Bing bang bong, let’s pin it on. Today brings the launch of Pinball FX3 [official site], a update version of Zen Studios’ pinball platform which boasts updated graphics and multiplayer features including user-created tournaments. As is customary, Pinball FX3 is a free download with one table included then Zen sell dozens of extra tables as DLC. For those who balled pins in FX2, most — but not all — of its DLC tables carry over into FX3 and are prettied-up. New Jaws, Back to the Future, and E.T. tables have launched as DLC alongside FX3 too.Pinball FX3 brings new prettiness to the ball-o-rama, including dynamic lighting, improved shadows, and higher-resolution textures. It also packs online multiplayer tournaments, both those created by developers and by players, and several singleplayer challenge modes.
Zen Studios mostly create new tables based on licensed franchises, everything from Alien and Bob’s Burgers to Bethesda games like Fallout and Skyrim (which our Adam reviewed). If you’re after recreations of actual physical pinball machines, Pinball Arcade is likely more your bag.
I find myself drawn to the pinball tables in several local pubs and cannot resist sinking a couple quid every time, but virtual pinball doesn’t really do it for me. I’ve had a go on the table included free with Pinball FX3, Sorcerer’s Lair, and sure it’s fine but I probably won’t return much. Pinball isn’t the same in cyberspace. That’s fine, of course – driving games don’t replicate the feelings of driving cars either.
Pinball FX3 is out now on Steam. The download comes free with one table, and extras cost £2 or thereabouts each. It’s also on the Windows 10 Store, if that’s your bag.