In what has to be one of the best Pinball FX2 table packs to date, Zen Studios give pinball fans a pack to remember. The obvious headliners in this pack are of course American Dad and Family Guy, with the pack being complete with Bob’s Burgers and Archer. This is one table pack I have been looking forward too since the announcement of Family Guy, even that table alone would have been great. The fact that they also included American Dad is awesome since it was the next animation series in Fox’s library I thought would have made a good pinball table.
The first table which I played on was American Dad, I just couldn’t resist Roger and the lure of his buns of steel and his multiple personas. With an animation series so rich in content it must have been hard for Zen Studio to decide what to include in the table. I must say say I am quite satisfied with the content they have put in and I found myself being able to remember the episodes the sound-bites came from as well as the things the missions are based on. The table hosts, Francine, Stan and Director Bullock, with Rodger coming in the form many a voiceover as well as pop-ups in the form of his multiple persona’s. Klaus and his fish bowl are also on the table and used to start the tables main missions. These are based on a verity of episodes, from Stan and Francine ice skating to Rodger thinking he was the decider as to when his alien race would attack earth. There is a TV situated up to the left of Klaus which will give a hint as to what mission will activate next. I like the use of the coloured balls which is becoming more common in pinball tables, these highlight the difficulty of the missions which you can change during play. The overall table design is spot on and they have managed to fit in all the key locations from the series in and around the table.
The next table I chose to play was the Family Guy table, which is easily that highest scoring table in the pack. The table is very easy to play and most of the main missions are easy to start, in fact you can even have multiple modes running at the same time. This is made even better with each ball changing colour to represent the various character’s from the show. Not content with just giving each of the Griffins their own modes you can also activate duo modes. There is a Louis and Peter mode as well as a Brian and Stewie mode. My most loved mode though has to be the chicken mode which the chicken and peter fight with obstacles like trash cans loitering the table. The modes are centred around specific episodes all of which seem within the first few seasons. The mini-game mode on this table has you flying a helicopter shrump’ style to defeat Bertram. Again the table design makes great use of the Family Guy universe with Stewie’s time machine making an appearance. I like the fact that Joe is the launcher for the ball and the skill shot is achieved by hitting Peter with it. Also one of the multiball modes has balls rolling down the stairs at the back which is a great touch.
The third table in this pack of animation wonder is Bob’s Burgers, another animation I loved yet over here in the UK it’s hard to get to see new seasons. This table though seems to use a lot of the early stuff which I am grateful for. This also happens to be one of the most colourful and detail packed tables in the collection. This game will have you taking burger orders as well as fighting off pesky rodents. The table really comes into it’s own though with a day/night cycle which you can change when you want except during certain modes. What’s more is that certain modes can only be activated during either daytime or night time. It is a highly fun table to play and I really enjoyed the video mode where you search the taffy factory at night. Having the knowledge of each of the animated series in the pack is a bonus, but all three of the tables so far are enjoyable even if you don’t watch the shows.
The fourth table rounding off the Balls of Glory pinball pack is the Archer table, which for me is the slightly odd one out. I have to admit it is the only show in the pack that I have never watched so the references on the table went over my head. The voiceover just kept reminding me of the boy from the store in family guy given its the same person. The playability of the table felt a little empty compared to the other three tables, although the table does sport a rather cool mini-game. The is also some challenge for pinball wizards and I do like the mode that turns a ball into a grenade for you to aim at targets. The car on the table is also a nice touch in design.
The Good Things
- Family Guy, American Dad and Bob’s Burgers all in one pack.
- Feature packed tables and highly detailed in design.
- I am really digging the coloured coded balls.
And The Bad
- The Archer table felt the like the weakest link in the pack.
- They need to do a Stand alone Rodger table as well as a Stand alone Brian and Stewie table.
- Voiceovers can get a bit repetitive.
- When it comes to new digital pinball tables Zen Studios continues time and time again to produce outstanding results. Bob’s Burgers certainly wins the award for the most detail packed on to one pinball table. The night/day cycle is also a great feature and the ability to change it when you want was a great design decision. I can’t praise the team enough on the colour coded balls in the American Dad table witch while steel they also sported a very cool Cel-Shading look. While Archer wasn’t to my taste the other three tables in this pack are spot on and highly enjoyable to play, even if you don’t watch the shows. This is another must have pack in the Zen Pinball collection and now I just pray for a dedicated Rodger table from American Dad and a dedicated Brian and Stewie table from Family Guy.
The laughs keep on coming with the Balls of Glory Pinball Pack.