Journey into the darkest dungeons in search of monsters, bosses, treasure, and.. clinky tinkly sound effects? Yes, this is The Pinball Adventure, a pinball game with an RPG theme that wins today's prize for unlikeliest genre crossover. Made by Michael Gribbin (maker of Pyro) and David Robinson, the game pits your tiny white ball and flipper manipulation skills against the pixel monstrosities of Hades itself. Better bring some extra quarters.
Controls are pretty much what you'd expect for pinball: [left arrow] or [W] for the left flipper, [right arrow] or [D] for right flipper, [down arrow] or [S] to control the plunger. [Space] pauses. Your aim, of course, is to score as many points as possible. The board is on the left, containing clusters of enemies and other areas such as ball locks. As you kill clusters of enemies, different enemy groups may spawn, and once you have cleared a certain number of waves (counted in the center in the board) a mini-boss will appear. Keep going, and you may even get to fight a real boss. On the right side of the screen you can check on current bounties, which are random and include quests such as killing 20 skulls or finding a path to the treasure chest.
The Pinball Adventure's developers consider it to be more of a proof of concept than a full-blown game, and they are actively seeking ideas for improvements and a sequel. The most glaring issue is probably the lack of tilt. It would be great to see them expand the RPG elements into an all-out RPG/pinball hybrid, perhaps by gaining levels and abilities through enemy killing, giving enemies the ability to attack your ball, or even a storyline. I for one am eager to hear the legend of Ballie, the little Spheroid that could. In the meantime, The Pinball Adventure is a brief but fun coffee break game.
Thanks to Michele for sending this one in!