Everybody loves pinball. It’s the kind of game that is wonderfully easy to get into, and deceptively difficult to master as you scream obscenities at the table in front of you for allowing your little sphere to fall down that left side pit, out of reach of your bumper. If you’re looking for a pinball experience that won’t get you barred from your local arcade for flagrantly abusing the tilt rule, then Zen Pinball has you covered.
Armed with all of the licenses lately, the developer has been regularly churning out tables featuring fan favourite characters, TV series and films. And now they’ve cast their eye towards Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
The first table is the easiest of the duo. Star Wars Pinball: The Force Awakens plays like a stock-standard version of pinball, but littered with a slightly more devious shape and layout. Influenced by the planet of Jakku that the film opens on, the table graphics feature Fin, Poe Dameron and Rey smack-dab in the center. Something that a recent Monopoly set could have learnt from, when it comes to leveraging star power to an advantageous position.
Where the table manages to transcend the usual limitations of the genre however, comes in the form of some table-transforming mechanics. Hit your targets dead-on, and you’ll get new challenges and new environments to ricochet around while maxing out a massive points multiplier.
Star Wars Pinball: Might of the First Order is easily the most challenging board of the two. Filled with more hazards, a pyromaniac stormtrooper and more lights than a power-surge at a local rave makes for a tricky table. What makes the table even more difficult to master, is a second playfield with inner bumpers that has you whizzing and careening all over the place as you seek to angle your pinball in a manner that’ll make your Star Destroyer follow your commands and crush the Resistance.
Y’know, just like the movie.
It’s a jaw-droppingly beautiful table, filled with adequately generic voices featuring new trilogy villains Kylo Rena and General Hux. Captain Phasma is also there, standing above your table, watching your actions and having no real impact whatsoever on your out of control hunk of spherical metal as you ramp up numbers in a manner usually reserved for pornographic trigonometry dreams.
Which is also just like the movie.
In terms of fan service, I like what Zen does with the various properties that they have licenses for. With art, models, and sounds captured directly from the film, each table feels like quality stuff. The Star Wars: The Force Awakens tables are jaw-droppingly beautiful, the kind of hardware that I’d kill many Bothans for to actually possess as something of a showpiece.
But you might want to see the film before you dive headfirst into some pinball wizardry: They’ve both got plenty of spoilers hidden behind the bumpers.
Last Updated: January 11, 2016