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“Twilight Zone” Table for “Pinball FX” Review


One of the best things about the virtual pinball tables Zen Studios makes for their game Pinball FX (PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC) is that no matter how outlandish or unrealistic the mechanics may get, the ball always moves like a real ball would in a real pinball machine. And it sounds right, too. Which made things all the more interesting when, a few years ago, they got the rights to make virtual versions of real pinball tables by Williams and Bally. To see this in action, one has only to play the latest, Twilight Zone, which was originally built by Bally in 1993.

The Twilight Zone Zen Pinball

As you probably assumed —

unless, of course, you only know the most recent incarnation — the Twilight Zone table is inspired by the original ’50s / ’60s sci-fi show created by Rod Serling. Hence why the table’s artwork is a patchwork of images from the show’s iconic opening and most famous episodes. Robby The Robot, who appeared in three episodes (1960’s “One For The Angels,” 1963’s “Uncle Simon” and 1964’s “The Brain Center At Whipples”) stands watch, while an image of Burgess Meredith from 1959’s “Time Enough At Last” is shown next to the slot machine from the episodes “The Fever” (1960) and “The Prime Mover” (1961). You can even crash into the airplane (or at least the bumper underneath it) from 1960’s “Nick Of Time” (William Shatner not included).

And, of course, Serling’s iconic image is also prominently featured.

As for the table itself, Twilight Zone, like a lot of pinball machines from the ’90s, is rather densely packed. Not only does it have four flippers — with the one on the upper left side being somewhat obscured and even higher up than its companion on the middle of the right side — but it has multiple ramps at the top, one of which leads to a railway that runs the length of the table.

That said, the center of the table, and most of the right side, are left largely unobstructed, which gives the ball plenty of space with which to gain speed. This makes things especially fun (and frantic); doubly so when you activate multi-ball, which this table seems rather prone to do.

It’s also a rather high scoring table. Which shouldn’t matter, it’s all relative, but somehow racking up massive bonuses on my way to a score of 147,594,530 in my first game made me that much more interested in playing again.


for the most part, the Twilight Zone table is an accurate recreation of the original machine (or as I remember it; it’s been a while since I played it at the Fun & Games Arcade in the Willowbrook Mall in the mid-’90s).

That is, save for one aspect: the viewpoint. As with all Pinball FX tables, Twilight Zone has multiple options when it comes to the camera, including options best described as adjusting the height of the person playing. Using a slider, you can change the angle of the camera to show how the table would look to someone 5’1″, 6’3″, and multiple points in between. Which would’ve been great in the ’90s before I hit the towering height of 5’7″.

In fact, the only negative thing I can say (or write, as the case may be) about this digital version of the Twilight Zone table is that Rod Serling doesn’t sound like Rod Serling, and Robby The Robot doesn’t sound like Robby The Robot (i.e. actor Marvin Miller). Though given that they didn’t voice them in the original pinball machine either, it’s hardly fair to criticize this virtual version for it.

The Twilight Zone Zen Pinball

Which is why…

the Twilight Zone table for Pinball FX is ultimately as much fun as the table was back when the Super NES was a next-gen system and Jordan Peele was a teenager watching the original show on a TV with a square screen. When the balls start flying, the lights start flashing, and that iconic music starts playing, you’re traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of fun…

SCORE: 8.5/10



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