Saturday, August 30th, 2014
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Just in Time for the World Cup - FCB Pinball Review

FCB PInball Review - iOS

By: Alan M. Wasserman - 06/24/14

This review is mighty timely as the World Cup is entering the final rounds of Group play moving to the Round of 16. FCB Pinball tries to bring some of the fast play and ball bouncing we see with the La Liga team FC Barcelona to the pinball table. The table is well laid out, with your standard Pinball components. Two sets of flippers, 3 bumpers up top to rack up points as well two sets of targets at the top of the table. Spell KICK by passing your ball through the gates and get multipliers, to the upper right hit three very hidden targets and get Football Frenzy, which as near as I can tell just spins a platform with a Soccer (football) ball on top of it. The target in the middle of the table is a goal complete with a moving goalie who tries to keep your ball out of the goal. Scoring a Hat Trick (that‘s three balls in the net) with the third goal into the right hand side of the net will get you a multiball. Score a Hat Trick into the left hand side and you get a challenge mode where you are aiming at specific parts of the table. If you can roll over PASS at the bottom of the table then you get a free kick for 30 seconds (extra ball), the free kick is also active for about 15 seconds after initial launch to keep you playing when whiff with the flipper. The table has two ramps at which to aim as well as a “Danger Zone” target to hit. If you can enter the “Danger Zone” (cue up Kenny Loggins) you net a cool 3 million points. However, you only have 15 seconds after launching the ball to enter the “Danger Zone” making it both a skill and luck shot.

The game plays pretty much like every touch device pinball game I have played.  You pull your finger back to launch the ball, tap the sides of the screen to activate the flippers and you can tilt the device to nudge the table. The flippers have good response time and the ball launch is sensitive enough to be able to put as much, or little, touch on the ball as you want.  The animations and sounds are good and the game runs smooth without ever lagging or crashing.  There are multiple angles at which to play, I however prefer the angle 2 which lets you see the whole table without the camera darting around to follow the ball.

The big issue I have with this game is that is not as exciting or advanced as some of the other Pinball games out there. Zen Studios sets a very high bar to reach with its themed tables and complex game play. I venture there are not more complex tables in the real world than what Zen puts into its games. The fact that Zen Pinball is free and gives you a couple of great tables with tons of replay value, makes me wonder why one would pay $2.99 for the smaller and less complex table you get here with FCB Pinball. FCB also does not track local high scores and relies on GameCenter to track a single high score comparing you against all the people in the world playing the game.

Playing for a few hours on this table made me ready to move onto another table with other challenges. It’s a great time waster and if you are waiting at a doctor’s office for an appointment or to talk to a lawyer I would recommend this game. If you are forced to put the game down while playing you won’t feel like you are walking away from a huge time investment.  The fluid game play is what makes this game, but stacked up with its competition it falls reasonably short. I give it a 4 out of 10.


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