Marvel Pinball 3D – Review

Title: Marvel Pinball 3D
Genre: Pinball machine simulation
System: 3DS
Developer: Zen Studios
Publisher: Zen Studios

‘Some of the most powerful Superheroes from the Marvel Universe come to Nintendo 3DS in Marvel Pinball 3D’, available to download from the Nintendo eShop for €7 / £6.30 (UK Only). As a fan of Marvel and new downloadable titles I was really pleased to get my hands on the game to do this review for you all.

screen shot of Marvel Pinball 3D Iron Man table

The game is created by Zen Studios, expert videogame pinball makers, and this 3DS version of the critically acclaimed Marvel Pinball, which is available on Xbox and Playstation, means that the game can be enjoyed in 3D for the first time. Rightly described as ‘a must buy for comic book and pinball fans alike’ by the developers, I found the game a joy to play, one that I’ll be loading up regularly to try and beat my own, and others’, high scores.

The game features four tables, all of which can be played in a number of different views which vary the angle you view the action from and the distance you are from the table on just the top screen of your 3DS. My favourite view tracks the ball around the table; the best way to play for me because you get to see the full design and features of each of the tables and simply because the table is not entirely suited to small size of the 3DS screen. The 3D certainly improves the view though, so I found it certainly worth switching that up to the maximum each time I played. I am sure the game will be much improved on the bigger screen of the 3DS XL too.

The four tables available are Fantastic Four, Blade, Iron Man and, my favourite from the selection, Captain America. Each one varies in not only theme, but also in size and layout, with features including ramps, loops, holes and, the most interesting features themselves, the interacting characters. With a number of ‘missions’ to accomplish on each table in order to get big scores and in game rewards, such as getting the ball onto a series of ramps in the correct order or hitting a number of targets, the characters soon come to life as you fulfil the various requirements; battling it out on the edge of the table and activating gadgets whilst you continue to rack up the high scores. In each case the tension mounts as you take your eye off the ball to watch the action pan out, trying to keep on boosting up your score at the same time. The desire to play one more time after each time you lose the ball and the characters re-set combine to produce an engaging, addictive and fun pick up and play game.

One of the features that I thought was a particularly nice touch is the online leader boards. Available to look at via the in-game menus, scores are also highlighted on the touch screen as you play and as you approach the next high score you’re told how many more points you need. Pass the current high score and you’ll be advised on screen too, enticing you keep on going. For further competitiveness the game also features ‘take it in turns’ pass and play ‘hot seat’ multiplayer.

Marvel Pinball 3D Fantastic Four table

Whilst the game certainly features enough variety across the four tables to keep you entertained, Marvel Pinball 3D is a prime example of a game that would benefit from DLC. The versions of the game on other platforms include Avengers, Spiderman, Wolverine and Hulk tables; all of which I’d like to see here. Not specifically something to cause me to mark the game down, considering the cost of the game, I for one am hoping to see more tables in the future and I am sure you will agree once you’ve had a taste of the possibilities.

If you can get used to all the action on such a small screen and you’re a Marvel fan I definitely recommend this game to you. If you’re a fan of pinball games you’ll love it too, with brilliantly designed tables and interactive features. Certainly one of my highlights of the 3DS eShop.

Wes’ score: 8/10

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