If you’re interested in a title that is easy to take control of, where a learning curve won’t have you gasping for breath and at a price that sits well with your wallet, then Hyperspace Pinball may very well be the game for you. Currently retailing on Steam for a respectable £3.99 the game does help whittle away the hours for the casual gamer.
I’m not going to go into the history of Pinball or the mechanics of the game, because well, we all know what Pinball is. Instead, I’ll explain what gives this particular title it’s own identity and a reason for you to consider parting with your hard-earned-cash.
Hyperspace Pinball’s most interesting selling point is the inclusion of levels and power-ups. As you’d expect, powerups give certain positive attributes that may assist with you beating your own personal top-score, or more importantly, climbing to the top of the leaderboards and beating the pathtic score of everyone else. Dominance.
There are 3 distinct game modes, the first being Campaign mode whereby you have to progress through a series of levels, the higher your score, the better. Interestingly, some levels come with their own mini-bosses, should you destroy the boss without losing a ball then you will be rewarded for your efforts.
If you prefer, you can try-out endurance mode whereby you must simply stay alive while trying to destroy as many of the power-up icons as you can before your ball falls to eternal oblivion through the paddles that are just a little too short! The final mode is Boss Mode, pretty straight forward.
The game looks good, the level designs are bright and colourful, which you’d expect from any Pinball game. With over 20 unique levels you won’t be bored easily. The soundtrack, although not to my own particular liking, is a techno dancers dream, with enough banging tunes to wet the appetite of the most hardened Ibiza veteran.
The default control settings for Hyperspace Pinball feel a little strange, I played on both keyboard and controller, with the controller being my preferred tool. Fortunately enough, the game allows for full customisation so you can fiddle around with what feels right for you.
Overall, Hyperspace Pinball is a fun little title that, should you be competitively minded, it will have you coming back again and again in an attempt to top the scoreboard. Realistically though, the draw of the scoreboard shouldn’t really be merited to this game, as this is something that has been fundamental to Pinball since it’s creation.
Hyperspace Pinball does let itself down in other areas though, one such irritation being the constant bright and flashing lights, sometimes it is almost impossible to see where the ball is due to numerous explosions around the screen. This can be the most frustrating thing when you’re going for that all important high score.
Sometimes, the ball feels as if it has it’s own rules on physics, landing and behaving in a way that just doesn’t make sense. More often than not, the ball will come in at an angle to the paddles that you really ought to be able to save, but you just can’t. Maybe I’m just bad at the game! There is the option to knock the Pinball machine causing it to shake to amend the trajectory of the ball, do this too many times though and it’s game-over.
Although the music compliments the game well, I found that as I played for longer periods of time, there is a constant “boink boink boink” sound, not from the soundtrack itself, but another phantom element. To this day I have no idea what is causing the sound, but by it’s repetitive nature, it’s bloody annoying!
In summary though, at this price the game is well worth it. If you have nothing else to play, or you simply want to sit back and chill out with a game that doesn’t require a lot of thought, then this might be your thing. Alternatively, if you want to be on the edge of your seat, concentrating and trying to get that top score, then the game will serve you well too.
The game is a fun and entertaining dedication to the history of Pinball, I particularly enjoyed the game modes, the power-ups and the mini-boss modes. I would definitely come back to the title and play again. Although, the game does have it’s irritations, which you would expect given the ridiculously low price. All-in-all though, a fun and enjoyable experience.
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