[Beyond PlayStation] Demon’s Tilt Review
Occult pinball action game Demonâ€™s Tilt from Adam Ferrando and Ralph Barbagallo is a fast-paced pinball game that is a must-play on Nintendo Switch. Find out why in our Demonâ€™s Tilt review!
In Demonâ€™s Tilt from Adam Ferrando and Ralph Barbagallo, you will take on what the dev and publisher are calling an occult pinball game. Just from looking at the gameâ€™s trailer and screens in this review, I believe you can easily agree that it is certainly an apt description. The first thing that I thought of when I learned about Demonâ€™s Tilt â€“ and that it was on its way to the Nintendo Switch – was the excellent Demonâ€™s Crush from Compile on the TurboGrafx-16 (as well as remembering prequel Alien Crush) which is definitely not a bad thing!
Demonâ€™s Tilt goes for a similar all-out supernatural experience, expanding on what Devilâ€™s Crush did over three decades ago, and then some! You have a large three-story-tall pinball table â€“ which is certainly the way to go -, different difficulty settings, a fast-paced table that shines thanks to its just as fast framerate, a solid soundtrack that has a sizeable 16-bits era feel to it, and then a dash of bullet hell for good measure. You can probably imagine how pinball + bullet hell plays, and Demonâ€™s Tilt is exactly the game youâ€™d imagine from mashing together those two genres.
You can play the game in one of three modes. Thereâ€™s Normal, which offers classic pinball rules, with a balanced experience that aims to not overwhelm players. Then thereâ€™s Ex-Mode, which has some extra rules as well as bonus sub-tables to extend the experience while bumping up the challenge as well. The last one is Hardcore, which dials the challenge up to 11, having you play the game with just a single ball and a whole lot of potential hurting, with a table that will punish you for your mistakes.
With this being a video game pinball release, the gameplay is simple and to the point so that you can focus on the action on the screen to keep up with everything that is going on. You will set things up by pressing the A button to drop the ball onto the launcher, holding down the A button to bring the plunger back so that it hits the ball just right, with the strength you want. You will control the different pinball flippers with the L and R buttons â€“ or use the ZL and ZR pair-, and thereâ€™s definitely a handful of them to keep your eyes on since the table is actually split into different sections!
Youâ€™re taking on a virtual pinball table, which means that to increase your odds of surviving, you should make good use of the left and right analog sticks â€“ or the D-Pad, so that you can give the table a good nudge, hopefully keeping the ball from leaving the playing field. You do need to be careful about how and when you give the table a nudge because thereâ€™s a tilt meter in the bottom right corner of the screen that will fill up with every bump you give to the playing area. If youâ€™re too heavy on the nudging, then the table will shut down your flippers, and you will end up losing a ball.
As you climb higher, things will start to get crazier and crazier. You will need to make every shot count, which is why cradling the ball every now and then so that you can line up your next shot just right will end up being a must. Cradling is when you make sure that the ball stays in place on one of your flippers so that you can then release the corresponding L, R, ZL or ZR button to have the ball slide down the pinball flipper before you send it back into the playing field, hopefully helping you keep your combo going.
Your score is a big part of the pinball experience that Demonâ€™s Tilt has to offer. Because of this, youâ€™ll need to focus not only on increasing your score by hitting this or that target but also on combos and on boosting your overall multiplier. The higher your multiplier, the more points youâ€™ll get for completing each of the different objectives that the overall table playing area has to offer. Completing the rituals in each of the three sections of the table will allow you to greatly boost your scoring potential.
You need to do all of this while also keeping an eye on the bosses that youâ€™ll be battling on each of the three tiers of the Demonâ€™s Tilt pinball table. Each boss will have different phases you must battle through, as you try to hit it while also keeping the ball in play and your combo going strong so that you can give a huge bump to your overall score. Staying alive is one thing, but staying alive while damaging a boss as you keep a combo going with a high multiplier in place is going to prove to be a challenge.
Thanks to the Nintendo Switchâ€™s hybrid nature â€“ and the existence of the Nintendo Switch Lite â€“ you can go into the options menu and activate the TATE/vertical display mode, which makes the Nintendo Switch version feel superior to the other console versions, at least in my eyes. Having a TATE option on Nintendo Switch is always a must for pinball games since it allows you to use the consoleâ€™s touchscreen in the best way possible. Top it off with the excellent Flip Grip, and youâ€™ll have a ton of fun!
As youâ€™re probably aware by now, Iâ€™m a big fan of pinball fan, having grown up playing a ton of great physical pinball tables â€“ such as Taxi, Twilight Zone, The Addams Family, and Theatre of Magic, to name some examples â€“ and Iâ€™m also a fan of the digital tables that Zen Studios has been working on for a while now, so I was very much looking forward to playing Demonâ€™s Tilt on Nintendo Switch. Luckily, Demonâ€™s Tilt lived up to my expectations, offering a solid experience with some interesting gameplay twists â€“ such as the bullet hell angle that also allows you to use the bullets to your benefit, even transmuting them into gold under specific circumstances to boost your score. Demonâ€™s Tilt is out now on Nintendo Switch with a $19.99 asking price and is a must-buy for pinball fans.
This Demonâ€™s Tilt review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by FLARB.