- Publisher: Zen Studios
- Developer: Zen Studios
- Release Date: September 27th, 2016
- PlayStation 4/PlayStation 3/Vita Digital
- Multiplayer: Yes
Zen Pinball: Marvel’s Women of Power is the latest addition to the Zen Pinball library. This two pack features some women of Marvel – including Black Widow, Madam Mosque, She Hulk, Ms. Marvel, Squirrel girl and more. The pack comes with two tables, A-Force and Champions.
A-Force starts off with a cut scene featuring Black Widow being chased by Madame Masque as she holds the Cosmic Cube. As they both grab onto the Cube, Madame Masque proclaims the cube for Hydra, as it drags both of them into an alternate Soviet-dominated reality. Now presented with a very bleak, dystopian looking board, Black Widow and Madam Mosque decide to team up to try and return to their own dimension. The board is decorated with various Soviet items, as you are now in Soviet dominated New York.
The layout of the board is mostly pretty straight forward – aim for the ramps, the green Titanium Man head, and the tower – once you have another A-force member ready to be grabbed. Each member gives you different bonuses, such as She Hulk gives you Enhanced Hurry Up Scores and Captain Marvel gives you Increased Main Mode Shot Points. If you can manage to hit the skill shots twice, it will active the ‘Main Mode’ and allow you to choose 1 of the few ‘Mini games’ to aim for. One of them you can try to stop Soviet Black Widow from sneaking up on Madam Mosque by using the triggers to aim. Soviet Widow will walk across the ledge towards Madam Mosque, giving you only a few seconds to aim and shoot.
My biggest gripe with this board is a lot of the time the ball liked to roll toward the center and down straight between the flippers to where I couldn’t hit it, sometimes even after it just fell from the top ‘HELI’ area. Maybe I’m just a terrible pinball player, but it seemed to happen much more frequently on this board than Champions.
Overall, A-Force presents itself well, with a very militaristic looking board that is complex enough to allow the player to have many various things to shoot the ball at, triggering various events, while still not being too over the top and looking impressive visually. The mini-games were fun, and only took two or three times to understand most of them. A-Force overall engages the player with tons of awesome board elements and is a board that isn’t easy, but not too hard either.
Champions is much more lively looking and vibrant than A-Force, this board being centered mostly around Ms Marvel in Jersey City, New Jersey, who got a summer job at the Coffee Shop and is going to deposit their first day’s earnings. Bombshell breaks open the doors from the bank after a heist, knocking Ms. Marvel Back. Noticing her brief case of money, she takes it, calling it a “nice bonus”, and running away before Ms. Marvel can do anything to stop her. Ms. Marvel has to get the money back or the Coffee Shop won’t be able to stay open.
This board is a lot less straight forward than A-Force, taking a few play throughs to understand what each piece did. It’s still minimal enough to see most of where all the events are located, but the events themselves can be confusing until you activate them a few times. The ramps were a lot harder to get the ball to go all the way up and around on. Most times when I would shoot it, it would go about half way and roll back down. Ms. Marvel tells you before each shot to ‘aim for this [center] hole or this [right] ramp’. Getting the ball into the center hole isn’t too hard, but hitting that right ramp was difficult for me. During about 30 minutes of play time, I only hit the ball there once or twice. I was able to trigger a mini game, but I wasn’t exactly sure what I was doing, and didn’t get a whole lot of points for the mini game. I’m not quite sure how I was able to trigger it, either. The other ramps were not as hard to get the ball to go around, but those ramps don’t seem to trigger anything other than point bonuses, and in some cases, getting the ball stuck.
The non-gameplay animations are really cool to watch, but they can also be slightly distracting, such as when Ms. Marvel reaches across the board to grab your ball if you have a fist save. Some of them are more out of the way animations, such as when you give your ball ‘inhuman power’ (triggered by hitting it into the center hole) and she holds it and powers it up. You can even speed up the animation if you don’t wish to watch it. They also utilized some really cool sound effects which made the interaction more lively.
This board, while aesthetically pleasing, is very difficult to do the harder shots on or even get the ball to roll all the way through the ramps. I wasn’t enjoying this board as much as I was A-Force. It’s not a terrible board, but it’s definitely a more difficult one. For me, it seemed to have a lot less to shoot for and the parts that I was told to shoot for were almost impossible for me to hit. I wasn’t able to get much more than 2,000,000 points on this board due to this. I recommend this table for players who are more familiarized with more intricate tables, as it may be easier for them to grasp the events better than for a casual pinballer like me.
Overall, for both of these tables combined, I recommend these tables to any pinball or superhero enthusiast. They provide unique challenges, they are very different tables from each other, they utilize some lesser known Marvel heroines and female villains, include some storyline that adds to the events that you trigger, and have cool character interactions that the player can also usually interact with (such as stopping Soviet Widow). There’s a lot of exploring (and fun) to be done with these two awesome new tables.