Published on December 3rd, 2017 | by Kirk Hiner0
Bring It! Crystal Caliburn II for Apple TV
Pinball on your TV is really nothing new; pretty much every gaming console since the Atari 2600 has had a pinball sim of some kind. Apple TV already has some good ones, in fact, from respected companies such as Zen Studios and OOO Gameprom. The pinball sim I want to play, however, is Crystal Caliburn II from LittleWing Co., Ltd., because it’s the best.
I don’t make that statement lightly, as I’m a serious fan of pinball. I’ve got Bally’s 1981 Flash Gordon machine in my basement. I go bowling simply to hit the game room. I believe that Creature From the Black Lagoon made a better pinball machine than the movie.
And I love Crystal Caliburn II. I played the original on my Mac and the sequel on my iPad, and I want the latter on my Apple TV. I love it because every element of the game’s design is something that could be played in real life. There are no physical impossibilities here. No clever gimmicks that skip reality. You get the feel with Littlewing that they develop pinball sims they’d like to play at the local truck stop (provided truck stops in Japan have pinball machines).
I also love Crystal Caliburn II because the ball physics are spot-on. I sometimes feel the game’s a bit too fast, but perhaps that’s just because the game is played on such a small screen. With reaction to bumpers and flippers, though, everything feels completely natural.
The biggest drawback to playing pinball on Apple TV, however, is that the sims are best portrayed in portrayed mode, whereas your TV’s display is horizontal. Some pinball developers address this disparity by zooming in on the ball so you don’t see the whole playing field at one time. This is a mistake, and I wouldn’t want Littlewing to do this. What I’d rather see them do is present the game as they did on Mac, pictured below.
That’s the original Crystal Caliburn playing field on the left, and the back glass on the right. It’s a good way to fill the screen, and although you may have to sit close to your TV to catch all of the action, it’s the best way to play.
I’m not sure what the chances are of getting Crystal Caliburn II on Apple TV. It’s been a few years since Littlewing has developed anything new for Mac or iOS, and only two of their nine pinball sims ever made the leap from Mac to iPhone. The company did, however, update both Pinball Tristan and Crystal Caliburn II in September for iOS 11 compatibility, so we at least know they’re still active.
Until this happens, there’s always the bowling alley.