20 October, 2018

Zen Pinball: the first Williams batch is here

Since last month, we have been waiting for the arrival of the Williams collection to Zen. Well, they are here. It took me some time to sit down to write my report but, you can believe me when I say that I got them the very first day they became available. Mind you, there is no iOS version of these tables: you have to play them on the Mac (which is not a bad choice, in particular when, like myself, you have a big screen). The four tables are 
Fish Tales (a free table)

Medieval Madness

The Getaway

and Junk yard

They exist in two versions, a classic one and "remastered" which includes the usual Zen effects: 3D interactive characters, ball trailer effects, particle effects etc. I played both and I must admit that this time Zen got it right. The remastered version is more fun than the classical one.

The price of the non-free tables is also very light: just 3.5 euros. This means that there is no extra charge for the Williams license (but then I suppose that Zen had to pay a license for all the previous, movie-themed, tables and they were offered at the same price as well).

Just for curiosity, I compared the FarSight JunkYard table to that of Zen. Here is the screenshot of the Pinball Arcade table. 

There is no big difference graphically but then there is the ball thing. Frankly when I first looked at the FarSight version I thought that I had missed the ball in my screenshot. Even if that were the only reason, I would still favour the Zen version over that of FarSight. 

07 October, 2018

Farsight's new tables

Pinball Arcade is alive and well. After having lost the major part of their table library they continue producing new tables based on Stern and Gottlieb pinballs. Of course the "season" structure is now irretrievably lost and a visit to the Pinball Aracde table page reveals the follwoing:

(One wonders where are the Stern tables). 

Anyhow, version 8.0 of PA is here and it's a bad surprise, since it does require iOS 10. I cannot fathom why the FarSight programmers are doing this (ny guess: pure laziness). For myself this means that I can run the new version only on my most recent iPad.

Now to the new tables. The first one is Big Buck Hunter

The graphics are good and the ball is visible at all times (provide one chooses the appropriate colour) but I find the gameplay uninteresting.  On the other hand, the second table Whoa Nellie 

is a beauty. As you have by now noticed, I am a fan of oldies and Whoa Nellie, although a 2015 creation, is an oldie-looking pinball. It's a watermelon themed table with great graphics. I would have preferred a whole-black ball instead of the 8-ball one but you cannot have everything. In any case I greatly enjoyed playing it (with only one regret: you do not get a bonus at the end of each ball; once a ball drains that's it).

So, while we wait for the Zen release it is not a bad idea to give a try to the new FarSight pinballs.

01 October, 2018

Williams pinballs are coming to Zen

It's a fact: Williams pinballs are coming to the Mac, remastered by Zen Studios. A first pack will be available on October 9th. For the time being no iOS version is announced so we'll have to content ourselves with the Mac version. 

The first pack will include Medieval Madness, Junk Yard, The Getaway and Fish Tales (the last being a free table). The price is a quite reasonable 10 €, so there is no reason to hold back. 

According to the initial Zen announcement there will be two versions of the tables. A classic one and one with the geegaws of Zen: interactive characters, side wall art, ball trailer effects, particle effects etc. I'll certainly give the latter a try but I will, most probably, focus on the classic versions. 

It goes without saying that I will report on these tables as soon as I get my hands on them.