By: Mike Chen
Zen Pinball loves its licensed tie-in tables, and the recent Marvel release is called Women of Power. The two tables here focus on female superheroes, but what may be surprising is its overall focus on newer comic-book heroes and less on more mainstream characters that may have appeared in other media.
The two tables also are tonally different. In the A-Force, the tone is straight-up comic book with a focus on Black Widow in an alternate Soviet-run reality. Her nemesis is Madam Masque, and while other characters linger in the table artwork, they’re not really involved.
The table is standard Zen fare with various ramps and levels, along with options that trigger specific missions. From a layout standpoint, it’s a clean table with clear sightlines of the further items but still enough bumpers and objects to remain interesting. Also, it has four flippers, which you don’t see that often. This makes multi-ball particularly hectic, in a good way.
Next up is Champions, which features teen versions of superheroes. The cast here includes Ms. Marvel (the current Kamala Khan version), Spider-Gwen, America Chaves and Squirrel Girl. The setting (a downtown area) and style (more cartoon than comic book) is complemented by lighter voice acting with better lines and more engaging performances.
The table layout features more ramps than objects, which makes for a good beginner table — there’s plenty to shoot for, but it never gets too hectic from a bumping-ball perspective. The easier layout is probably designed to go with the younger overall tone, and it’s a good match for someone who just wants to have fun with some lesser-known characters without a hardcore pinball grind.
Zen Pinball‘s Women of Power table focuses on lesser-known female Marvel characters, so you won’t get Storm or Jean Grey here. Well-designed tables of different tones makes this pack universally appealing, and in the case of Champions, the character interaction is goofy enough that you may want to get to know Squirrel Girl if you didn’t already.