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The art of pinball

Sign up to receive each week’s Playlist e-mail here! Also check out our full, interactive Playlist section. INKS (iOS) BY STATE OF PLAY GAMES Pinball is something of a lost art. With the glory days of arcades and The Who’s rock opera Tommy (1969) behind us, the Pinball Wizard may appear to have lost his luster. But State of Play’s INKS is breathing new life into this arcane mode of play, by making the pinball machine double up as a blank canvas for painters. From the creators of Lumino City (2014), the game brings a similarly tactile approach to design. Instead of flashing colors, your ball hits…

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Inks will turn pinball into beautiful paintings

What’s the opposite of a pinball purist? Whatever it is, that’s me. Don’t get me wrong: I don’t mind pinball as a physical table game. It’s the translation to videogames that often bores me. The effort made is usually to simulate the table experience as accurately as possible. Yawn. This is a videogame—you are free of the bounds of the real world, do something else with the pinball format, geez. There have been a few examples of pinball videogames with a lick of something fresher over the years. Sonic Spinball (1993), Devil’s Crush (1990), Rollers of the Realm (2014); they…

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Prepare to agonize over moral choices in the Walking Dead pinball game. Yes, really

In one of the most unlikely crossovers yet, Telltale is bringing their trademark zombie apocalypse-inspired moral choices to the pinball table. You won’t just be shooting the silver ball off bumpers to crush the undead then up a ramp to load Kenny’s pickup when the game comes out later this summer. The virtual table by Zen Studios will have legitimate crises of conscience, where you making decisions about who to save and who to leave behind for zombie fodder, just like the acclaimed adventure game.  This is great news if you long to return to those bleak but content days…

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The five most essential skills to become a pinball wizard

Hold onto your plunger: Pinball, that great equalizer and last refuge from the Golden Era of Arcades, is making a comeback. The folks of Professional and Amateur Pinball Association [PAPA] might argue it’s never left us: shoved into dark corners or unfairly ignored, perhaps, but never gone completely. In fact, they’ve been hosting international competition at their Pittsburgh, PA headquarters for years. After the 2004 championships, the building was wiped out by a devastating flood. Every table: destroyed. Such was the drive to carry on their mission, the facility and collection of machines was entirely rebuilt in time for next…