Star Wars Celebration | Zen Studios Pinball
Patty and Kat explore the new world of Star Wars Pinball
Your Future of the Force correspondents, Patty and Kat, got a chance to explore the new Star Wars pinball game in Chicago during Star Wars Celebration. We met with Desiree Marsh, Communications Manager of Zen Studios USA. She walked us through the demos of the new Star Wars pinball games set for release throughout the year.
Star Wars Pinball Machines
The pinball booth at Celebration offered multiple ways to play pinball. Guests could choose between Nintendo Switch pinball and good old classic pinball on a digital-analogue fusion table. These pinball machines were set up so that the game and images could be changed based on whatever event Zen Studios was at that week. Star Wars for Star Wars events, Marvel for Marvel events, etc. Full pinball machines come with 80 games from multiple franchises including both Star Wars and Marvel.
These pinball machines are a combination of old-school and new-school. The player hits buttons on the side of the machine like classic pinball, then the mechanics translate the player’s action to the digital screens. Rick Priester from Pinball Factory provides the mechanics and was on-hand at the event to answer any questions related to that aspect of the machine.
The demo playable pinball machines are commercial prototypes and may differ slightly from production models. If you’re looking to play pinball on a classic machine, there are several places to go. These machines are available in Dave & Busters already and Zen Studios is looking to expand to other gaming centers across the United States and around the world. They are also beta-testing these machines at a casino local to the USA office.
Star Wars Pinball Comes to Nintendo Switch
Star Wars Pinball is the first Star Wars game for the Nintendo Switch. It comes out in both the U.S. and the U.K. on September 13, 2019, for the price of $29.99. Pre-order will be available for the Switch version within the next couple of weeks.
Players may already have the Star Wars Pinball game on Xbox, PlayStation, PC and mobile devices. However, the Switch version will be different. The Switch version of pinball has 18 Star Wars-themed tables to choose from. It has a horizontal and a vertical mode, which players can switch between for their playing comfort. In addition, Zen Studios is so excited for this game and part of bringing Star Wars to the Switch—- The development team, who are hardcore Star Wars fans, added many Easter Eggs to the Switch version for this specific release.
Star Wars Celebration attendees were able to play the demo versions of the Nintendo Switch game as well.
Kat’s Player Review
I must begin by saying that I am terrible at most games. Besides one specific map on the old Star Wars Battlefront (played on my PC, of course), I have had very little success in even learning to play correctly. This is to say that I came into this pinball experience as a novice.
I played different tables on both the Switch and classic pinball machine. The graphics that made up the table were so engaging that at first, I found myself admiring them instead of watching the ball. As usual, the ball shoots through shiny hoops and loop-de-loops, rattling metal and plastic fixtures. This game was a digital version of the same, except every nook and cranny was pack full with Star Wars imagery. The sound effects are from Star Wars too!
I had a great time playing both versions of the game. I loved the classic feel and bright lights of playing on the traditional machine. I can see it being a very popular bar staple. The console game, on the other hand, is perfect for practicing on for personal pleasure or so you can school your friends on your bar’s machine. I especially loved that it had a mode that shifts the screen to zoom in on the ball as it moves. That helped me shift my focus to the ball while also getting a closer look at some of the graphics.
Playing Star Wars pinball relieved any nervousness I was having about being at Celebration for the first time ever. It was good, pure fun. I’ll definitely be downloading the mobile version on my phone to take with me wherever I go.
Photos and videos courtesy of Michael Hammond.
Future of the Force would like to extend a HUGE thank you to Desiree Marsh, Communications Manager of Zen Studios for this fantastic demonstration.
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I am a self proclaimed fangirl who is disguised as a mild mannered data analyst for a consulting firm. You can find me on Twitter as @pattybones2 or @Everyday_Fangrl