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 Full Game List » ZEN Pinball 3D » Reviews

ZEN Pinball 3D (3DS)

My Score:


Ball Lost

Zen Pinball 3D



The Zen Pinball franchise is an AMAZING Pinball franchise with wonderful table designs, great music and fun gameplay. At least on other systems... You see, I was quite excited when I first heard of the 3DS version and the upcoming DLC for it, so I bought it day one when it hit NA and...

It's bad. VERY bad. But let me explain why in as much detail as I can.


You play pinball with two flippers, a launcher and tilting. That's all you do. But how can they ruin such an amazing game on iOS and consoles with such simple controls?

Well, you can either control it with the circle pad for launching and tilting, the A button for a quick launch, or either the D pad or L button for left flipper and R button and B button for right flipper.

But in terms of the actual tables, while they are all nicely made, have great music and look OK, they are completely ruined on the 3DS due to a lot of major factors... The first being the table size. It's quite small on the top screen, which is understandable due to the 3D, but the problem is it's SO small that it's like they didn't even try to make the text on the table readable on the 3DS, which is a problem if you want to know what a certain ramp or button does. Heck, even the word "ZEN" on the left flipper that is clearly viewable in EVERY OTHER VERSION of this game is barely readable on this unless you zoom in, and even still you can't read it that well. If Zen Studios can't even make a one letter word that readable as on other platforms, you know there is a big problem.

Also, the dot matrix is quite slower compared to the other system counterparts, even though the 3DS can certainly handle the speed of it, knowing how well and smooth it runs many other games. Also, sometimes the game will suffer from framerate drops on the bigger tables, Like Excalibur and Earth Defense, which is a real game breaker as if I can't even determine how fast my ball is gonna go toward my flippers, I won't be able to save it if the framerate speeds up back to normal on me.


The music is the exact same as on the other systems, and it's good music, which is a nice thing to have in a pinball game, considering how most of them don't have much music or any music in them.


The game controls fine, as I said before, it's just the small text, the bad framerate and the terrible conversion of the tables to the 3DS makes it almost unplayable.


If you can handle the huge problems, there are four rewards for you to unlock in each table, equalling 12 overall. Nice thing to add, as well as online leaderboards.


In all, Zen Pinball 3D is a butchered port, completely taking the original PSN game and making it slow, hard to enjoy and not nearly as amazing as it's other counterparts. If you want an amazing Zen pinball game, get the Wii U, PS3 or iOS versions and stay away from this one. Due to these problems, I give it a 4 out of 10


I disagree completely. This port seems very well-done, and I have enjoyed it greatly. Your only base for it being bad is the bad frame rate ( I haven't experienced any of this) and the fact that you can't read the text on the table. ( I have no problems doing so) This game is very well-done and doesn't deserve such complaints.

Compare it to the PS3 ZP and you'll see. The ball moves more smoothly in that version, and you can read all of the table text without zooming in. In this it's all stiff (Ball movement) and it's just a butchered port.

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