System: Playstation 3 (Xbox 360, iOS, Android, PlayStation Vita, Nintendo 3DS, Wii U, PC)
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Developer: Zen Studios
Release Date: December 14, 2010
Last month’s free game for Playstation Plus users was Marvel Pinball, an attempt to capture the Marvel comic book world into video game pinball form. The main package comes with four unique tables, and includes the option to purchase more if desired.
The tables are based on four of the most popular Marvel characters: Wolverine, Spiderman, Iron Man and Blade. Each character’s table has its own quirks and features, as well as its own theme to separate it from the rest. Every hero appears in their table, and enemies pop up to wreak havoc as well. Between the villains talking trash and changing the table’s dynamics to the pinball flying wildly to well-concealed areas of the board, there is a lot going on at any given time.
In fact, this can be too much of a burden on occasion. As the characters wander about and tweak the elements, it can sometimes be difficult to see where the ball is actually going. The tables look cool as hell, and I like the fact that they are so well-designed, but a greater emphasis should have been placed on making sure everything was clear.
That’s not to say that the game plays out poorly. The table physics are outstanding, and it feels like a real pinball game would. Hell, there is even an option where you can tilt the PS3 controller to shake the table in the game! The amount of detail that Zen Studios put into this game is remarkable.
Even though it can be hard to keep track of the ball from time to time, Marvel Pinball can get pretty addicting. I wasn’t expecting much from this title, but there were times where I found myself playing for hours just to see if I could beat the scores of my friends. The leaderboards are great in this regard, and there are options to play head-to-head and online if you would rather go that route.
Naturally, fans of the Marvel universe and/or pinball games will get the most out of this, but it won’t be hard for casual gamers to get hooked as well. Marvel Pinball is a solid little timewaster, and a good appetizer in between major games.