Portal Pinball. Need I Say More?

It takes a very special something to make me excited about a pinball game. I played Pokemon Pinball to death, way back when, but very few pinball games since have really captured my attention. Until now. Until the Aperture Science Heuristic Portal Pinball Device. It’s a Portal themed table for Zen Pinball [official site] and it looks fantastic. See for yourself in the trailer below the cut.

It should be obvious why Portal feels like a perfect fit for a pinball table: an added level of random chaos and risk that can only be achieved through the constant threat of opening and closing portals throughout the table. And the reality is even better than I imagined, since collaborative development with Valve means this is as authentically Portal as we’re going to get. Until Valve creates their own pinball game.

With GLaDOS overseeing proceedings, Chell scurrying around the table and Wheatley lending his commentary to the game, this is giving me some itchy Portal fingers. It might be time to go back and play it again. For the sixth time.

But also yes, probably play this too. Hey look, I made it through this entire post without making a balls joke. As did Adam, when writing about his authentic love of pinball machines.


  1. edwardh says:

    Meh, I thought that it’s out already and wanted to buy it.
    I bet by the time it is actually released, nobody will write about it and I’ll have forgotten about it.

  2. BooleanBob says:

    Now you’re thinking with multiballs?

  3. GameCat says:

    She’s a portal wizard
    There has to be a twist.

  4. emotionengine says:

    It would be nice if the article would care to explain at least the very basics of the matter at hand, like for example, what this Zen pinball IS (following the links I still don’t understand if this is a mobile-only thing, although you posting this on RPS would at least suggest that is available on PC somewhere), and with Valve involved and all, if this is at some point going to be available on Steam, etc. Also when is it coming out? (SPOILER: On the 25th, I found out after some digging). I mean come on, the very fundamentals of a news story aren’t even mentioned in this post. You don’t have to include all FIve W’s and all that: link to en.wikipedia.org, but this lazy excuse of an article is a poor show. /rant

    • lomaxgnome says:

      Pinball FX2 is available on Steam – link to store.steampowered.com it is also available on Android as Zen Pinball, as well as on the consoles. It has many great tables and if you download it on Steam you can try any of the tables for a few minutes and play the great Sorcerer’s Lair table forever. It has many great great tables and I love it on both Steam and on my tablet. I’d strongly recommend picking up some of the tables over the summer sale when they go on sale, they are great fun. The Pinball FX2 tables are fun, with neat features and licenses, and without the quarter destroying sadistic design of real pinball. Of course, if you’re a true pinball fanatic, you’d probably be better off with tables from Pinball Arcade, which just recreates actual pinball tables.

  5. Fenix says:

    Pokemon Pinball was the truth!

  6. Cederic says:

    Don’t get PC pinball.

    I owned the Indiana Jones pinball machine. I bought it for far too much money because pinball offers tactile feedback. The noise, the vibration, the physical interaction, the playfield that fills your vision.

    PC pinball doesn’t offer that. I can’t get it.

    Now, offer the Portal table design on a real table? Now I’m interested.

    • aliasi says:

      PC pinball allows for physically impossible tables, for one. For two, preservation oriented titles like Pinball Arcade permit you to play games you never could, like Goin Nuts.

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