It's perhaps inevitable that as video gaming technology advances, some of us may start to long for the simpler nuts-and-bolts arcade games of our youth. Well, they never got much nuttier and boltier than pinball, and the new Pinball Magic "(app)cessory" allows you to transform your iPhone or iPod touch into a digital version of just such a machine – complete with its own functional iDevice-sized cabinet. Just fire it up, turn up the Buddy Holly, Jefferson Airplane or Joan Jett, then pretend you're back in the days of broken curfews and wedgies.
The Pinball Magic cabinet has working side-mounted flipper buttons, a ball-launching plunger and a credit/select button. Its legs fold up for transport, while an oscillating top-mounted LED and animated backbox light display add to the tacky realism.
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The app itself is available for free from iTunes, for iPhones 2G, 3G, 3GS, or 4, or iPod touch running OS 3.0 or higher. The games are also available on iTunes, and include features such as multiple skill levels, multiplayer and multi-ball modes, and replay bonuses. Cheaters beware, the games also incorporate tilt detection, and will warn you accordingly if you try to "help" the ball out. Support for third party games is said to be in the works.
You can also play music from your device's library as you're playing pinball, which will be overlaid with the audio of the game – all sorts of retro possibilities come to mind, depending on the era in which the user misspent their youth.
Pinball Magic is made by New Potato Technologies, and the cabinet is available at various retailers, or via the company website for US$39.99.