Generally favorable reviews - based on 51 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 38 out of 51
  2. Negative: 1 out of 51
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  1. Nintendo Power
    A fully realized and well-tuned hybrid of pinball play and Metroid Prime atmosphere, and it sets the bar high for other pinball-action games to come. [Dec 2005, p.109]
  2. Incredibly entertaining portable pinball game with additional rumble pack cart.
  3. Metroid Prime Pinball may be the surprise sleeper of the fall, and although the "Prime" moniker may be out of place, it certainly embodies the fun and sense of addiction that other Metroid titles have shown.
  4. Play Magazine
    If it's Metroid it's in here, and looking absolutely amazing... [Nov p.99]
  5. 90
    The graphic stylings are incredible, the tables are well thought out and integrated, the musical score is brilliant and the theme works in ways you would never imagine.
  6. Video game pinball doesn’t get any better than what Nintendo and Fuse Games have put together in Metroid Prime Pinball.
  7. The game’s pinball mechanics, save for the somewhat inept table-tilting feature, are expertly implemented, and the numerous flavors of Metroid have been liberally sprinkled throughout the experience the ensure fans of the franchise will come away both smiling and humming a familiar tune.
  8. There's very little wrong with it (although that lack of a save feature is irritating) and a lot to love. If you like pinball games, this is the one to grab.
  9. 85
    This game feels first and foremost like a pinball game, and a pretty damn good one at that. The Metroid motif's all well and good, but it's really only the icing on the cake.
  10. With top-notch graphics and sound that believably invoke the Metroid series, not to mention some really cool pinball innovations that incorporate many trademark features of the series, this game really does feel like a seamless, if unlikely, merging between classic arcade pinball and the creepy-cool Metroid Prime series.
  11. The marriage of pinball and Metroid is a match made in heaven. This is a perfect game to play for 20 minutes at a time.
  12. If you are a fan of Pinball games or of the Metroid Prime franchise, then this is a game for you.
  13. 85
    This could be the game that convinces you to take the "Mario Kart" cartridge out of your DS. Metroid fans will love it. Pinball fans will love it.
  14. The more logical subject matter and double the screen room resulted in a solid game, filled with Metroid homage and tight pinball mechanics.
  15. I would have liked it if there were customizable controls, but it isn't a big deal. For a real innovative pinball experience I would have hoped Nintendo had included a gyroscopic feedback add-on, so I could actually shake the DS to tilt the table. But it's apparent that my dreams may never come true.
  16. In what could have been a disaster, Fuse Games has taken the Metroid name and applied it to a really great looking and great playing pinball game.
  17. The idea that the game of pinball may be used to simulate virtually any other challenging struggle is a good one (since pinball is cool), and Metroid Prime Pinball pulls it off very well--both by being a fun and great-looking pinball experience, and by being a faithful spin-off of one of the best Nintendo games of the past decade.
  18. Pelit (Finland)
    Looks and sounds like Metroid, but is also an excellent pinball game. [Jan 2006]
  19. The dual screens provide a perfect medium for the genre, and the inclusion of the rumble pack, which is compatible with the likes of Mario & Luigi at the moment and should feature in future releases, is a neat and thoughtful inclusion.
  20. Game Informer
    I definitely would have had more fun with Metroid Prime Pinball if I'd had access to a little more content right from the start. [Nov 2005, p.176]
  21. 80
    Fuse Games' design looks, sounds, and plays great, and encompasses that pick-up-and-play element that works great in the handheld environment.
  22. 80
    With music lifted straight from the Metroid Prime games, Pinball is an absolute joy to listen to.
  23. A great pinball game doesn't need 25 different tables and a plethora of unlockable crap. All it needs to do is play well, and no argument can be made that Metroid Prime Pinball's gameplay is lacking.
  24. 80
    At the end of some extensive play time with MPP, I'd have to say that this is one of the more unique gaming sessions you can have on the Nintendo DS.
  25. 80
    The boards look very similar. A few more would've been great, too. All things considered, Metroid Prime Pinball is a fun little game that is great for players 7 to 107.
  26. You don't have to be a diehard Metroid fan to dig the onscreen action either, but being one will certainly help you recognize all of the little flourishes that only true Samus sympathizers will appreciate.
  27. 80
    The simple controls and short bursts of gameplay make it perfect for handheld consumption, and a wireless multiplayer mode that allows up to eight other flipper-flappers to play with just one game card pushes its value rather high.
  28. Don't dismiss this is yet another generic pinball game as Nintendo masterfully integrates the Metroid universe into a wonderfully addictive party game.
  29. High quality gaming, perfect for traveling and the rumble pack for future games - you really can't go wrong with this one if you're a fan of bouncing balls.
  30. Consider our fingers well and truly crossed, and let's hope that Metroid Prime Hunters is even better.
  31. 80
    Fuse Games has managed to mould an inspiring example of how to beautifully blend an already existing genre with an established and cherished franchise.
  32. Official Nintendo Magazine UK
    One of the better pinball games of late. [July 2007, p.88]
  33. It is addictive, intense and packed with detail.
  34. Nintendo Gamer
    Video pinball is great when it's done well, and Metroid Prime Pinball is at the upper end of the scale. Nice tables and a very Metroid-y feel.
  35. It could have been disastrous, but Metroid Prime Pinball is a fantastic example of a series spin-off executed extremely well.
  36. My main knock against the game is that it can be hard to see the little rolled up Samus, uh, ball at times, particularly during boss fights when the big fellas and their minions are pelting you with rocks or rockets or blast waves or just negative thoughts, and extra particularly when the ball gets hung up in the dead zone between the upper and lower screens.
  37. If pinball play isn't your cup of tea, you may get bored or even frustrated before you get accomplished enough to unlock new tables. The bottom line is that if you are a fan of Metroid and even causally like to play pinball, you will become quickly addicted to aiding Samus in her quest to kick alien ass.
  38. I enjoyed the way you shake the table -- by rubbing the touch screen -- usually to prevent the ball from dropping into the gutter.
  39. In the end, you must head the advice which our dear bounty hunter has taken to heart, literally: BE THE BALL.
  40. Games Master UK
    Aimed more at Metroid fans than pinball aficionados, and it shows. Flashy but insipid. [Aug 2006, p.65]
  41. 70
    There's a very limited selection of game modes. Players can select Single Mission, Multi-Mission, or Multi-Player, however all the game modes feature the same Metroid Pinball tabletop worlds and goals--there's just a lack of variety.
  42. This game should amuse you for a while, but don’t expect any big things from it. It hasn’t got the high quality standard of the regular Metroid titles, but you knew that already.
  43. These pinball tables are well-designed, the ball action realistic with familiar Metroid elements smartly integrated.
  44. It’s nice that no feeble attempt was made to force the stylus into the pinball format, but it would have been better to see some more multiplayer options and maybe just a couple more tables. Really, that’s the only thing wrong with this otherwise fantastic title.
  45. A polished and entertaining experience, Metroid Prime Pinball is only let down by its lack of proper pinball tables.
  46. Metroid Prime Pinball fills the void for a portable pinball machine. If you are looking for a pinball game that is fun and challenging, MPP would be a good addition to your DS game library.
  47. Next time, hopefully Fuse will go easier on the mini-games. We'd rather have a character-based game that's great at pinball rather than a fence-riding jack of all trades that is master of none.
  48. The graphics are nice, the music is great, and it’s fun to play. The Metroid tie-in actually works quite well in this case to create a richer environment. If you’re looking for something more than pinball, however, you’d best look elsewhere.
  49. 65
    So while this game might take you only a few days to beat, its presentation and feel make for a fun pinball game not like any other. If you’re looking for something that takes pinball to a new level of greatness, look somewhere else.
  50. Success or failure in Metroid Prime Pinball is down to little more than what day of the week it is; what modicum of skill that actually makes a difference is frequently undone by chance. With such a randomly uncontrollable element to the proceedings, you'll find yourself thinking this is either a really good addictive game, or the most infuriating thing since those Michael Winner commercials.
  51. While fun can be had here, it's from the mini-games and the experience rather than solid table designs - and that's a cardinal sin in pinball.

Awards & Rankings

#27 Most Discussed DS Game of 2005
#12 Most Shared DS Game of 2005
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 40 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 40
  2. Negative: 3 out of 40
  1. May 2, 2023
    Experimenting with a long established formula can be a tricky balancing act, especially when you're looking to apply the mechanics of one gameExperimenting with a long established formula can be a tricky balancing act, especially when you're looking to apply the mechanics of one game genre to another. Metroid Prime Pinball is a bit of a strange case, since it knew exactly how far to go to make an entirely unique pinball game, sprinkling in numerous gameplay mechanics and a couple of minigames acting as bonus stages that replicate concepts right from the Metroid series (like a shooting segment), while also primarily remaining a pinball game at its core.

    Unlike most other pinball games, Metroid Prime Pinball has stage progression, power ups and bosses. Each stage distinct, with their own enemy types and some stage layouts are genuinely great, such as Phendrana Drifts acting more like two mini tables, one for each screen. I think this game isn't the hardest pinball game, and I would say that is to the games benefit, as you can loop around multiple times for gradually harder gameplay, and the game definitely is all about chasing high scores. I wouldn't say the game is perfect; the multiplayer leaves a lot to be desired, and one boss in particular feels a little frustrating since if you fail it you're booted back to the other levels rather than losing a life, but I find myself coming back to this game a lot. Its a unique pinball experience that is a ton of fun.
    Full Review »
  2. Nov 24, 2013
    It's a fun spinoff to the series and works well on the DS. But being a spinoff, it lacks depth. You can beat the game in an hour. It's a funIt's a fun spinoff to the series and works well on the DS. But being a spinoff, it lacks depth. You can beat the game in an hour. It's a fun game, if you're a Metroid Prime or Pinball fan you should pick it up since it's cheap. But it doesn't deserve higher than a 7/10 Full Review »
  3. Sep 25, 2010
    i can see this game being a Metroid game. but i don't get how it ties into with the Metroid prime series. but its still a great game if youi can see this game being a Metroid game. but i don't get how it ties into with the Metroid prime series. but its still a great game if you like pinball Full Review »