Game review by Steve Cullum.
Game – Zen Pinball 2 – Marvel and The Walking Dead tables (Wii U)
ESRB – E10+ for Everyone 10 and Older
MSRP – $2.99 US each
Obtained – eShop download code via Zen Studios
While the days of going to your local arcade and playing physical pinball tables all evening is, unfortunately, something that does not happen much anymore, Zen Studios is doing its best to keep pinball alive in digital form. Playing pinball on a screen has come a long way since its humble beginnings. Zen Pinball 2 is one of the best versions. Recently, they released four more tables – The Walking Dead, Guardians of the Galaxy, Deadpool, and Doctor Strange – and I got a chance to play them all.
Let’s get into a bit more in detail on each table.
The Walking Dead
Zombies! Everywhere you look, there are zombies in today’s movies, television, books, and games. The Walking Dead pinball table is based on the popular AMC show, which was based on the popular comic book series. The spot-on design of this table is exactly what you would expect from the collaboration of Zen Studios and Telltale Games. Another area this table shines is in its choice-driven gameplay, where players will be asked who should live or die, solve problems, hunt for food and supplies, acquire tools, and lead the group across each episode from the show’s first season. Of course, for new players, this might be tough to follow, but experienced players should be able to advance quite far and rack up their score.
Marvel: Guardians of the Galaxy
As soon as you start up the Guardians table, you will be hit with a multi-ball frenzy. This is to mimic their escape from prison. In fact, the game follows the new Guardians movie in its plot, which is pretty cool and should appeal to fans of the film. There is a lot happening on the table, with its multiple flippers, ramps, and other items. It definitely keeps you in the game, and you often feel like you are finding something new. Guardians of the Galaxy clearly makes for an exciting and fun game of pinball.
One of the most well-known things about Deadpool is that he often breaks the “fourth-wall,” meaning that he interacts with the reader. In this case, though, he interacts with the gamer. There is not much of a plot to this one, but there are several things happening on the table. Many of them involve Deadpool hopping around and saying things to you. He comments on your play, the game’s design, and even refers to Zen Studios. Clearly, the best things about the Deadpool table is are the fun that is happening on the table and in the monologues.
Marvel: Doctor Strange
In terms of basic structure, this is the most simple of all the tables. It has a few ramps, and there is essentially nothing in the middle of the table. It also appears smaller than the average pinball table, which will cause you to think on your feet much more. On top of that, the ball often disappears and reappears in other locations, based on the special features of this table. It is also hard to really tell what is happening. I will, however, say this might be partially true due to my limited knowledge of Doctor Strange. I will say that while I did not like this table in the beginning, it is somewhat growing on me.
Simply put, some tables are better than others. However, much of this is based on preference, too. In general, though, I find most modern pinball tables a bit frustrating because of the many times I lose my ball in the far left or right slots. Yes, you can simulate shaking the table, but it hardly ever helps, and you also risk getting a Tilt. Other than that, the design of all four tables is fun and creative. They really fit the theme well, including the music and sound effects. If you’re a fan of Marvel or The Walking Dead, you should at least download the free trial versions of each table.
The Walking Dead – 8.5 out of 10
Guardians of the Galaxy – 8 out of 10
Deadpool – 7 out of 10
Doctor Strange – 6 out of 10
ABOUT ZEN PINBALL 2:
Zen Pinball 2, developed by Zen Studios, is available for free on the Nintendo eShop for Wii U. There are several tables you can download, including the four mentioned above. If you do not want to pay for them, you can also download a trial of each table that allows you to play for a few minutes.