Pinball Parlor (PC) Review

By Gabriel Jones 05.04.2017

Review for Pinball Parlor on PC

Though its popularity has waned, pinball is a test of skill and focus that has endured for ages. This game captures the perfect balance between surface simplicity and awe-inspiring depth. Pinball Parlor harkens back to a vintage era, the late 70s. These were the days before LCD displays, dozens of tubes, and all the other bells and whistles became commonplace. Even if the lights don't flash quite as often, the hours of entertainment remain.

When it comes to presentation, Pinball Parlor succeeds on all fronts. The table is very authentic in terms of construction and art design. It definitely wouldn't look out of place in arcades of yesteryear. All of the objects, from the bumpers to the flippers, are modelled well and react accordingly to the on-screen action. However, seeing everything in the highest possible fidelity requires a fairly beefy PC. Thankfully, there is a "light weight" version for anyone rocking older processors and video cards. The difference between both settings isn't too dramatic, which is nice.

Despite the fact that the player is given five balls, the average session goes by very quickly. The table has a high drain rate, so careful management of every shot is a must. The key strategy is in nudging the cabinet in order to produce the desired results. A slight tap won't make a massive difference, but it might be the .1% chance someone needs to keep their ball in play. The cabinet can also be slightly pushed or firmly shoved in one of four directions. This is a much more effective technique, but pushing too hard results in the loss of one "tilt warning." More of these lifesavers can be earned through skilful play. Be careful, because once they're gone, the machine will tilt the next time it's shoved, which is an immediate game over.

Screenshot for Pinball Parlor on PC

Obtaining a high score depends on one's ability to manipulate shots, while making full use of their limited resources. There are also specific bonuses to work towards in every session. One of them, the "Generation Advance" bonus, involves hitting the lettered bumpers that spell out "PARLOR." Alternatively, hitting the drop target located just under the "L" is a slower but more consistent method for earning that specific award. Anyone interested in collecting letters should also focus on getting "AGAIN," which replenishes the ball stock. Finally, using the last ball to hit the baffle hole causes the player's score to double. In short, there are a handful of objectives to shoot for in every session.

The first few hours are going to be somewhat discouraging. Until they get a handle on everything, someone is liable to play through countless sessions, but have little if any progress to show for it. The high drain rate tends to be really frustrating as well. There's a kickback on the left side, but most drains happen because the ball falls in-between the flippers, which is rather surprising. It takes a lot of practice to get a handle on the finer points of the game. Utilising the analogue stick to nudge the cabinet in just the right way is exceedingly important. This requires a very careful hand, but eventually it'll become second nature.

Screenshot for Pinball Parlor on PC

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 6 out of 10


Pinball Parlor is very clearly aimed at enthusiasts. Grasping the mechanics behind nudging can take several hours. Getting an impressive score? That'll take even longer. The high skill barrier is bound to annoy players accustomed to more modern renditions of pinball. Still, if they're willing to put in the effort, they'll find a game that's unique compellingly and rewarding. With every session, they get a better idea of how it all works. Eventually, their time will be appropriately rewarded.






Table Games



C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


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