I have always loved pinball. Ever since I was a child, I have loved pinball machines and pinball videogames. Maybe it was playing NES pinball, or Alien Crush, I just found a love of both the machines and the video games. As such, I was a big fan of Zen Studios work. I hadn’t played some of their new boards in years, but one set that stood out above all others was their Bethesda pack.
Imagine taking Fallout 4, DOOM and Skyrim and turning them into pinball games, and at the same time retaining almost everything about the games. These are not just Bethesda themed pinball boards, they are the games fully adapted into pinball games, complete with game mechanics and identity.
Skyrim Pinball is nothing short of amazing. It retells the story of Skyrim through pinball and stays true to the game. It has the iconic music, it has leveling up and boss battles, and you have to watch your health and stamina at all times. You will go through dungeons, you will pick up loot and sort through and inventory and even craft items. I was absolutely blown away by the amount of detail put into the game. Yes its a stripped down version, but the essence is all still there. I had to be pulled away from the game just to be reminded that I had other obligations, that is how into it I got. The Skyrim board alone makes this worth getting. But it isn’t the only board.
DOOM Pinball was like getting hit with sensory overload in the best way possible. Great music, great visuals, good enemies and fights, I would never have thought it possible but it works. This follows the basic storyline of the new game and incorporates several elements from it, all done in the best way possible to keep the feeling despite the different format. I will even go so far as to say, that this particular board felt like more of a sequel to Alien Crush Pinball than the actual sequel for the Wii did .
Fallout Pinball is where things fell a bit short. I admit this may be because I am not extremely familiar with the Fallout games as much as others, but it felt like adapting many elements just got in the way. With Skyrim and Doom inventory and battles felt fluid and easy even if it took a while to get used to. With fallout, it felt way too clunky at times, but I can still appreciate the work done on this. The visuals are amazing and the music was good, but to me this just felt like the weak entry.
Overall, I would definitely give this a look at. My issues with the Fallout board likely have to do with my unfamiliarity with Bethesda’s entries, and fans might will like it. The other two boards however, were nothing but awesome. DOOM and Skyrim individually would make the purchase worth it, as they are some of the best pinball boards ever made. Fun, exhilarating and with an amazing amount of detail, these will suck you in fast.
I fully recommend checking this out.