Pinball FX – PC Review

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Pinball FX is a name we have seen quite a bit in the Pinball gaming arena. However, recently Zen Studios have released Pinball FX with a ton of major updates since its previous release. A free-to-play Steam title with the option to add more tables at a cost, the question is – Is it worth it?

Bringing An Arcade Classic Game Into The Digital Age

I absolutely love a good pinball machine. Luckily I live in an area which has multiple arcades that have them available to play. I have been looking for a Pinball title for some time and always put off downloading Pinball FX. I think deep down I was always worried that it wouldn’t live up to expectations.


Unfortunately, Pinball FX is really lacking in the storyline/narrative area. Thankfully they have focused on what actually makes a good pinball title and that is the tables, visuals and audio with a sprinkling of competition. Pinball FX brings us the pinball experience that many could love since getting over their addiction to Space Cadet Pinball.

This image shows one of the free tables within Pinball FX. IT has a western theme with various elements like a saloon and a cowboy.
Yeeeeee Haw!!!

Within the game, the main menu (so to speak) is your very own pinball room, with one glowing pinball machine at the centre. Surrounding this area are various shelving types, flooring and posters. These different areas are customisable with items that you unlock from playing your favourite tables. This, unless you are a professional can take some time, however, the enjoyment of playing the tables outweighs the freebie. Within arcade play there is also the ability to play different game types on each table from Distance, whereby you need to get the highest score based on ball distance travelled to Hot Seat challenges where you can challenge family and friends in person.

Screenshot from Pinball FX showing the shelving that you can fill full of your collectables.
Display your winnings

Arcades are all about competition as well, we have two areas that provide this within the game. There are tournaments which are mostly created by the community. However, you could create your own here and have some competitions within your own community. We also have the events section, where I have been spending my time recently. These are official events on tables you might not own.

Screenshot showing one of the premium tables Kong Vs Godzilla
Godzilla Vs Kong – Premium Table

There is also a shop available where you can buy all of the DLC within the game. There is time to time some free trials available as well so you can try a table out before you buy it. However, I feel that if you like the subject matter then I can’t see you not liking the table. I am yet to play a table I didn’t really enjoy, some are hard than others but they are great fun. Alongside the shop, there is also a season pass which unlocks new items across all of the above-mentioned.

Graphics & Audio

Within the game, graphics differ from machine to machine, some of them look quite polished and some not so. The Williams Machines for example have a slightly more traditional look to them. The assets used to create the on-screen replica of the machine are absolutely stunning. With vibrant artwork and crisp details, they do outshine some of the others. There is a 30’s gangster-styled table and when comparing it to the Williams machines it looks quite lacklustre. That doesn’t mean it’s any less enjoyable to play on though so please bare that in mind.

An example of the Williams table. These have some of the best graphics.
Let’s go fishing – Williams Table

As per the above the same goes with audio, depending on the FX you will depend on the tables you play more. For example, if you aren’t a fan of Westerns you might not like what the free table has to offer. Alternatively, you can just turn the volume completely off, after all, you don’t need to do play. Having said that this will dampen the experience in the game. The pops and pings of the ball bouncing around the machine as it pumps up your points really bring the game to life.


When it comes to time in-game, I don’t feel like there is a cap even if you only download it for the free tables. Alongside the free tables, you get regular free trials on Pinballs you haven’t checked out yet. Not only that you also have Events and Tournaments to take part in which keep the game fresh. Pinball FX is the perfect game to have installed for when you want a quick destress or you are waiting for others to come online.

A screenshots within Pinball FX showing the events available.
Events – Gain your tokens to get awesome room SWAG

If I had the old Windows Space Cadet Pinball on my PC I would still be playing that today and can still see myself picking up and playing Pinball FX easily for the next couple of years.

Final Thoughts

I have always been sceptical about Pinball titles. The number of free downloadable versions we have seen in the past which has been an absolute car crash is unreal. It is safe to say that Pinball FX does not fit that brief. With an abundance of tables available, each with their own mini-games and features there is a crazy amount of fun to be had. You could even co-op with the family and try to beat each other’s scores. As it is controller compatible it also makes this title extremely accessible. I can’t wait to check out more tables and get more collectables to make my Pinball Room look epic. I award Pinball FX a Thumb Culture Gold Award.

Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.

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