People enjoy talking about what they’d do if they ever won the Lottery. I’m convinced that engaging in this conversation is half the reason why people play. I never do, because my answer has always been pretty standard fare: travel, donate to charity, build a Ray Harryhausen wax museum in the basement…same as everyone else.
The answer has changed now, though; If I won the Lottery, I’d pay LittleWing to build me a fully functional, life-sized Crystal Caliburn II pinball machine for amusement only.
What is it?
Crystal Caliburn II is the best pinball sim available for iOS (universal for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch). I haven’t played them all, but I don’t care, I’m saying it anyway; Crystal Caliburn II is the best. It would the best pinball sim created for any system were it not for LittleWing’s original Crystal Caliburn and Loony Labyrinth for the Mac (fans of LittleWing will enjoy the nostalgia of the music and voiceovers from the original Crystal Caliburn).
How does it work?
Crystal Caliburn II looks, feels and plays exactly the way a pinball machine should. Controls are basic: swipe down to pull the plunger, tap the left and right side of the screen to activate the flippers, and shake the device to nudge the playfield.
That’s just the physical aspect of how it works. Within the game play itself, there is a lot of strategy involved that will require some serious pinball skill. You can get decent scores without knowing what you’re doing (multiball is fairly easy to achieve), but if you want to sit atop the leader board there’s a lot to know and memorize: how to accolade knights, activate Merlin’s Spell and collect the grail, for example. It’s when you seek to complete everything the playfield allows you to do that you’ll really come to appreciate and enjoy Crystal Caliburn 2.
Of course, you’ll enjoy how it looks from the very start. LittleWing has done an absolutely amazing job of recreating the look of an actual pinball machine here. The lighting and reflective effects are especially impressive, right down to the uneven lighting of the slingshots.
LittleWing decided to forgo the creation of a backglass image to keep the entire playfield on the screen at once (relevant game info is display right on the playfield), and it was a great decision. Although you can activate a zoom feature, don’t. Littlewing pinball sims have always been about authenticity, so keep your field of vision where it would be if you were standing above an actual machine.
Is it contagious?
A lot of pinball sims attempt to make themselves interesting by offering game play elements that couldn’t happen in real life. Littlewing chooses to distinguish themselves by simply making outstanding games. Crystal Caliburn II is such an excellent game that you’d swear you’ve played it before at some truck stop. The ball and playfield physics are dead on (if not a little too fast at times), and the Retina display graphics make this the best and most authentic looking pinball game LittleWing has ever created.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a fan of pinball machines, all self-respecting iOS gamers should own Crystal Caliburn II. Once I’ve won the Lottery, then, you can then come to the Ray Harryhausen Museum and play my custom Crystal Caliburn II cabinet.