Marvel Pinball

[DLC Review] Captain America Defends Pinball's Honor

The latest Marvel Pinball table is here to protect you!
Author: Aram Lecis
Published: June 27, 2011
We've always been a fan of Zen Studios around these parts. We loved Marvel Pinball, the pseudo-expansion to Zen PInball. We aren't above turning on our Xbox 360 on occasion to fire up some Pinball FX 1 & 2, and we also just spent 30 good minutes with the head pinball wizard over at the development house. So while we missed out on the recent Fantastic Four table that got released, we weren't going to ignore the brand new Captain America playfield that just got released.

Let me begin by saying that while I am a pretty big fan of Marvel comics in general and I am quite familiar with the universe, I never spent that much time with Cap and Bucky, nor have I delved much into the exploits of The Red Skull or Baron Zemo, his arch-villain antagonists. Not that any of that is necessary for enjoyment of the table, but it helps set the mood I am sure.

If you have played Marvel Pinball already, you know what to expect here. If you HAVEN'T played Marvel Pinball, this is a good time to jump in because you also get a free copy of Zen Pinball with it. That's a good collection of tables for a great price!

You won't find anything new in the Captain America table you haven't seen before, but the layout is pretty decent, if fairly traditional. All the Zen trademarks are here, with lots of missions to activate, models appearing on the table, and a cool little mini-table in the corner where you deflect shots with Cap's shield. I wasn't quite as enthralled as I was with the Blade and Spiderman tables from the original set, both of which featured interesting mechanics and unique layouts. Captain America probably falls in the middle of the pack in terms of the Marvel tables, being a bit more enjoyable than Iron Man, which I always felt was the weakest of the set.

Of course you'll still get the nifty leaderboard integration, trophies, and all the other bells and whistles that make the series so great. If you love Cap, or even just love The Avengers, it's undeniable that the Zen guys took the time to make sure they had the universe nailed and the table is a love letter to the golden age of comics. If you love pinball in general and just want some new tables, Captain America is a fine addition, even if it isn't the most innovative or exciting one. Bottom line, more tables for the collection are always good, and this one is no exception.
The Verdict

An absolutely addictive and surprisingly deep and varied video pinball offering Marvel Pinball does the license right and establishes ZEN Studios as one of the most talented purveyors of downloadable content out there. Buy this game.


Fantastic framerate, great detail on the characters and tables, what more could one ask for from a pinball game? Shame it can be a little too detailed at times, but they're rare.


A surprisingly great soundtrack, sound effects and quips from the characters and villains, plus support for custom soundtracks? Awesome.


There have been some questions raised about the ball physics in the PS3 version vs. the 360 one, but I quickly adapted and frankly love the feel of each of the tables.


Though things can feel just a touch claustrophobic at times, there's so much depth in just these SIX tables that it's hard not to fall in love. Shame about not being linked with ZEN Pinball, though.