The Pinball Arcade

Game review by
Paul Semel, Common Sense Media
The Pinball Arcade Game Poster Image
Fun recreations of classic pinball games.

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 4+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Some tables have images of the occult or partying.

Positive Role Models & Representations

No role models since this is pinball, but while playing you may defeat monsters, aliens, vampires, Terminators.

Ease of Play

Simple controls, easy to learn.

Violence

Game is nonviolent, though some tables are based on scary movies such as Terminator 2: Judgment Day, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, and Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and some are inspired by haunted houses, aliens, and The Twilight Zone TV show.

Sex

Two tables -- "Scared Stiff" and "Elvira and the Party Monsters" -- feature ample cleavage, tongue-in-cheek jokes about TV host Elvira.

Language

Double-entendre humor of TV host Elvira.

Consumerism

Offers new tables for sale on a regular basis, a Harley Davidson table, and a table based on gambling.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Pinball Arcade is a pinball game that features authentic recreations of real tables from the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, ’90s, and the '00s. Not only do they feature accurate physics, they also perfectly recreate the looks and sounds of these tables. But because some of these pinball machines were made more for bars than arcades, some tables are not for younger kids, especially kids who might be scared by pictures of Dracula, monsters, aliens, or Elvira. Though some versions of this game come with a bunch of tables, others are actually free, but you have to buy the tables either individually or as a "season" set. You can also play these table against others via your system's online service, which can expose them to inappropriate content.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bylux_nova August 3, 2018

Fun game with great physics and feel for pinball

No content issues really. Features graphics through the ages, some from the 70s and 80s can be a bit scantily clad. Mild rude/ suggestive theme and speech. A... Continue reading
Parent of a 9 year old Written byProShadowLord 1. March 29, 2018

Very violent

It’s very violent gave it to my son and took it back 5 minutes later. Only for 18 and up
Teen, 13 years old Written byybco124 June 2, 2015

wow

why put it as age 10 its just a pin ball game and it doesnt contain any violance at all. its a ok game and i think anyone should let there children play this.

What's it about?

THE PINBALL ARCADE brings back the fun of vintage pinball tables by perfectly recreating tables from the 1960s up through the 2000s. With more than 50 tables to chose from, all boasting realistic physics, authentic visuals, and sound effects, this has something for both hard-core pin-heads as well as someone who's never known the joy of flipping a flipper. It also offers brief histories on the tables, as well as the option to purchase newly recreated pinball machines on a regular basis. Though some versions of the game (such as the PS4 one) come with a dozen or so tables, other versions (such as the Xbox One edition) are free but only come with one table, so users will have to purchase and download ones they like.

Is it any good?

For serious pinball fans, The Pinball Arcade is a digital dream. Not only does it bring back the fun of classic pinball tables from the '60s up to the '00s, but it does so with the real physics, mechanics, and sound effects intact. It also offers a wide variety, as currently more than 50 tables are available, with more being added all the time. They even include little histories on each table, with fun facts for fans. You also can try out these new tables for free on some systems. But the real fun comes when you pull back the plunger and let the balls fly like you did when you were a kid -- or last week when you went to that new arcade and pizza restaurant that just opened.

That said, The Pinball Arcade isn’t without flaws. For starters, many of these tables were designed to get all your quarters, so the difficulty level on some of them can be rather steep. Also, because the original tables didn't let you turn the music down or off, you can't do that with these versions either, which can be kind of annoying when you're playing a table with particularly bad or just dated music. The game's menus also are a bit unwieldy if you own more than a dozen tables. These are minor issues for pinball fans or players curious about these machines, and the depth of The Pinball Arcade makes this a fun way to pass the time with friends and family, without having to rely on a change machine.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how pinball can be fun and challenging without being violent, story-driven, or even competitive. Can you think of reasons why more pinball games aren't made?

  • Families can talk about the role pinball played in the history of video games. How do you think pinball games led us to arcade games?

  • Families can talk about the role pinball played in their lives. Does anyone have fond memories of going to an arcade to play pinball? Is there somewhere near you that has real pinball machines you can play?

Game details

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