A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Though it's only pinball, some tables have images of zombies, aliens, magic. Virtually no positive messages apart from encouragement for higher scores.
Ease of Play
Simple controls, easy to learn.
Violence & Scariness
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Products & Purchases
Though this game is free, it only comes with one table; you have to buy any others you'd like to play.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Zen Pinball 2 is a pinball game that features tables based on the TV shows South Park and The Walking Dead, the video games Ninja Gaiden II and Plants vs. Zombies, and the magical comic book Doctor Strange, as well as the occult and magic. But what makes these and the other downloadable tables really fun is that they mix realistic physics and sound effects with mechanics that are either so physically impossible or financially prohibitive that you could never make these tables in real life. Also, you can play these tables against strangers via your console's online systems, which could expose players to inappropriate commentary. Note that Pinball FX 2 is the Xbox version of this game; the two are virtually identical save the difference in title.
Is It Any Good?
If you like pinball, you will love Zen Pinball 2. The trick is that it mixes realistic physics and authentic sound effects with elaborate mechanics that make these tables physically impossible or financially irresponsible. Whether it's TIE fighters flying over the Star Wars: Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back table, a zombie shambling around The Walking Dead table, or Thor getting into fights with Loki and The Hulk on two Marvel Comics machines, these are clearly not your father's pinball tables. Even cooler, the game is free and comes with a free (and fun) table; you simply have to buy any other tables you might want.
That said, some tables are far from perfect. The sound effects on the Boba Fett table would work better on the Rocky & Bullwinkle one, while the voice of Han Solo on the Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi tables as well as his eponymous table sound nothing like Harrison Ford. More problematic, though, is that if you play this on a console and sit at a reasonable distance from your TV, you might have trouble reading some of the tiny text. Still, though some of the tables are better than others (The Walking Dead and Return of the Jedi are especially addictive), all the tables available in Zen Pinball 2 -- and there are a lot, with more being added all the time -- are effortlessly fun, even if you don't like the movie, TV show, comic, or game that inspired them.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.