Gameprom's Slayer Pinball, updated, brings you heavy metal thunder

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Not strictly new, but updated and never covered here before, Slayer Pinball is actually a precursor to the similarly-themed DaVinci Pinball, reviewed recently. And, like that title, it's wonderfully designed and themed but ultimately slightly flawed in terms of its 3D interaction with the player. Screens and links below.

The idea of the two themed titles is the same though. In each case a client has requested it - in Slayer Pinball's case it was Sony Music, presumably with music biz connections to the band Slayer, from whom most of the inspiration here comes. There's music, graphical themes, voice samples, and so on. 

From the blurb in the Windows Phone Store:

Legends of metal meet the king of arcade games in one loud, fast, flipper-thrashing frenzy. Hyper-realistic pinball gameplay set to a backdrop inspired by the band's latest head-banging masterpiece, World Painted Blood. Includes music from the album, original voice recordings from singer/bassist Tom Araya, guitar shredding mini-games, and a pinball environment straight out of your worst nightmare. Co-produced by Sony Music and Gameprom (makers of Pinball Collection HD) . Play it LOUD! 

- Hyper-realistic physics engine 
- Extreme detail and original artwork 
- Multiple camera angles: including full-table, smart-cam 
- Multi-ball 
- Featuring music from World Painted Blood 
- Original voiceovers from Slayer 
- LED versions of the animated Playing With Dolls 
- Rhythm mini-games

The game's design and graphics are certainly up to par. Here are a few screens from my gameplay testing:


Part of the random animated 3D table overview that sits on the game's start screen - very impressive and worth watching for a while...


Note the 'flying' and 'static' camera options, with the less-used 'static' view shown on the left here...


The game in progress, with impressive graphical detail and game design (even if the subject matter may not appeal to many!)


Just two of the several glitches encountered. Left, a ball gets stuck and nothing will shift it; right, err.... a totally blank start screen.... What gives, Gameprom?


Just part of the huge graphical help screen - this could really, really do with being zoomable - trying to take much of this in on the phone screen is almost impossible!

Ultimately, the exact same issues as with DaVinci Pinball rear their ugly heads. Firstly, the camera angles and panning show too little of what's going on. From my DaVinci review:

You see, DaVinci Pinball lets you play in two ways. The first, and I suspect the original vision for the game by the designers, is a 'flying' camera: to have a dynamic, 3D, graphically impressive close-up of where your ball is, with this portrait-only viewport on the renaissance mechanical action moving up and down the table as needed, keeping the ball roughly centred at all times. With the view this close, all the detail in the graphics is accessible and appreciated.

It's flawed for playing pinball with though, since you don't get a feel for where your main flippers are when you can't see that far back down the table. So the ball is flying down the table, somewhere near the centre line - should you try and catch it on your left flipper tip? Or the right? And how can you time the flipper pulse for maximum reach into the centre of the table? Answer: you have no idea, because you can't see enough of the table.

I think the developers realised this, too late, and had to change tack, introducing a second optional camera mode, 'static' (shown above, right), in which you see the whole table at once, at a much lower detail level. This makes playing the game successfully easier, but there's far less pleasure in wanting to, since you can't see many of the lovely graphical touches.

Secondly, as with DaVinci, there hasn't been enough game testing - I experienced several glitches, of which two are shown above. Gameprom have a hugely talented graphics department but are in severe need of good game testers - or indeed a QA control team, period. Which is a crying shame.

Or, as Slayer would no doubt put it, a flesh melting world of bloody pain....

You can buy Slayer Pinball here in the Windows Phone Store - note that there's no trial version.

Source / Credit: Windows Phone Store