Knockabout went out and built a really killer pinball game.
Knockabout Games' Precision Pinball is the most unflinchingly realistic pinball game I've ever played on mobile--which also makes it the BEST pinball game I've played on mobile. There are no secrets, tricks, gimmicks or hidden codicils to it; this game feels like an actual pinball machine on your cell phone, nothing more, and nothing less. If you're a pinball fan, as I am, this game will send you into paroxysms of unlimited multiball joy.
Precision Pinball's head designer, Kevin Gliner, is the enormous, throbbing pinball brain whose muse birthed the ubiquitous 3D Pinball for Windows about a decade ago. He is, if you will, a software Pinball Wizard--and his comprehensive knowledge of the game really shines through in Precision Pinball. The physics engine is astonishingly dead-on. I can't describe exactly how it duplicates the feel of a real machine. Maybe it's the seamless way in which the ball moves, or its perfectly nuanced buoyancy off the flippers, or the slight shudder of vibration the phone makes when the ball hits a bumper or you nudge the table via the 1 and 3 buttons. However it may be manifested, the quintessence of arcade royalty is present.
Of course, the game doesn't keep a respectful silence, and that's probably for the best. A liberal smattering of bloops, boings and whooshes give auditory as well as tactile feedback to the user, making the quick movements of your silvery emissary a little easier to follow. Precision Pinball's graphics are totally utilitarian, but contain beautiful touches nonetheless; I'm a huge fan of how the ramp lights up piecemeal as your ball travels over it, for instance. There's only one virtual table to play on, but you can enable up to nine bonus modes if you hit the right triggers, each of which has a different series of goals. These are about as interesting as higher scores are exciting.
There's nothing original or surprising here--Knockabout didn't contend with any controversial design choices or groundbreaking gameplay features, they just went out and built a really killer pinball game. Good for them, and better for us pinball freaks.