Sunday, December 29, 2013


It may be seen as anachronistic, or even retro-throw-back for modern computer-gamers (or are they predominantly "console gamers" now?) to want to play PINBALL, but it seems that they do, and because of that, pinball (or at least a virtual version of it) is seeing a resurgence in popularity not seen since the 1970's.

Now, while I do confess to rocking the flippers back in the arcades of my youth, I haven't had any real interest in playing in recent years until MARVEL started releasing platforms based on their characters and event storylines.

Perhaps it is fitting that ZEN Studios (makers of ZEN PINBALL) have just days ago released a DOCTOR STRANGE themed pinball table!

Check out some game-play!

This isn't the first time the good Doctor has been featured on a Zen Pinball game. He was also showcased in previous outings, such as the INFINITY GAUNTLET table (where he is seen pictured on the board, along with Strange-themed characters like ETERNITY, among others) and the PLANET HULK table  (where he emerges as a 3D character [in his ZOM-Possessed form from the story] to do battle with the Hulk.

However, NOW we have a solo board that features exquisite details, multiple characters and even event details and dialogue taken from various storylines from the comics and even his animated film.

Battle against BARON MORDO (the conjuring of mystic swords for a swordfight between STRANGE and MORDO is taken directly from the animated film), and NIGHTMARE! In a story taken directly from the first few issues of the SORCERER SUPREME title, DORMAMMU takes over the body of DOCTOR STRANGE while Doc is in his astral form! The mystic battle continues with each in their own form should you get to that level. And of course, the big bad of the board is SHUMA GORATH, seen looming over the background, and activated by reaching certain in-game criteria (hit the right lighted targets, get the right point-range, etc...)!

Personally, I only played a few rounds, and was able to access all the baddies EXCEPT SHUMA (argh!), but I will continue trying.

There are several in-game niceties to help ensure you come back for more; the EYE of AGAMOTTO is a section of the board that rises up to form its own mini-table, with smaller and quicker game-interactivity against which to battle, STRANGE interacts with the ball, conjuring forth an ORB of AGAMOTTO ball to send into play and plenty of flashing lights and sounds to tickle the ADHD/OCD centers of the brain.
Mentions of the ANCIENT ONE and DEFENDERS as well as dialogue from WONG, and CLEA doesn't hurt either.

For a few bucks you can download on a variety of platforms, including Xbox LIVE Arcade, Steam, Playstation Network (PS3 with Playstation Vita free, and PS4), iOS, Google Play, OSX and Kindle Fire!

I'm not sure if the price is the same across the board, but I DL'd for my PS3 (which came with a FREE DL for the Vita) for a scant $2.99!

This is ZEN Studios first table for their newly released ZEN PINBALL 2 (which has 3D capability, if you have a fancy-schmancy 3D TV or something). ZEN PINBALL 2 is a FREE download, so you have no excuse not to get it.
And fret not, if you've already purchased tables for the previous MARVEL PINBALL platform, you can import your purchased tables and sets to the ZEN PINBALL 2 interface free and easy.

On a personal note, I did find the game to be less pleasing than other, previous MARVEL PINBALL tables (but to be fair, as previously stated, I did only play a couple of rounds on a non-HD, non-3D, non-flatscreen TV, so perhaps I didn't get the full experience). I've really liked the PLANET HULK table, the BLADE table is awesome, GHOST RIDER is appropriately wicked-cool, and the INFINITY GAUNTLET board is challenging good fun.

What the DOCTOR STRANGE board has going for it (aside from the obvious DR. STRANGE lure for me), in addition to the intricate background details, or even the ability to battle classic foes is... almost more than anything else... the ability to TRULY be...


(By the way, knowing that I would write about this game when it was released, I have been DYING to use "Pinball Wizard" as the title for this blog-post since the first announcement was made back in October. You can't imagine my shock that NO ONE used that title for any of their articles - then, or now. Perhaps, like many gamers of today, they just aren't old enough to make the immediate connection to a classic 1969 album by THE WHO.)


Anonymous said...

I looove the tables Zen Studios has been putting out. My only problem with this one is Mordo's freaking accent. It sounds soooo awful! D:

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