We applaud IUGO for throwing a contest to name its new pinball game — then making the right choice for the winner! Freeballin’ really sums up what this goofy pinballer is all about: having a good time without taking things too seriously.
There are a few ways to play Freeballin’ — including standard modes like Score Attack and Time Attack — but the real value is in the Adventure Challenge.
It’s a guided tour that shows all Freeballin has to offer. The game starts on one of four crazy layouts — Tiki Trouble, Monsteropolis, Dreams & Nightmares, and Neometric — and commence pinballin’, aiming for designated bumpers.
Hit these enough and a mission will kick off, presenting a simple task to complete within a time limit. For instance, on the Monsteropolis board, you might have to crack three giant eggs tucked into corners of the map. Success drops a token someplace on the board, which can be collected and spent later on power-ups, like extra balls.
After several missions, a special boss challenge opens up, usually in a secret room off the main board. Winning this grants you an artifact and an opportunity to choose another board. This mixture of missions and power-ups is more goal-oriented than pinball games usually get, and it’s a nice change of pace.
Freeballin’s other unique selling point is its imaginative graphics. The board themes are crazy — when we saw the giant octopus parked on top of the building in Monsteropolis for the first time, we just up and lost it! The animation’s fast and fluid, with the camera scrolling perfectly over boards spanning multiple screens.
We were a bit disappointed by the game’s physics, though. The only way to interact with the ball is with the flippers — you can’t shake, tilt or nudge the iPhone to put some English on the ball, and the ball didn’t always feel like it was moving realistically, especially when bouncing off objects in the environment.
Freeballin’ is a good pinball game provided that you don’t care about tournament-quality precision. With four unique multilevel boards — each with its own music — and online scoreboards, Freeballin’ is an excellent value for pinball fans.