Version Reviewed: 1.0
Graphics / Sound [rating:5/5]
Game Controls [rating:4/5]
Re-use / Replay Value [rating:4/5]
Monster is a pinball game that is better than most. For some reason the pinball category seems to be a little weak off the ground. There is not a huge selection of pinball games, and I am not sure why. The iPhone / iPod Touch seems to be a perfect device to really get into this style of game. It is a far better platform than playing it on your computer and it is far more immersive when you hold your device and you click on the paddles.
Monster pinball in particular, is a slightly different take on the other pinball games that are out there. With this one you have 6 connected tables that the game spreads across. This has its advantages as well as disadvantages.
Some of the advantages come from the wide variety of table layouts in the game. The tables you play across are very different to each other in terms of colours and where the ball will be moving. Sometimes the ball during game play, enters from the right or the left side of the table. This keeps you guessing. Also, when it goes to a table the sound says which one you are playing in a computer voice. It sounds great and makes it fun to get onto the new ones.
All the tables have the same theme through out, but some I liked much better than others. One in particular was the bowl...
although it is a simple level, I really liked it. There are two sets of flippers on this table. Two in the regular place, at the bottom of your screen, and then two also half way up the table, these are mini flippers. These mini flipper controls are reversed at the top, so when you hit the pads to move the flippers, the bottom right hand flipper and the top left hand move together. (Essentially reversing them.)
Within all tables themselves the gameplay is really smooth and fast, so the action is high. There are times when you are really concentrating on the table you are on, really getting into it and your ball shoots across into another screen, so be sure to keep your attention at the ready!
This leads me to the negative aspect of the game having so many tables. I actually enjoy getting into teach table, hitting all aspects and combos within it to get a high score. Because of the number of tables, I never feel that I fully explore any particular one, and would just like time to play without the ball shooting across one table to another one.
Some things for me that let the game down... Now I realize it is getting rave reviews other places, but I have played a lot of the pinball games, and love actual pinball so I demand a lot! The main screen opening is a little sparse for my liking. I like when the ball has a lot of things to hit and makes a lot of noise as the score racks up. The first screen becomes boring a little too quickly.
Another problem... on some of the levels (head banger for one) the ball launch (on the left side in this case) gets a bit stuck. You end up having to repetitively click drag it to try to launch the ball. Because you are doing this, it tends to fire out and then you miss the paddles in time to save the ball. You can slide you finger along the screen anywhere to launch it generically but it can take a while to figure this out. (hmmm was it just me?)
Overall this is a really fun & smooth pinball game. The added tables makes a real difference to the game play, and you could find yourself playing on it for a lot longer than you intended. You can easily pick and put down Monster Pinball, which makes it ideal for the device. Far more fun with the sound on though, so warn who ever is sitting next to you on the bus.