Even if you’re not a massive pinball fan, it’s hard not to love Monster Pinball HD from the second the twinkling lights and colourful cartoony beasts pop up on-screen. The crisp, vibrant graphics do great justice to the six monster-themed tables, which in the game’s standard mode actually form one giant table, thanks to the way you can knock the ball between them via special pipes. That helps to ease the frustration for pinball noobs too, as letting the ball slip between your flippers doesn’t always mean game over.
Controls are as simple as you’d expect, with a simple tap on each side of the screen operating the opposing flippers. You boost your score by hitting hotspots, with special bonuses such as Hot Ball giving you point multipliers to get that elusive high score even faster. Pros can speed up the ball in the settings for a greater challenge, while amateurs have the option to slow it down.
Each of the tables has its own unique design, with enough detail to keep them interesting while at the same time not appearing too cluttered on the iPhone’s dinky 4-inch screen. One of the stand-outs, ‘The Bowl’, demands intense concentration as the central vortex plays havoc with the game’s physics, sucking the ball towards the middle of the screen. There are occasional moments when the ball can disappear behind virtual ramps and other objects, which can throw you off somewhat. Still, all part of the challenge, eh?
To encourage you to keep coming back, Monster Pinball HD’s developers have added in tons of unlockable achievements. There are 28 in all, from placing a high score to hitting a certain hotspot ten times in one game, and as we’ve only managed to complete a handful of them so far, looks like we’ll be playing this one ‘til Christmas 2013...
Monster Pinball is available for iPhone and iPad for just £1.49, with Android and Windows Phone versions coming soon