Zen Pinball 2: Aliens vs. Pinball (PlayStation 4) Review

By Az Elias 27.04.2016

Review for Zen Pinball 2: Aliens vs. Pinball on PlayStation 4

Sooner or later, there is going to be a pinball table added to Zen Pinball 2 that appeals to every individual. Covering Star Wars, Marvel, The Walking Dead, Fox animated TV shows, and game series that include Portal and Street Fighter so far, Zen Studios is hitting as many bases as possible in order to appeal to as many people as possible. This time around, the iconic sci-fi film series, Alien, is shrunk down to size in a three-table package that is sure to pique the interest of any fan of the movies.

Pique the interest it should, too, because Aliens vs. Pinball does a commendable job of reproducing scenes and elements from the franchise in pinball form. The main table of the group is one based on the second movie in the series: 1986's Aliens, which was a much more action-oriented film compared to its more suspenseful prequel. This Aliens vs. Pinball table plays on this theme by incorporating the Colonial Marines and their dialogue into the setup, with star of the show, Ellen Ripley, flamethrower in hands, replicated in a full 3D model just above the middle of the table. Above her is the Alien Queen, and its spawn is plastered around the edges, with the dark and wet exterior of Hadley's Hope on the outside of the play area, setting the stage for what is a well-visualised emulation of the movie.

A series of missions is built into the set-up, and by hitting the ball below Ripley, scenarios based on ones found in the movie activate, including guiding Newt through the shafts by hitting the ball up the shoots, and fending off hordes of xenomorphs by belting the ball into the cardboard cut-out replications and switching on the turret. Ripley can lend a helping hand by setting the ball on fire, and uses her flamethrower to take out aliens in the proximity. As bizarre as it sounds, the memories of the film come flooding back through the sound and voice clips that play during each stage, with it being easy to picture the scenes playing out.

Screenshot for Zen Pinball 2: Aliens vs. Pinball on PlayStation 4

Next up is a table designed around The Creative Assembly's excellent survival horror title Alien: Isolation. Since this game took the anxious and unknowing atmosphere from the original Alien movie into its blueprint, the table, too, features a tense tone about it, with suspenseful music and clever use of Amanda Ripley and the alien, with the latter appearing out of the ducts every now and again to hunt Ellen's daughter down. Since Amanda has a life bar, taking damage from the alien will reduce the points that can be earned, so obtaining medkits from the table is the key to racking up a high score, all the while taking down the Working Joe androids and hacking computers.

Finally, the third table is one geared around Alien vs. Predator - a controversial movie amongst fans of the franchise, but one that actually makes good in pinball form. With a Predator on one side of the table and a xenomorph on the other, the aim is to ally with humans by striking them, and taking out the aliens that infest the table. The hunter's stealth mode can be deployed, with the goal of obtaining the special weapons used to take out the aliens, just like in the movie. A pyramid at the top can be entered, with a small puzzle element that adds to the score if completed quickly, and a hidden space in the middle of the table features a rotating device used to trap as many aliens as possible in the short space of time it is activated.

Screenshot for Zen Pinball 2: Aliens vs. Pinball on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

It's great to see Zen branch out into such an iconic and timeless movie franchise for Zen Pinball 2: Aliens vs. Pinball, while staying completely faithful to the source material at the same time. These tables look and feel like the respective Alien titles each one is based on, all helped along by scenarios and sound clips right out of the movies and game. Of course, there are difficulties in trying to get the ball where you want, when you want on each table, but that is the nature of pinball, anyway. Needless to say, this well-designed package, offering a lot of variety, is more than worth the admission fee for tables that will entertain fans of the Alien legacy.


Zen Studios


Zen Studios


Table Games



C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   


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