Pinball M Review – M is for Mature

Pinball M Review

Pinball M pinball tables are a new Pinball FX line of tables from Zen Studios. The M stands for Mature and the tables in the initial collection certainly cement the label. This line of adult tables can expand on the content and presentation of tables not possible in the original game. This is also a good move from a business perspective too. Zen Studios has taken a fair amount of heat for its mercenary business practices. This stems from them not providing an upgrade path from the previous console gen to the current one. Plus, their pricing for tables pushes the envelope too.

There are five M tables. All five M tables are fantastic. The first one – Wrath of the Elders – is free and the only one not based on a known IP. The other four tables are based on known properties. The other four tables require purchases, either separately or get a slight discount if purchased in a bundle called Death Save. If you are a horror fan or desire pinball tables with more adult themes, Pinball M is the answer. A quick dive of each table will show why.

Pinball M Lovecraftian Table

This is an edgier, so-called Director’s Cut, of the safer version of the game found in the main Pinball FX game. The Wrath of the Elders is an eldritch theme horror game. Like Lovecraftian tales, the gameplay is based on you controlling your sanity. You have to battle tentacled creatures and collect runes to save yourself.

Dead by Daylight

First up is the Dead by Daylight table. It’s based on the Behaviour’s asymmetrical multiplayer and even includes whether you play as the survivor or the killer. The gameplay is based around hitting the proper lanes to either pursue or escape. The table also includes features from the source game, such as repairing generators.

Duke Nukem

For the first-person shooter fans, there is the Duke Nukem table. This is a fun table capturing the humor of the videogames. Duke Nukem’s Big Shot, which apes the low-poly models from the games. The table includes a first person mini-game where you play as Duke. You get to go wild on enemies just like in the videogames.

Chucky Love

The remaining tables are based on movies. There is the Chucky table. Chucky’s Killer Pinball is the largest table in the collection. In it, you need to reassemble a mask in the middle lane. Once complete, missions open which are based on movie scenes. There is an LCD screen that displays the movie scenes. All a Chucky doll views the table action off to one side.

The Thing! Yeah Baby!

The last table is my personal favorite. It’s based on the amazing John Carpenter 1984 adaptation of The Thing. The movie is in my personal top ten of all time and this table does an amazing job of catching its mood. It has brilliant touches, like snow falling around the table and the whoosh of the flamethrower when it is lit.

The table also features snippets from the iconic score plus iconic quips by the Kurt Russell as McCready. Plus, it too, like the Chucky table, has a LCD display that shows scenes from the movie. In fact, the table starts with the iconic opening scene from the movie with the alien ship crashing to the planet and then the burn-in title letters.

Parents Take Content Heed

In summary, each of these tables is gorgeous to look at and listen to. The physics are on point and this M line of tables will appeal to all players. A warning to parents, certain tables like The Thing include harsh language with F bombs aplenty.

To bolster player interest, each table has its own campaign. They give you cosmetic unlocks that require different gameplay mechanics via different gameplay mechanics. You earn credits when you play and they too allow further customizations. Things such as special ball trails or unique lighting.

Beyond the table specific campaigns, there are daily challenges where you compete against leaderboards. The challenges use special restrictions, such as scoring as many points as possible with a limited amount of flips, a limited amount of balls, or in the shortest time period possible.

From the main menu, you can access the tables you own, the Daily Challenges, Events – which is not implemented yet, the Vault, and Tournaments. The Vault is where you spend your credits to customize your play area with banners. Tournament mode allows you to set up multiplayer matches. The Home screen is also the game’s social screen where such things as the Community and News Feeds are found.

Pinball FX Vs Pinball M

Some may find Pinball M being a separate entity from the parent Pinball FX annoying. Splitting a game’s player base is always risky. It is a tad inconvenient to have two separate apps to play the tables, but the division is understandable given the difference in content. The truly annoying thing Pinball M shares with Pinball FX are the loading times.

The length of the loading times is tied to synching up your data with the game servers. The load times harken back to the previous gen. It can take up to a minute or so for data synching to complete. This seems especially egregious when all that is being loaded are pinball tables.

Fantastic Potential for Future Adult Tables

Those quibbles asides, the new tables are fantastic. The potential for future releases is very exciting. For myself, The Thing table is already a high mark. Tables from other horror franchises or tables based on R-rated movie franchises like John Wick or maybe other video games such as Grand Theft Auto will entice new players.

If you are a pinball fan, Pinball M is a no-brainer. The tables, their campaigns, and the extra play modes make for a solid package. If you’ve never been a pinball fan but have fond feelings for any of the franchises mentioned, Pinball M may be the game to convert you.


***Pinball M PS5 code provided by the publisher***

The Good

Great selection of tables
Tons to unlock
Bloody gorgeous visuals


The Bad

Separate from Pinball FX
Slow loading times
No VR mode