Developer: Magic Whale
Version Reviewed: 1.1
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2
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Bagatelle Pinball HD advertises itself as the ancestor of pinball games and after playing it that isn't too hard to believe. The problem is, pinball games, and really all games, have long since evolved. Bagatelle Pinball HD might work as some sort of anachronistic novelty if only it were more fun to play.
When one imagines "pinball," chances are flippers and ramps come to mind. This game is actually closer to something like pachinko. Using the touch screen players, launch one of their ten balls onto the field and watch as it hits bumpers and other environmental objects for points before falling into the abyss.
The key word is "watch" because outside of controlling how hard they launch the ball, players have virtually no control over what goes on. Supposedly shaking can effect the ball's path but it's subtle. Really though, players will spend most of their watching balls go through a random path, watching it fall, launching another one and repeating the process. When the ball starts bouncing like crazy it can be fun to watch and at a casino, this might've been a fun way to make money. However, as a game it can be rather boring.
There are five boards with mildly different stuff for the ball to bounce off of but the change is not too noticeable. From a visual standpoint they seem to be pretty decent retro recreations of actual boards but incredibly detailed wood paneling is as exciting as it sounds. One possible standout is the ninja board. Something about slicing sounds and spinning shurikens is inherently cool. Pinballs hitting against things remains fun and the satisfying sounds are well represented here. Also more boards are coming soon - maybe the overall game will improve.
Players can view their high score but there is no real way to share them so it adds little value. Some may perhaps find a kind of vague, mindless sort of fun in playing Bagatelle Pinball HD. Beyond that though, there are many more engaging games in the App Store.