Impressions: Portal Pinball
Pinball is a very versatile game. While pinball is incredibly fun at its core, it all really comes down to how the individual table plays. Some pinball tables are incredibly fun and exciting, and others are not so much. Portal’s pinball rendition thankfully falls in the enjoyable category. Creatively put together with many references to the series, I love having Portal’s pinball table as a member of my digital collection.
Right from the get go anyone who has played Portal will notice a plethora of references to the franchise. The pinball table takes place in the abandoned Aperture Laboratories from the second game. From GladOS looming over the table to an Atlas and P-Body multiball mode, everything seems right at home to Portal. Zen obviously put a lot of detail into really captivating the true spirit of the original series, and converts it into a pinball table incredibly well.
The whole objective, just like in the game is to bring down the robot who reigns over the abandoned lab. You do this with the tables main mission mode which is activated by hitting a pair elevator doors and then entering the chamber with your ball. You then are able to pick from one of six missions which all award a bunch of points if completed. While being difficult, they are hard enough to where after a good amount of playing time and practice on the table, you can finish them with relative ease. After finishing all 6 missions, you are able to do the GladOS boss fight or more commonly known as wizard mode in pinball. If this is completed and finished, you are awarded a ridiculous amount of points and an extra ball. While this is pretty basic for a pinball table, it’s just done well with all the missions being creative and entertaining.
All of the rest of the table is pretty run of the mill as well. There’s a multiball mode that can be activated, bumpers in the right corner that activate a minifield when hit enough times, and a skill-shot in the beginning that ties into the rest of the table. Like with the missions, along the way many nods are given to Portal and everything is done correctly. Zen has hit their stride in making great pinball tables, and can’t seem to do anything wrong. Almost all of their digital pinball collection in Zen Pinball 2 is exceptional with only a few rough tables that stick out. Overall, Portal’s pinball table is a great addition to any pinball player’s collection.