Pinball HD: Like a Really Excellent Physics Lesson
I’ve been thinking about pinball lately. There’s not a lot of pinball in Argentina (though there’s a lot of foosball), but where there is a machine, my six year old and I always play a game. He takes the left flipper and I own the right. I have to lift him up so he can track the ball and sort of maneuver myself so he can flip the flipper and I can also flip my flipper and maybe we can keep the ball going for just a few extra seconds. It’s awkward, but there’s something about the physicality of pinball that I want my son to enjoy. There’s a real skill to avoiding the dreaded TILT and aiming the ball in the just-right path that will double our score.
We need to practice our aim and seeing the strategy of the entire table (so said the interaction designer) and we can’t just wait till we see a random machine to get our practice. We’ve been playing Pinball HD from the Intel AppUp® center. It’s the closest thing we’ve found to the actual experience of playing on a pinball machine. Because it’s HD, the game play gives us the feeling that we’re practicing on a real machine and I can slow down the action so my son can see where we should be aiming the ball and the angles at which it’ll ricochet off the flippers. It’s one part fun, one part physics lesson.
I know what you’re thinking. And yes, it’s still fun! So fun, in fact, that my son is using his new skills to bounce balls off the walls and aim them right at his baby brother. Very fun! For him.
Have you tried Pinball HD? Tell me what you think!