Zen Pinball 2

Good Luck Getting That Ball Out Of The Sarlacc Pit

Our hardworking friends at Zen Studios bring Star Wars to Zen Pinball 2.
Author: Aram Lecis
Published: March 24, 2013
At this point I’d like to imagine there is a huge pit someplace filled with old pinball machine parts and a couple dozen high-end workstations along with some downtrodden looking coders who have been stuck down there for the last 5 years doing nothing but cranking out virtual pinball tables. The sheer amount of content coming out of Zen Studios leads you to believe that they never stop working. Anyone who thought they’d rest on their laurels a bit after releasing Zen Pinball 2 was sadly mistaken as they’ve continued to push out new and exciting licensed content.


So of course it came as no surprise when the Zen masters announced they had a set of Star Wars themed tables in the hopper. Three new tables come with the first pack, representing all sections of the franchise with Empire Strikes Back, Clone Wars and Boba Fett. Those familiar with the franchise already know that those tables all feature a variety of missions and themes drawn from those properties, excellent friends lists and leaderboard integration and a whole host of options to muck around with. The usual Zen polish is all over these tables.

Empire Strikes Back – The table has a real feel of being appropriate to the era of the film. That isn’t to say that it doesn’t have all the same bells and whistles as the other tables but you can imagine this being in an 80’s arcade. There is a heavy focus on Darth Vader and each mission is a recreation of a scene from the film. I found this to be a more challenging table than the average Zen offering.

Clone Wars – Of the new set, I found this to be the least compelling. It’s a decent table but I’m not too fond of the source material for this one and the table feels a little cluttered at the top. Almost the entire table is merely ramps and orbits, although the staged mini-game table is a nice touch reminiscent of Sorcerer’s Lair. Scores can rack up quickly just by consistently hitting ramps and I rarely activated any type of missions on this table.

Boba Fett – Much like the other tables in this collection, the motif does a great job of capturing the Boba Fett feel. You’ll find blasts of steam, bounties and of course a sarlacc pit scattered around the table and a nice diverse set of obstacles to navigate. It’s another tougher table that stays interesting through variety although the default camera angle is too deep to control the ball well.

Once again. Zen has put out a great set of tables that honor the source material and bring the total collection you can amass to over 30 tables. Obviously after creating so many you start to see some similarities between tables but they still do a good job of making each one feel unique. They also toned down some of the over-the-top stuff with these setups. Given the rich tradition of the Star Wars franchise we’re excited to see what the coders in the pit come up with next.
The Verdict
8.5

One of the better recent collections, the Star Wars set is a treat for fans of the franchise and a decent collection of tables for any pinball enthusiast.

9.0Graphics:

Zen did a good job of capturing the look of both an iconic 80's film and a modern animated television show. Boba Fett has that perfect steampunk bounty-hunter feel.

9.0Sound:

Memorable film lines, gruff words and all the best lightsaber sounds money can buy make these tables an aural treat.

8.5Control:

Same story here. It still feels the tiniest bit laggy and tilting is almost worthless but those aren't major complaints.

8.5Gameplay:

A good variety of playstyles are covered in these tables and of course trying to get through all the missions will keep you coming back for more, and beating your friends high scores will bring you back even after you've dominated a table.