February 18 2011They will never be quite like the old arcade pinball machines with roll digits, but online pinball simulations are getting incredibly realistic and there are no quarters required. Free pinball has become a way for companies to promote their brand and encourage people to visit their Web sites. While most of these games use Flash and they're not as responsive or precise as stand-alone pinball games, they are convenient and free.
Pinbrawl offers several challenging and fast tables with good high score lists. The games use Shockwave with impressive graphics and physics, as well as some cool sounds. Along with the original Pinbrawl, you can now play Footbrawl and Ice House Pinbrawl, although they're lower resolution than some of the other games on this list.
Power Pinball features a large table that scrolls with the ball and has several different sections, one of which acts like a second table. There's a lot going on in this game, with all kinds of fruits and vegetables to aim for, as well as the possibility of unleashing multiple balls. It's a neat layout, but the flippers tend to stick and they feel too soft even when they're working.
The movie wasn't all that memorable, but this pinball game on the official Starsky & Hutch site is a lot of fun. It's large enough most LCDs, ball movement can get blistering fast but the flippers are more responsive than most which makes up for it a little. While it's one of the few Flash pinball games that will let you set up you own controls, it doesn't seem to save high scores properly.
This unusual adaptation of pinball uses a small round table that generates a variety of targets as the game progresses. True to it's name, the action in RapidMotion is lightening fast, and there can be multiple balls in action at the same time. It's a high speed diversion from more traditional pinball games.
WildSnake Software has created a 3D simulation of soccer pinball using Java. This is a head-to-head variation of pinball which you play against a computer opponent. Although quite different from traditional pinball, it's a nice size, it has sharp graphics and nudge controls, but the ball motion seems a little off at times.