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Nintendo’s newest addition to the ever-growing eShop comes in the form of a classic on most consoles: pinball. Zen Pinball is quite a successful series, known for its popular downloadable titles on Xbox Live and the PSN, and Zen Pinball 3D is no exception. Providing 4 separate tables, each with 4 achievements on each table and upwards of 10 missions on each, content is extensive and will keep you mashing away on those trigger buttons until your fingers are sore and arthritic. The addition of online leader boards for each table and overall score provides an element of competition, meaning you’ll always come back in an attempt to dethrone that ridiculously high-score atop the leader boards.

Each table has its own separate theme, varying from the swords and lances of the Excalibur table to small city contained within the Earth Defence table. Tables are extremely detailed as when zooming in one can notice intricate details that can hardly even be seen when playing normally, and the 3D effect adds depth to each bumper, flipper and giant robot within the stage. This proves to be the main problem: the 3DS’ upper screen is unfortunately too small to contain most of the pinball table, and as a result of this at times it can be difficult to track the ball as it zooms around its detailed surroundings, this is somewhat countered by changing viewing modes but is still a hassle. I find it slightly disappointing that the lower screen is barely used, but the addition of a classic pinball dot-matrix down the bottom gives the game a bit of a retro feel.

Despite some small gripes, Zen Pinball 3D is a great game not only for avid pinball fans. I found myself absorbed by this game for a few days, and even now I’m still playing it occasionally (as I downloaded it about 2 months ago). For a $7 title, this one is hard to pass up. Pinball fan or not, if you’ve got the eShop cash lying around I highly suggest you buy this revamped version of a gaming classic.


This has been Ben Qualbert Schuster dedicated Ninty fanboy. 


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