Pinball wizardry has a dark side - score too many consecutive sixes and you might just unleash Satan all over your table. Demon's Tilt is an offbeat pinball game launching into early access this month, on January 22nd. Developed by Wiznwar and seemingly inspired by Naxat's old 16-bit Crush Pinball series, players bat their balls up through a multi-screen table, battling swarms of small monsters and pummelling larger boss enemies as they rack up the points. I still have a soft-spot for the Crush games, so it's great to see a modern tribute. Down the drain to the trailer below.
Demon's Tilt seems to be leaning hard into its 90s inspirations. Its intentionally chunky pixels wouldn't look too out of place in an old Naxat game, but there's a lot more horizontal screen-space used, and the camera feels a little more pulled back to give you a better look at the action. There's a lot of activity going on, with smaller monsters appearing by the dozens and bosses spewing big lasery bullet patterns across the board. The bullets can be cleared up by your ball, and apparently fuel a magic system, letting you fire big homing attacks at the monsters living on the board.
The game is launching with a single table with three tiers to it, unlocked as you progress through its quests and boss fights. It doesn't seem like an enormous amount will be added to the game over its time in early access, just tuning, tweaking and maybe a few more quests and enemies. Pinball is notoriously tough to balance, as even the tiniest shift in position of an obstacle can completely change the flow of the game, so getting more people in on the ground floor makes sense. After so many more serious pinball games on PC (with accompanying licensing issues) I'm just glad to see something more fanciful again.