Zen Pinball 2’s 3D is Brilliant


Adding stereoscopic 3D effects to digital pinball may seem superfluous, but in reality the life added Zen Studios’ creation is remarkable.

In doing so, Zen creates miniaturized worlds with cities and licensed elements. The result is a wonderland which shines in 3D. Looking down into these tables creates a visibly authentic space to play in, where the rear of the machine seems a mile deep. Choosing a tracking camera elevates rails and levels to better help them stand out from the smoothness of the bottom panel.

Better, there are moments with zero adherence to the table itself. These designs exist in a world of fantasy, with characters leaping and jumping without being locked down by physical design restraints. In Star Wars, Tie Fighters pop from the virtual glass and fly toward the screen. Avengers shows Iron Man leap forward onto the table at the intro, and on Marvel’s Civil War, Iron Man clashes with Captain America, suspended in mid-air. This is a blast to watch for its attention to detail, and astonishing with the added 3D oomph.

While not the deepest 3D available, its effect is hardly marginal. The simulated reality of having a pinball table is replicated flawlessly when donning the appropriate glasses. Looking down directly from above, even the table-specific backgrounds show additional details to explore with a 3D pop. Some of these tables are worth their weight in depth alone, and Zen Pinball 2 was already worth owning even without the functionality of the glasses.

Kudos Zen team.