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Pinball City Paris
Pinball City Paris is a new pinball game following in the steps of Pinball City New York, both developed by French company AnotherWay2Play.
It attempts to follow a simple storyline of an American tourist named Roger exploring turn of the century Paris with a beautiful French girl. Yes, there’s a bit of romance, and yes, there’s a bit of cheesy dialogue, but when it’s coupled with an airy, French-style soundtrack, it manages to capture a bit of the charm that we all associate with Paris.
HD graphics and a neat art style add a bit of life to the board, with multiple iconic Paris landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower or the Louvre. There are smaller areas that can be accessed, and there are several routes around the board that the ball can take. Things pop up randomly around the board after a certain number of hits, adding dialogue and detail to the story as the young lovers make their way through the streets.
And at first sight, the game’s great visual and auido presentation do a lot to make you feel engrossed in it. But there are a lot of shortcomings to the game that tended to pull me from the experience as well.
While the table looks fantastic, it still feels somewhat empty. There’s a massive blank area in the middle of the board that only fills with pop-up objectives occasionally, leaving a big, open space that feels like it could have used a bit more of design or detail added to it. And while there may be other areas to access, it feels way too easy to get stuck at the top of the board, bouncing off the same objects for several seconds at a time. The physics of the game are great, and the ball moves well, but you lose that satisfaction fairly quickly when you’re hitting the same things time and time again.
Maybe the most frustrating part of Pinball City Paris is, oddly enough, the most important part of the board: the flippers. The flippers operate with a touch on each side of the screen, but feel sticky and lagging in response compared to other pinball games. It can be game-ending when you can’t gauge the timing correctly due to having a slow flipper to send the ball back up the table.
A few technical issues made their way into my time with the game as well, with a handful of framerate issues and even the ocassional crash of the entire game. It got a bit frustrating when the game would chug or completely shut down on me in the middle of playing and caused me to go back and double check that I was running my iPad with the proper specs to support it. Alarmingly, I was.
Overall, Pinball City Paris is a good game that gets bogged down by several major issues; the table design isn’t necessarily inspiring, gameplay can be tricky with poor flipper response, and technical issues tended to occur enough during my time with the game to put a damper on my overall experience.
It has a lot of potential, and I’d love to see more from the developer in the future, but for now, the game falls to the same plague of mediocrity that so many other pinball games on iOS seem unable to break free of.