Last Gladiators Ver.2010 is a port of a 1995 pinball game for the Sega Saturn. In a world where there's so many different options to satisfy your pinball needs available on the App Store, some aspects about this release will stick out like sore thumbs. The price, the dated graphics, a lack of features, no online scores… the price. It can be kind of a hard sell on the surface. But make no mistake about it, this is hands down the best pinball gameplay available for your device. If I'm going to be trapped on a desert island with my iPhone and can only have one pinball app, I want it to be Last Gladiators.

Let's get right to the elephant in the room, the cost. The app itself is $4.99, and comes with the Gladiators table. The other three tables that make up the original Saturn game are sold separately as DLC for $4.99 apiece. Yep, $4.99 for each additional table. I know that most of us who were fortunate enough to have grown up during the arcade era have probably spent well more than five bucks playing a good table for a couple of hours. So asking that much for a table you can play infinitely that fits in your pocket doesn't sound unreasonable. In the App Store economy, however, it's equivalent to an arm and a leg. The pricing alone means this game won't be for everybody.

Pricing aside, Last Gladiators does everything right in the gameplay department. It's amazing that with all the different pinball games that have been released on iPhone, none of them have ever quite felt like playing a real life table. This one's different, this one feels right. The physics of the ball and the design of the tables are nearly perfect. I'm not going to go into specific table detail (a video of each one can be seen in the thread in our forums) but all four feature multiball and more rounds and missions than I can even count. The instructions run 30+ pages for each table so you can familiarize yourself with every scoring nook and cranny, and also get an idea of just how much depth is on offer here.

This isn't the most visually impressive pinball game, after all it is 15 years old, but it still manages to have a great look that functions well. The table designs are more akin to the pinball tables of the late 80's and early 90's, rather than the highly complex mechanical behemoths of the later 90's. A neat effect is a scaling ball, so it looks smaller while in the back of the table and quite a bit larger as it's near the flippers. Handy on-screen indicators point you towards active goals, and it's always clear what you're supposed to be doing even for a beginner. There aren't really any iPhone specific features, and as far as ports are concerned this is pretty bare-bones. This is basically the Saturn game reworked with touch screen controls, and that's about it.


If you're a pinball fanatic, and just want the best experience regardless of price, then you owe it to yourself to drop $5 on the initial Gladiators table. It will keep you busy for a long time, and you can always decide to splurge on the extra tables sometime down the line when you're ready for something new.

There's no official lite version available, but you can try Ultra Legend Pinball which is basically the Gladiators table with slightly reworked functionality and Ultraman artwork. I hesitate a bit recommending this, as it's entirely in Japanese and the Ultraman version of the table isn't nearly as good as the original, but at the very least it gives you and idea of what the Last Gladiators tables are like. Whatever your feelings on the pricing of Last Gladiators, it's a stellar game that shouldn't be missed if you're looking for an accurate simulation of pinball.

App Store Link: Last Gladiators Ver.2010, $4.99

TouchArcade Rating

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  • Marco

    That looks really sweet!

  • Marco

    That looks really sweet!

  • Septimus

    Can't understand how this got a good review. It pales in comparison to even Pinball Fantasies for fun.

    Played this back in the day and it was okay then, but now.... no. For $5 a table just to rub salt into the wound? No again.

    • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

      It got a good review because the reviewer disagrees with you. As do I.

    • ImNoSuperMan

      Apparently all the impressions in the forums are positive only. Not too many took the plunge (thanks to the high cost, but those who did, found it pretty damn good.

      http://forums.toucharcade.com/showthread.php?t=52810

      • http://www.jindofox.com Jindo Fox

        WE WHO ARE ABOUT TO DIE SALUTE YOU!
        SHOW US YOUR RAGE!

        For me, this is worth it for the sound clips alone. I had and loved the Saturn version, which had 3 tables but I only ever really got into Last Gladiators. It was fast, smooth, LOUD, and ran at a higher resolution than most Playstation or Saturn games at the time.

        The packaging of the iPhone version is unfortunate -- the icon is generic, the app name forgettable, and the pricing is "high," but if you like mid-1990's video pinball, this is a must-have.

        Certainly that's worth the price of a burrito, no?

        P.S. It's an iPhone game and doesn't look so hot on the iPad. Graphics whores should get the other pinball collection. This one is for the grownups. :-)

  • Septimus

    Can't understand how this got a good review. It pales in comparison to even Pinball Fantasies for fun.

    Played this back in the day and it was okay then, but now.... no. For $5 a table just to rub salt into the wound? No again.

    • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

      It got a good review because the reviewer disagrees with you. As do I.

    • ImNoSuperMan

      Apparently all the impressions in the forums are positive only. Not too many took the plunge (thanks to the high cost, but those who did, found it pretty damn good.

      http://forums.toucharcade.com/showthread.php?t=52810

      • http://www.jindofox.com Jindo Fox

        WE WHO ARE ABOUT TO DIE SALUTE YOU!
        SHOW US YOUR RAGE!

        For me, this is worth it for the sound clips alone. I had and loved the Saturn version, which had 3 tables but I only ever really got into Last Gladiators. It was fast, smooth, LOUD, and ran at a higher resolution than most Playstation or Saturn games at the time.

        The packaging of the iPhone version is unfortunate -- the icon is generic, the app name forgettable, and the pricing is "high," but if you like mid-1990's video pinball, this is a must-have.

        Certainly that's worth the price of a burrito, no?

        P.S. It's an iPhone game and doesn't look so hot on the iPad. Graphics whores should get the other pinball collection. This one is for the grownups. :-)

  • Bob

    I was sold until I realized it didn't have an ipad counterpart...

    • daverJ

      +1

      A perfect pinball game on the iPad would be worth $5 per table. But it would have to be of the quality of Midievel Madness, Funhouse, Twilight Zone, etc....

      • Steve

        So true, we need a Williams Pinball Collection for the iPad.

        The reason I bought my Funhouse pinball machine was that it was so much fun to play in the William's collection I knew I had to add it to my home Pinball arcade.

      • Bob

        Yes! Then maybe I could play Road Kings when I'm not visiting my parents!!

  • Bob

    I was sold until I realized it didn't have an ipad counterpart...

    • daverJ

      +1

      A perfect pinball game on the iPad would be worth $5 per table. But it would have to be of the quality of Midievel Madness, Funhouse, Twilight Zone, etc....

      • Steve

        So true, we need a Williams Pinball Collection for the iPad.

        The reason I bought my Funhouse pinball machine was that it was so much fun to play in the William's collection I knew I had to add it to my home Pinball arcade.

      • Bob

        Yes! Then maybe I could play Road Kings when I'm not visiting my parents!!

  • Yuggle

    $5 a table? Hell no!

    I hope VERY FEW people buy this so the developer gets a wake up call.

    • Big Albie

      It's that kind of mentality that I find hypocritical with many iPhone gamers. You complain about quality and yet you're not willing to pay for it, which btw isn't that much. People need to get some perspective or the iTunes ship will start sinking from all the pricing BS.

      • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

        Agreed. It's one thing to say that you can't afford the game at that price, or that it's not worth it to you, or that you'd rather wait for a sale. It's another to wish failure upon the developer so you can buy the game off the proverbial bargain bin. That's just cold.

      • Blinky McWeird

        The iPhone "ship" is generating billions of dollars from its pricing model. The only thing that might sink it is $20 apps. $5 for ALL FOUR tables might be a reasonable price for a port - it's about what Pinball Dreams and Fantasies cost. Anyone paying $20 is a gullible chump, and they saw you coming.

      • Yuggle

        Pardon?

        I do NOT complain about game quality on the idevice. I never have.
        There is a plethroa of interesting and even initiative software.

        $20 for 4 tables is still a rip off, especially compared to existing quality pinball by Gameprom already on the idevice.

        Would you look at two similar cars and be willing to pay 5 times a much for one over the other because the dealer asked? If so you're a fool and we know what happens to a fool's money.

        There are a few hardcore gamers on this site who are quick to defend any pricey software. Know that the majority of app purchasers are not represented by you which is why most games are NOT $5 (or in this case $20). So yes, I'd love to see the developer fail epically so he/she understands that they have priced themselves out of the market.

      • Blinky McWeird

        Yuggle: +1

        Some websites are WAY too close to "the industry" and see their job as making money for publishers rather than serving their readers. Sadly, the misguided attempt to drive up App Store prices will have the opposite effect.

      • Vinvu

        +1, this is a digital download, and a port, price is in no way deserved. And to Big Albie/SZ, i see plenty of quality games coming out constantly and making savy devs money at the current pricing model. The biggest reason why devs go down on the idevice isnt because they arent charging enough, but because they dont know how to properly market games.

      • Big Albie

        @Vinvu, you shouldn't be the one lecturing me on marketing. Trust me on that one.

      • Vinvu

        Uhm, thanks for the headsup, it brings absolutely nothing new to the discussion, or change anything either of us have said. Maybe allow your expertise to actually say something, rather than be waved around like a blank flag.

      • Big Albie

        You obviously don't know me well enough. Pricing is just one aspect and when people make it the sole factor for gauging the success or failure of a product, you really degrade the development work behind it all. Marketing is important and developers don't do enough of it. But when you start making statements around price and how it should be cheap, then you're really using the marketing, or lack of it, as an excuse.

      • Vinvu

        I said the biggest reason, not the sole reason. And i stand by that. Good games go ignored, and many average games do well based on how well they are sold to the consumer. And i didnt say games should be cheap, i said the current pricing model is working just fine for devs who properly market their games. And again, i could cre less who you are, you seem tto think it matters, but here all that matters is what you say.

  • http://micro Yuggle

    $5 a table? Hell no!

    I hope VERY FEW people buy this so the developer gets a wake up call.

    • Big Albie

      It's that kind of mentality that I find hypocritical with many iPhone gamers. You complain about quality and yet you're not willing to pay for it, which btw isn't that much. People need to get some perspective or the iTunes ship will start sinking from all the pricing BS.

      • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

        Agreed. It's one thing to say that you can't afford the game at that price, or that it's not worth it to you, or that you'd rather wait for a sale. It's another to wish failure upon the developer so you can buy the game off the proverbial bargain bin. That's just cold.

      • Blinky McWeird

        The iPhone "ship" is generating billions of dollars from its pricing model. The only thing that might sink it is $20 apps. $5 for ALL FOUR tables might be a reasonable price for a port - it's about what Pinball Dreams and Fantasies cost. Anyone paying $20 is a gullible chump, and they saw you coming.

      • http://micro Yuggle

        Pardon?

        I do NOT complain about game quality on the idevice. I never have.
        There is a plethroa of interesting and even initiative software.

        $20 for 4 tables is still a rip off, especially compared to existing quality pinball by Gameprom already on the idevice.

        Would you look at two similar cars and be willing to pay 5 times a much for one over the other because the dealer asked? If so you're a fool and we know what happens to a fool's money.

        There are a few hardcore gamers on this site who are quick to defend any pricey software. Know that the majority of app purchasers are not represented by you which is why most games are NOT $5 (or in this case $20). So yes, I'd love to see the developer fail epically so he/she understands that they have priced themselves out of the market.

      • Blinky McWeird

        Yuggle: +1

        Some websites are WAY too close to "the industry" and see their job as making money for publishers rather than serving their readers. Sadly, the misguided attempt to drive up App Store prices will have the opposite effect.

      • Vinvu

        +1, this is a digital download, and a port, price is in no way deserved. And to Big Albie/SZ, i see plenty of quality games coming out constantly and making savy devs money at the current pricing model. The biggest reason why devs go down on the idevice isnt because they arent charging enough, but because they dont know how to properly market games.

      • Big Albie

        @Vinvu, you shouldn't be the one lecturing me on marketing. Trust me on that one.

      • Vinvu

        Uhm, thanks for the headsup, it brings absolutely nothing new to the discussion, or change anything either of us have said. Maybe allow your expertise to actually say something, rather than be waved around like a blank flag.

      • Big Albie

        You obviously don't know me well enough. Pricing is just one aspect and when people make it the sole factor for gauging the success or failure of a product, you really degrade the development work behind it all. Marketing is important and developers don't do enough of it. But when you start making statements around price and how it should be cheap, then you're really using the marketing, or lack of it, as an excuse.

      • Vinvu

        I said the biggest reason, not the sole reason. And i stand by that. Good games go ignored, and many average games do well based on how well they are sold to the consumer. And i didnt say games should be cheap, i said the current pricing model is working just fine for devs who properly market their games. And again, i could cre less who you are, you seem tto think it matters, but here all that matters is what you say.

  • http://soiled.com Gload

    LOL The iPhone video is called Last Gradiators. You know they want people to not be racist making fun of accents but even in the video sporting japanese characters in the video they spell the title in a racist way!

  • http://soiled.com Gload

    LOL The iPhone video is called Last Gradiators. You know they want people to not be racist making fun of accents but even in the video sporting japanese characters in the video they spell the title in a racist way!

  • http://www.myspace.com/moonsofjupitermusic RM imagery

    The price would make sense on the iPad. So I'm waiting for that. It's hard to play games on my phone (especially pinball) now.

  • http://www.myspace.com/moonsofjupitermusic RM imagery

    The price would make sense on the iPad. So I'm waiting for that. It's hard to play games on my phone (especially pinball) now.

  • Nookster

    The best regarded examples of the genre are Pro Pinball games. Despite their age they had the best ball physics, and still look fantastic, plus have way more table options than this or any other titles of the day, or present probably.

    I'd be interested in The Web or Timeshock etc, a PC/Mac port though, not the DC version (although it was still pretty good).

    And what's this apparent phobia with pinball games and portrait mode, we don't all have farmers thumbs do we?

  • Nookster

    The best regarded examples of the genre are Pro Pinball games. Despite their age they had the best ball physics, and still look fantastic, plus have way more table options than this or any other titles of the day, or present probably.

    I'd be interested in The Web or Timeshock etc, a PC/Mac port though, not the DC version (although it was still pretty good).

    And what's this apparent phobia with pinball games and portrait mode, we don't all have farmers thumbs do we?

  • Deewin

    I REALLY wish this was a universal app, but from a business standpoint it will probably generate more sales from a separate version assuming it happens at all. I probably wouldn't want to go back to Pinball HD if this game is that much better. I'm going to pass on this for now and will consider getting the iPad version (and maybe even the DLC) if it happens.

  • Deewin

    I REALLY wish this was a universal app, but from a business standpoint it will probably generate more sales from a separate version assuming it happens at all. I probably wouldn't want to go back to Pinball HD if this game is that much better. I'm going to pass on this for now and will consider getting the iPad version (and maybe even the DLC) if it happens.

  • Pachi

    OMG i had this on the Sega Saturn....

  • Pachi

    OMG i had this on the Sega Saturn....

  • Soul of Wit

    It's not that $5 is too much for a pinball game on the iDevice, it's that $5 is too much for 1995 quality. No thanks.

    I'll stick with the Williams collection on console and Visual Pinball for the Windows partition on my Mac.

  • Soul of Wit

    It's not that $5 is too much for a pinball game on the iDevice, it's that $5 is too much for 1995 quality. No thanks.

    I'll stick with the Williams collection on console and Visual Pinball for the Windows partition on my Mac.

  • http://www.callboxlive.com Stan Winstone

    DLC: Eff-Off. OK?

  • http://www.callboxlive.com Stan Winstone

    DLC: Eff-Off. OK?

  • Crunc

    I would like to try this, but I need a demo. I don't buy video pinball that doesn't get the physics right, and that video of the game sure doesn't demonstrate that one way or the other. The player in the video is a pure flailer. Does this game properly simulate backhand shots? Flipper passes? Drop catches? Bouncing off the flipper? Etc.

  • Crunc

    I would like to try this, but I need a demo. I don't buy video pinball that doesn't get the physics right, and that video of the game sure doesn't demonstrate that one way or the other. The player in the video is a pure flailer. Does this game properly simulate backhand shots? Flipper passes? Drop catches? Bouncing off the flipper? Etc.

  • cranker

    Waiting for an ipad version. Pinball games don't work on the iphone IMO.

  • cranker

    Waiting for an ipad version. Pinball games don't work on the iphone IMO.

  • Vinvu

    Pricing is just one aspect(thanks!), and I clearly pointed out that marketing is another(and far more important) factor in the success or failure of a game. And I never said that prices should be cheap, I said there was no reason for them to be raised, you seem to think higher prices means higher quality, or at least more success in the app store; I said that the current pricing model works. And it works well, the devs just need to market their games properly. no, I dont know who you are, I dont care, and it doesnt matter.

  • Vinvu

    that was at big albie, posted in wrong place.

  • Vinvu

    Pricing is just one aspect(thanks!), and I clearly pointed out that marketing is another(and far more important) factor in the success or failure of a game. And I never said that prices should be cheap, I said there was no reason for them to be raised, you seem to think higher prices means higher quality, or at least more success in the app store; I said that the current pricing model works. And it works well, the devs just need to market their games properly. no, I dont know who you are, I dont care, and it doesnt matter.

  • Vinvu

    that was at big albie, posted in wrong place.

  • JC

    I love pinball and am lucky enough to own some real pinball machines from the 80's & 90's.

    I've also have bought pretty much every decent Pin app. I rarely play them.

    Pinball HD is much improved from the original iPhone apps - but the flippers are too long and it doesn't have the depth or feel.

    ESPN is all flash and no cash.

    Dreams & Fantasies are good flat.

    FX Pinball doesn't feel right.

    With LGR 2010 even with the dated GFX & high cost taken into account this is the ONLY pinball game on an iDevice that does the job. The design of the tables feels authentic to a 90's machine, and the modes give it depth. The DMD animations are well done too.

    Although the tables are rendered in 2D, the processing power has gone into the ball physics. So the balls actually bounce with a good weight and off each other in multiball. So you can cradle three on one flipper etc. Also the tables are well DESIGNED. That in itself is quite an art. If you like pinball it's worth the money.

    I'd love it to be higher rez and cheaper, but it is a universal App and plays well.

  • JC

    I love pinball and am lucky enough to own some real pinball machines from the 80's & 90's.

    I've also have bought pretty much every decent Pin app. I rarely play them.

    Pinball HD is much improved from the original iPhone apps - but the flippers are too long and it doesn't have the depth or feel.

    ESPN is all flash and no cash.

    Dreams & Fantasies are good flat.

    FX Pinball doesn't feel right.

    With LGR 2010 even with the dated GFX & high cost taken into account this is the ONLY pinball game on an iDevice that does the job. The design of the tables feels authentic to a 90's machine, and the modes give it depth. The DMD animations are well done too.

    Although the tables are rendered in 2D, the processing power has gone into the ball physics. So the balls actually bounce with a good weight and off each other in multiball. So you can cradle three on one flipper etc. Also the tables are well DESIGNED. That in itself is quite an art. If you like pinball it's worth the money.

    I'd love it to be higher rez and cheaper, but it is a universal App and plays well.

  • Darkness

    A decent version of Medieval Madness for idevices would go down rather well, or would that demand too much processing power?

  • Darkness

    A decent version of Medieval Madness for idevices would go down rather well, or would that demand too much processing power?