18 Jun Momonga Monday: The Top 10 Craziest Pinball Games Ever
Pinball is not the sexiest game a developer can choose to make – especially on iOS it is a bit old-fashioned and targeted towards a niche audience. Some programmers might consider it a simple mechanic, like Pong or Tetris – a nice hobby project, but not something to spend serious time on.
When we started the idea of “Pinball Forever” (the ugly prototype that later turned into Momonga Pinball Adventures), we honestly thought that there were not that many pinball games out there that gave the genre a twist.
We were right and wrong. Right, because on iOS there is only a handful of games that took a shot at it. Wrong, because there are dozens of examples on other platforms.
The more we talked to people about this idea, the more we were proven wrong. There is a whole history of amazing pinball games that go beyond simple cabinets. Almost everyone we talked to, refered to a game they remember from the good old days.
Most of these pinball games have been forgotten by the masses, but they are true gems. It is hard to create a good pinball game – the physics simulation is hard, the level design is hard, the balancing is hard.
Therefore – in honor of those games that came before us, out of respect for the innovators who have taken on the challenge to give pinball a twist, I present to you: Our top 10 list of the craziest flipper games ever.
Without a doubt, Odama (translated as “Big Rock”) is the craziest pinball game ever built. You wage war in feudal Japan. You control armies with voice commands while a huge rock is rolling over the battlefield, smashing friend and foe in its path. It was released in 2006 for the Gamecube and when I spoke about pinball games with some of the guys from Nintendo, they too had this in mind as one of the most intriguing pinball games ever.
If you are a pinball fanatic and looking for something weird, look no further. It does not get much weirder than Flipnic. Check out the video, I can’t find the words to describe the utter brilliance of this game. Released in 2005 for Playstation 2, I am amazed that this game doesn’t even have its own Wikipedia page.
When people see Momonga Pinball Adventures, their #1 reference was Sonic Spinball. Originally released on the Mega Drive / Genesis, Spinball is an amazing game with some pretty difficult and insanely huge levels. I personally don’t like the iPhone release due to the flimsy control scheme. But still, an amazing game.
Mario Pinball Land
The Mario take on flippering has not much body, but the reason this game made it into the list is because of the huge junkyard-like device that squashes Mario into a ball. OUCH!
Also check out this dude’s video, he has been trying to beat the end boss Bowser for over 13 hours. I feel your pain, man.
This Gameboy Advance title is all about bashing zombies in a pinball level. The layout of the levels are true to the cabinet form, but with an added layer of moving enemies and interesting powerups. I like the visuals, and it has zombies. Therefore. In the list.
Also check out it’s cousin, Undead Attack on the iPhone. They use the Angry Birds font, but it has zombies. And it is one of the few good pinball games out there on iOS, definitely recommended!
Adventure Pinball Forgotten Island
Another open world pinball game, Forgotten Island brings an adventurous vibe to the game. Explore the jungle with your flippers. Like Sonic Spinball, this game is a huge cabinet with a fantasy theme. I love this Let’s Play, the guy playing it has some great comments.
Built by Zen Studios in 2005 for the DS, this game even has a flying mode in it! Looks just like Momonga. It is beautiful, but the game was not well received. I guess that this is partly due to the fact that there are all kinds of fancy cosmetic changes but not much innovation in the mechanics. And there were some complaints of motion sickness, which is not hard to imagine.
Kirby’s Pinball Land
When I first saw Kirby, I immediately loved this game – sweet and simple, and it really brings some nice innovations to the mechanics. The bossfights are well done. Even though this has been released in 1993, there is a ton of innovation and it seems very well polished.
Mile High Pinball
This game made the list because of the awesome name. It could simply be my frame of reference, but the game is interesting as well. Released in 2005 for the Nokia N-Gage, it received good reviews and I heard someone saying that it was the only decent N-Gage game he ever played. Kudos for that!
Mixing an RPG with pinball is a noble effort. The guys from Pinball Quest did an… interesting job at it. I love this play-through, mostly because I enjoy the pain of the reviewer. 😉
…and many more
Sonic Pinball Party, Metroid Prime Pinball, Pokémon Pinball, Kirby’s Pinball Land, Frogger Pinball… it’s too much to handle.
So with all these games, how does Momonga fit in?
The first difference is that only two of the above games have been released for iOS. So it’s about time that there came a “fantasy” pinball game for Android / iPhone / iPad.
The other difference is that Momonga will have much smaller levels. Where one session in the games above can last for 15 minutes or more, Momonga will keep you pinballing for about 2-3 minutes per level. The reasoning behind this is that I want to play it in little snacks, anywhere and anytime I want. With smaller levels, that’s exactly what you’ll get.
Okay, for comparison and for the sake of shameless self-promotion, let’s throw in the trailer, just for the heck of it.
So what do you think? What’s your favorite game? Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments! 🙂