Pinball hasn't changed much in the past 80 years.
Despite the new coat of glitz and polish that's been slapped on every branded pinball app or mini-game, the premise is still more or less the same: flap the flippers, watch some lights flash, and try not to let the ball roll down the centre.
Happily, Momonga Pinball Adventure isn't your typical pinball app. It's a full-on adventure game full of side-quests, hidden chambers, and the occasional boss fights.
It may be masquerading as a pinball game, but don't let the plunger and the flippers fool you.Wax on, wax off
The plot of Momonga (when is the last time you've played a pinball game with plot?) kicks off when the Momo tribe of flying squirrels is raided by a rapacious rabble of ruthless owls.
As the sole Momo left behind after the raid, Momonga sets out on an epic quest to rescue his friends from the talons of the enemy.
This quest is broken down into stages, and in each stage Momonga takes on the role of the ball that you have to paddle towards the goal.
These sections are identical to table pinball, with one button controlling the left flipper and another controlling the right.Pinball ninja
Despite the mechanic similarities, however, Momonga isn't a reskinned game of pinball. Instead of endless gameplay with a high score to obsessively chase after, Momonga offers players discrete levels each with their own series of objectives.
Sometimes these objectives are simple (smash all the rocks), while other times they require a good bit of finessing (stealing your mentor's staff), but they all provide a good bit more depth than your standard pinball table can.
On a few occasions, Momonga will take flight between portions of a stage, giving you a welcome break from the pinball mechanics of the level objectives. While airborne, the game switches to intuitive tilt controls that let you manoeuvre Momonga around obstacles in a quest to collect stars.
The effect, while hardly earth-shattering in terms of gameplay, is a profound one for the overall feel of Momonga. These little aerial interludes remind you that this isn't pinball as you know it.
But Momonga Pinball Adventures still has plenty of challenges to offer the titans of the tables. Most level segments in Momonga are played on relatively short tables, which limits the amount of time you have to rest and plan between shots.
In the end, Momonga Pinball Adventures is to pinball what a deck of Knightmare Chess cards is to the game of Kings. It changes everything about the game that it can while leaving the core mechanics untouched.
And, like Knightmare Chess cards, Momonga transforms pinball into an entirely new gaming experience that will appeal to veterans and newcomers alike.