Enter Star Wars Pinball from Zen Studios, makers of Zen Pinball for iOS and PinballFX for Xbox 360, both incredibly popular titles with a range of licensed tables for fans, including Marvel Comics and Plants Vs Zombies. Star Wars is the grand-daddy of licenses though and the entire franchise is fairly covered in this first release. The app costs £1.49 and comes with one table, The Empire Strikes Back. Currently there are two more that can be purchased in-app for the same price – one based on Boba Fett and the other on the Clone Wars – with the promise of more tables to come soon.
The Empire Strikes Back table is what will entice Original Trilogy fans in. Launching your pinball triggers the Imperial March to play, a sure fire way to get Star Wars fans straight into your game. Darth Vader steps into the table and utters a line from the movie before teleporting away; appearing again when you trigger a “movie scene” within the table. Other sources of dialogue from the movie include Luke, Yoda and Han Solo – Zen Studios have clearly tried to win fans over early.
The game hinges on completing the before-mentioned movie scenes which cover events from the film including the AT-AT attack and Luke retrieving his lightsaber. It’s suitably challenging and will take a while to master. The touch screen controls are responsive and allow you to time your flipper shots to perfection. It may not be a complete replacement to the physical machines but it’s the next best thing.
The actual design of the table is highly nostalgic and looks great in motion. Elements of the movie are cleverly incorportated throughout, such as Luke’s lightsaber launching your ball when you hit a certain point. Pinball fans will also be pleased with leaderboards fuelling score attacks and a “one more go” addictiveness. If there was one criticism, it’s perhaps that there may not be enough content for some people, although the pricing is consistent with Zen Studios other Pinball tables.
Star Wars Pinball probably isn’t going to convert people to become diehard Star Wars fans or Pinball fans but that’s okay, it’s not really for them. This is a pure nostalgia trip based on one of the greatest franchises in movie history and fans will love it. With more tables to come soon, it may be wise to get started with Star Wars Pinball and master the Empire Strikes Back before gearing up for the challenges to come.