Google’s free and universal pinball machine

Google's free and universal pinball machine

A few hours before its big I/O conference, Google is launching I/O Pinball, a free online pinball game that can be played in a simple web browser, on both computer and mobile. A nice showcase for its universal technologies.

Ahead of its major I/O online conference, which will be held this Wednesday, May 11 from 7 p.m. French time, Google created a little surprise by launching I/O Pinball, a pinball game whose name has not obviously not chosen by chance. And for good reason: if it is, as often, a free online module, like many other services of the Mountain View giant, I/O Pinball is also and above all intended to serve as a mini showcase technological. Indeed, this “universal” game is accessible with a simple Web browser, on computer as on mobile, by automatically adapting to the platform used, for the display as for the orders. Thus, I/O Pinball was created with Flutter, a framework (a software infrastructure in French) developed by Google and perfectly optimized to allow developers to develop applications that work on the Web as well as on Android or iOS. And it’s Flame, a 2D game engine based on Flutter, which takes care of the animations and the physics of the whole thing by managing the movements, graphic effects, collisions, etc.

I/O Pinball: a simple game for all platforms

To play I/O Pinball, nothing could be simpler. Just open a web browser on a computer (PC or Mac) or mobile (smartphone or tablet) and go to the dedicated address (see below). After a short loading, you have to choose a character, identify the manipulations indicated (which vary according to the device used, with the keyboard on a computer and touch zones on the screen of a mobile) and embark on the race for the score by juggling with the ball and the levers, alas, not very reactive.


Play I/O Pinball

The result is not very spectacular – we are very far from the graphic quality of pinball games of yesteryear such as 3D Pinball Cadet Space, Pinball FX or Pro Pinball which made PC players happy in the 90s… – and I/O Pinball will certainly not enter the Pantheon of gamers. But that’s not his goal. Because if it makes it possible to pass the time pleasantly while waiting for the start of the conference, it above all allows Google to show what it is possible to develop with universal tools. And that’s what interests the targeted community of developers. Through this game, Google intends above all to show the potential of its web-based technologies by abolishing the boundary between local applications, installed on a device, and WebApps, which are used directly online. Moreover, by launching I/O Pinball on an Android smartphone, we are invited to add it to the home screen, as if it were an ordinary app. Quite casually, this unpretentious little pinball game reveals what the applications of tomorrow could be…


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