A long, long time ago in arcades (sometimes no so) far, far away, there was pinball. Now the Force (of gravity) can be with you as you train to be a Jedi (pinball) master with Star Wars Pinball from Zen Studios. Star Wars Pinball is available on a variety of platforms; you can download it from the App Store and Google Play, or for Pinball FX2 on Xbox LIVE or Zen Pinball 2 on PSN (Xbox 360 version reviewed here). The pack comes with three different tables: The Empire Strikes Back, The Clone Wars, and even one featuring everyone’s favorite bounty hunter: Boba Fett.
The Empire Strikes Back
Many fans consider this their favorite in the original trilogy, and it makes for a great pinball table here. In fact, I would’ve rather them make three tables based on the original three movies, myself. Anyway, the neat thing about this table is the ramps and goals are easy to spot, and you can jump right into one of the missions quickly. Each mission is based on a scene from the movie, and you’ll have to send the ball up lit ramps and targets to pass. Popular characters and vehicles from the Star Wars universe will appear from time to time, and voices and musical score from the movie remain intact. You’ll get to battle Storm Troopers, watch AT-AT Walkers and the Millennium Falcon in action, and even battle Darth Vader himself! And the giant lightsaber that lights up when you send a ball into play is really cool.
Everyone’s favorite bounty hunter (well not everyone’s, I prefer Samus Aran), he even gets his own pinball table! Choose a side as you take on jobs from either Jabba the Hutt or Darth Vader. Shoot the ball up ramps and hit targets to complete missions, and then fire up your Slave 1 spaceship to bring the bounty back for points. This table is a bit more complicated, so I had a hard time telling which ramps went where and whatnot.
The Clone Wars
This table is based on the more recent animated series. I’m not as familiar with the characters and events in this table, but the tangled mess of metal ramps made it confusing to figure out. Also, it’s harder to start missions because first you have to trigger targets and ramps to be accepted by the Jedi Council. But I bet younger fans who enjoy the cartoon will like this table anyway.
Kids love Stars Wars. I did when I was a kid, and it’s still super popular today. If you’re OK with your kids watching the movies, then they’ll definitely be OK with the games. Reading skill isn’t needed, as pinball is pretty easy to figure out. Star Wars Pinball is rated E for Everyone with an ESRB descriptor of Comic Mischief.