The Pinball Arcade (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Josh Di Falco 21.01.2019

Review for The Pinball Arcade on Nintendo Switch

Physical pinball tables are slowly becoming a relic of the past. Hard-to-find venues in cities across the world have led to the fear of losing permanent access to some of the more well-known, as well as obscure tables. But fret not, as FarSight Studios has committed itself to restoring some of the more prominent tables into digital format, with The Pinball Arcade. The base game is free, and it contains only the one table with Mary Shelley's Frankenstein by Stern Pinball. However, this does set the foundation for a variety of other DLC packs with additional tables to add to the mix.

The base mechanics of The Pinball Arcade serves to authentically replicate the feeling of playing on a real pinball table. Unlike some of the pinball offerings by Zen Studios, this experience does not have the powerups or absurdity of animation or effects that take place on the tables. In its place, is a faithful adaptation of playing real-life pinball tables, from the dated sound effects that ring out when bumpers are hit, to the poorly-spliced sound-bytes from the tables affiliated entertainment product.

Mary Shelley's Frankenstein pinball table was designed by John Borg in 1995, though it was while he was at Sega. The table artwork on the table and the backboard is as genuine to the real table as possible, while Robert De Niro's Frankenstein's head resides looming over the table itself. Though FarSight Studios have made his head movements a little smoother, instead of opting to keep the head's rickety head turns from the physical table, for authenticity's sake.

Screenshot for The Pinball Arcade on Nintendo Switch

…But all the sound bites still seem to remain, as well as the option to select either of the film's soundtrack, or Edgar Winter's Frankenstein edited riff music to play over the gameplay, which was also included in the physical table. The best sound-grab the table offers is in the opening seconds of starting the game, as the growl of "FRANKENSTEIN" rings out across the table. The aim of the table is to complete eight 'Creation' scenes from the 1994 film, initiate three different multi-balls, and reach the highest score possible for pure bragging rights in the online leader boards.

Unfortunately, FarSight studios doesn't offer anything else to beef up the package offering aside from the tables and leader boards. It would have been nice to have a series of achievements to try and knock off with some extra titbits to unlock such as table schematics, behind-the-scene documentary videos, or quite simply some animated models of the characters from the table like Pinball FX3. Other minor grievances is that from the four different cameras that are offered, there is no static camera that can zoom out to feature the table, without constantly needing to follow the ball to the back of the table.

One neat feature to the Switch version of The Pinball Arcade, is that when the console is undocked, the table view can be switched to a vertical scale. That way, the tables can be played with a longer but slimmer screen instead, which further mimics the feel of playing a real-life pinball table, minimising the somewhat annoying camera movements that take place in the game.

Screenshot for The Pinball Arcade on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 6 out of 10


FarSight Studios' attempt at replicating authentic pinball tables is on show here. While the base title only contains Mary Shelley's Frankenstein table, it is worth purchasing the additional table packs to bolster the different offerings. However, don't except anything more than that - this is purely a pinball experience without all the bells and whistles, and glitz and glamour of other digital pinball offerings. While some of the pinball tables may feel dated due to their time period, this is in fact the entire point of The Pinball Arcade. Aside from being used for nostalgic or educational purposes into the history of pinball, this is better suited for pinball purists who just want to spend many hours trying to achieve the ultimate glory in garnering the unreachable scores.




System 3


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 None   Australian release date Out now   


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