By: Mike Chen
Zen Studios is the latest to join in the Disney/Lucasfilm merchandising craze of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Zen’s release comes with a two-pack of pinball tables, one featuring Rey and the planet Jakku and the other featuring Kylo Ren and a Star Destroyer docking bay.
Both tables feature mimicked voice acting, the former focusing mostly on Rey (not Daisy Ridley here) and Finn (not John Boyega), with other occasional pop-ins that are probably either intended to be Han Solo or Poe Dameron, I couldn’t tell. The latter table features mimicry mostly of Kylo Ren (not Adam Driver) and Captain Phasma (not Gwendoline Christie).
While these are tables focusing on the The Force Awakens, the music for both tables is a loop of songs from the original Star Wars film, so you won’t hear any new character themes. That is odd considering the audio could easily be patched in late in development after the official soundtrack was released, but maybe it was a licensing issue.
Of the two tables, both follow the Zen staple of traditional pinball play and bonus interaction. However, in terms of design, the Kylo Ren entrant is more dense and interactive, starting with the flame-throwing stormtrooper in the upper left.
A mini-table sits underneath the center patch, and the top is a mix of ramps, chutes and spinners, which makes for an easy pick up regardless of whether you’re a high-skill pinball player or Star Wars fan looking for a five-minute break.
The Rey table is designed around Jakku, which is the first knock against it as the background is really barren and makes the table look smaller than it actually is. The design focuses primarily on a group of ramps sitting in parallel near the top.
While the usual assortment of mini-games comes out, it’s a lot less interactive in the moment than you’d want from a typical pinball table until you really get a sense of timing for hitting each of the ramps (where most of the extra action takes place).
The Force Awakens Pack isn’t Zen’s best effort, but it should still be fun for Star Wars fans. Rey’s table gets a 3, Kylo Ren’s gets a 4, so we’ll average that out.