Before the days of Pinball Wizard and The Who, there was an even earlier version of pinball, called Ballyhoo, that saw the light of day in the 1930s. It was an evolution of bagatelles, which are a few hundred years old, and even lacked the flippers we know so well today. And like so many other retro games, Ballyhoo now has a home on the App Store in the form of Ballywoo – The Game Sensation of 1932.
Ballywoo is about as simple as a game can get. Your entire screen is taken up by a board full of pegs, with nine pockets and two holes for the balls to fall into. Each nest has a point designation, and one hole doubles your score, while the other sinks the ball.
Helping you forget about the Great Depression.
All you do is flick the ball from its starting chute using a chosen amount of force, and watch it fall. There are two modes: five-ball and ten-ball, but the only difference between the two is how many balls you are allotted.
That’s all there is to it. The simplicity is attractive, and the game can be addictive thanks to OpenFeint integration, which provides leaderboards for the two modes. All the same, the game really doesn’t have enough to keep us coming back to it after our first few plays.
If the game was a collection of bagatelles and other antique games, it would be more appealing. As it is, however, there is a finite number of points that you can get, which limits the appeal to gamers not looking for a quick, retro arcade-style fix.