The excellent Star Wars Pinball tables made by Zen Studios are finally making their way to the 3DS, 4 months later than Zen’s other major platforms. Hopefully it won’t take them as long to bring over the “Balance of the Force” set of three tables they just announced. After the cut, I extol the virtue of the three tables making their way to the 3DS for $7.
So first off, in this 3DS version, the tables’ wonderfull LCD screens are situated nicely on the bottom screen, thankfully not losing one of the tables’ most charming elements. Ok so Star Wars Pinball 3D features a table centered around The Empire Strikes Back one around The Clone Wars animated show and lastly one all about the enigmatic Boba Fett.
The Empire Strikes Back is probably one of the best and most accessible pinball tables ever designed. After just a few times, you’ll easily be running up three and four ball multiballs just by sending the ball around the central inlets, which are pretty satisfying. The table’s primary mechanic is that after a few times around the most central inlet, which you’ll hit plenty by accident as a beginner, Darth Vader’s mouth opens up and if you land the ball in there, you get to start one of 6 “scenes” from the movie, each of which has a few checkpointed objectives.
An example scene would be the escape from Hoth, where you first send the ball over a ramp that grows out of Vader, hoping you don’t hit one of the two circling TIE Fighters or asteroids. Then you go train with Luke on Degobah, sending the ball around the central orbit clockwise or counter clockwise on command. Then bam, scene done, a bunch of points and such.
That might sound a bit complicated, but it actually simplifies the pinball experience greatly to have just one thing to focus on at a time and a narrative to follow, rather than just looking a whole table of scoring opportunities and shooting pretty randomly.
I’d never really appreciated pinball before playing this table, so do give this one a go, on Steam of PSN or even this upcoming 3DS release if you’re at all tempted. They’re wonderful tables for beginners and have great production values.