Bethesda Pinball

App review by
Paul Semel, Common Sense Media
Bethesda Pinball App Poster Image
Enjoyable, inventive spin on pinball based on popular games.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of Play

Simple touch controls, but, like real pinball, easy to learn but difficult to master.

Violence

Some disturbing imagery, such as skulls, other occult visuals.

Sex
Language
Consumerism

Tables can be purchased either individually, together; players can opt for one free table, then use in-game currency that's won, bought to play rounds on other two. Players can also use real-world money to improve amount of currency earned through winning.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Bethesda Pinball is a trio of video game pinball machines that are inspired by the games Doom and The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim and the ones in the Fallout series. While there's some dark imagery, there are no acts of violence nor any inappropriate content. Each table is sold separately and as a group, but players can also download the app for free and pick one table to play when connected to the internet. They can then use in-game currency to play rounds on the other two table, with that currency either won by beating other player's scores, or by purchasing currency with real-world money. Players can also buy temporary boosts that will give them even more currency when they win. Read the app's privacy policy in the "Legal Resources" section of the game's "Options" menu or on the game's website to find out about the information collected and shared.

User Reviews

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What's it about?

BETHESDA PINBALL is a stand-alone collection of three virtual pinball tables that are inspired by the sci-fi shooter Doom, the fantasy adventure game The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim, and the postapocalyptic adventure games in the Fallout series. While they don't have stories of their own, being pinball machines, they do incorporate narrative elements -- as well as visual elements, sound design elements, and gameplay elements -- from their respective games.

Is it any good?

With realistic but creative tables inspired by popular titles, this arcade simulation is as fun for pinball fans as it is for lovers of the original games. Made by the people behind Zen Pinball (for which you can also buy these tables), Bethesda Pinball is a stand-alone app that presents a trio of virtual pinball tables that pair realistic physics and sound effects with unrealistic mechanics. So while the ball rolls around like it would on a real table, and sounds like it as well, the tables have physically impossible mechanics. For instance, the Skyrim table has a dragon flying over it, and he occasionally sets the table on fire. All three also have plenty of fan service that goes beyond the visuals and sound effects, such as how Fallout and Skyrim have you create a character whose attributes slightly affect the gameplay. As for how they compare, the best of the bunch is Doom, which is the most elaborate and challenging. But while the other two are less complex, they're still engaging, as them being relatively unencumbered means the balls move quickly around the table. All of which is why, like this app's counterparts on console and PC, the tables in Bethesda Pinball will be hard to walk away from.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about budgeting your money. This game gives you the option to buy all three tables or to spend money to play them a couple times, but what are the advantages and disadvantages to both, and which do you think works best for you?

  • Talk about the history of video games. How do you think pinball games led us to arcade games?

  • Discuss physics. How does pinball use physics? What can it teach us about physics?

App details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love arcade games

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