With Aliens Day being celebrated this month (it was on 4/26, the same number as the planet that Ripley and crew visit in Ridley Scott’s classic horror film Alien and officially named in the sequel), Zen Studios has released three new pinball tables based on some of the dreaded Xenomorph’s most thrilling appearances: Aliens, Alien Vs. Predator, and Alien Isolation. Featuring iconic scenes from the series, and missions based on action-packed moments pulled straight from the source material, is Aliens vs. Pinball the best group of tables on Zen Pinball 2 yet?
Aliens vs. Pinball
Developed and published by Zen Studios
Available on Android, iOS, PC, PS3, PS4, PS Vita, Xbox One and Xbox 360. Reviewed on the PS4 and PS Vita.
*Review code provided by Zen Studios
The first table is based on Aliens, featuring a flame thrower wielding Ellen Ripley as she seeks to destroy the Alien Queen on Hadley’s Hope. The table is tight with twists and turns, and it’s full of ramps and rails that evoke the claustrophobic nature of the film, making for some quick, relentless action. The main game modes have players search for Newt, set up defenses, survive Xenomorph waves, attack hives and more to score some big points, and the mini-game is also pretty cool as well, having the squad race through tunnels with M577 APC while avoiding rubble. It also features quotes from Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley and Bill Paxton’s Private Hudson, which is awesome. It’s personally my favorite of the bunch.
The Aliens Vs. Predator table is the second one, and features a bigger, more spacious playing field, with minimum railing to the sides and most towards the back of it, offering plenty of room for players to check out the excellent art. This time around the players steps into the shoes of a young Predator on the hunt, and the table’s objectives are all about proving yourself on the field and collecting hunting trophies (both human and alien). Players will collect their signature weapons and trophies, play upside down (the table is actually flipped), explore a pyramid, team up with humans, and more. The mini-games take on a jungle theme this time around, with players lining up alien symbols in a temple and capturing aliens using an ancient rotating dial. It’s a very good table that’ll have you coming back for more.
The third and final table is based on Alien Isolation, Sega and Creative Assembly’s fantastic and brutal survival horror take on the franchise. It features Amanda Ripley – the daughter of film protagonist Ellen Ripley – as she hides, flees and fends off a stalking Xenomorph. The table is similar in structure to the AvP one, with a wide open center and minimal ramps and rails to the sides, but it’s still a great time as players must attempt to complete missions like gathering items and putting them together without alerting the Alien. Being based on a video game, Amanda has health bars, and not surviving Alien attacks will reduce the amount of points you can earn, so players have to heal up often, and the alien has four behaviors, representing the unique A.I. of the original game, so players have to aggressive while it’s gone and hide while it’s prowling the table. Amanda will also collect weapons, fight Working Joes, team up with survivors, and more. It’s a unique table that does a great job at translating the game material.
Overall, the three tables in Aliens vs. Pinball are fantastic, faithfully capturing the terror and urgency of the source material, while retaining the addictive and competitive nature of pinball. Each one does a great job at implementing features and designs that are fun and unique, and they perfectly represent the film/game that they’re based on, which will make fans of the franchise very happy. And once again, I find myself wishing that a few of these tables actually existed, because they’re that good. So if you’re into pinball and the Aliens franchise, you won’t want to miss out on these three modern classics.