#544 Flipnic

Posted: 22nd October 2017 by Jeroen in Games
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642nd played so far

Genre: Pinball
Platform: Playstation 2
Year of Release: 2003
Developer: Sony Computer Entertainment
Publisher: Ubisoft

There are three pinball games on the list. We played the first chronologically – Pinball Dreams – five years ago and as we approach two thirds of the entire list, we are playing the second nearly half a list later. The last – also chronologically – is one we’re keeping until near the end. Less than four years until that point!

So today the middle entry, with the Playstation 2 game Flipnic. Beyond this being a pinball game with (presumably) multiple boards, I’m not quite sure how they would have updated the formula for the modern day.

Our Thoughts

Flipnic is indeed a lot more complex than previous pinball games I’ve played. There’s some clearly impossible actions in there – balls jumping or defying gravity, all looking smooth but going too long from what should be possible. It looks amazing, though, and achieves natural progression between the different parts of a board.

Because there are multiple fields per level – usually a core one that branches off to various other places. It is of course still thematically consistent, but there are a lot of fun parts to it and the challenge at times really is to get to the right board to unlock your next quests.

You see, quests are a big thing in this pinball game. You need to get your ball to various boards and use the right tactics (most often involving hitting and breaking things down, or hitting your balls up a long slope, platforming using flippers). They’re fun in giving you a goal to work towards and finding specifics to do on each board.

Unfortunately, they are also tied into the game’s unlock structure, which means you’re stuck with the first board and short outings on about three more. And while there are plenty of optional objectives as well, the main ones are actually quite difficult – I struggled to get to the first set, never really played too much with later boards.

And that’s a shame, because having played about ten minutes each of the later levels, they were as amazing and fun to play – and quite different. It’s a game that, despite the limited control you have, rewards exploration and trying things, and the quests make that harder than seems necessary. For a pinball game, they’ve done a lot to make it bigger and more special in a way that you can only do in a video game version. I need to explore it further some day.