Gameprom continues to impress us with their pinball titles, each one raising the bar at the time of their release. After spending hours playing The Deep and Wild West Pinball, both of which can currently be downloaded for free, we were eager to see if they could deliver yet another groundbreaking pinball game. As expected, they did just that, and then some. Jungle Style Pinball is the premier pinball game on the iPhone.
Like similar games on the App Store, the controls are as simple as tapping either side of the screen. Pinching in and out toggles between a view of the entire board and a close-up camera that follows the ball. You can also tilt the phone to shift your angle of view, while shaking ‘bumps’ the table. Nothing is more pleasing than pulling back the spring and letting it loose on the metal ball, though.
Many pinball games go to extreme lengths to make their foray into the genre unique and end up with an unrealistic mess, with shoddy physics and all kinds of odd contraptions that don’t work as expected. As complex as Jungle Style Pinball’s table is, it is completely authentic, from the LED strip-screen to the ball physics. Even the audio is spot-on. Under an eerily calming track of thumping African drums lies every subtle sound that an arcade machine would have. These small details make this virtual machine feel like reality.
Jungle Style Pinball has no UI, except for the LED bar at the top. This allowed us to immerse ourselves in the wonderful graphics. Some of the highlights include a crashed helicopter, a giant gorilla who goes by the name of Big Kong, and a Rastafarian sporting a beanie and smoking his pipe while multiple hula-girls pimp his style. Equally impressive are the winding wooden tracks, palm leaves that act as blockades, and the occasional totem poles that shoot out of the ground.
Hula hula hula.
Two features that take this exceptional pinball game to the next level are online leaderboards and auto-saving. The first is standard fare for Gameprom pinball games: the top ten scores of all time are listed in the game, and clicking a link will open Safari to show you the rest.
The other feature, auto-saving, is great for when you want to pick up the game for a few minutes but may not have time to finish it. Once you quit out of the app, it automatically saves your state and asks you if you would like to continue when launched again. We wish every game had this functionality.
Ultimately, we see ourselves playing Jungle Style Pinball for months to come. At $0.99, this game is an absolute steal.