My third go around with the Paper Pinball series from Metal Snail has let the series slide into becoming a guilty pleasure for me.
With that said, my earlier issues with the games still stand. They represent the lightest end of the Roll and Write spectrum. While the artwork reflects the theme, the mechanics really don’t. It is easy to choose what moves to make and I do feel that there is a dominant strategy. And, even by the standards of light roll and write games, luck can play an overwhelming part.
However, in the year since I first looked at the games, a number of things have caused me to reevaluate them.
The biggest one being quarantine and quarantine parenting. Over the last year, having a solitaire game that I can play in less than five minutes and then get back to adulting has been a very big deal. More than that, one that is analog, not digital, is quite nice.
I also have to note that my first exposure to Paper Pinball was to the three earliest boards that predated PnP Arcade. Later developed boards are, quite frankly, better. Better art, better balance and cuter little individual tweaks.
Finally, I have played so much worse light Roll and Write games as I’ve looked for mental coffee breaks over the last year :P
Now, I don’t think they are prefect. I think there are tons of deeper and more fascinating Roll and Write games out there. Metal Snail’s other Roll and Write line, the Legends of Dsyx, is more interesting in my arrogant opinion. And I think when I revisit Sid Sackson’s Solitaire Pinball or finally try WhizKids’ Super-Skill Pinball, I will find mechanics closer to a metal ball bouncing around a machine.
But, as I said at the start, Paper Pinball is a guilty pleasure. It’s not perfect. There are plenty of flaws. But it does a good job amusing me. And that’s what a guilty pleasure should do.