Zen Studios has been catering to pinball fans for over 15 years now with its Pinball FX series, the latest entry being recently released on consoles and PC. Now it’s brought Pinball M to market. Though with it offering the same free base game with additional tables available to purchase as DLC model, you might be wondering: what’s the point? The answer? It contains tables that can’t make their way to Pinball FX thanks to pesky age ratings.
Given the above information, it should come as no surprise that Pinball M has pretty much all the features of the latest Pinball FX. That means whichever table to you select, you can play it in a variety of ways. If you’re a purist you can stick to Classic, which allows you to play as if you were stood in front of a real machine in a smoky bar or dingy arcade. Alternatively, you can play in Arcade mode, which adds gamified skills into the mix which you develop over time. You’re able to momentarily slow down time, for example, and boost how much score you get from hitting bumpers and the like.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Want to see how high a score you can get using the flippers a certain amount of times, or within a set time limit? You can do that. You can also take part in daily challenges, complete a range of campaigns, and take part in tournaments. Basically, whether you’re a pinball purist or simply someone that likes a quick go on a table from time to time, Pinball M has you covered. But ultimately, how much you get out of it will depend on how much you enjoy its tables.
Download the free version of Pinball M and you’ll find that you have unlimited access to just one table: the eldritch-inspired Wrath of the Elder Gods: Director’s Cut. It’s actually a really good table, with some neat visuals and a fun layout. There’s hours upon hours of fun to be had with just this one table, meaning it’s worth giving Pinball M a download even if you don’t intend to buy any more. It at least gives you a good idea of what to expect from the package, and then you can decide whether to spend more from there.
Other tables currently available are Chucky’s Killer Pinball, The Thing Pinball, Dead by Daylight Pinball, and Duke Nukem’s Big Shot Pinball. Each can be purchased for around £5 depending on format, with a bundle containing all four tables also available at a reduced price on PlayStation and Xbox. More tables will likely be released in the future, too, and while Pinball M is largely horror-focused, the inclusion of Duke Nukem also marks it as the destination for any table based on a more adult property.
We’ve tried all of the tables on offer, and have had the most fun with Chucky’s Killer Pinball and Duke Nukem’s Big Shot Pinball. There’s just something about them that has kept us going back for more. That being said, all tables are at least visually attractive, and if you’re a Dead by Daylight or The Thing fan you’re likely to get more of a kick out of them. You’re able to customise each table you purchase to a degree, too, changing its art and effects with tokens you earn by playing. It’s a nice touch that allows you to make your experience a little more personal.
Thanks to being able to jump in for free, you can’t really go wrong with Pinball M. Featuring the same solid physics as found in Pinball FX along with its its comprehensive list of play modes and features, this is yet another stellar pinball offering by Zen Studios. Jump in and give the free table a go, then if any of the DLC tables pique your interest, expand your game as you see fit. Best viewed as a companion to Pinball FX, it’s going to be interesting to see which tables based on more mature properties are added in the future.