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So, what types of iPad peripherals get my goat? Ones that have limited use, cost too much, and collect dust. Discover Bay's Duo Pinball is the most vexing, ridiculous type of "app-cessory" there is, one that gives a bad name to the whole category and is precisely the type of plastic junk that could ruin an industry. Allow me to explain.
First of all, I love pinball. I also love pinball apps. Sounds like the Duo Pinball would be right up my alley, right? The plastic Bluetooth device is essentially an iPad stand with physical flipper buttons and a spring-loaded plunger. Your iPad slots in and locks into place with little side levers, and stays in portrait mode. Pair with Bluetooth, and Duo Pinball's ready to go.
Except it isn't, because of all those great pinball game apps in the App Store, only one of them works with the Duo Pinball: GameProm's Pinball HD Collection. It's an excellent app, and features 11 very good video game pinball tables, but it's absurd that this limited-use device can't work with other games like Pinball Arcade or many, many other retro and classic pinball titles. That relegates the Duo Pinball to the same novelty bin as Discovery Bay's other game accessory, the Atari Arcade.
This would be an OK device for a novelty purchase, except for the fact that it costs $60. Yes, $60. The Duo Pinball unlocks five free tables in the Pinball HD Collection app, a nice bonus, but hardly a huge value.
Even worse, the reaction speed of the buttons isn't as fast as simply tapping onscreen; that Bluetooth delay makes the Duo Pinball feel sluggish even for the one game it's designed for.
What's next? An accessory just for Temple Run? This reminds me of the plastic junk I used to accumulate for console games, but somehow worse. Don't get the Pinball Duo unless it costs $10 or less: it's big, it's bulky, and believe me, you can play pinball just fine on an iPad using your fingers.