Pinball FX2

In 2013 I stumbled over Pinball FX on steam, a platform to play games on win, Mac and Linux as well as mobile systems. You just need win XP (and later) with Dual Core 1.6ghz and 1 GB RAM and DirectX 9! Its by Zen studios since 2007. In the free download of steam is hosted the log-in of your account, the community etc.

Pinball FX2 (guess first table was released in may 2013) offers about 32 (new ones are released regular with themes based on film- or action heroes) tables for purchase and getting more. Single ones are about 2,99, bundles at ca. 9,99 EUROS. You may be lucky and get one in a special offer.

Can be played offline. Features like www.high-score will be missing. I have played 31 pinsims (june 15), a first impression seems possible as most tables play very much alike.

The installation is rather easy. The start/connection to steam takes a little time. Starting or adjustments are easy to find (keybord or Xbox controller), but some klicks are necessary. There are some camera-views to engage (scrolling as well for mobile systems).

The physics are ok the graphics are very good. Just the little ball jumping on the flippers lessens the good impression. Nice animations of figures unfortunatly only few animated targets... Tilt is rather strong and unnatural, 3 times in short time will tilt.

The display that is too large seems overloaded and the score is shown too small. The score of targets etc is displayed directly in the playfield/ near targets. Irritating are special scores for tasks/targets almost not indicated (how much points or where) - on regular pinsims there are usually lighted textboxes/decals/arrows showing the next score or where a special score can be reached.
Without the tasks you won`t get near any high scores. Many scores are 10.000, special scores are >= 1.000.000 but I never notice when. The counting seems to get higher with repeated hits with a high hit-score at the end. Thereafter the counting of this target/ramp starts low from the beginning. It seems ramps etc may not get more points than bumpers or slingshots until the extrapoints. You may have a ball for several minutes but rather up to no points.

Balls will last in most pinsims rather long. A kick-back (left+right!) can be easyly activated mostly by lightning the in/outlanes. How to increase the bonus multiplier is in many pinsims a mystery for me.
Long games don`t mean necessarily high scores. There are some in game specials but I couldn`t crack many of them yet. So the pinsims start quite interesting with smooth playing, masses of ramps, sparse targets, spinners and holes. After several games it gets boring because you may play too long for nothing. Several MB`s are standard and some tables have small and rather poor extra playfields.

To play those high-scores posted in the web, I guess you play half a day at least! That`s one reason I don`t like the way of counting that seems very similar in all FX-pinsims.

To see screenshots and the reviews of these Pinball FX2 tables I use jalbum with the

turtle skin for Pinball FX2

Turtle seems to be a good alternative to fotoplayer, that based on Flash.

Turtle is easy to use:

The reviews were done regarding the following aspects:
# of balls: FX has 3 balls per game.
graphics: The very good graphics are based on the tabletheme. Valued is the interpretation of the theme, the way animated figures, targets, ramps etc are used. Sometimes I would have wished for more animated targets/gimmicks in the game itself.
lost: Some tables will kill your ball in short time=6. As well as bad is a ball that just won´t get lost.
fun: Most important. Is it fun playing the table. Even tables with a bad "lost" rating may be fun (with a rare good ball) playing.
game: Important. Do you have a chance with a good ball to hit the jackpot and other features of the table? Are there tasks to play for and/or timers used.
table layout: Important. A pinsim looses his attractivness when there are only some targets and spinners to hit. The same applies to repeated hit targets that always count the same. Are there many targets, spinners, holes, ramps or other features to play for? The more the better.

A #1 is good wheras #6 is a bad mark. As reviews depend on the person who makes them, these reviews and ratings are therefore subjectiv.

Of course my personal highscore mustn`t be missing (almost every www-high-score is expanded by the factor of at least 10). That means hours of playing a table !
At the end perhaps a small summary if there is something to say about the table.