Pinball is a proven arcade classic, and this Sony spin-off is lifted straight from the corner of a grimy, basement rock bar – just minus the stench of vomit and Jägermeister.
While the gameplay was always unlikely to surprise, the success of a pinball game is in the details. Pinball Rocks is packaged with five tables designed around major rock bands from the Sony catalogue – including Slayer, Alice in Chains, AC/DC and Bullet For My Valentine. The tables are designed with care, taking the visual style of each band and creating a shrine to their legacy with all the usual flippers, bumpers and chasms.
So, why does Pinball Rocks leave a sour aftertaste? The problem is that it feels more like a store for Sony products than it does a game for rock fans. While the app is free to download, each band table costs nearly £2 to unlock and then there are songs and upgrades on top of that which are sold through Google Play Music. Ugly menu screens and intrusive advertising also hurt the experience, getting in the way of what began as a strong concept.
Even so, if you're a particular fan of any of the featured bands, then £2 will seem a small price to pay for a playful bit of Pinball memorabilia. Just don't bother if you're a casual listener.
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THE BOTTOM LINE
Pinball Rocks is a collectors items for metal fans, but hardly worth bothering without a vested interest in one of the four featured bands. A missed opportunity.
Current version: 1.0
Requires Android: 2.3.3 and up