By: Mike Chen
South Park is really on a roll when it comes to video games. First came the stellar RPG The Stick Of Truth, and now Zen Studios has released two South Park-related pinball tables for its flagship Zen Pinball game. As with The Stick Of Truth, these tables are chock full of references and assets from the show. What’s even better is that they stand out as among the best gameplay tables on the Zen Pinball platform.
The South Park table package includes a general show theme and one based around the life and times of Leopold “Butters” Stotch. The main table is a jam-packed table with ramps, interactive objects, hidden areas and light-up bonuses, most of which are associated with main characters from the show.
There’s also a unique mini-bumper area near the launcher area that is associated with Kyle‘s light-up bonus. In addition, there’s the standard Zen mix of mini-games, a side window shows animations and highlights from referenced episodes as you activate features. If you know who Mrs. Crabtree and Manbearpig are, you’ll have a blast with this table.
Multimedia is always a highlight of Zen Pinball tables, and the South Park tables come with plenty of it. Interactive triggers play sound bites and music from the show, the dot matrix board offers both game information and treats for fans, and the actual table presentation is filled with artwork and details from the show. The humor is a little toned down from the show’s standards, so while you’ll get plenty of references and laughs, the worst (or best, depending on how you look at it) of the show gets sidestepped for more PG-13 laughs.
The Butters table is a little less dense than the main table, particularly on the bottom half. However, it makes up for that by being loaded with references and the opportunity to open up a mini-table based on Butters’ super villain alter ego Professor Chaos. From a difficulty level, the Butters table can be a little more challenging. However, both tables bring enough humor and references that even mild South Park aficionados will want to play over and over.
While not as raunchy as The Stick Of Truth, the South Park tables for Zen Pinball are a must-have for any even semi-dedicated fan of the show. For those who love pinball but only have minor interest in the show, smart table design with fun mini-games still make both tables appropriately challenging and entertaining.