Okay, so here's a little confession about me; I never really outgrew my four year old "OMG I LOVE DINOSAURS" phase. I just suppressed it. Spinosaurus is the most badass land carnivore of all time FIGHT ME YOU KNOW IT'S TRUE. I also absolutely LOVE pinball. I've got close to $200 worth of Pinball Arcade content on my PS4, and I have probably $20 of Zen Pinball 3 content downloaded on my Switch. When i saw Jurassic Pinball pop up on the Switch eShop, then, I was naturally stoked. Pinball AND dinosaurs? Dude, sign me up.
It was a trap. The cake was a lie. There were four lights. Bigfoot really was in San Andreas. Half-Life 3 exists. Whatever analogy for "I WAS TRICKED" you want to use, do it, because I was lured in like a pandolid shrimp to an anglerfish. Oh, only $1.99? That's about $1.50 more than this game is worth. It's only one single table which, honestly, I wouldn't mind paying $2 for it it were a decent table. There's potential based on the table design, but the physics are all wrong. I get that I've been spoiled by The Pinball Arcade, but nothing about Jurassic Pinball feels like a real pinball table. It's one of those things that's hard to put into words, but the physics just feel all wrong, and it's not just one aspect. Everything feels wrong from the ball's movement, to the flippers reaction, to the bumpers, to the general momentum of the table. It all just feels...off. And that's the last thing you want in a video pinball game.
Visually, the game looks fine - not impressive but not atrocious - and the sound design is...okay...albeit a bit bland. What really suffers with regards to visuals and audio, however, is the overall presentation. The presentation feels almost like a demo. The menu is extremely barebones, and there's hardly any point in having an options menu with how limited it is. If there's only going to be the one table in the download, they could at least have stood to spruce it up a bit. It's just....drab. Distressingly and disappointingly drab. First impressions are important, and this game made a TERRIBLE first impression. The next 40 subsequent impressions were equally terrible.
Jurassic Pinball isn't unplayable. Unfortunately, that's about the best thing I can say for it. If you're not a video pinball enthusiast and just want a quick, cheap game to scratch the occasional pinball itch, then for $1.99, this is probably what you're looking for. If you're seriously into video pinball like I am, though, the wonky physics and lackluster presentation will be a total buzzkill for you. It's not for everyone - actually, it's not for most people - but it IS cheap, so if you're curious or just want to say you tried it (or just want another icon to go on your Switch home screen), then I guess there are worse way to spent $2, but there are definitely better ways to spend that money as well.
My Rating - 2 Neps
I'm a teacher.
And I like to play video games. I like to collect video games. I like to talk about video games, and I like to write about video games. During the day, I teach high school history; during the night, I spend my spare time gaming. Then I write about it.