Zen Pinball 3D – Review

Title: Zen Pinball 3D

Genre: Arcade

System: 3DS (eShop)

Developer: Zen Studios

Publisher: Zen Studios

Release Date: December 1st 2011 (Europe), January 12th (NA)

Like arcade games? Been waiting for a good pinball game? Then look no further than Zen Pinball 3D. Developed and published by the lovely Zen Studios, it offers a portable pinball gaming experience that can fit right in your pocket. Zen Pinball 3D is the 3D version of the highly rated PSN release.

It’s very easy to get hooked to playing this game for long periods of time, as the feel of the tables is excellent. The four tables included in Zen Pinball 3D give off a sense of diversity, as each of them has something different to offer the player, they each have their own themes. You have Excalibur which seems to be set in the Middle Ages. You have a tropical treasure hunt theme in Eldorado. Shaman has a tribal feel to it, while Sci-Fi Earth Defense! is the most flamboyant of the lot, with plenty of activity happening on the table. Hopefully in the near future there will be DLC to provide us with some new tables to expand the gameplay. A small downside is the small screen on the 3DS. At most times it is hard to keep track of each of the multiple happenings on these tables.

Control the flippers using the shoulder buttons and use the circle pad to tilt the table, or combine both for some essential touches to the gameplay. Tap the X button to switch between 8 different viewpoints, choose which one will suit you. Holding the X button allows the players to zoom the camera on the table and explore its surroundings. In the pause menu check out the ‘Table Guide’, which directs you towards important points on the table.

Zen Pinball 3D comes included with two modes. Jump straight into a single player session for some high scoring. The boards are complex enough, and there are also four tough achievements to unlock for each table, so you are kept busy for quite a while. Hot Seat is where you can play along with friends and pass the 3DS around when it’s their turn. For all you high score chasers out there, there are also various online leaderboard options included. These rankings will show you how you fair out on each table on a weekly or on an overall basis, as well as showing you the top scores for your country.


While Zen Pinball 3D may not be the ultimate pinball collection, it’s still a pretty good addition to your 3DS eShop library. The minor issue of the small 3DS screen can be overlooked, so don’t let this set you back. An impressive pinball simulator with some amazing 3D visuals, its worth a buy. Pick it up on the eShop now for £4.50/€5.00.

Orla’s Score: 8/10

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