METAL VR PINBALL , created by Steve Hinan, is a unique take on the illuminated cabinets from arcades — no quarters needed. The frenetic VR game is designed so players become the flippers or what hits the ball into the playfield. The scorching heavy metal music, the challenging attempts to hit every last item, and walking away with scoreboard headbangs and wins is worth the buy!
Balls to the Wall Pinball
Players aren’t hovering above the playfield as they would at an arcade or in other PC pinball games. This is a ground floor and balls to the wall pinball game where you’re actually in it. The hands hold the controllers and press the trigger button to hit the ball so they bounce off the walls and into the playfield (the pit), on stage, and other areas.
Players angle up and press the trigger for a skill shot to gain extra time or aim for the METAL drop targets for multiball. Hit musicians on a stage, merch booths, PA systems, and other concert essentials without it ricocheting into the pit of defeat behind the player platform to win.
Each stage takes players to 6 venues of varying size and skill; and the best part, to me, is that you can pick any of the 7 metal songs to play. My favorite was “Odenplan”. The aim of the game is to get as many wins as possible and to headbang your way to a higher headbang count, which is entirely optional (someone has over 12,115 headbangs from New Rochelle!).
METAL VR PINBALL’s Music is a Gem in the Darkness
The game’s developer, Steve Hinan, is also the music engineer and drummer. He co-created the music with Chris Palmer who plays guitar and bass.“All of the songs are created by myself and my friend Chris Palmer, but I want to add other bands like Cannibal Corpse.”
The Sci-Fi Prediction of VR – Pygmalion’s Spectacles. Stanley G. Weinbaum, a well-known science fiction writer from the 1930s, had the vision of what Virtual Reality is and what it may become, even before the official term was coined. In his 1930s short story Pygmalion’s Spectacles, he shares the idea that a wearer of a pair of goggles can experience fictional worlds through holographics, touch, smell and taste. This truly made him a visionary in the field of virtual reality.
Hinan’s passion for this game and for metal are at the forefront. He says he’s “been developing METAL VR PINBALL for about a year now, alone in a darkened room. I constantly update the game and I love receiving feedback from the community.” Building a game and the original score from the ground up makes this game a volcanic gem in the darkness.
Hinan shared his musical process saying, “To create songs I pay my friend Chris ten bucks to riff on his guitar for 2 hours, ten bucks is ten bucks ‘eh. I record, edit and arrange the riffs into a song. I add drums, Chris adds bass and wha-la, a song is created. Chris’s soul is pure goat metal.” He also adds that they’re currently “working on our 8th song.”
The game has a rock-inspired font and aesthetic throughout and in its current form has assets that are black, white, red, and details of purple. When you hit the static form of the guitarist, bassist, and drummer in the game they play music or if time goes by they stop, activating that twitchy impulse to keep the music going by hitting them again.
What’s Being Worked On
Hinan is working on “upgrading the musician animation to actual motion capture of the songs being played.” Adding, “Imagine how awesome this will be with metal artists actually performing in VR, AAA hair physics.”
In the future, he wants to include effects like pro stage lighting, haze, and adds, “I’d love to live broadcast local metal concerts, there is so much great metal being created and performed now, I want to share this with the world in VR. It’s all doable, METAL VR PINBALL is growing and I’m forming a AAA team. Interested in joining?”
He says, “Thanks to everyone who has played METAL VR PINBALL and please keep sending feedback.”
Where to Get It
METAL VR PINBALL works with Oculus Rift, Oculus Go, and Samsung Gear VR headsets. They’ll also be getting an Oculus Quest release later this spring. It’s available for purchase in the Oculus Store for $1.99, which is a torching good deal for the creativity, level of playability, original music, and time put into the game.
As with every creation in the universe, there has to be a humble beginning for everything and VR technology was no exception. Although it’s hard to pinpoint the father of this amazing technology, history suggests that it could have been the innovation of not one but five key individuals. First, Morton Heilig for giving users the very first interactive film experience which can be take the credit as the beginning of 3D content. Then, there’s Jaron Lanier, the first person to credit the term “Virtual Reality”; Douglas Engelbart, who invented the computer mouse and laid the foundation for the modern user interface; Ivan Sutherland, inventor of the first head mounted display (HMD); and Myron Krueger, a computer graphics and audio wiz.