At first glance this is a gaming marriage that should never have got past the first date. Telltale's narrative driven take on the Walking Dead Universe has some wonderful qualities but in terms of gameplay it can leave some feeling rather cold. Zen Pinball on the other hand is pretty much all high octane gameplay, there are generally some story elements with missions but these are not essential to enjoyment of the game. I do though have faith in the Zen team and from the outset this is a table that proves unusual unions really can work.
Firstly a warning the table is a massive spoiler filled jaunt through the first season of The Walking Dead. My advice is if you have any desire to play Telltale's title is to close your browser go play the game then come back and buy this table.
The spoilers of which I speak are contained mostly within the missions as these ask you to make the same decisions that occur in each episode of the game. It works amazingly well thanks to the use of the original voice cast headlined of course by David Fennoy (Lee) and Melissa Hutchinson (Clem), more importantly though is the time constraints that are applied to each task giving you an extra sense tension. This is necessary as you have obviously lost the consequence mechanic that makes the main game so appealing. The missions themselves are unlocked in two ways. First is the usual lighting up a lane by hitting it a prerequisite amount of times the second is to hit a Zombie three times and in doing so driving it back in to a hole. From there you have to hit the mission hole and off you go. There are a multitude of choices available as the missions start and as I have already said each is coupled with a choice in the game. I'll not spoil each mission but I particularly enjoy the sniper missions which basically transform the game into a fps. Its a Iittle on rails but ultimately tonnes of fun and a nice change.
Visually the table is pretty stunning, the character models of Lee and Clem stand out as some of best to date. The way Clem in particular moves across the bottom of table feels really fluid although it is also very distracting (but that is the point). The Swarm is actually another highlight of the table, it feels a lot like the one present on the Plants vs Zombies table just on a larger scale.
This is one of the best and most accomplished tables Zen have released the use of the property is first class and at the end of the day, its a table you really should play.
Table Rating 4.5/5
Table Courtesy of Publisher
Images - from Publisher
Images - from Publisher