Best Handheld Pinball Games
Sonic, Pikachu and Kirby go for the high score.
Long before Space Invaders, Pac-Man and Street Fighter II appeared on the scene, pinball was the undisputed champ of the arcade. Hundreds if not thousands of competitive players matched ball-flipping skills to see who could achieve the highest scores.
Of course, the rise of video games in the 70s and 80s spelled doom for pinball, but the game's made a comeback, as hardcore enthusiasts track down classic and new machines.
In fact, there have been quite a few pinball video games on a variety of platforms, even handhelds. On that note, here are some of the coolest pinball games to ever hit a portable system.
Pokemon Pinball (Game Boy Color- 1999)
Nintendo, no stranger to video game pinball, delivered a fine Pokemon spin-off for its Game Boy Color, where players score points by flipping a Poke Ball around the screen. What sets it apart from other pinball games is the ability to capture 151 different Pokemon, which adds a cool incentive to play.
Pokemon Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire (Game Boy Advance- 2003)
Having achieved success with Pokemon Pinball, Nintendo turned its attention to GBA, or most notably, Ruby & Sapphire. This sequel features two tables (one for each game), an item shop, the option of collecting battle monsters and snazzier graphics.
Sonic Pinball Party (Game Boy Advance- 2003)
Sega's pinball game for GBA is the ultimate form of fan service, with tables that pay homage to Sonic the Hedgehog, NiGHTS and Samba de Amigo, complete with music from each. It may not be the best pinball game out there, but it sure is fun to listen to.
The Pinball of the Dead (Game Boy Advance- 2002)
Once again, Sega delivered a cool pinball experience on the GBA, this time with zombies. Based on its House of the Dead franchise, the goal is to destroy undead monsters with the ball, watching it splatter the flesh eating freaks while ricocheting off objects. The fact that it contains classic tunes from the series, most notably The House of the Dead 2, is a huge bonus.
Metroid Prime Pinball (DS- 2005)
Even bounty hunter Samus Aran starred in her own pinball game, inspired by the popular first person GameCube trilogy. The ability to destroy enemies while catchy music plays in the background helped propel Metroid Prime Pinball to cult status, but the real kicker was the included rumble pack accessory that plugged into the GBA port and delivered force feedback.
War Pinball (iPhone/iPad- 2011)
Gameprom made a name for itself on the App Store with a handful of critically acclaimed pinball titles, but the company took its talents to a whole other level with War Pinball. The team partnered with MGM Studios to create three tables featuring classic films like Navy Seals, Missing in Action and Platoon, complete with machine gun fire and audio clips from the movies. A guilty pleasure, to say the least.
Kirby's Pinball Land (Game Boy- 1994)
Even Kirby, the adorable pink puffball, received his own pinball game. The Game Boy classic comes with three tables and bosses Kirby will need to defeat to reach his arch nemesis, King Dedede.
Mario Pinball Land (Game Boy Advance- 2004)
Mario's pinball adventure almost didn't make the list, simply because it scored all over the place.
Turns out, we don't love or hate the game. Rather, we're someplace in the middle. Nintendo and Fuse Games took a bold step with Mario Pinball Land, ditching the standard conventions of pinball for an adventure hybrid, where Mario collects stars to rescue Princess Peach. Experimental? Definitely. Kind of fun. Yes, in a strange way.