Great pinball graphics and gameplay take you into Marvel's universe of superheroes and diabolical villains
Eye on Apple
By Jim Lynch, CIO
I’ve been playing video games since I was a kid, but these days I tend to gravitate more toward casual games. And there’s nothing more casual (and fun) than a good round of pinball. I’ve had the Pinball HD collection on my iPhone 6 Plus for a while now, but I recently found another great collection of pinball tables for iOS: Marvel Pinball.
The Marvel Pinball app costs 99 cents, and comes with one table: The Avengers. Additional tables cost $1.99 each via in-app purchases, and each table offers unique features and challenges. Which ones should you buy? Well that’s really up to you and it totally depends on which heroes (and villians) you like from the Marvel universe.
If you grew up reading Marvel comics like I did then you’ll love the range of heroes available in Marvel Pinball. All of the greats are here including Spider-Man, Thor, The Avengers, The Fantastic Four and numerous others.
Here’s a full list of the hero tables available in Marvel Pinball as of the writing of this post:
Avengers: Age of Ultron
Guardians of the Galaxy
World War Hulk
Whew! That’s quite a selection of super-hero pinball tables! And I have no doubt that Marvel will be adding more tables eventually to make an even greater selection available. As great as the current selection is, it really only scratches the surface of the Marvel Universe.
Note that when you go to buy a new table, you’ll get a warning that you’re about to download a lot of data. This is helpful for those on cellular connections so they understand that a new table might use up a significant amount of their monthly data. I recommend using a Wi-Fi connection to download the tables you want before going out and about.
Marvel Pinball’s amazing graphics and attention to detail
I really love the great graphics and attention to detail on each table. They look terrific on my iPhone 6 Plus, and I actually found the look of each table to be an initial but pleasant distraction when I first started playing. I couldn’t resist looking at each little detail on the table, and it certainly hurt my score a bit. But that’s okay because these tables are worth checking out.
My favorite so far is the Thor table. I’ve always been a huge fan of Thor in Marvel’s comics, and I also enjoyed him in the recent Thor movie and the Avenger’s movies, as well as in various animated versions of The Avengers. I’ve always loved Thor’s bravado and all of the rest of the imagery of the Norse Gods.
When you load the Thor table up, you can see an animated version of Thor in the lower left corner of the table, with Loki in the upper right, the Destroyer in the upper left, and a huge dragon’s head mid-way down the table on the left. Sif also appears though she’s not standing or animated, she’s an image on the table itself. And there is a huge version of Thor’s hammer Mjolnir sticking up out of the ground near where the ball is launched.
The Thor table absolutely captures the spirit of the Thor comics, animated features and movies. At certain times you’ll see the dragon breathe fire, and the voice of Thor from the animated shows makes frequent declarations of battle lust and other kinds of commentary.
Here’s a video preview of the Thor table in Marvel Pinball:
Marvel Avengers: Age of Ultron table
The latest Avengers movie is “Avengers: Age of Ultron” and there is a new table in Marvel Pinball called “Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron” that goes with the movie. The new table offers some great melee and aerial combat between Ultron and Iron Man. It also offers game modes for each Avenger, and a Hawkeye mini-game where you get to test your sharpshooting skills.
Here’s a video preview of the Age of Ultron table in Marvel Pinball:
I bought the table, and it’s a hoot to play. It’s fun watching Iron Man and Ultron battle it out while you play the game. The graphics are as gorgeous as the rest of the tables, and I don’t think that Avengers fans will be disappointed in the Ultron pinball table in Marvel Pinball.
Marvel Pinball gameplay and options
If you’re totally new to Marvel Pinball, I recommend tapping on the question mark icon on the home screen. Then click on How To Play for a full explanation on how to do your best and get the highest score possible in the game. You can also learn how to use the Change View icon at the top of the screen, and various other tips and tricks.
Marvel Pinball comes with the ability to see various leaderboards for each table, including Single Play All-Time, Hero Score, and Team Force. You can access leaderboards by tapping on the leaderboard icon at the bottom of the home screen in Marvel Pinball.
There are also achievements that you can get for each table. For example, on the Thor table there are three achievements: Sworn Enemies of Asgard (complete all missions), Divine Warrior (defeat Surtur and the horde of Hela), and The Traitor (defeat Thor’s brother Loki). Achievements vary depending on the table you are playing so be sure to check them out after you buy a table. Tap the medal icon on the home screen to see the available achievements for that table.
How to get Marvel Pinball tables on the Mac
Although this post is about the iOS version of Marvel Pinball, it is possible to play many of the tables on your Mac. But don’t look for a Marvel Pinball app in the Mac app store, you won’t find one. Instead you’ll need to download the Zen Pinball 2 app. In that app you’ll get access to almost all of the Marvel Pinball tables that are out for iOS.
Unfortunately, my favorite table – Thor – is not yet available in the Zen Pinball 2 app for Mac. Ugh! I wanted to play it on my 5K iMac. But it looks like I’ll have to wait. I did play the Avengers Ultron table and it was great on the larger screen.
The Zen Pinball 2 app doesn’t seem to have a 5K option though in the video controls. Hopefully the company will update it soon so we can see higher resolution versions of the tables on the Mac.
Beware! Marvel Pinball can be addictive!
So far I’m really enjoying the heck out of Marvel Pinball on my iPhone 6 Plus. But there’s a downside to it too. I keep getting the urge to play even when I should be doing something else. In fact, it’s taken me longer to write this post than usual because I kept doing…er…research by opening the app and then ended up playing yet another round.
But that’s okay, another game of pinball never hurts, right? So if you’re in the market for a good pinball game for your iPad, iPod or iPhone be sure to check out Marvel Pinball. It’s perfect for anybody who loves pinball, comic books and superheroes.
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