Posted: March 5
I'm 23. Though nowhere near old enough to have memories of arcade pinball machines, I am old enough to have nostalgia over virtual pinball games!
Simple games are often the best in my opinion, and everyone knows how to play pinball. It is quite literally two buttons. Pinball is a concept any kid can understand. My free time after school often consisted of running home to play, of all things, Microsoft Windows Pinball. Looking back, it's amazing to me - a game that came free with our operating system had captured my attention for hours. On the go, I had 1999's Pokemon Pinball on my GameBoy Color. Now this one was more advanced - it had the Red table, and the Blue table (named after the Pokemon Red and Blue games), and they were different. I was amazed. It was addicting. I mentioned I like simplicity. To me, there is something to the objective of getting a high score. Challenging yourself, topping a friend's score, the way your heart starts beating fast as you realize you're edging in on a top score - these are some of the best feelings in gaming.
Pinball FX2 gets that. It understands the simplicity of the fun that comes from hitting a little silver ball around a table, trying to top that last score. It eggs you on. It notifies you when you're about to beat that score, or a friend's score.
It also understands my childish excitement when I saw Pokemon Pinball had two options for tables. It has dozens of tables, and I have yet to play one I didn't greatly enjoy. Zen has many original tables within the game, and there are some great licensed tables as well. You can find tables from the Marvel and Star Wars Universe. Some more series you will recognize are The Walking Dead, South Park, and Plants vs. Zombies. I will say Pinball FX2 is a bit heavy on the Marvel and Star Wars (so if you're not into those, there are a reduced number of tables you'll be interested in), but since you buy tables separately, you can just choose not to buy them. The quality and originality of every table has impressed me every time I try a new one, so even if you're not into the "lore" (as I'm not crazy on the Marvel universe), you may find the tables still well worth playing.
Here is also a bit about the "pay structure" - the game is "free to play" technically. Everyone who downloads Pinball FX2 gets the Sorcerer's Lair table, which to be honest is a fantastic table you could entertain yourself on for hours. One of my favorites for sure. Anything else is sold separately, in "packs" (ie. the Star Wars and Marvel packs) or as individual tables. They are ALWAYS on sale during Steam sales so if you are eyeing a table but don't want to pay full price, I recommend just adding it to your wishlist and waiting!
If you love pinball games, give it a go. Try the free table, see what you think. There is something to kicking that little (virtual) ball around the table, which must be why I'm 23 and still playing the same game I was when I was 8.