Zen Pinball strives to create an authentic pinball experience for the player, with an emphasis on realistic ball physics and vibrant, intricate pinball tables. The game comes with 4 tables to play, each with a specific theme, with many more available for purchase separately. The game also supports custom music soundtracks, allowing you to play any music playlist you have available in the XMB. The game was initially a PlayStation 3 exclusive, but has subsequently been released on mobile devices and the 3DS eShop.
On September 4th 2012, current owners of Zen Pinball on PS3 were given a free upgrade to Zen Pinball 2, which allows for more DLC, free trials for each table, and cross platform entitlement for PS Vita.
Just like real pinball, the controls are simple (and customizable), and there is also a button to "nudge" the table to make the ball slightly alter it's path. Pressing the "change view" button cycles through the 5 different camera views. Holding the "change view" button activates Free View mode, where the player can zoom around the field and get a closer look at the table by tilting the sixaxis controller itself.
PlayStation 3 Version
The PlayStation 3 version of Zen Pinball comes with four different tables to play:
- V12 (car engine theme)
- El Dorado (Aztec jungle, gold hunter theme)
- Tesla (early electronics theme)
- Shaman (tribal witch doctor theme)
(There are more tables than these available for the platform, but they require the free upgrade to Zen Pinball 2 to play them.)
- Street Fighter II - video game theme
- Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 - video game theme
- Earth Defense - alien invasion theme
- Excalibur - Knights of the Round Table theme
- Mars - Mars planet & space exploration theme
- Paranormal - Supernatural theme
- Sorcerer's Lair - Sorcery theme
- Epic Quest - A unique fantasy themed table that blends in some classic RPG elements. The on-table knight, named Max, has his own persistent progression. As players acquire loot, xp, and gear, Max levels up, and these stats are retained from game to game.
The local multiplayer mode allows up to 4 players to compete on the same table. It follows the classic arcade-style of multiplayer gameplay, where the turn passes to the next player when a ball is lost. Highest score after all balls are lost wins.
Up to four players can compete at once, and the goal is to reach the target score first. Players can lose an unlimited amount of balls, but they are penalized a percentage of their score for each ball lost. Target score & lost ball penalty are determined by the host player. Online multiplayer also supports PlayStation Eye AV chat, which allows players to video chat with each other while playing the game.
The iOS/Android version of Zen Pinball was released in December 2011, and is a free download that comes with the Sorcerer's Lair table at no extra charge. Additional tables are in-app purchases, with some of the Marvel Pinball tables to become available as well.
Nintendo 3DS Version
On January 12th, 2012 Zen Studios released the game for purchase on the eShop for $6.99. The game comes with 4 tables; Earth Defense, Shaman, Excalibur, and Eldorado. Additional DLC tables are also planned.