Pinball FX (latest iteration of Zen Pinball in 2023) is finally out for real. And it's...confusing.

Dang, the wording made me lost. Thank you for the pointer.

Are the leaderboards finally cross platforms at least ? I looked it up but could not find info.

Wow, $100/year is a lot of money just to play digital pinball games once in a while. It seems like you have to be REALLY into virtual pinball games in order to want to spend that kind of dough on it. I can’t imagine there are enough people like that out there to support something like this.

I mean, if you just want to play them once in a while, just buy the table(s) you want to buy on your preferred platform. This thing is ostensibly for digital pinball fanatics who have bought tables on multiple platforms multiple times over the years, and no longer wish to do that. They’ve gone about it in a pretty shitty way, but that’s who it’s for.

Huh. If their silly pseudocurrency let me buy tables and have them linked to a Zen account that I could play across PC, console, and mobile, I might be willing to do that. But it looks like it’s only for subscriptions, and I don’t see myself getting enough value out of a subscription to keep it running.

Yeah, I just checked it out and didn’t realize there was an option to just buy the tables. I guess that is fine then except for like others have said, I’ve already bought a lot of these tables and I don’t see myself doing it again.

That’s what it was supposed to do, but they changed their minds during EA.

What a missed opportunity. Not surprising though, as pinball game makers got a thing to make the worst decisions!

I did some quick math. If you buy all the tables currently available on the Epic Games Store, I believe Pinball FX will cost a little over $250.

Many of the new tables first appeared in “Zen Pinball Party” on apple arcade, and “Star Wars Pinball VR” (which is great, but only on Playstation).

Exclusive might be over a lot sooner. I gave it a poor star review on epic like 6 months ago because I hated the way their IAPs were setup at the time.

I typically bought my FX2/3 tables on sale. And in bundles.

It’s nice to hear they’re back to doing some original tables, though. I understand that true pinball fanatics are very excited about digital recreations of classic tables from the arcades but I’m the guy who never played pinball at the arcade and has a much better time with the weird shenanigans they can pull in a purely digital format.

Eh? It’s on Steam and on Quest.

Yeah, but check out the reviews.

Steam is sitting at Mostly Negative right now.

I should’ve worded that better. I meant “the Playstation version is great” :)

Ugh. I’ve given the Zen folks hundreds of dollars over the years (and often for re-releases of the same tables on different platforms). But the super-unfriendly micro-transactions, platform exclusivity, and similar bull means i’m probably done. Hope develops into something better instead of continuing to slide into crap.

Yeah the PC VR port of this is supposedly REALLY bad, so I’ve avoided it despite buying the their other VR game for PC.

The Steam reviews are mainly because they just took the Quest assets and ported them to PC. Which, sure, is a bad move. But it’s perfectly playable.

Oh fiddlesticks, that does look pretty good.

The business model is bonkers though. I don’t know what they’re thinking.


(Artist’s view)

Man, I really like some of these new tables.

Sadly, the new progression system, with its emphasis on pointless cosmetic doo-dads, is just too grating. I really couldn’t care less about unlocking a My Little Pony statue or Spider-Man doll, but that’s what they seem to think I care about. I mean, pinball is already stupidly contrived so you care about high scores and it has been for as long as it’s existed! So the only reason to focus on this dumb-ass collectible model is to reinforce the wretched subscription model they’re pushing. And since their whole mandate as a game is to encourage the player to splash around in their ecosystem, there is absolutely nothing about this new ecosystem to attract me (new tables excepted), especially given how long I’ve been invested in another ecosystem; namely, my high scores and friends list on Steam. No new table is awesome enough to drag me out of my prior collection into this misbegotten, soulless, and predatory front-end.

So, as much as it kills me to lose these tables – Bride of Pinbot, nooooo! – I’m out.

It’s been a long time since we’ve had some epic pinball high score chases. I tend not to play often because trying to beat a high score is pretty time consuming and learning the table rules even more so - and there is no way I’m remembering the rules after a long time off.