Zen Pinball is an excellent all-around pinball game, and the several video game-based tables the game has seen are no exception. From South Park to The Walking Dead, the Zen Pinball tables are bursting with personality, and no matter if you're a fan of the properties being used to bring the table to life or not, there's something to enjoy about the expertly-crafted tables. The latest to add to the fold is Portal Pinball, a quirky table based on Valve's cult classic first-person puzzler with plenty of references to the game and a setup that Valve themselves might be envious of.
Pinball Worthy of A Companion Cube's Affection
From the first time you launch your ball into what looks like the remnants of Aperture Science, it quickly becomes evident that this is a pinball tablet that you'll want to spend a lot of time on. You're guiding Chell and Wheatley through special test chambers, weaving in and out of portals, and mingling with familiar characters while doing your best to rack up combos.
Most of your time is spent trying to unlock new test chambers, and if you're skilled enough, a battle with GLaDOS herself, that wily AI. There are tons of hidden surprises within the game as well that you'll soon learn to use to your advantage, including different types of bumpers and other important twists that end up giving you a unique experience every time you play.
For Fun, You Monster
There's not much of a learning curve when it comes to Portal Pinball, with only two sides of the screen to tap to control the flippers and pulling back on the plunger to launch your ball. And that's all you really need to laern, save for which power-up does what and where you have to aim around the table in order to maximize the potential for each ball. Thankfully, the movement of the ball itself feels much quicker and more fluid than other pinball game competitors, so it feels as though there's truly an arcade component to it.
An Excellent Addition To Your Pinball Collection
Portal Pinball is an excellent choice if you're looking for something different to tackle, especially if you're a fan of the original games or want to experience the lore and the jokes (even some of the memes) without taking the plunge with the puzzlers. It's fast, frenetic, and runs great on my device. Give it a try if you've not tested out any of the other Zen Pinball releases, and if you have, you already know what you're getting into here. Quality pinball.