Zen Studios has turned its Marvel-themed pinball tables into an art form. Each table has been carefully crafted to reflect the personality of the character and franchise that they depict, and even though the tables generally conform to the same rules of real pinball tables, Zen Studios is a master of making use of space, so that each table is so filled with challenges and objectives that it can take weeks, if not months, to master them all.
The latest Zen Studios pinball table is Ant Man. This is unsurprising, given the recent movie starring one of Marvel's oddest heroes. What is more surprising is that somehow Zen Studios continues to escalate the quality of its design. Ant Man is a brilliant pinball table, one of the developer's finest to date.
What struck me from the outset is just how well Ant Man works in pinball form. The sci-fi themed stylings and sound effects are strongly reminiscent of the lighting and effects that real-world pinball tables look to achieve. The flow of the ball around the table is fast and dynamic, which certainly fits with pinball's arcade trappings. With some Zen Studios tables I sometimes get the impression that the developers are more interested with building complex contraptions filled with ramps and gimmicks, and while there is plenty of that in Ant Man, overall I do think this one is more tuned towards skill and speed.
That's not to say it's an especially challenging table, though. Scoring high is relatively easy in Ant Man, because the payouts for achieving objectives are very high, and there are quite a few objectives that are not hard to achieve at all. I do suspect that the high score tables for this one will be very high indeed. As a case-in-point, the video above was worth something like 19 million points, and it happened on my third attempt.
Now I have a very limited understanding of Ant Man - I vaguely know about the character, and I'm a fan of the broader Avengers story, but have never read the dedicated Ant Man comics, nor seen the movie yet. I can only assume, therefore, that the theming of the table fits with the character as well as previous Zen Pinball tables have done, but I'm willing to give Zen Studios the benefit of the doubt there.
I'm running out of things to say about Zen Pinball 2 and its various DLC tables. I'm happy that the popularity of the franchise has remained high, allowing Zen Studios to continue producing them, and when I look at my 40+ tables now I remain amazed about how much value this franchise has provided me. Fingers crossed there are many more tables to come.
- Matt S.
Find me on Twitter: @digitallydownld