I used to work at an arcade in college, and now I volunteer at a non-profit that preserves old arcade games, including some of the machines simulated here. I have purchased other pinball games that wee based on fantasy tables from other companies (Fantastic Voyage being a stellar simulation notably) and have been pretty impressed with the quality of some of these pinball simulations. The good apps capture the feel of actual pinball machines very well, and some don’t. I was looking forward to being able to play these games without having to do the maintenance on those I clean and fix (like Elivira, Bride of Pinbot, etc.), but was solely disappointed that this game falls into the latter category of pinball simulations.
The first noticeable disappointment is the sounds: they sound like they were either recorded at 8-bits, compressed until they noticably distorted or run through some sort of filter that made them muddy and echoey (I’m a trained audio engineer). The jet and flipper sounds — which should be very easy to record at high fidelity, sound nothing like real pinball machines.
The second major problem is the default of a camera tracking the ball vs. seeing the entire table is horrid. After changing this default to a fixed camera, the 4 preset angles all lack the right 3D geometry needed to judge the more difficult ramp shots properly.
After setting this to a move realistic setting (your head doesn’t zoom around the play field after all) this, the balls do not move like they do on the real playfields: they move more like they would on run down tables, set at lower angles and worn flippers, which makes the whole game feel slower and actually pretty boring.
A new or recently cleaned and waxed table the balls can spinning faster than its rolling thanks to a very low coefficient of friction on waxed tables. Some flipper hits can actaully make the ball hit the backglass, and at their best, they can even behave like pool balls with backspin zipping around the playfield.
The flipper physics are also pretty inaccurate: the ball seems to lack the acceleration of an actual flipper hit, nor does it lose momentum the same way they do bouncing off the real rubber parts. It is like the range of speed is fixed at within a limited range with larger steps between velocities than needed for accurate modeling. About the only somewhat realistic modeling is when the balls are between jets and are bouncing back and forth faster than the eye can track.
So, other than looking like the tables, and having the same layouts and bonus/multi-ball criteria, this simulation fails miserably to accurately simulate these games. For the Price of buying all of these tables, you could attend CAExteme or other pinball expos and play most if not all of actual pinball machines.
If you are unfamiliar with pinball, do not let this application tarnish your first impression of what pinball machines are really like to play.