Originally published at: Review | Touchdown Pinball - XboxEra
Touchdown Pinball hit our inbox as part of the weekly ID@Xbox games drops. I’ve always been a pinball appreciator. The skill that goes into making real-life tables can be incredible and seeing that recreated in a medium that allows you to go a bit extra is always fun. This is a standalone game that comes with just one table, but it’s only the very weird price of $2.54 US. For that price, it might be worth it if you’re looking to kill a half hour or so.
As best I can tell this table is not based on the real-life Touchdown Pinball arcade machine. This is an extremely light package, which the price should have immediately clued you in on. There is one fully 3D pinball machine, set in a small room filled with nerd regalia. The basic rules of the game are you try to complete eight different missions and get your 1000 Gamerscore. The missions are broken down into bizarre versions of “get a touchdown” which sees you have to knock down four defenders in the middle of the table. Once they’re down you can shoot up the ramp to enter a digital version of pinball with four paddles.
The physics inside this digital version feel terrible, but if you succeed in getting down the field you’ll cross the goal line and finish the mission, awarding big points and getting you an achievement. Most of the achievements are tied to getting a high score and getting the full 1000 should be easy. The feel of the main table itself is decent. Your pinball has a good weight to it, though I did find that hitting both paddles every time could send it flying at Mach speeds in an unrealistic way.
Graphically the game is fine for what it is, though I found the music to be far too loud and in the way. Sound effects on the table are muffled, to try and imitate the sounds of an older-style table. The ball, bumper, and general paddle hits sound fine but you’ll want to turn the background music down. The music says “bad renaissance fair” to me more than football. The only controls in the game are your paddles on each trigger, the plunger on your right stick or d-pad, and shaking the table with the X button. There are bonuses for skill shots and a trigger for a multi-ball phase. The camera moves upwards in the latter to help you see the full table, but it felt a bit too far out for me.
This is a decent time waster, that’ll get you a bunch of Gamerscore. It’s not a good game, but it’s cheap, and you’ll see your numbers go up. Sometimes that’s all you need out of a couple of bucks and thirty minutes of your time.