I was more of a console gamer growing up, so I unfortunately missed out on all the great old-school gaming computers, like the Amiga. It wasn't until the world of iOS gaming that I came to know Pinball Dreaming [$1.99] and Pinball Fantasies [$2.99], two classic pinball games from Digital Illusions that were originally released for the Amiga in the early '90s and ported to iOS by Cowboy Rodeo way back in 2009. Let me tell you, I may have been late to the party, but boy was I glad to be invited. Both Pinball Dreams and Pinball Fantasies are fantastic digital pinball games. Sadly, Cowboy Rodeo was a tiny outfit and despite doing reasonably well back in the day it didn't appear that the Dreams and Fantasies ports lit the world on fire. Like so many other great games from that first year of the App Store, updates eventually dried up, though to Cowboy Rodeo's credit they did make an effort every year or two to ensure the games at least ran on latest iOS software and hardware, but new features weren't really in the cards.

Well this week Cowboy Rodeo released updates for both Dreams and Fantasies adding full-screen support for iPhone 5 and newer devices as well as a fix for ball collisions that was caused by iOS 9. I've been dying for full screen support in both these games for years now, and was even very disappointed and sad when updates were released in 2014 but still didn't include true widescreen support. I mean, most the tables are longer than any iOS screen anyway so there's always been some scrolling going on, but a bigger issue was that the black borders on the bottom of the screen didn't recognize touch input, making it unreasonably difficult to use the paddles. That's not a problem now as both games fill up my iPhone 6 screen nicely.

pbdreams pbfantasies

You may also remember that back in 2011, Cowboy Rodeo took it upon themselves to release remakes of both games, Pinball Dreams HD [$3.99] and Pinball Fantasies HD [$3.99]. The reason being that iOS device screens were getting higher in resolution, and rather than redraw all the artwork in the original games it made a lot more sense simply to rebuild the tables in 3D. They used the exact same logic from the original games so the 3D graphics were simply a cosmetic change, and the original ports remained available too for purists who didn't want fancier graphics. Both of these HD remakes have realized a similar fate as their predecessors and haven't received much update love since their initial release. Strangely though, Pinball Fantasies HD DID receive an update adding 4-inch screen support for the iPhone 5 back in late 2012, but Pinball Dreams HD didn't for some reason, meaning it's still stuck with black bars.

I'm hoping these recent updates to the original games mean something is still brewing for the HD remakes too, and of course I'll always still hold out hope that Cowboy Rodeo somehow brings the third game in the original trilogy, Pinball Illusions, to iOS as well. And hey, might as well add the fourth game Slam Tilt to the mix too, right? A man can dream. At any rate, while widescreen updates aren't exactly the most exciting news nowadays, Pinball Dreams and Pinball Fantasies are total classics and the fact that they've now been updated gives a whole new audience of iOS gamers reason to check them out.

  • http://www.wadonk.se Bob Nimbe

    Hurray!
    Just don't forget to tap the top right corner and chane the graphics to "Classic" .

    Slam Tilt , was however not in the series.
    Digital Illusions (DICE) did Dreams, Fantasies, Illusions, Benefactor, Motorhead, Midtown Madness, Battlefield...

    Liquid Dezign HB did Slam Tilt then vanished. I could say that later Zombie Vikings emerged but I could be in for a slapping if that connection were to be made public.

  • FuZion

    Hey, this is a nice surprise.

    Always got the HD remakes on my iPad ready for a blast & may have to re-download these now.

    As for calls for Illusions (Stunning game) & Slam Tilt (Stunningness beyond stunning). I'll throw money at them for those.

  • http://adamsimmersive.com Adams Immersive

    I'd love to see updates to the HD versions.

    • FuZion

      Just curious, what kinda of updates?

      Only asking as I play them on the iPad &, to me at least, they're everything they could be.

      If I had one request (Other than the Illusions & Slam Tilt thing), I'd like these as a single 'Dreams Collection' with all tables in a single app (Retaining the ball physics for each game generation of course).

      • http://adamsimmersive.com Adams Immersive

        Mainly "sign of life" updates; I've bought one but would be more confident buying the rest if they had been updated recently. Secondarily I'd love full iPad pro sharpness.

        But you're right, if they work that's the main thing!

      • FuZion

        I guess you're right on the 'signs of life' vibe.

        I'd like to see it in the light that they've done a great job & there simply are no bugs to squash.

        That saying, a little GC integration & similar modernisations, could help float the games up the charts. I may take a peek at the Mac versions since they're out now too.

      • Diego Milano

        Has anyone tried the HD version of Fantasies on an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus? I am reluctant to buy them simply as there hasn't been any updates since 2012 and I bet these won't work well on the higher resolution iPhones or iOS devices. 🙁

    • Diego Milano

      Do the HD versions even work properly on the latest iPhone 6 and 6 Plus devices?

  • Craig Grannell

    Rather than updates to the HD versions, I'd sooner see the originals made universal, chunky pixels and all. The HD versions felt like a weird and unsatisfying halfway house between the original titles and more modern PC-oriented pinball fare. Also, the ball rarely sits properly in its position, instead looking like it's floating.

    • Diego Milano

      Have you tried any of the HD versions on the recent iPhone devices? I bet they don't work well.

  • Spudboy

    Amiga Forever!