Of all the classic games that you may not have thought needed an update for the 21st century, pinball was probably one of them.
What a surprise it is then that PinOut manages to take the humble pinball machine and turn it into one of the best platform games out there.
It's slickly presented, brilliantly balanced in terms of difficulty, and sports a wonderful soundtrack that you wouldn't expect for such a game.Balls of steel
PinOut handles much the same as any other pinball game. You have two flippers that you control by tapping on the left or right of the screen, and a small steel ball that you have to knock about the place.
You can hold the flippers in place to control your shots and make them more precise, and you need to make sure your shots are precise to get where you're going.
That, however, is where the similarities end. Instead of racking up high scores, PinOut instead tasks you with progressing through a series of maze-like boards as quickly as possible.
You'll need to fire the ball into specific paths to send it further up the track, with multiple routes at each juncture to test your skill and tempt you into finding secrets.
You can collect extra time from glowing white dots along certain paths, and when you reach a checkpoint your remaining time is saved, allowing you to return to that point in a new game with a huge advantage.
There's also hidden power-ups to collect that can affect how time works, and minigames to play which give a further boost to your remaining timeBalls to the wall
It all handles wonderfully too – PinOut is a little loose with its physics, working in your favour to slow the ball down when needed and push you beyond some areas should you need it.
It can also be slightly unforgiving, especially when you're just starting out. You'll find yourself stuck on certain passages, hitting the ball wildly and praying for a miracle.
But when you get into the flow, working your way from screen to screen like a pinball wizard, the game is majestic.
And even when you have to face the crushing horror of watching your ball roll back two screens after a misjudged shot, you'll still be pumped and ready to go back out and push yourself further.
This is due in no small part to the fantastic soundtrack, which builds in intensity as you progresses and perfectly matches the hyper-neon '80s vibe coursing through PinOut's entire being.Have a ball
It's a truly one-of-a-kind game, that manages to encapsulate excellent visual design, a great soundtrack, smooth gameplay, and short bursts of fun perfectly suited to mobile.
It can be a little tough to start with, but once you're in the zone, PinOut rewards your skill with new challenges to face and twists on its own gameplay that you won't predict.
In short, it's an essential download. It's not pinball in the traditional sense – it's something so much better.