The Apple Arcade List: The Pinball Wizard

Here is my original review of The Pinball Wizard from 2019. This was actually the first game I initially reviewed from the service.

The Pinball Wizard is a game from Apple’s new subscription service Apple Arcade. It’s a pinball game with a twist: instead of a ball, it’s a wizard and you are climbing a tower, all while fighting off some monsters. It should be a blast!

Pinball

Pinball is timeless. It has been around since the 1930s and has stuck with us in new and different ways. When my parents were younger, there were a variety of electronic pinball machines; when I was younger I had games like Sonic Spinball by Sega which put a more modern twist on pinball. Fast forward a few years, and I was catching Pokemon by playing pinball with Pokemon Pinball on Gameboy Color. There have been recent games before The Pinball Wizard that brought pinball to a modern game, games like Yoku’s Island Express took us by surprise showing us pinball is still relevant and fun. Today we have The Pinball Wizard. Possibly the best twist on pinball I have played.

Gameplay

The basics of pinball were always simple: keep the ball in the playing field and hit objects to rack up points. This general idea is still present. Your ball is now a wizard and your objects are now monsters.

The object of the game is to climb the tower; you climb the tower by finding the key on each floor and going through the door. Each key is hidden in a monster. It’s random so each time you play it’s different. To attack the monsters you just crash right into them or use one of your spells, like Dash or Magic Orb. The monsters do have a way to fight back and hurt you. For example one enemy you encounter is a bat who drops bombs. The only way you can hit him is by hitting the bomb and bouncing it into them. The bombs also explode and knock you off the level which, if your feather skill (Reduces health lost when you fall off the level) is not leveled up, could be devastating.

Move set

The first move, and maybe the most important move, you learn is your dash ability.

This ability will be your best friend for getting on to the next floor. When the door is open, you can use your dash to set yourself up to go right through the door and onto the next floor. The game is a grind, and it will take some time to unlock all your skills and make it to the top of the tower. There are not many floors to play, so the grind may not be for some, since it gets repetitive, but to me, it always felt fun. Some other skills (besides Dash) include one that has treasure being more drawn to you like a magnet, getting health back after each kill, and many more. There are a total of 12 skills to unlock and upgrade.

Verdict

The Pinball Wizard is a great variation of the classic pinball experience. It could become a grind and be repetitive but that doesn’t stop it from being a great game. I give this one two thumbs up and a score of — 8/10 — Get your flippers ready and take down some monsters.

2022 update

The Pinball Wizard is still a blast to play. There have been no new levels added to the tower but the inclusion of daily dungeons to play gives me something to come back to. Trying to climb the leader boards on the daily dungeons and replaying the original levels of the tower are still a lot of fun. I agree and stand by my original review of 8/10

The List

  1. What the Golf?
  2. Way of the Turtle
  3. The Pinball Wizard
  4. Towago: Among Shadows
  5. Tint
  6. Where Cards Fall
  7. Word Laces

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