Pinball M from Zen Studios is a new release that focuses on a Rated M for Mature experience on PlayStation 5. Learn more in our Pinball M review!
Pinball M from Zen Studios is a new release that focuses on a Rated M for Mature experience on PlayStation 5. This new pinball platform is a horror-themed experience that is ready to bring us some new nightmare fuel just in time for the holidays. This is a free download that will offer a free pinball table to get things going: Wrath of the Elder Gods – Director’s Cut. This is a pinball table that was previously made available as DLC for Pinball FX with a $4.99 price tag.
Along with the free table, there are currently four other tables for you to consider for Pinball M: Chucky’s Killer Pinball, Dead by Daylight Pinball, Duke Nukem’s Big Shot Pinball, and The Thing Pinball. Each of the tables is available as a separate purchase with a $5.49 price tag, or you can go all-in and buy the Pinball M – Death Save Bundle, which includes all four pinball tables with a $19.99, saving you a couple of bucks in the process.
If you’ve played Wrath of the Elder Gods on Pinball FX, then you know what to expect from Wrath of the Elder Gods – Director’s Cut. The Director’s Cut part of the table is there because some horror elements have been dialed up to 11 to give this one the Rated M for Mature treatment. As expected, it’s heavily inspired by the work of H.P. Lovecraft, and it’s a table that will serve as the game’s tutorial, so this might be a good time to talk a bit about the gameplay mechanics before moving on to the other tables you can purchase.
The controls are simple and to the point. You can use the right analog stick to control the plunger so that you can pull it back and launch the ball into action, or you can use the X button to auto launch the ball on the table’s playing area. Any flippers on the left side of the screen will be activated with the L1 or L2 buttons, and any flippers on the right side of the screen will be activated with the R1 or R2 buttons. You can nudge the table left, right, or forward as needed by using the left analog stick. If playing in Arcade Mode or Campaign Mode, you can activate a power by pressing the Square button. Last but not least is the Triangle button, which will allow you to change the camera so that you can get the best view possible.
And now, back to our scheduled programming. Next up is the Chucky’s Killer Pinball table, which features everyone’s favorite murderous doll on the right side of the screen, as well as a slashed-up doll’s face at the back of the table. This one uses the license just right by giving us a bloody good time, as the ball leaves behind some gory splashes here and there while you rack up as big a score as possible, landing some skillshots on the ramps on each side of the table, making the most of the bumpers on the back.
You’ll be locking the ball by using the left flipper in the middle of the screen, which is actually a razor blade that spins around. Lock three balls, and you’ll activate the slasher multiball, during which Chucky will try to get in the way and ruin your shot at the jackpot. Maybe you can use his knife against him? There’s a second type of multiball you can activate by lifting and hitting the marble jar, which will then require that you break all marbles before the time runs out. By fixing the broken doll face at the back, you’ll be able to activate film mode to start a short movie sequence that will activate one of the mini-games on offer.
As you do all of this, voice clips will play over and over again, which can end up being a good thing or a bad thing, depending on how you feel about the Chucky franchise as a whole. Then you have the voice clips that play during the mini-games, which don’t feel quite as repetitive since you won’t be activating those at a fast enough pace. Overall, while enjoyable, I think that the Chucky’s Killer Pinball table is one you’re either going to love or hate as you spend more time with the rest of what Pinball M has to offer.
Dead by Daylight Pinball brings the popular asymmetrical horror experience to a pinball table with several objectives to complete as the killer or the survivors. As you start your run, you’ll be able to select between playing as either one of the four survivors or as The Trapper killer. Playing as The Trapper will reward you with a trio of perks to make things a bit easier on your end. You will have access to Unnerving Presence, which makes survivors slower at fixing generators; No One Escapes Death, which makes it so that you only need to land one hit to hook a survivor; or Monstrous Shrine, to which a survivor can be sacrificed with a sinkhole shot.
What happens if you go with one of the survivors? You will be able to choose between Claudett, Dwight, Feng, and Jake. Claudette can heal by hitting the heal target. Dwight can repair generators faster, depending on how many survivors are still alive. Feng is very lucky, which makes completing skill checks a lot easier. As for Jake, he can unhook another survivor by landing a skillshot, which is always a good way of keeping the killer from defeating the group and getting a game over.
This table will mimic the Dead by Daylight experience by having you, as a survivor, search for generators in order to progress or by having you, as the killer, start to chase a survivor around so that you can get your kill. Survivors must repair all generators to stand a chance, but it’s not going to be an easy time! The killer will be able to lay some traps to catch survivors so that it can be easier to hook them, which will keep them from fixing generators, healing, or helping other survivors. If the survivors manage to activate all generators, you’ll have one last chance to keep them from escaping.
Then we have The Thing Pinball. This one is based on John Carpenter’s classic horror film from back in 1982, and it will have you battling the deadly shape-shifting creature on Outpost 31. You don’t know who you can trust, so you’ll always need to be on high alert if you aim to try and have a chance of surviving through the onslaught. After a stylish video intro, you’ll be ready to use everything within reach to survive that extremely brutal winter in Antarctica. By exploring Outpost 31, you’ll be able to activate the different mini-games that will bring you one step closer to finding out the truth.
When Man’s Best Friend is activated, the Dog-Thing will emerge from the Blood Saucer and try to assimilate the rest of the dogs in the kennels, which is very, very bad for your odds of surviving! You’ll have to hit the tentacles on the pinball table to destroy them and then set everything on fire. Activate the Lockdown mini-game, and you’ll be tasked with keeping the Thing from leaving Outpost 31 and reaching civilization… no matter the cost.
And then, we have the classic Blood Test. You probably know where this one is going. You’ll have to collect blood samples from the remaining crew by aiming at and shooting the lit lanes. After that, you’ll have to shoot the ball over the left ramp to heat up the ball, and then hit the Blood Saucer spin disks to test the samples. Rinse and repeat until you hear a familiar sound that will mean you’ve found the imposter, exposing the Thing as it erupts from the blood. After that, you’ll have to – you guessed it – burn it good.
The last table in this pack is Duke Nukem’s Pinball Big Shot Pinball. You’ll have to defeat a ton of enemies as you kick ass and chew bubble gum, collecting the D-A-M-N letters so that you can then shoot the left sinkhole to activate the alien attack, which will happen in three waves. Collect an access card, and you’ll immediately activate the Mess with the Best mini-game. While active, you’ll need to shoot the left spinner to charge up the access card lamp and then shoot the ball into the sinkhole on the left to begin the boss fight.
You might have noticed the cinema at the center of the screen. By constantly shooting the ball through its doors, you’ll eventually collect all of the letters in CINEMA and charge up the video mode, where you’ll be using the left and right flippers to control Duke Nukem as you shoot enemies with the X button. Defeat all enemies before they can deal enough damage to you, or else! Complete this mini-game to be rewarded with an item to heal your wounds or with a random piece of equipment, as well as a short tantalizing video from back in the day.
The Duke Nukem’s Pinball Big Shot Pinball table feels the busiest out of this first set of tables, even if its overall layout is a bit more on the classic pinball side of the equation. There are many flashing lights, as well as the constantly spinning thing at the top of the screen, which can get a bit distracting if you’re not careful. If you want to boost your score as much as possible, you’ll have to use the flippers to switch around the lit N-U-K-E-M lamps on the in and outlanes, light all of the S-H-I-T lamps, light up the X-X-X targets, and more.
While spending some time with each pinball table, you’ll gain experience points, which will allow you to level up. You will also earn some tokens here and there. Tokens can be traded at the Vault. By visiting, you’ll get a chance to unlock additional cabinet skins, banner backgrounds, foregrounds, titles, lights for each of the rooms housing the pinball tables in your collection, and more. It’s a good way to incentivize you to keep playing as you unlock new elements to help you customize your experience.
As is the case for Pinball FX, there’s no Platinum trophy in this one. What we’re getting is a list with 28 Bronze trophies, 6 Silver trophies, and 1 Gold trophy. What will you need to do to get all of those trophies? You’ll have to earn a high score, achieve 25 skill shots, max out all power-ups on the same table, complete a campaign mission, play three different challenges on a single pinball table, post a score in a tournament, create your own tournament, customize one of your pinball tables, and level up to 100, to name some examples.
Each of the additional pinball tables available as DLC for Pinball M will have an extra trio of trophies for you to try to unlock. The Duke Nukem’s Big Shot Pinball table will have you gathering all weapons and defeating the first four bosses, starting Shaking it, baby! five times and getting the super jackpot, and starting Ready for Action with six balls and holding it for at least a couple of minutes. The Chucky’s Killer Pinball table will require you to decapitate Chucky in wizard mode, stabbing Chucky in slasher multiball, and being a perfect good guy in the Dolls mode.
We then have the three trophies for the Dead by Daylight Pinball table in Pinball M. You’ll need to pass five skill checks, hit a trapped survivor, and drop the pallet for at least 1 million points. And then, there’s The Thing Pinball table and its three trophies. In order for you to be able to add those to your collection, you’ll need to complete the wizard mode, play the Assimilation video mode, and start the Whiteout side mode. Once those three objectives have been completed, you’ll have sorted out all trophies.
Pinball M brings us a new platform that goes for a Rated M for Mature pinball experience on PlayStation. It’s a free download, so you can certainly give it a go and see if it’s for you, since it includes the Wrath of the Elder Gods – Director’s Cut table at no extra cost. After that, you can get individual tables for $5.49 with the Chucky’s Killer Pinball, Dead by Daylight Pinball, Duke Nukem’s Big Shot Pinball, and The Thing Pinball tables. There’s also the option of getting the Pinball M – Death Save Bundle for $19.99, which will give you access to all four pinball tables while saving you a couple of bucks.
This Pinball M review is based on a PlayStation 5 copy provided by Zen Studios.