Pinball games have always been difficult to re-create on a computer. Though there have been some good incarnations, the lack of direct interaction is a sore point for pinball on consoles and PCs. Playing with a keyboard just isn’t the same as the real thing.
Tablets, however, can put you much closer to the traditional pinball game experience – which is probably why there are so many pinball games for Android. Most of these titles are serviceable, but only a few manage to re-create the excitement of a real pinball table.
Zen Pinball HD
I don’t want to waste your time, so I’m going to start with the best. Zen Pinball HD. If you only have time to play one pinball game, this is the one you should play.
Why? Everything. I’m serious. Zen Pinball does everything better than not just other pinball games but also most other Android games. The graphics are beautiful, the tables are intricate and detailed, the controls are perfect and even the sound design is top-notch.
The game’s incredible production values and fun gameplay are assisted by a wide variety of branded tables. Players start with the unique Sorcerer’s Layer but then can move on to Stars Wars and Marvel themed tables along with several original themes, like paranormal and epic fantasy. I’ve played real Star Wars and Marvel pinball games in arcades, so believe me when I say that these digital tables are more fun to play than their physical counterparts.
There’s just one downside to Zen Pinball. Price. You can download the game and play Sorcerer’s Lair for free, but additional tables range from $.99 to $1.99. Buying every table brings the total to $30, though most gamers will only need to buy two or three extra tables.
Zen Pinball HD will work on Android 4.0 or newer. You can also play the game’s sequel on a multitude of consoles including PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii U.