The Pinball Arcade Updates with Jack-Bot, Long-Awaited DX11 Beta Support

April is wrapping up so that means it’s time for the monthly new table from The Pinball Arcade, and this month’s is the final game of the Pinbot series, Jack-Bot.  Jack-Bot is a weird departure from the previous two games, in that it combines the robots of Pinbot and Bride of Pinbot with a gambling theme, fused on to the original Pinbot table.  While there’s not a bit of difference in the layout between Jack-Bot and Pinbot, it introduces more than enough modes and features to avoid being a simple re-skin.  Plus it completes the Pinbot trilogy, and there’s something to be said for not leaving that last thread dangling.

Also of note is next month’s free table- Cirqus Voltaire, replacing this month’s High Roller Casino.  If you don’t have them already you can play for the grand total price of $0 for their respective months.  It’s not a bad way to put the big new feature through its paces if you don’t want to risk the money up front.

That feature, of course, is the DX11 lighting that’s been in the works for PC for the last year.  While the geometry remains the same, the light sourcing gets a significant upgrade that makes everything pop much more like what you’ve probably seen in your local bar or arcade.  You get two sliders to play with, one for ambient light and another for table lights, and the first thing you’ll want to do is drop the preset 50% ambient down to at least 20%, or possibly less on tables with a ton of lights.  The only problem I’ve noticed is that while the pinball is reflective, it isn’t shiny enough, looking like a dull metal sphere when it hits the shadows.  Anyone who’s played pinball at all knows that the balls are bright and shiny, making them almost impossible to lose due to the reflections from the table lights even if the room itself is pitch-black.  Still, it’s beta and a really good-looking beta to boot, so hopefully the ball will get a nice reflective polish as it progresses.  Even in its current stage the pinball tables have never looked better.

Jack-Bot is out now for PC and Android, iOS following as soon as Apple completes their review, and the console versions trailing along in their own good time.