Admittedly, when I first came across Jurassic Pinball, I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to get into it. I felt like the other pinball games on the Switch would have spoiled me rotten by now. Between the super-realistic and artful Pinball Arcade series and the fantastically original/licensed creations within the Zen Pinball series, Jurassic Pinball is in for heavy competition. Not helping its case was it stressing that it’s based off an officially licensed table despite the game itself having nothing to back up that claim. Guys, it’s okay to say your table is original. Licenses aren’t needed to make a pinball table look cool. This move just seems like you’re desperately trying to cling onto Jurassic Park’s coattails.

Since I usually like to play to the end to review a game, I wondered how I could feel I have enough experience to review this standalone pinball game. Then it hit me: I could try getting as high of a position in the leaderboards as possible. I selected my “Counrty” (They should fix that typo) and got crackin’.

About 20 minutes later, I got the #2 spot in the worldwide Top 10.

Graphics

The graphics are rather weak. It looks more like an early Playstation 2 title than something released in 2018. The framerate runs at about thirty frames per second; while not bad on its own, I do feel like it could have easily been higher given that the game isn’t utilizing that much of the Switch’s visual capabilities. There are still some neat touches, thankfully. I like the video screen that displays the score, and the blinking lights on the field add some flair.

Audio

Jurassic Pinball seems to try going for an atmospheric tone when it comes to the audio department. The music is not unlike what would play in a jungle full of dinosaurs, and the sound clips aren’t as pronounced as in tables like the ones featured in The Pinball Arcade. The most you’ll hear sound effects-wise are flipper clicks and bumper strikes.

Gameplay

Jurassic Pinball is a rather basic table. You’ve got a few bumpers grouped together, a couple slides, and some vulnerable panels on both sides of the game field. Opportunities to increase your score and earn an extra ball are there, but there are no ways to trigger Multiball or a Video Mode. The dinosaur theme is merely an aesthetic thing that doesn’t play into any of the mechanics.

As simple as it is, though, it’s also still enjoyable on account of it being a pinball game. Hitting the ball into anything on the field is good fun, and the flipper controls are responsive. Trying to get the highest score possible remains a satisfying task thanks to the online leaderboards, albeit there’s no other objective in the game.

Verdict

It’s not going to eat out of your time spent in any of the other pinball games, but Jurassic Pinball is an enjoyable – if undeniably flawed – little addition to the eShop. The $1.99 price is easy to swallow for some quick pinball action, and it gets the job done in that regard. However, one can definitely see where improvements could be made.

Review copy provided by EnjoyUp Games