the present.

Super Swing Baseball is one of my favourites in the collection due to the simple controls, and the fact that you can really get better at it. A ball careens down a chute, and you have to hit it with the bat. One button is all you need besides the obvious timing of course. Hitting a home run is truly satisfying, and when the speed picks up I start sweating. When you are out, by either striking out or foul balls the game ends. A simple to get into, and play but yet highly addictive game.

pp3Snack ´n´ Whack Cricket is the least favourable game in the collection due to awkward controls, and being well cricket. A pitcher bowls the balls at your player that has to whack it, and avoid hitting the out zones. The player is hard to position correctly, and I found I really hard to hit it properly. I am not that big on real life cricket, and that affects the fun I am not really having.

The Amazing Golf Game is the slowest of the games, and lets you take it in your own pace. Your golfer gets a target hole to hit, and has to do so within par not to lose a credit. Aiming is done with a slider joystick, and holding a red button sets power. The longer you hold it the harder the golfer hits. I found it quite hard to judge the trajectory, and most of all the roll of the ball. It was fun to play for a couple of times, but then the slow pace got to me.

My second favourite of the games is American Pro Football that takes a combination of skill, and luck to succeed at. You flick the ball at five holes at the other end of the field representing yards passed, and touchdown in the middle. A timer counts down, and you have to fill it up by making complete passes. Three defenders move about the field disturbing the ball. Double tapping the screen lets you reset the ball. This is one intense game, and I found it to be just about as addictive as the baseball game.

pp2All four games have four levels you reach by staying in it, and scoring well. Higher levels are near impossible, and that is kind of the point of it all. Coin operated machines weren’t supposed to be cracked by anyone for a dime. There are a total of 36 Game Center achievements, and leaderboards to keep the competitive edge. What the game lacks to propel it into the casual top of the App Store is getting rewards, and being able to save up for presents and toys.

Penny Parlor is a beautiful rendition of the vintage machines. Marks, smudges and imperfections in the lighting are all there to enhance the time that has passed. Sound effects are good, and the voice shouting out strike and out is good even though it might not be realistic to the vintage setting. Overall this is a polished product with great menus, and style.

It is hard not to enjoy Penny Parlor, and the old school gameplay it presents. It is worth getting for the baseball, and football games alone. It might not last forever, but it is one of those perfect little casual games for the short break, or when out walking.

Final Rating


Penny Parlor $1.99 Universal for iPad/iPhone/iPod
Version: 1.2
Seller: Games Lab Pty Limited

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