Freeballin’ with Freeballin’

Posted: April 26, 2009 in Action

Freeballin’ is the latest entry into iTunes pinball gaming, and five words sum it up—“It’s a lot of fun!”  The game has several tables—Tiki Trouble, Monsteropolis, Dreams & Nightmares, and Neometric—and your first impression is that these don’t look anything like your traditional pinball table.  I will tell you that each table and mode offer a different feel and require different strategies that add considerable depth.

Visually, the tables look short, and there is no auto-scrolling to other parts of the table.  While pinball purists may disagree with me on this, the lack of auto-scrolling actually works well in Freeballin’.  The tables look great and offer a variety of eye-catching graphics and animation.  For example, Monsteropolis has monsters, trucks, and freeway ramps; Dream & Nightmares has fingers, a giant dog, and penguins; and Tiki Trouble throws tikis and apes to keep you busy.  In fact the only table I would consider to be “standard” is Neometric which offers a retro look.  What differentiates Freeballin’ from most pinball games are the hidden tables which are basically levels within levels.  These hidden tables offer additional worlds that you’ll need to find to complete some of the missions.

In addition to Score Attack which is your traditional pinball/rack up points mode, there are two other modes that you can play in: Time Attack (best time to 1 million points), and Adventure Challenge (collect artifacts).  All three modes offer a variety of powerups so you can expect plenty of challenges and replayability.  Each mode also has various missions some of which are table specific.  For example, you have to spin the monkey three times in Tiki Trouble or landing your ball in a crater three times in Monsteropolis.  Each table has a boss that you have to attack and defeat.  On top of that, you have limited time to accomplish your missions which can make things a little than you think.  Local scores and global online scores are available, but note that in Adventure Challenge mode, you have to collect at least artifact before you can submit a score.

The devs also include a How to Play section, which provides directions and strategies helpful for novices and good reminders for more experienced players.  The only minor issue I have is that the ball physics can occasionally seem a bit awkward.  Overall, the Freeballin’ devs have created a unique, fun pinball experience that will keep you challengingly entertained.

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