The replay value is strong with this one

“A long time ago, on a system far, far away…” I enjoyed Star Wars Pinball on the Nintendo 3DS. Almost six years to the date, a new installment of Star Wars Pinball has arrived on the Nintendo Switch, and it’s more than six times the size of its predecessor.

As a fan of both pinball and Star Wars, I would’ve gravitated towards this collection either way–it was one of the games I was most excited to demo at E3. But Zen Studios has packed so much here that even more casual fans will want to take a look. With 19 tables nearly running the gamut of the Star Wars universe, everyone will have their favorites, from the one that started it all, A New Hope, to the more recent anthology films like Rogue One and Solo.

My lone complaint on the table selection is that it doesn’t actually encompass “all eras of the saga” as advertised, at least not in an expected way. Even though Darth Maul is part of the assemblage on physical release covers, the prequel movies (1999-2005) are quite curiously not represented, outside of the odd themed table like Master of the Force. I would’ve gladly traded a character-themed table, like the familiar Boba Fett, for a table highlighting that important era. Here’s hoping they arrive as DLC before long.

While I, regrettably, can’t talk about every new table individually due to space limitations, I’ll mention just a few of those that stand out to me. Rebels has a cool mini-playfield that plays like Breakout with a droid serving as your paddle. The Last Jedi isn’t among my favorite films, but of its two tables, Ahch-To Island is eye candy with a warm blue-green color scheme and cute porgs to distract you from concentrating on the ball. Droids gives C-3PO and R2-D2 their due. In fact, there isn’t a bad table in the bunch. True, some are great – Battle of Mimban is a relatively obscure theme with darker shades- but there’s none that I skip over. It’s like a greatest hits of pinball tables. Just make sure you enable the HD Rumble. For such an advertised feature, it bizarrely defaults to off.

Playing the tables from the prior installment has made me really appreciate the strong audio/visual package on display here. The 3DS speakers weren’t the best, but hearing The Asteroid Field blare from my TV while playing The Empire Strikes Back table gives the impact I expect for a franchise known for superb music. Being able to unlock in-game music tracks and play them on the Cantina Jukebox is a bonus. While I quite enjoyed the 3D, on Switch I’m able to pick up more details with the improved resolution. The Clone Wars table now has colors that vividly stand out in a sharp way. When playing handheld, I also don’t have to deal with a squished display thanks to optional vertical play.

Did I mention that this game retails for just $29.99 at launch? Considering that Pinball FX3 sells 3 packs of tables for $9.99, Star Wars Pinball’s nearly 19 tables is a steal! Especially considering all the replay perks: various achievements to earn; a career mode to level up by playing numerous missions spread (linearly) across a handful of operations; leaderboards (friends or online, weekly or all-time); league play, tournaments, unlockable force powers, and more. Not to mention the continual back and forth between the light and dark side as online players try to bring balance to the force.

Zen Studios bring a top-notch level of quality that you’d expect from a company established in video game pinball supremacy. Whether you’re a casual fan or a pinball enthusiast, you’re bound to find enjoyment with Star Wars Pinball. This package is a real bargain on Nintendo Switch too, with replay value as high as Bespin’s Cloud City. Zen Studios has done the Star Wars license proud.