Many have tried to replicate the sights, sounds and feel of playing a real pinball table in a video game, but the masters of the art are Zen Studios whose growing collection of game packs and tables in Zen Pinball provide the most realistic and enjoyable virtual pinball experience. This is especially true when played with stunningly detailed visuals and effects on NVIDIA SHIELD.
You can buy the games listed here individually, but the base game, Zen Pinball, behaves as a hub for accessing the other games and is available to download free. Zen Pinball also comes with a single yet stunning table called Sorcerer’s Lair, a fantasy-themed adventure featuring spot-on ball physics and all the sophisticated pinball features you’d expect like autosaves, multiballs, bumpers, ramps and habitrails. Also, this being video pinball rather than a physical table there are numerous beautifully animated objects populating the table which really bring the whole experience to life.
As well as being able to play in single-player mode you can also play a game of hotseat with multiple players taking turns to compete for high scores. Plus there’s a social element. Log into Google Play Game Services to see where you stand in high score tables, challenge modes, pro scores and pinball champion rankings.
Soon though, you will want to expand your library of tables and there are plenty of options based on game, TV and movie franchises. You can purchase tables based on your favorite TV shows including Archer, American Dad, South Park, Family Guy and Bob’s Burgers bringing all the sights and sounds of the shows to the pinball arena. Archer, for example, not only features voiceovers from the show and suitably irreverent dialogue, it also features mini-games that see you fighting on top of a speeding train and getting involved in car chases. Zombie fans are also in for treat with Zen Pinball’s post-apocalyptic pinball table based on the enormously popular The Walking Dead franchise.
Two pack options are available for Marvel Pinball and Star Wars Pinball. In the former you get an Avengers table and, via in-game purchases you can access a vast suite of tables based on – deep breath – Spider-Man, Wolverine, Iron Man, Blade, Ghost Rider, Moon Knight, Thor, X-Men, Fantastic Four, Captain America, World War Hulk, The Infinity Gauntlet, Fear Itself and Civil War.
Star Wars Pinball provides an equally impressive roster of tables allowing players to choose their allegiance to either the Galactic Empire or the Rebel Alliance and relive some of the finest moments from the live-action Star Wars movies with other themed tables including Darth Vader, Boba Fett, Starfighter Assault and Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Again these are available as in-game purchases with The Empire Strikes Back coming free at the initial purchase.
Finally, there’s Portal Pinball based on Valve’s much-loved mind-bending first-person puzzle series. It features all the wry humor from the Portal series’ characters Wheatley and GLaDOS along with all the familiar elements such as portals, aerial faith plates and those pesky laser turrets.