Crazy Pinball (DSiWare)

Game Review

Crazy Pinball Review

Europe PAL Version

Posted by Marcel van Duyn

The only thing crazy is that nothing about this game is crazy

There aren't many pinball games on DSiWare. We have no clue why: they're pretty much perfectly suited to digital distribution. dtp Entertainment has given us Crazy Pinball, the second pinball title available, and its name seems to imply that it is quite crazy indeed.

Upon first booting it up you're presented with a nice-looking main menu with a pinball rolling around for each menu selection you make and featuring catchy Commodore 64-esque music. There are five tables in the game, but in what seems to be becoming a trend now, all but one of them have to be unlocked by getting a certain score on the table before.

Three of the tables are themed after animals in certain parts of the world: you've got a safari-themed table with an antelope, a lion, a jaguar and others; an underwater table with dolphins, and more. Two other tables are themed on humans, with one of them being about space exploration. Sadly these are not much more than still background images that look pretty plain, with the only thing special about them is that the eyes of the animals and humans occasionally flash as if they contained LEDs.

In typical pinball fashion your goal is not much more than to rack up as high a score as possible, by shooting the ball up ramps, into holes, against bumpers and basically all around the table. You can occasionally get bonus points by taking a ramp a certain amount of times with one ball, or by going to a designated area within a certain time limit. The ball controls fairly well and you generally won't have one fly into the gutter unless you make a clear mistake, but it does seem a bit fast; so fast, in fact, that it's not at all unusual to momentarily lose sight of where the ball is.

Unlike older digital pinball games, such as Alien Crush and its sequel Devil's Crush on Virtual Console, there are no minigames to speak of, so all you can do to improve your score is keep your ball in play and hit stuff.

Although there's nothing really wrong with the gameplay, it can start to get dull quite quickly. The tables aren't really that big, so you'll usually just keep trying to do the same trick over and over to get points. Another thing that will put off some people is that the tables all lack fast-paced, fitting music, instead all opting for environmental sounds befitting the areas of the world they're representing. On the underwater stage, for example, all you'll hear is bubbles and other underwater noises. If they could make a genuinely catchy tune for the main menu, why not for all tables?

The one song that's there is good, but the fact you'll only hear it on the part of the game you're likely to spend least time in is pretty bad. The graphics are also pretty disappointing, with all the animal-based tables featuring photos of real animals as background images. The human-based tables are slightly more exciting but still really nothing special. We'd expect a bit more from "Crazy" Pinball!


Overall, Crazy Pinball isn't really a bad game and its gameplay mechanics are just fine. The tables, however, might be a bit too dull and uninteresting for your liking, and having to unlock all the tables might be a bit too much work for some people.

From the web

User Comments (18)



TwilightV said:

I was thinking Sean was going to review this one. I'd probably pick it up if I ever had a lot of points to burn.



xAlias said:

I love pinball games, so this is certainly a no-brainer for me when I have points to spare.



gaminguy said:

well, pinball games are fun, unforuntuntly the ds doesn't seem to get good ones. The only good ones left in my poinion, are found on everything BU T ds, which just hasn't had many developers trying. (this is pretty sad, because the ds can play a very good pinball game)



piguy101 said:

Wow, it looks like there is only a few things to hit from looking at the screenshots.



Sean_Aaron said:

If it was available in Japan I certainly would have dropped some points for it. The DS is so starved for pinball that I'd definitely settle for some middle of the road tables, though I'm still waiting for that Greek/Roman mythology one to hit japan. In the meantime I'll have to make due with Pinball Attack and Metroid Prime Pinball; given the latter is so excellent I don't really feel hard done by.

Assuming System 3 sticks to their revised publication date of September you can look foward to a review of Williams Pinball Classics from yours truly - my most anticipated game since I got my Wii nearly three years ago!



mushroomer said:

Hi Sean,
seems you are always commenting on pinball games, as do I. Anyways, this review and those crappy screens gives me no interest what-so-ever in dumping 500 points for it. If people out there havn't downloaded Pinball Pulse and are looking for a good pinball game, then go for that one instead. Its 1 table but there is so much going on in it that I would rather have 1 great table than 5 duds.



MeloMan said:

@ 6.

Well put, I couldn't of said it better. The sad part is, based on the title of "Pinball Pulse" I was expecting this to be a series from the big N but no dice. Oh well, guess I'll go track down Metroid Prime Pinball and stick it in my GBA SP...



Scarecrow said:

Pinball Pulse may be the only pinball game so far on DSiWare but its awesome. This Crazy Pinball looks lame by comparison so I think I will pass on this one.



Sylverstone said:

Pinball Pulse is the clear-cut choice for pinball fun on DSiWare.

Well said, mushroomer.



IanUniacke said:

Pinball Pulse craps on this game in every conceivable way. This game is dull to the extreme and I'm a huge fan of pinball games. There are no missions, no goals, no multi ball. It's just boring.



Dodger said:

It's nice that this has more tables but looking at it, the tables don't look fun at all. As I already have Pinball Pulse, I am not getting this.

Besides, I am saving for a 3DS. No more DSiware for me.



MrPanic said:

Haha, all the comments made me buy Pinball Pulse (not really buy, traded 2000 stars for 500 points) instead of the game that got reviewed here. I'm loving Pulse though, great table.



grumblegrumble said:

Loving it so far, have unlocked all of the 5 tables and I am satisfied with my purchase. One observation: After unlocking all of the tables the replay value has gone down for me, I haven't picked this back up in over 3 days since I finished the entire game The graphics I think are better than the review states, nothing too outstanding, but I love the gameplay mechanics. It's nice to have tables to unlock, I think, otherwise.. would we spend the time just playing for high scores on a game like this? I give this 7/10.. Give it a shot if you like Pinball games

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