Zen Studios delighted fans around the world with its Marvel-themed pinball tables, so why not Star Wars? The result, Star Wars Pinball, is another quality product from the talented developer that is chock full of fan service, from John Williams' phenomenal soundtracks, to attention-grabbing artwork and scenes inspired by George Lucas' fiction. The obvious lack of original voice acting is somewhat of a downer, but overall, you'll fall in love with this Force-powered title.
Available independently and through Zen Pinball (iOS) and Zen Pinball HD (Android), Star Wars Pinball includes three expertly crafted tables inspired by The Empire Strikes Back, Boba Fett and The Clone Wars TV show. Each table comes with unique imagery and challenges, and we love the attention to detail.
With Empire, Zen Studios captured the iconic film's greatest moments through visuals, audio or a combination of the two. Not only will you see familiar imagery, like Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader's lightsabers, but also Probe Droids, an AT-AT and Cloud City, complimented by a variety of familiar quotes from Yoda, Han Solo, Vader and Luke, among others; as we mentioned, Zen Studios went with sound-a-likes instead of the original actors. Meanwhile, completing various objectives brings up mini-games and cut scenes where you'll need to hit a Stormtrooper with the pinball, maneuver it through asteroids and TIE Fighters or watch Luke and Darth recreate their first lightsaber duel. Progress far enough, and you'll make the jump to light speed. Suffice to say, Empire is our favorite of the three tables, no question.
Not that Boba Fett disappoints. The developers managed to do the famous bounty hunter justice with a table capturing his greatest moments. It won't take long to find Han Solo in carbonite, along with Jabba the Hutt, the Sarlacc pit and Fett's competitors, namely Bossk, Dengar and IG-88. We also dig Vader's appearance, who gives his classic "no disintegrations" line from Empire. Other nice touches include Boba Fett's blaster doubling as the pinball launcher and watching the character flying around the table firing rockets.
Rounding out the package is The Clone Wars, starring Anakin Skywalker, fellow Jedi Ahsoka Tano and some Battle Droids. Zen decorated the table with other characters, like Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Maul. You'll quickly notice the Republic Gunship off to the left, and depending on how well you do, this board showcases impressive lightsaber battles. Just make sure you keep an eye on the ball(s).
As for assorted options, there are multiple camera views, as well as the ability to play in portrait or landscape mode. High-score leaderboards are here for your bragging pleasure, and there's even two-to-four person Hotseat multiplayer.
On the downside, the game stumbles a bit on smartphones, simply because you don't have as much space with which to work; tinier screens also make the ball difficult to spot. Those minor complaints aside, Star Wars Pinball is a wonderful extension of Zen Studios' outstanding games, and even non-fans will enjoy everything it has to offer. With plenty of characters and movies from this beloved universe, we can't wait to see what's next.
Star Wars Pinball should be available on the iOS App Store soon. In the meantime, you can purchase the tables for $1.99 each through Zen Pinball.
What's Hot:Three intricately designed Star Wars tables, classic John Williams music, memorable scenes from the fiction, Hotseat multiplayer, global leaderboards, multiple camera angles, play in portrait and landscape.
What's Not:Sound-alikes instead of original actors, cramped smartphone screens make the game somewhat difficult to play, $1.99 per table a bit steep as far as mobile prices go.