Zen Pinball Review and Giveaway

Game Review: Zen Pinball
Release: May, 14th, 2009
Genre: Pinball
Developer: Zen Studios
Available Platforms: PlayStation 3
Players: 1-4
MSRP: $9.99
ESRB Rating: E

Zen Pinball is Zen Studio’s first PSN game and also PSN’s first Pinball game and what a good way to start off. Some people might be wondering if this is just a port of Zen Studios XBLA game Pinball FX. It uses a upgraded version of the same engine and has much improved graphics but other than that it is very much the same. Which is a good thing, a very very good thing.
Today not many companies venture into the Pinball genre and Zen hasent done a half-assed job.
Compared to Pinball FX the flippers feel lighter and ball spin has been very exaggerated, all done to match the games new feel. In Pinball FX the game lacked character, it was a great pinball game but didn’t have a unique feel. This time Zen has given it a personality. But is it the right one?


Zen Pinball in every way seems real, from the graphics to the simply amazing ball physics. You can pop a ball in the air, knock it off tracks and get it stuck. Everything you can do in a real pinball table can be done in Zen Pinball. But when the ball shoots down the table leaving a speed blur behind it and shooting sparks it takes away from the whole experience.

This isn’t what I wanted! Pinball FX lacked character but this toyish feel isn’t the right match either. I was disappointed; they had turned the game into a childish light show.

That’s when I pressed the Start button and discovered the amazing options menu. Not only was I able to turn off all these arcade effects but I also discovered the Operators Mode. Starting it up for the first time you are warned that if you make changes your score wont be posted on the leaderboards, which is understandable, because Operators Mode gives you full diagnostic control over the table. You can test all the lights and bumpers and change the default ball count and table settings. This is where I noticed how much time and detail Zen puts into each and every table. The table art is simply astounding and going though the test mode i discovered each table consisted of hundreds of lights and moving parts. Only Zen Pinball captures the feeling and workings of a real pinball table.


The games multiplayer puts up to four players against each other in a race to see who can reach a set score first.  It’s a perfect mode for pinball, it dosent compromise the core game in any way and adds a great social aspect with full support for the PS3 Eye which lets you see your opponents as they play. An adjustable point penalty makes it easy for new players to compete with the pros.

A instruction sheet for each table is included to help less experienced players get a better grasp of their objective. Holding the camera button lets you use six-axis to scope out the table as well.  Zen Pinball seems to have almost everything right except for a few camera issues here and there.

People looking for a 100% accurate simulation will be a bit disappointed as well. Ball spin is extremely over done and the ball feel more like its made out of rubber than metal but these are just small complaints in a mostly extraordinary game.

Final Thoughts: If you are into Pinball games at all this is a must buy for only $10 and a demo is available on the PSN. Additional tables will extended the life of the game and its high attention to detail separates it from the other Pinball games out now.


Thanks to Zen Studios and Reverb Communications, Platform Nation has three codes for Zen Pinball to give away. Leave a comment with your PSN ID and our winners will be picked Monday night.

Winners Picked:
Congratulations to skynidas, Sog_bkm and Rogue__77. The Codes will be sent to your PSN ID.



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  • Dmilano23

    It’s safe to assume Writers are ineligible, right?

    Just checking.

    Dmilano23 just in case 🙂

  • Great review!

    PSN id: Steve519

  • @Dmilano23: Everyone is free to enter

  • Stuart

    I like it too, although it’s a little confusing as to what you should be aiming for at times.

  • My PSN ID is NV_Misfit. I’d love to win one of these! Thanks for the opportunity!

  • ATC 1982

    Wow I missed this one

    PSN ID: ATC-1982

  • Smitjd

    Great review… Looks sweet
    Psn: smitjd

  • Hector

    Thanks for the review, guys. Awesome job.

    PSN id: EktorOni

  • stevieam

    I am going to have to download the demo
    PSN: stevieam

  • Luis

    Ahhh, I want this game, It looks sooooo good.

    PSN ID: skynidas

  • KingQuagmire of course!

  • I actually loved this game from the second I tried the demo. Haven’t been able to afford the game yet, but hopefully soon. The graphics are simply amazing!


  • andrew

    a great prize for everyone hope 2 win and slot my way to victory PSN ID: ajpsnid

  • I never win, I will enter anyway though

  • andrew

    great prize hope 2 win and slot my way 2 victory

  • Roberto

    I’ve been waiting for a good pinball game to hit the PS3. I’m not a luddite, just raised in the seventies. Pinball will never die!!!

    PSNID: lifesabatch

  • Ross

    Psn: LostPoetB24

    Zenpinball looks like one of those great games to pass an hour or two.

  • Rogue77

    Downloading the demo as I type this. Looking forward to playing!

    PSN ID: Rogue__77

  • ThUgGEEK


  • Jon

    Great review on game I was unsure about.

    PSN Id: FNIrishBull

  • Ivan

    PSN: KonArtist18

  • Kosamus

    PSN: Kosamus

    Good game, i love pinball

  • VaDeRr

    Thid game is getting good reviews. I would like to try to try rest of the game without paying for it. Since I’m broke. Here’s hoping

  • Billy Ramey (edulle)

    Nice review. Looks like a fun game.

    PSN: edulle

  • G-RED_

    Thanks for the opportunity!