Two spotty teenagers dreaming about another hot summer sat in front of a computer monitor somewhere in Sweden. Pinball Dreams for the Amiga had just reached our local computer store late in the winter of 1992. We could not have asked for a better game to spend our ample free time on.
Pinball Dreams is the first in a trilogy of pinball games developed and published by Swedish Digital Illusions. Now some seventeen years later Pinball Dreams is ported to the iPhone by Cowboy Rodeo. And thankfully for a fan like me they have stayed close to the original in the port. The only thing they tried messing with is the name, and I think it is enough to just let it be known as Pinball Dreams.
Pinball Dreams feature four tables, and generally we all get our own favourite table. Mine has always been Beat Box while my friend was nuts for Steel Wheel. The remaining two plays well too, Ignition and Nightmare.
Pinball Dreams is an unforgiving game that won’t let you rest your eyes away from any of the tables. This is what most newcomers to the game will object to, it is too hard. Back in the day in that cold Swedish winter that really made the game the classic it is in my mind. Taking turns trash talking each other hoping that my friend would screw up. Taking the seat by the keyboard confident that the next ball will make me number one, just to see it lost between the bottom flippers. That was and still is the hardcore gaming I know as Pinball Dreams.
You can play in either landscape or portrait mode, and you can also choose to play either with the new updated graphics or the original classic graphics. You can also choose to play it with the classic hardcore difficulty or a more lenient slower difficulty.
I really like how well this has been ported to the iPhone, and being an old fan I really appreciate it sticking to the original. On the other hand that is also a limitation as the original Pinball Dreams was constructed around objects only available or realistic to real pinball tables. There is nothing new or fancy about Pinball Dreams.
What Pinball Dreams gets right is the physics and game play of the real thing. Or at least as close as you might possibly get on a small portable device.
Presentation and graphics
Pinball Dreams looks good, and runs smoothly on my iPhone. Sticking to the original is great for an old fan like me but the iPhone is capable of much more than this. The tables feel small, and there is a definite lack of stuff to aim for.
I love the music that accompanies the different tables, and the sound effects are realistic and spot on in delivery. You can play your own music together with the sound effects.
Just tap the left side of the screen for the left flipper, and the right for the right flipper. Shake your iPhone to tilt the machine.
Realistic physics, and hardcore difficulty means that pinball fans can really dig into Pinball Dreams. As mentioned earlier the tables feel a bit limited in 2009.
Just local high scores available which really draws the score down, global high scores please! Nothing to achieve or unlock in Pinball Dreams.
Pinball Dreaming : Pinball Dreams is just like I remember it, hard uncompromising fun once you get the hang of it. It is a bit costly and the sequel Pinball Fantasies is a better buy in my opinion though I love to have both of them. Try the lite version to get a feel for my favourite table, Beat Box.