The Pinball Wizard Review (Switch)

Good thing I didn’t eat before coming into the tower.

Released: October 27, 2022
Available on: Switch/Steam
Genre: Pinball Dungeon Crawler
Developer: Frosty Pop
Publisher: Frosty Pop
Review key provided by developers

The Pinball Wizard has a quick introduction to explain why you’re doing what you’re doing here. On top of a great tower, sitting upon a pedestal that is forever powered with energy, sits an item called the Eye. Obviously, it looks like an eye and it watches over the land making sure no evil sneaks by on the land it watches. It sat there for years until suddenly the tower shifted, causing the Eye to fall off the pedestal. The Eye closed and evil now can run free without being caught by its gaze. Ever since, many have tried to scale the tower and put the Eye back on its pedestal, but no one that went in has come out. That is, until you come along and decide to take a shot at it.

You play as a pinball wizard, or well pinball wizard apprentice, ready to take their chance at climbing all 21 floors and make it out alive. Of course, it’s not going to be easy as not only are there a lot of monsters roaming the tower now, but the way you control your character is going to be different than other dungeon crawlers. Like its namesake, this dungeon crawler combines itself with the gameplay of pinball games. Each floor has flippers to launch your character and instead of hitting a ball, you’re hitting an actual wizard character (which is holding a ball).

Gameplay is pretty easy to learn and you pretty much have the gist of it if you know how to play pinball. After launching your character (who I’ll just call wizard now), you’ll be using the flippers to keep yourself in and kind of aim to where you want the wizard to go to. You need to find a key to proceed to the next floor and to do that, you need to defeat the monsters on the floor. One random monster has the key and you just have to kill it by launching yourself into it. The monsters won’t take this without fighting back, as they will go into a state that will cause you to be damaged if you run into it (or the monster runs into you). For example, slimes will turn red and the spikey mushroom guys will curl up to have the spikes on your level. You can also get damaged if you happen to make your wizard fall, either by missing them with the flippers or when you accidentally launch out of the floor. The higher the floor you’re on, the higher the fall damage will be.

Of course, you have a lot more at your disposal to help you survive longer. As you’re going through the floors you’ll be gathering treasure and experience points to use once you fail and die. You’ll be able to level up so you can survive longer, hit harder, and have increased energy. And, if you reach certain levels, you’ll unlock skills you can then use. Most are passive, like giving you a bigger radius to get treasure or giving you health per kill, while there are two that you can use to do a quick dash or throw a secondary ball that will last for a bit. The dash is the more useful of the two. Though, you will need energy to use them. The treasure you collect is used to upgrade your skills so they become more effective.

There are also barrels on each floor and while they do serve as a way to annoy you by being in your way, they do hold either experience, treasure, energy, or health which you’ll collect every time they’re hit. Health is the main one as it can really help you out while you’re in a bind.

21 levels don’t seem like a lot, but it kind of does once you actually get into it. You start out pretty weak and you won’t get stronger if you start from the highest floor you got to. The levels are also moderately difficult as it is combined with not being able to have full control of the wizard. It is annoying when you’re trying to get a key but it’s in the middle of a turning platform with little pegs that always push you away though. Or when you end up launching yourself into an enemy that’s in its attack state.

Once you get all the way up to the top floor and restore the Eye to its pedestal, you can just aim to unlock whatever skills you don’t have and upgrade them all fully if you want to. There are two different dungeons you can go into, but they’re just one floor with a left, middle, and right sections where monsters respawn infinitely and a daily dungeon which I feel takes either of the two dungeon layouts, but change up what enemies are in each section and how the obstacles are laid out.

Though I do really wish there was more here. I am fine with the enemy variety, as four (five counting the boss) is a good number for a 21-floor dungeon crawler, but I do wish there were more floor variety. It mainly is just how big a room is, whether there’s a higher platform area, the enemies in the room, and how the obstacles are placed. I do really like how doing certain things will cause hidden treasure to appear though, like hitting torches to light them or defeating all the enemies.


Pinball Wizard wasn’t a game that I could play for more than a couple sessions, but I still did enjoy my time with it. I admit I did get annoyed at times with not having much control over the wizard and wishing there were more varied layouts, but overall I did enjoy the challenge, seeing myself inch closer to the 21st floor, and getting stronger with each attempt. If you’re looking for a different take on dungeon crawlers and you like pinball, this might be an unexpected match that you never knew you were looking for.


♡ ♡ ♡ A witch that goes for anything that peaks her interest no matter the genre. Currently obsessed with the Persona series and trying to make a dent in my backlog. ♡ ♡ ♡

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