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‘Portal Pinball’ is not a lie

‘Portal Pinball’ is not a lie


Portal Pinball
Developed by Zen Studios
Published by Zen Studios
Available on Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, PS Vita, PC, Wii U and mobile.

Valve usually holds their IPs close to their chest but in a rare move, they have decided to loan out Portal to the talented team at Zen Studios to create Portal Pinball. Portal Pinball for Zen Pinball 2 brings a lot of the expected charm, laughs, and unique touches Zen has been known for with their tables, but it also provides one of their most solid experiences in regards to digital pinball.

Players of Portal and Portal 2 will be familiar with many of the pinball tables’ unique furnishing and characters. Characters that appeared in the hit puzzle game are all represented from Wheatley and GlaDOS, to the duo of Atlas and P-body. Lines of dialog are lifted right from Portal 2 and always seems to be on point. Even the fan-favorite turrets get their time to shine during one of the many available testing missions.

There are six missions in all and GlaDOS is happy to introduce them. There are neat little intros to the specific missions that can be skipped at any time, but are neat to listen to the first time around. The missions are accessed by hitting the test chamber at the back of the table, and then using the flippers to try out a particular test. In order to complete the missions, specific ramps on the table must be hit. Along with the main missions, there’s some other great additions including a trip to the turret factory that opens up a mini pinball table in the center of the table.

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For a game based on Portal, there is a lot less emphasis on actual portals. There are a few uses available including a skill shot when launching the ball and one that moves the ball to another ramp where there’s an extra flipper. Once the ball gets to that flipper though, a rather difficult shot is required to really rack up the points. Speaking about difficulty, the table overall is really well balanced. Compared to Zen Pinball’s other recent tables like Avengers: Age of Ultron or Guardians of the Galaxy, many of the goals are presented logically and the table flows really well. In fact, it just might one of the best tables that Zen Studios has released on their platform.

Fans of Portal and/or pinball should find a lot to love about Portal Pinball. It has plenty of the series unique humor and is complimented by exquisite table design from the team at Zen Studios. Overall, Zen Studios puts a lot of care in their tables and each one has its own unique identity. Portal Pinball is available on a plethora of platforms including Playstation 4, Xbox One, iOS, and Steam. Portal Pinball is a great success and  comes highly recommended. Just don’t forget the cake at the end.