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Star Wars Pinball: The Force Awakens
Score: 90%
Publisher: Zen Studios
Developer: Zen Studios
Media: Download/1
Players: 1 - 4 (Online)
Genre: Arcade/Classic/Retro/Online


With the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, one of the biggest pop culture phenomenons in American history has gotten even bigger. And with Disney at the reins, we're guaranteed to see a new Star Wars film every year for at least the next half decade. Zen Studios isn't far behind; having gotten their hands on the license, we can probably expect a slew of new pinball tables each year, as well. This year's offering is a double-pack inspired by J.J. Abrams' record-setting megablockbuster. Star Wars Pinball: The Force Awakens doesn't do anything to tarnish Zen's mostly excellent track record of adapting popular franchises to one of gaming's oldest niches.

The Force Awakens:

The first of the two tables included is set on Jakku, the Tatooine-analog upon whose sandy surface the majority of the film's first half takes place. As always, the theming is spot-on and the developers fill up as much table space as they can with miniature callbacks and set-pieces from the movie. Rey's speeder acts as the ball launch, the ramshackle scavenger haven of Niima Station serves as most of the on-table decoration, and the Graveyard of Giants keep the otherwise familiar sandy backdrop from being too bland, as it did in the film.

While most of the mission structure is based on what transpires on the surface of Jakku (Rey's scavenging duties, Kylo Ren's sacking of Tuanul, the Millennium Falcon's escape), it actually absorbs other notable sequences from The Force Awakens, including the rathtar rampage aboard the Eravana.

Might of the First Order:

In order for light to exist, there must also be darkness. And so it is in the second table in this duo. Taking place on a Star Destroyer (presumably the one from which Finn and Poe escape in the beginning of the movie), this table has you undertaking missions for the expansion of the First Order. Theming is par for the course, including illustrations of First Order higher-ups such as Captain Phasma, General Hux, and Kylo Ren.

If you've seen the movie, you probably have a good idea of what to expect from this table. There are a few sequences involving the capture and escape of Resistance pilot Poe Dameron along with the defecting Stormtrooper FN-2187. But scenes from the movie aren't as well-represented here as they are in the other table. This is more of a freeform command-and-conquer kind of mission design, in which you locate worlds ripe for the taking and do your thing.


Star Wars Pinball: The Force Awakens won't hit your wallet nearly as hard as the Starkiller Base hit the Hosnian system. A bad comparison, sure -- this pack costs $4.99, while I'm fairly confident that the film's planet-sized superlaser cost more than the galactic equivalent of that. If you're a fan of the film and like pinball, it's a good buy.

-FenixDown, GameVortex Communications
AKA Jon Carlos

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