The Walking Dead Pinball Review (PS3)
It’s easy to forget, given the saturation of games in the genre, that zombies are pretty scary. Telltale’s Walking Dead modernised the point and click genre to conjure the world of the comics of the same name. Critically lauded, the series placed the player at the centre of hard-hitting moral decisions where no character is safe from the brain-eating undead.
When it comes to pinball however Zen studios are afraid of nothing. They have produced superbly designed and inventive pinball tables both of their own design and with Star Wars and Marvel licences. The Walking Dead is no exception. Like Zen’s other tables, The Walking Dead does things a real pinball table can’t, to great effect. Zombies climb out of a storm drain to drag your ball in, the original game’s protagonists Clementine and Lee hang out together at the foot of the table as you spin the ball through a good selection of ramps and obstacles in Zen’s loose-and-fast style. Each chapter of the original game is represented by a mission, including reliving all of those morally grey life or death decisions.
This is a decent table from Zen again, of medium difficulty. A sniping mini-game grates after the first couple of tries, and the big plot decisions have little impact in how the game plays, but it’s an enjoyable pinball blast which stays faithful to the subject matter’s atmosphere and there’s plenty of interesting innovations to keep you trying for a higher place on the leaderboards.
If you haven’t played Telltale’s original though, much of the plot points will be confusing, particularly if you don’t play them in order, but then again the same could be said for the superlative Empire Strikes Back table. As a way to commemorate something you love, you can do worse than a cool pinball game on the subject. Zen pinball 2000AD would surely be cult hit, for example.
In the meantime if you’re hungry for Walking Dead, and moreish pinball games, this is a no-brainer.
4 heart breaking episodes out of 5