Pinball games are an American institution, harkening back to the days of the Depression (and before) as cheap entertainment, often reviled as a form of gambling or praised as a game of skill. While manufacturers of physical pinball machines have taken a beating with the rise of video gaming, pinball still lives on and is even moving into the digital arena. Have a go at it with these fun Android pinball games!
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If the brand names Williams®, Bally®, Stern Pinball®, and Gottlieb® evoke fond memories, then Farsight Studios' Pinball Arcade might be just the game for you. Pinball Arcade painstakingly emulates some of the best classic pinball tables by these storied studios, bringing them to your Android device. The game features responsive controls, an interface that not only shows you the table surface but also the exterior box art, and multiple other viewing angles to match your style of play. Tables are available for limited freeplay, or can be purchased as content packs for unlimited play.
Verdict: An impressive and fully licensed emulation of classic pinball tables that's perfect for an arcade nostalgia trip. The table packs are a bit pricey, but you probably burned more in actual play at your local arcade way back when.
Zen Pinball HD by Zen Studios is one of the premiere pinball titles out on Android today, and it shows in the gorgeously rendered tables, the responsive controls, multiple view modes, and in the design of the tables themselves. The main app comes free with the "Sorceror's Lair" table for unlimited play, with many other themed boards available as in-app purchases. Licensed titles, such as a series of Marvel superhero-themed boards and three soon to be released Star Wars tables, are also on hand.
Verdict: An awesome pinball game for Android users armed with newish devices. The licensed tables are also going to appeal to fans of Marvel and Star Wars.
Enzo's Pinball is a neat paid pinball app with three tables, responsive touch controls, and (if your phone or tab supports it) some nice rumble effects for a more immersive pinball feel. Unfortunately, it hasn't aged as well since release and is easily overshadowed by high-quality apps such as Pinball Arcade and Zen Pinball. Another concern is some of the permissions that the app asks for (why would a pinball game want my network location?).
Verdict: Nice interface, the tables have character but are a little simplistic. A good app, but there are better.
Pinball Deluxe is a free pinball game with a variety of tables and compatible across a host of Android versions and devices. Each table has its own character, from the highly vertical "Diving for Treasure" to the "Brix" table that fuses pinball action with brick destroying gameplay for a more gamey if less realistic twist. An ad-free Premium version is available as a paid app.
Verdict: A solid pinball game compatible with a broad range of devices. Fun and well made table designs give you a lot to explore with this free app.
Kick Off! Pinball is a nice, football-themed Android pinball game. Though it only offers a single table, it is neatly rendered in 3D, suitably busy with loads of targets and flashy, distracting decorations. A nice table to play, though the lack of a customizable view for a 3D pinball game is a bit irritating.
Verdict: While it won't have the replay value that a series of tables will have, Kick Off! Pinball is nicely thematic and a fun play.
Pinball Ride is a stylish, 3D pinball game that takes its design cues from street racing culture and movies. Packed with multiple minigames and tasks, it's all wrapped up in a sleek, high quality presentation. Story mode takes you through a full length pinball game, while a more compact "burst mode" gives you two minutes and one ball to score the most points that you can.
Verdict: A good, fun pinball table worth the asking price.
Hyperspace Pinball melds pinball gaming with arcade shooters like Space Invaders and Galaga. While the board design is fairly plain, things are spiced up by floating targets drifting across the table, offering more of a challenge. The gameplay goes as far as mimicking shooters with progressively difficult levels and boss fights unlocked each time you clear the screen.
Verdict: A fun and free fusion of pinball and arcade shooter genres.