Apple Arcade have been throwing out some absolute bangers over the last few years.
In fact, many of the titles you’ve probably been enjoying recently originated there, whether it’s Shovel Knight Dig, Knotwords, Sayonara Wildhearts, The Last Campfire, to name but a few.
I wouldn’t say The Pinball Wizard has quite the same quality and pedigree as some of those, but it’s still a wonderful fit on Switch and a game you’ll find yourself coming back to pretty often.
It’s standard pinball fare, but set in a castle. And you’re not bouncing around a small metallic sphere, but an actual wizard, with a hat and everything.
The aim is to reach the top of the course, or sometimes the room across, to get through a locked door and progress up the stairs to the next floor.
There’s barrels to bounce around with that contain health and energy. And that energy can be spent on cool little upgrades like dash attacks and magic orbs which you can throw at unsuspecting minions.
Speaking of, there’s plenty of those crawling around the course to make your job infinitely more difficult. However, you will need to bounce around them in order to drop the key needed to unlock the door above.
As you might expect, courses get a lot trickier, with more enemies to fight, obstacles to fight through and layers to factor in. There’s even Daily Dungeons so you can dip in and out to regularly test your skills at the highest level.
So it’s a progression based pinballer with a soft, cute artstyle, that’s also layered with substance to keep things interesting and varied. And it plays really well on Switch.
On mobile, I sometimes found it trickier to line up my finger presses with bumpers, but on Switch, of course, you’ve got actual bumpers you can tap. The game even supports full touch screen if you still prefer to play that way.
It’s the perfect port of the Apple Arcade game but it’s also made infinitely better with Switch’s stunning OLED screen and it’s range of control options.
As a game, it’s definitely best played in short blasts. Unlike some of the others mentioned above, it’s also quite clearly a mobile-engineered title with its level structure and pick up and play nature.
You can’t deny how enjoyable it is, though, and its sense of originality in a heavily crowded space to create something so distinct and enjoyable.
Content is a little bit limited still, despite the daily dungeons, and the game could use a few different enemy types to really compliment the amount of skills you have on offer. From an aesthetic point of view as well, you’ll feel like you’ve been looking at the same backdrop a hundred times over before the end.
But this is still the great game you played on Apple Arcade, now on a much bigger Switch screen and it helps the game to breathe like never before, allowing its assets to truly pop and to get the full scale of the game’s quality. Especially the boss battle!
The Pinball Wizard is enjoyable for quick blasts and in-between action. It has an enjoyable progression based hook and paces itself well with increased difficulty and fun skillsets to unlock. Enemy and environment variety is limited, though, and from a content point of view the game could benefit with a bit more of everything to fill out the experience, especially to match the amount of skills you have on offer.
+ Control variety is great on Switch
+ Looks better than ever on OLED
+ Fun progression based hook that works well in short blasts
– Content is a bit thin
– Enemy and environmental variety could be more substantial
The Pinball Wizard comes to Nintendo Switch on October 27. Out now on Apple Arcade.
Played on Switch
Code Kindly Provided by Frosty Pop