I posted a review in the club thread (after having the game for 2 weeks and putting a ton of games on it) that I meant to post here as well, but completely forgot. I’ve copied and pasted below:
Backstory: I got lucky here. The game is actually not mine, but belongs to a good friend. The timing of it's arrival coincided with him being out of the country for a month, so rather than have it sit in a box, I was graciously given permission to unbox and dial it in. Knowing that I have limited time with it, I have been playing it like crazy.
I'll focus mainly on sound, code and gameplay, but I will say that seeing the art and playfield sculpts in person was pretty unbelievable. It's REALLY nice and It really does create an immersive 'world under the glass', which draws you into the theme very well while playing.
Sound: It's great overall! The main music fits the theme perfectly and blends in nicely. It's creepy sounding and builds dynamically as you complete different objectives. It isn't distracting or annoying, and I've found that it just adds to the gameplay experience in a positive way. I especially like that every shot has an effect tied to it. The slings have a cool chain sound when they are hit, and even the ramps have effects each time they are shot. Alice's voice works well, and sounds very bass heavy and creepy when you hear it in real life, as opposed to lots of the clips that are circulating, where it can sound a bit lifeless. In person, I think it's great. The sub in this game is HUGE. If you've heard the sound out of a TNA, they are using the same system, and it really blasts! I will say that I am trying to figure out a way to lower the effects a little, and raise the sound of the main mode music, but it looks like there is an option in the menu that isn't active yet (but should be in a future code update). Also, the songs for the modes are fun! They are different enough to give each mode an individual feel, and vampire and werewolf are two of my favourites.
Layout and Gameplay: Guys, and I am being completely honest, the shots are NOT too tight. I am an average player (not terrible but not great), and I'm finding the shots to be challenging but completely makeable on a consistent basis. I have games where I am hitting combos like crazy (orbits to ramps to scoops), and other where I brick more often, but this is what makes the game challenging and FUN. When you do hit the shots, they are smooth, and the only shot that feels a little different is the secret passageway shot, because of the trajectory. I can't see the path it takes because it is hidden under the castle, but you can feel that it doesn't follow the path of a traditional inner orbit shot. It's very satisfying as well, but different than the left and right orbits, which are like butter. Then there's the upper playfield. I'm usually not a huge fan of upper playfields, but they really nailed it with this one. lots to do up there (kill the vampire in vampire mode, extra ball, bonus mulitpliers, drop target, second ball lock for frank multiball, cold ethyl, and the best shot, the guillotine ramp). The ball is surprisingly controllable up there and very bouncy, which allows you to keep it alive up there sometimes for a good amount of time (although admittedly, sometimes I lose it within seconds). But the main thing is that the upper playfield it tied perfectly into the rules IMHO and makes it worthwile and fun to play up there when you need to. The rest of the layout is interesting as well, with three scoops and the awesome Denisi ball lock, which is always fun to hit. If you're hitting your shots, it can be a flow monster, and if you're not, it can be bouncy and unpredictable.
Modes: Here is where the game really shines. The two main mulitballs (crypt and Frank) have objectives that are fun to play, and aren't just flail fests. You can also stack them together for a 3 ball experience (they are 2 ball multi's on their own). For Frank multi, you actually have to complete the objectives (3 ramp jackpots), as it is one of the modes counted towards wizard mode. The main modes are a BLAST! They are all so different and that's what really makes this game refreshing in my opinion. I've played each mode a fair bit over the past 2 weeks, and while I have my favorites, I never am upset with having to play a certain mode or try to avoid starting a particular one. The rules really have you using the entire playfield, and the music and animations that accompany the modes are awesome! I also love that you can pick what mode you'd like to play, and even by default, each game starts with a different mode lit. To start each mode, you have 3 options (hit orbits to work your way through the castle, hit the center monster targets 3 times and then shoot the secret passage, or advance to start monster from a mystery award), so you can even change the way you do that each time around. The callouts are funny and enjoyable and I can only guess that even more will be added with future updates (there are a lot in there already).
There are small things I hope improve with future updates, such as letting us know how many guillotine shots we have made, as an extra ball is awarded after 10 shots. I also hope that we will be able to adjust the music/effects with future updates. I also think there should be things to do in each room while you travel through the castle. I remember reading something early on about collecting items in each room that will help when battling monsters. That would be a great feature, because right now, you just travel through the rooms to get to the monster and there isn't really anything to do while you are there (with the exception of the dungeon which has the fun 'stretch' shot at the guillotine ramp). But overall, as you can tell by my comments, I have been having a VERY fun time with this pin, and have already called dibs if/when my friend sells it. For all of you buyers waiting, my advice is to hang in there, it's already worth it and I have to imagine will be even more worth it with future updates!