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Windows Phone Central Roundup: Pinball Games
Windows Phone Central Game Roundup: Pinball Games

Any aspiring pinball wizards in the house? If so, we've there are a handful of pinball games available for our Windows Phone. These games are fast paced, full of detail, a fun way to pass the time and the focus of this week's roundup.

For those who cut their teeth on buttons, flipper, bells and lights of an arcade pinball machine, these games might be a decent substitute. Granted you can't bump the game with your hip or bounce the pinball off the glass but these games can hold their own.

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Windows Phone doesn’t exactly overflow with pinball titles; we’ve got the cheap-but-buggy Da Vinci Pinball on the Xbox side, and a few indie games of varying quality. Two of those, Pinball League: The Juggler and Pinball League: The World of Dr. Pickaxe come from a Greek developer called Tainicom. The mobile version of Pinball FX2 sadly remains vaporware. We recently checked in with Zen Studios and they declined to give a status update, so it’s either cancelled or on indefinite hold.

Windows 8, however actually does have a great Xbox-enabled version of Pinball FX2 to keep pinball fans happy. Perhaps for that very reason, indie pinball games are few and far between on Microsoft’s tablet and PC OS. Still, Tainicom saw an opportunity there and has just released The World of Dr. Pickaxe on Windows 8 and RT. Despite the shortened title, it is a direct port of the phone game and was ported using MonoGame.

Read on for our full Windows 8 impressions!

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Nokia unveiled DaVinci Pinball on April 23rd for Nokia Windows Phones and now the game is on sale for consumers. The game is themed around Leonardo DaVinci’s inventions and sketches. The wooden table is chock full of levers, pulleys, and other era-appropriate gadgets. The inventor himself also provides vocal narration, but it's essentially a pinball game.

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It’s been a few weeks since Nokia published a batch of exclusive Xbox Windows Phone games: the fine Vampire Rush and much less fine Storm in a Teacup. Since then, former Nokia exclusives Risk and Connect 4 became available to all Windows Phone users, knocking the number of Nokia exclusives down by two.

Clearly Nokia believes we Lumia owners need lots of stuff to brag about beyond the generally beautiful looks of our phones, and so they’ve just thrown a couple more exclusives our way in order to balance things out. Today we get DaVinci Pinball from Chillingo and Monopoly Millionaire from EA.

Both games are interesting in their own ways, but Monopoly Millionaire especially so because it’s the first Nokia exclusive Xbox game that requires Windows Phone 8 (and 1 GB of RAM). Could this mean we’ll start seeing more EA games that take advantage of Windows Phone 8’s increased horsepower? I hope so! Check out our impressions of both titles after the break.

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It looks like way back in February we missed Monster Pinball HD coming over for Windows Phone--consider this our makeup. The game is normally found on iOS and Android hardware, but it recently made a transition over to Windows Phone. Going for $2.49 with no free trial, the game is by no means cheap but it’s pretty decent for what it is.

We’ll show you a quick video demo of it action, and while it could be better, Monster Pinball HD is probably the best we have right now for this genre.

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We’ve already called Pinball League: The World of Dr. Pickaxe one of our favorite pinball games for Windows Phone (there really aren’t enough) but the popular title did have a glitch for Windows Phone 8 users, resulting in the game being recently pulled from the Store.

Now the game is back and better than ever with a modest 1.02 update that just came out today...

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Slayer Pinball.  We’ll just let that sink in for a moment as the absurdity of these two things colliding may cause your head to spin.

Anywho, the pinball game landed on the Windows Phone Store over the weekend and fetches for $2.99 without a trial. Because of that we’re taking one for the team and we’re going hands on to let you know if it’s worth it.

Slayer Pinball is released by Sony Music, which is similar to Sony Pictures Television. That latter company recently released Wheel of Fortune and JEOPARDY! to Windows Phone also without trials. We’re not sure what Sony has against trials but it’s not because their games are bad—they’re just a bit overpriced (we actually really like JEOPARDY! and WoF a lot).

Slayer Pinball ain’t half bad—the graphics are good, stuttering is at a minimal and it has Slayer thrashing in the background as you play on what has to be the most demonic board ever. In that sense, as a straight up pinball game it’s a lot of fun.

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Xbox 360 Impressions: Plants vs. Zombies Pinball

Prepare for a bit of Xbox 360 news that will spill over to Windows 8 and likely Windows Phone in the future as well. PopCap and Zen Studios have partnered up to introduce ‘Plants vs. Zombies Pinball’ to Pinball FX 2 on Xbox Live Arcade. If you’ll recall, most or all existing tables will appear in the forthcoming Windows Phone port as well, so consider this a sneak preview if you don’t play the Xbox 360 version of Pinball FX 2. Zen kindly provided a review code for the table, and now we’ve got full impressions to share after the break.

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3D pinball at its finest

Last week we highlighted the new pinball game Dr. Pickaxe as one of our new favorite games for Windows Phone. Developed by Tainicom (who also made The Juggler), the game was on special for $0.99 during its first week and received our 'Editor's Choice' distinction.

Unfortunately that game had a tiny bug in it resulting in the first few games registered under ‘trial’ even after purchased. Even though it only had a limited effect the bug was quickly identified and a v1.01 was pushed out—but then Microsoft held up publication due to their own woes and so the game was hidden until fixed.

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Pinball: Just one fix...

Although we’re still waiting on that pesky Xbox LIVE game to go…well live, we have something else to keep you gamers happy: Pinball League’s Dr. Pickaxe. If that name sounds familiar it’s because there’s a previous pinball game by the same company, Tainicom, called Pinball League - The Juggler. This game just hit the Windows Phone Store and we’re in love.

First off, we should note that we’re huge pinball fans. Pinball FX2 on Xbox 360 is our illicit drug of choice and we’re dying to get it on Windows Phone (see our interview with the developer for news on that front). In the meantime, Dr. Pickaxe is fullfilling our deepest wizard desires by offering a solid sequel to their previous effort.

Check out our quick video review after the break...

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Welcome to an Xbox Live Developer Interview long in the making! Seriously, we’ve been promising this one for a while, and at last it’s ready. Today we chat with Mel Kirk, Jack—of-all-trades at Zen Studios. Zen is hard at work porting their XBLA hit Pinball FX2 to Windows Phone. Thankfully they made the time to tell Windows Phone Central all about their love for pinball, potential licensed tables for the future, and of course, their plans for Microsoft's mobile phone platform.

Head past the break for the full interview, tons of behind the scenes photos, and wonderful Marvel concept art!

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Windows Phone Game Review: Monsters Pinball

Monster's Pinball, as you would guess, is a pinball game for your Windows Phone that pays tribute to the what is described as the cult classic pinball games of the past. Nicely animated with simple controls, Monsters Pinball is more than just a typical pinball game.

You have experience levels, tasks, power-ups and online scoreboards. Monster's Pinball has over one hundred bonus items to unlock. Add two pinball tables into the mix and Monster's Pinball has plenty of gaming to it.

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Pinball League: The Juggler moves to v1.3

Pinball League: The Juggler has been updated to version 1.3 and with the update comes a slight price reduction. The Windows Phone pinball game (here's our review) is also adding vibration feedback in the settings to give the game a more realistic feel.

Along with vibration feedback and the typical under-the-hood tweaks to improve performance, Pinball League: The Juggler's table performance has improved and social integration with Facebook and Twitter. You can now share your thoughts after making a high score or just talk a little smack.

Pinball League: The Juggler still has a free trial version but the full version has dropped down to $1.49. You can download both here (opens Zune) over at the Marketplace. It is our understanding that a Mango version is in the works and will be released shortly.

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Pinball League: The Juggler - Review

Tainicom has brought the pinball experience to your Windows Phone with Pinball League: The Juggler. How does the song go? He's a pinball wizard there's got to be a twist....

While you may not become a pinball wizard with Pinball League, we found it to be an entertaining game to pass the time with. The 3D graphics looks really good and the realistic game play represents pinball machines really good.

Ease on past the break to read more about Pinball League: The Juggler.

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Pinball Evolution by 4Pockets

What would a Windows Mobile device be without gaming applications? All work and no play. Gaming applications range from fantasy role playing to sports to puzzles to nonsense. 4Pockets Software has developed

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