Star Wars Pinball Review

Star Wars Pinball Review

May 24, 2013

Pinball is an interesting state of flux: the genre as a physical form is not in great shape, but it is doing fantastic in virtual form. Fans of the silver ball have series like Pinball Arcade and Zen Pinball which both provide regular amounts of new tables to freshen up the experience regularly. Star Wars Pinball, a standalone release of the Zen Pinball table based off of Empire Strikes Back, is a great way to check in to this series.

While the game includes in-app purchases for two other Star Wars tables, the base purchase includes just the one table. That’s hardly a bad thing – there’s a lot going on here. There’s multiple missions to complete by hitting various triggers, lots of targets to go for, and plenty of flashing lights and loud noises. The fanservice is strong with this one – there’s all kinds of art and sounds from the movie. This isn’t a cheap cash-in, a lot of love was put in to this game.

The physics feel realistic enough, though as someone who’s not a pinball expert, I’m not the best judge of this. Still, it’s easy to tell when a game’s physics feel fake, and this definitely does not. The game is a natural fit for the Nexus 7 with its portrait mode display, but for those that want to play in widescreen, well, that’s possible too. Pretty much every camera orientation that a person could want to play a virtual pinball game with is supported here.


However, Star Wars Pinball just does not do a whole lot for me on its own, without much in the way of context. I’ve heard pinball experts raving about it, but to a relative neophyte like me, it doesn’t really come through. I tend to enjoy my pinball experiences as more fantastical games (I have sunk countless hours in to Pokemon Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire for Game Boy Advance) rather than as more realistic ones.

So, for the casual or lapsed pinball fan, this is definitely worth checking out, or even in the context of the larger Zen Pinball series – this table is available as add-on content for the main app as well. Star Wars fans should check it out because it’s a pinball game that pays great homage to the series. I hear only rave reviews from the pinball-obsessed as well.

I don’t know if this is the game to get people in to pinball for the first time, but for those with a pre-existing interest in pinball or Star Wars, this is a must-have.

Star Wars Pinball Review Rundown

Graphics & Sound - Everything is immaculately rendered, and the sounds all reference the movies.
Controls - Launching by just using the touchscreen doesn't make much sense to me, in that I never quite figured it out, but with an HID controller it works well! Otherwise, the controls are tight and do just what they need to.
Gameplay - It's...pinball? As a casual pinball player, I don't quite get the intricacies that others do, but there's a lot to do even on just the default table.
Replay Value - The Empire Strikes Back table has a lot to do on its own, and there's two IAP tables in addition.
Overall - While pinball fans and Star Wars fans may get the most value out of this, it's a solid pinball experience nonetheless.

Download: App available at the Google Play Store »

Carter Dotson
Carter Dotson, editor of Android Rundown, has been covering Android since late 2010, and the mobile industry as a whole since 2009. Originally from Texas, he has recently moved to Chicago. He loves both iOS and Android for what they are - we can all get along!
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