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Play Star Wars Pinball, You Must

March 20, 2013

Star Wars Pinball ($1.99) by ZEN Studios Ltd. tests how strong the Force is with you. Tired of launching Star Wars themed birds? How about a game of Zen pinball with a Star Wars flavor?

The table looks as if you could find it in an actual arcade. However, the igniting lightsabers and pacing Darth Vader prohibit physical reality.

Use the flippers to keep the ball alive on the table and guide it toward certain targets, loops, and ramps to set up a scenario. Once in a different mode, flashing lights and the dot matrix display in the top left corner,will direct you as to what to do next.

Different movie quotes will be played throughout gameplay. My favorite is “You said you wanted to be around when I made a mistake, well this might be it, sweetheart.”

Two sets of flippers work on the top and bottom portions of the table. Tapping anywhere on the bottom of the screen activates them. They can really send the ball flying across the table, and are very responsive.

The ball launcher resides in the bottom right corner in the form of a lightsaber hilt. Pull the plunger back and a lightsaber blade will ignite, pushing the ball. Or so I thought.

For some reason, this part of the table gave me the most issues. Launching the ball shouldn’t be a complicated thing, but I seemed to suffer from a failure to launch multiple times. I’m still not sure if this is a bug in the software or if I wasn’t using the right touch. Either way, the experience was frustrating.

With so much detail, it’s hard to take in the whole table. That is where the camera view button comes in. Eight different views are available, with a Free View as well, that let’s you casually stroll around the table by tilting your iDevice.

Although your scores are tracked globally, you can also avoid Imperial entanglements by staying local. Up to four players can play in “hotseat” mode; each taking a turn after the ball is lost.

The Empire Strikes Back table is offered with the app’s purchase, though a Boba Fett and Clone Wars table are available as in-app purchases of the same $1.99 price tag. All of them work for the iPhone or iPad.

Players get to pick whether they want to fight for the light side or dark side of the Force. All of the points earned from play will go to one side or the other, so choose wisely. The fate of the universe is not as trivial as losing a round of pinball.

Star Wars fans will certainly enjoy the visual treat this game offers. That, combined with the fun gameplay make this a must have. It is impressive. Most impressive.

Jump into hyperspace to check it out in the App Store.

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