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Pinball FX2: Iron & Steel
Score: 85%
Publisher: Zen Studios
Developer: Zen Studios
Media: Download/1
Players: 1 - 4 (Online)
Genre: Arcade/Classic/Retro/Online


In case you didn't know, Zen Studios has developed games that have nothing to do with either Zen Pinball or Pinball FX2. I've reviewed a fair number of them, and while the quality of each one is certainly up for debate, their pinball games are almost uniformly excellent. While they've done some original pinball tables in the early years of Zen Pinball, most of their work at this point has been licensed. From Marvel to Star Wars, and with a bunch of unrelated video games in between, they've done quite a lot of experimentation. Here's a change of pace for you: they've adapted one of their own games into a pinball table and thrown in an additional new table for good measure. Pinball FX2: Iron & Steel might not be what you expected or even what you wanted, but it's still quality pinball.


I reviewed CastleStorm: Definitive Edition a while back. I remember it being a charming action strategy game that felt like part Angry Birds and part tower defense. It wasn't one of the best games of the year or anything, but it was a neat little diversion that I still find myself coming back to every now and then.

Being a Zen Studios title, it'd be pretty unforgivable if they were unable to recapture the look and feel of that title. Thankfully, they do it justice. The cartoony medieval aesthetic is present and lends itself well to pinball. Crossbows and ballistae decorate standard pinball knick-knacks (bumpers, kickbacks, etc.), and the ball launch mechanism is literally a donkey kick. Good stuff.

Wild West Rampage:

Well, here's something new. Is this Zen Studios' way of teasing their possible next game? All I know is I'd play a Zen-developed western shooter. Especially if it has a sense of humor.

The Wild West Rampage table follows the exploits of a busty bounty hunter known as Cindy. She has just arrived, Blazing Saddles-style, to the dusty town of Rackton Point. She's here to clean up, obviously, so she'll have to butt heads with the likes of bandits and the crooked Sheriff Evans. So naturally, you've got trains, steam-powered machinery, saloons, etc. This may be the first time I've seen a pinball get defenestrated. And I would also say that this one is the better of the two, though both are good.


Pinball FX2: Iron & Steel continues the proud tradition of offering the best value on the Xbox Live Marketplace (that is, apart from the monthly Games With Gold promotion.) $4.99 is a steal for something as replayable as a couple of pinball tables. If you're not into pinball, obviously it's not for you. If you liked CastleStorm and want more, this is definitely different, but it gets the atmosphere right. And Wild West Rampage is awesome; I hope to see more of that. All told, quality product, reasonable price. End of story.

-FenixDown, GameVortex Communications
AKA Jon Carlos

Related Links:

Windows Game of Thrones: Episode 2 - The Lost Lords Microsoft Xbox One Game of Thrones: Episode 3 - The Sword in the Darkness

Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated