freeballin_01Ever since Toy Bot Diaries, IUGO has been one our favorite iPhone gaming companies.

Their games come with a very unique style and quirkiness that is refreshing to find in the App Store. While you may not love every game [App Store] they produce, at least you know you are in for something original.


At GDC, we met with IUGO to get more information on their upcoming titles. Their newest title called Freeballin' brings IUGO's flare to the pinball genre. Pinball gaming on the iPhone has been a relatively sparsely populated category, but one that's been dominated by rather traditional pinball titles. IUGO's Freeballin' brings a bit more zany twist to the genre.


Freeballin' comes with four different unique tables including: Tiki Trouble, Monsteropolis, Dreams and Nightmares, and Neometric. All tables offer an interactive environment with different feels. Tables even include hidden sub-tables and boss levels.

While the game includes more traditional modes such as Score Attack and Time Attack in which high scores are the goal, Freeballin' also introduces an Adventure mode which challenges you to table-specific missions.

freeballin_05Each mission requires you to perform a specific task, such as hitting specific objects within the level. As a result, these tasks require you to have good control of your ball, and provide pinballers more tangible goals than just racking up points.

As you complete missions, you collect tokens which can be used to purchase power ups in the game. These include an extra orb (ball), orb saver (bumper between your paddles), or extra bumpers.

The game is presented in landscape mode with a vertically scrolling view. This gameplay video shows two of the tables in Adventure mode:

[ Full HD version | Low Bandwidth version ]

Freeballin' has been submitted to the App Store and should become available in the next week or so.

IUGO also was able to mention two other upcoming games, but no screenshots or materials are available yet for these games. In brief:

Star Hogs

This will be a turn-based strategy game that will offer Wi-Fi multiplayer for up to 4 players. The game is in deep development and puts you in command of a rover around a mining rock. You battle the other rovers with turn based commands. As you earn points, you can upgrade weapons and armor on your individual rover. This game is expected in April.


A WarioWare-like collection of about 50 very short mini games that are played in quick succession. The average session per game is said to be about 5 seconds. Individual games will focus on very specific tasks which may revolve around touch or tilt controls. This game should be available in May.

  • http://deleted dunkee

    How much will Freebalin cost? and would it have normal freeplay mode?

    • arn

      Yeah there's regular modes too. High score goal, set number of balls.


      • http://deleted dunkee

        how much would it cost? and is the framerate as smooth as Fastlane?

  • Frank

    The framerate looks a bit crappy.

    • arn

      framerate looks fine on my end. Check your youtube connection.


      • flopsy

        watching over a very fast connection -- frame-rate does seem a little erratic, like it jumps a bit here and there -- but it could be an early version not yet optimized.

  • Lakeshore

    Hmm... What do you think of that pinball video? I find the layout very boring, compared to Metroid Pinball and Flipper Critters (NDS).

    • Lakeshore

      this neon table and the one with the pink kraken looks better, though some action and "life" is missing.

  • Dan

    I think it looks great. More than just pinball (which am not to interested in) but the gameplay makes me want to get it. I think the graphics look great and hope they add new levels in an update.

  • teagan

    I think add is going to be good

  • DrJD

    Gotta ask: Does it have tilt?
    (Accelerometer would seem a good fit for that.)

  • IUGO

    To answer some questions;

    We're introducing Freeballin' at $1.99...price will rise after a period of time.

    No tilt here...just good ol' flipper control. We wanted to stay true to the pinball game play mechanic and not just throw in tilt for the sake of it.

  • MilesO'Toole

    Is that shot of the octopus attacking a city a reference to watchmen?

  • Rustyjaw

    I'm a huge pinball fan, but based on the video, that game looks underwhelming. The way the ball seems to cling to the sides is so...un-pinball like. Part of the fun of pinball (real or video) is trying to manage bouncing with finesse, or tactics like cradling the ball if you can manage to keep it under control. But here is looks like when the ball hits a slope it just sticks and rolls down, like it's sticky. I can see that getting old very fast.

  • Ballpeen

    Looks very nice, except I would much rather have smaller graphics in order to play in Portrait mode with less scrolling.

    I like the idea of tasks to complete and the gameplay looks good.

    I would get it except for the mentioned scrolling..