Pitching a pinball game on Kickstarter must be the hardest thing to do in the world. (Minus all the jobs and positions that can legitimately lay claim to that title anyway.) There’s just no way to adequately convey if the game will be any good or not. True, you can say that for most games, but usually you can form some idea about a game’s quality. Pinball? Pinball doesn’t have any of those qualifiers, it’s just a pinball board.
So it’s not much of a secret that Formslingers is going to have a tough time selling Black Flaggers Pinball, especially at their near $17,000 goal. The board looks great and the flippers hit the ball. What else can there possibly be to say about it?
You can’t really blame the developers much for a lack of depth in the pitch. Formslingers say they want to stick to classic pinball roots with various traps and extra areas you can send the ball on the board. Flashing colors, ramps, spinners, and bumpers are just a few of the things that await you in this pirate themed adventure.
Hold onto yer flippers
There’s a story behind it all. You play as a “dare-and-be-damned blade o’ fortune,” good luck fitting that on a business card. It’s the golden age of pirates, which actually means it’s a terrible time because little guy, first-timers can’t make a name for themselves with all the old, better known pirates taking all the money and glory. I’m sure we’re not supposed to read too much into that.
Other than that, there is nothing to say. It’s pinball, which is a lot of fun when it’s great and a slog when it’s terrible. What a pinball game really needs, especially in video game form, is a demo. That’s the only way for any potential backer to gauge the feel of the game, the most vital aspect of any pinball game. You need to experience the physics behind the board, the layout, and the scoring system for yourself. Simply looking at screenshots – albeit great looking screenshots – just isn’t enough to go on.
A demo would go a long way to help. When you see these screenshots you’ll get hooked in. Not being able to follow through by playing a demo feels like a waste of an opportunity. I’m reminded of the old I Spy books of all things, with the striking use of light and retro-looking toys scattered about intricate backgrounds.
You can check out the extensive list of backer rewards and stretch goals on the campaign page. At least Formslingers seem to be putting a lot of time and effort into this project, which is always great to see.