•     Publisher: Zen Studios
  •     Developer: Zen Studios
  •     Release Date: February 24, 2015
  •     PlayStation 4 /PlayStation 3/PS Vita Digital
  •     Multiplayer: Yes 2-4 Local and Network Play

Zen Studios has released the Iron & Steel Pack for Zen Pinball 2 recently. This pack contains two tables: Castlestorm, a swords and sorcery table, and Wild West Rampage which is a Spaghetti Western themed table.

As usual with a Zen Pinball 2 pack, the physics are solid as the pinball moves around as it should, and both tables are aesthetically pleasing with an interesting color scheme, interactive objects, and an impressive set of bonus minigames.

In Castlestorm, you guide Knight Sir Gareth as he protects the kingdom from the vicious Vikings and their leader, Chief Ramhorn.  Castlestorm is based on a tower defense game also developed by Zen Studios which was released a couple years back.  This stage features a kicking donkey as a launcher, multiple ball modes, a fire breathing dragon, and an armored troll.  As you can see, the overall tone of this table is fantasy, and all of the elements fit.  The table has a pretty standard layout which is similar to prior Zen Pinball expansions.  The stand out aspect of the table is the castle siege mini game which allows you to get an abundant amount of multipliers. This portion of the table is small, but is really difficult to keep your ball in the section.  You can also trigger a minigame that allows you to defeat invading Vikings, and knocking them down with the ball respectively.

Overall, this is the harder of the two tables which isn’t a bad thing, and provides a decent challenge as you try to climb the online leaderboards. If you are a Castlestorm fan, a connoisseur of the fantasy aesthetic and a decent challenge, it’s worth playing.

The other table called Wild West Rampage where you star as Cindy, a bounty hunter who goes to the town of Racktown Point to take down the corrupt Sheriff Evans and his posse. This stage meanwhile features a saloon at the top, a steam locomotive, six shooter bumpers, and duels with Sheriff Evans’s gang members as well. The Western motif is approximately punctuated with a fitting soundtrack and appropriate sounds of revolvers firing.

The events included in this table include a duel with Evans, a barrel breaking mini game for bonus points, and a difficult to trigger one involving the train. There are also a lot of word based triggers, once spelled out, unlocks more bonus points, so aim for the top of the scoreboard!  I actually preferred this table since it had an easier learning curve compared to Castlestorm.

Overall, Zen Pinball 2: Iron & Steel Pack is worth picking up as a pinball fan or a Castlestorm fan, and want a Western flavor to their experience.  There aren’t too many negatives to talk about unless you are not much of a fan of those two things.  The price is at 4.99 so it’s well worth the price of admission.

Rating 8/10

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