A brainless combination – The Walking Dead Pinball
Another month gone by and another new table to add to Zen Pinball 2’s already vast collection. This time it’s The Walking Dead episodic game franchise’ turn, prompting us to ask ourselve “is there anything more mindless than a combination of zombies and pinball?”
Pinball, to the newcomer, appears to be an extremely simple game; hit the ball, acquire some points, right? Sure, that is the case with some tables, but The Walking Dead Pinball is an entirely different beast. Truth be told, the wealth of rules and modes on offer was initially quite daunting.
The table is themed around Telltale’s episodic TWD games and features iconic locations from the first season. As you whack the ball around the table you will be tasked with completing objectives ripped straight from the series. You’ll have to find food, kill zombies, escape the hordes and more. Every episode from the first series makes an appearance, and you will have to make the same decisions that Lee did. Who you rescue and leave to the zombie masses is entirely up to you.
There’s an enormous deal of fan-service present with audio clips from the series scattered throughout, and all of your favourite characters piping up from time to time. Each location is lovingly rendered and has various objectives tied to it. Sadly, the game falls here slightly.
It can often be quite difficult to discern exactly what objectives you are trying to achieve. They flash up on-screen so quickly that you might miss them, and even if you don’t, your attention will be distracted from the ball meaning you risk letting it plummet into the dropzone. Luckily you can peruse the various rules and objectives of the table in the options menu, but it doesn’t completely eliminate the issue.
Fans of both The Walking Dead and pinball will feast on its pinball iteration like a particularly tasty brain, but it remains to be seen if it will convert pinball newcomers. If you can get past The Walking Dead Pinball’s foibles, you will find a lot to like, but if you have an aversion to pinball treat it like the undead and steer well clear.
The Walking Dead pinball has infected all major platforms.