Lots Of Time For Love, Dr. Jones

HIGH An excellent, digitally recreated pinball table.

LOW Price compared to other tables on Pinball FX3.

WTF For such a common shot, I rarely activated the bumper event.

Zen Studios is about to release a new pinball platform, Pinball FX, for next-gen hardware. Their current platform, Pinball FX3, will slowly ride into the sunset, but they picked an excellent table as one of its last hurrahs – Indiana Jones: The Pinball Adventure.

This is a single offering – players will get the excellent Indiana Jones: The Pinball Adventure (Williams, 1993) table. All ramps, bumpers, and point pathways from this well-loved table have been faithfully recreated. Players can play the standard mode (highest score with three balls) or the Zen Pinball modes, like Single Ball or Five Minute Challenge. The latter have always been some of my favorite inclusions and things are no different this time around.

Regardless of which mode players prefer, the action takes place on an excellent layout. The Pinball Adventure is well known, not just for its movie connections, but also for its fantastic design. Smooth ramps, relatively easy-to-activate events, and an absurd six ball multi-ball all make for a table worthy of play with or without the movie tie-in — but for fans of the movies, there’s plenty to love.

Table events are based on scenes from the original trilogy – things like finding Marion in Raiders of the Lost Ark or the rope bridge showdown from Temple of Doom. Each event has quotes from the movies, with audio that sounds just similar enough to the actual actors who made these characters famous.

All great touches, but the best part is the inclusion of the iconic Indiana Jones theme song. In addition to the table’s original artwork, Zen has once again added enhanced graphics – side wall artwork, particle effects, and an animated Indiana Jones that moves around and reacts to different events. Like previous tables, the option is available to turn these enhanced graphics on or off mid-play – always a welcome feature.

Honestly, there’s not much to dislike about The Pinball Adventure. One complaint for the table layout is that some shots appear to return down a path directly into the center drain. It’s infrequent enough (and I haven’t played the real table enough to know if this is a common problem) but it’s not a huge deal — for me, shots like that are just part of pinball.

The only other complaint would be the price point – at $15, the price seems a little steep for a single table. While it’s not the best value in Pinball FX3, it’s a steal compared to spending ten grand on a working Indiana Jones table…

The price may be a deterrent, but for fans of the movies (and of course, pinball!) Indiana Jones: The Pinball Adventure comes highly recommended.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Disclosures: This game is developed and published by Zen Studios. It is currently available on XBO, PS4, Switch, iOS and PC. This copy of the game was obtained via publisher and reviewed on the Switch. Approximately 10 hours of play were devoted to the single-player mode, and two out of three challenge modes were completed. 0 hours of play were spent in multiplayer modes.

Parents: According to the ESRB, this game is rated Everyone 10+ and contains Fantasy Violence, Mild Language. No official description is available, but the violence and language is just a milder version of what one might experience while watching the Indiana Jones films. There is one video mode where players use the flippers to move a gun to shoot enemies – this, and all video scenes, are recreated in the orange and black pixelation one would find on older pinball machines. Parents comfortable with their children watching the movies should feel safe letting them play this as well.

Colorblind Modes: There are no colorblind modes available.

Deaf & Hard of Hearing Gamers: All in-game events that have audio cues also have some form of visual cue – text on the display panel, flashing lights on the playfield, or a camera zoom to the action’s focus. Menu text size is not adjustable. This game is fully accessible.

Remappable Controls: Certain functions are remappable, and the game will give players 3 or 4 button options for each action. Players can also play with touchscreen on the Switch.

Brian Theisen
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10 months ago

“…audio that sounds just similar enough to the actual actors who made these characters famous.”

What a weird thing to say. Since all quotes are lifted directly from the movie audio, and all new dialogue is recorded by John Rhys-Davies as Sallah, it *is* all the actual actors.