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Star Wars Pinball for Android review: Stunning graphics make this game shine

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The best thing about Star Wars Pinball is its jaw-dropping graphics. The many targets, ramps, rollovers, and kickers that make up its pinball course are all polished with incredible detail. Even the pinball itself is stunning, with its metallic surface realistically reflecting the ambient lights as it spins across the table. And the choreographed flashing of all these table elements really make you feel as though Zen Studios pulled out all the stops when making this game.

But the tables' many skeuomorphic mechanical components are not all that make this digital pinball experience a visual delight. What I love even more are the 3D animations that accompany certain triggers in the game. For instance, characters from the movie series routinely make their way on screen, with Stormtroopers firing at the table, TIE Fighters zipping around overhead, and even Lord Vader himself crushing pinballs with the force. To complement these visuals, all of the audio clips sound like they're pulled straight from the movies.

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The 3D animations look and sound like they're pulled right from the movies. Screenshot by Jaymar Cabebe/CNET

When it comes to the physics of the game, I was a little less impressed. At times, I found the power generated by the flippers and the plunger to be inconsistent and unrealistic. This was a bit disappointing, because the inconsistencies would pull me out of the illusion that I was actually playing a pinball machine. That said, I still found myself tapping away at my screen for large chunks of time, trying to achieve higher rankings on the leaderboard.

Finally, Star Wars Pinball also offers a multiplayer "Hotseat" mode that can accommodate up to four different players on the same device. In this mode, you and your friends can play together, passing the device each time a ball is lost. While the mode is convenient to have, it probably isn't something you'll want to use often, since its much more enjoyable to keep your device all to yourself.

Star Wars Pinball is available as a standalone app on Google Play, but users of its sibling download Zen Pinball HD can also access the "Star Wars"-themed tables from within that game.

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