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Star Wars Pinball

Game review by
Paul Semel, Common Sense Media
Star Wars Pinball Game Poster Image
Arcade game collection fun for Star Wars, pinball fans.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

To do well at pinball, you have to be willing to try again if you fail. The tables also promote the idea that doing good and being good will lead to victory, while doing bad or being bad never succeeds.

Positive Role Models & Representations

While some tables feature such iconic role models as Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Yoda, others honor such bad guys as Darth Vader and Boba Fett.

Ease of Play

The game's controls are simple and intuitive but tables can get quite complex and require repeated attempts to do really well. Like real pinball, this game's easy to learn but difficult to master.

Violence

Some characters are shown shooting laser guns at other people, and fighting with lightsabers, but there's no blood or gore.

Sex
Language

Some of the dialogue is slightly flirty or has characters threatening violence.

Consumerism

Latest game in the Star Wars franchise, which has covered books, toys, games, and more. Also focuses on moments from multiple Star Wars properties. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Star Wars Pinball is an arcade game for the Nintendo Switch. Inspired by the sci-fi saga, the 19 tables in this collection cover everything from the iconic movies to the cartoons and the individual characters that are world famous and loved. Like the movies, these tables have no inappropriate content. There are moments when characters use blasters to shoot someone, and others where characters engage in lightsaber fights, but there's no bloodshed or gore. There are also some lines of dialogue that are slightly suggestive or threatening, but that's it. Obviously, these tables are based on a long-running multimedia franchise that encompasses movies, TV shows, video games, toys, apparel, and other fun stuff.

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What's it about?

In STAR WARS PINBALL, you get to play 19 original pinball tables based on various aspects of the Star Wars saga. None have stories, but they do explore iconic moments from the movies and TV shows. They also re-create the physics and sound effects of real pinball machines by having balls that both move and and sound like they're moving on a real pinball table. Except that these tables also defy expectation by also having elaborate mechanics you could never do in a real table unless you had an endless supply of cash. Players can also use Force powers to affect action on the table, like slowing down the ball or multiplying points for a while. Additionally, apart from simply picking and choosing from these tables, players can choose to align themselves with the Light or Dark side of the Force, making players part of a battle in online rankings to see which side wins over time.

Is it any good?

This collection of pinball tables is as fun for fans of the titular sci-fi saga as it for for serious pinheads. Like previous editions of this collection, Star Wars Pinball has 19 different original pinball tables that are not only based on the iconic movies (including The Empire Strikes BackA New Hope, and The Force Awakens) but also the TV shows (The Clone WarsRebels) and the characters in them (Darth Vader, Boba Fett). While none are based on any real Star Wars pinball machines, they do boast realistic physics and sound effects. But what really makes them fun is how they also have unrealistic aspects that not only include multiple viewpoints but also such elaborate mechanics as hidden sections, mini-games, and TIE Fighters strafing the table.

As for how well this works on the Switch, well, it's best played on your TV but works in handheld mode as long as you don't care that the score text is relatively small. It also helps that these versions of the tables are the same as in other editions. Which, of course, means that the best tables on other systems, such as "Return of the Jedi," "Solo," "Droids," "Rogue One," and "The Force Awakens," are highlights here as well. Unfortunately, it also means that the inappropriately goofy sound effects in "Boba Fett" and the bad Han Solo impersonator on multiple tables are present here as well. But these are minor annoyances, and nothing that will stop you from feeling that the the Force is strong with Star Wars Pinball.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about practicing. Why is it important to practice a skill? Can you see how you get better and better at this game the more you play it? Can you apply these skills to other things in life?

  • Like real pinball tables, Star Wars Pinball's virtual ones have a ball that bounces around according to real physics. In playing this game, what have you learned about the way a ball moves when it hits something?

Game details

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