Review – Star Wars Pinball VR

I never understood the appeal of traditional pinball video games. What is such a simple yet addictive entertainment experience in real life is usually reduced to minuscule tables and underwhelming gameplay when translated into a TV-based format. However, I did want to try out Star Wars Pinball VR. Not only because I love almost every single Star Wars game ever made (although Jedi Arena is, was, and forever will be a disgrace), but also because virtual reality can make the most mundane of activities a lot more entertaining due to the immersion it provides. Hell, it made table tennis way more fun than it had any right to be.

Just as expected, despite not offering more than the bare minimum to immerse you in a VR world, Star Wars Pinball VR ended up being a lot of fun because it makes you feel like you’re playing Star Wars-themed pinball tables, all while being bombarded with enough fanservice to make even the grumpiest of nerds happy with the end product.

Star Wars Pinball VR Mandalorian

This is the way… to play pinball.

This is not exactly a one-to-one port of the nineteen tables available in the mobile version of Star Wars Pinball. For starters, there are only eight tables, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. All eight of them are stupidly well-designed, featuring small objectives and minigames in order to feel different from one another. This also gives you enough of a reason to put your time into each and every one of them. The VR capabilities only do the bare minimum to immerse you into the experience, but I’d be lying if I said it didn’t work. It felt like I was playing a real-life pinball table, and there isn’t a single human being on Earth who hasn’t had fun at least one with one of them.

It also helps that, well, this is a Star Wars game. This means that everything is themed around your favorite nerd franchise. The game itself begins with you inside your man cave, where you can decorate it with a crap ton of Star Wars memorabilia earned by completing the aforementioned objectives in each of the tables. They range from life-sized Stormtrooper replicas to the actual Star Wars action figure sets you used to own, or dreamed of owning as a kid. Plus now you can decorate an entire HOUSE with all of them! Tell me this isn’t fun. I dare you.

Star Wars Pinball VR Stormtrooper

You may pretend otherwise, but everyone wants a life-sized Stormtrooper suit.

Just like with pretty much every single Star Wars game released after the invention of the soundchip, Star Wars Pinball VR features an absolutely pristine soundtrack. It’s comprised of every single theme song and famous track from all movies, as well as the Rebels and Mandalorian TV shows. Voice clips and classic sound effects, such as TIE Fighter engine noises, are all here as well. Finally, famous characters, such as Luke, Vader, Mando, and Grogu, all show up while you’re playing their respective tables. Sure, trying to look at them while you’re also trying not to lose a ball is easier said than done. But I did appreciate this inclusion, even though the character models have suffered one hell of a quality compromise in order to be rendered at 60fps on the PSVR.

As fun as Star Wars Pinball VR is, this is far from being a fully polished gaming experience. For starters, there’s the aforementioned issue with its graphical fidelity. It looks fine, sure. Not to mention looking at a life-sized speederbike in VR is awesome, but the reduced resolution also impacts directly on the gameplay. Depending on the amount of detail on each table, or if you’ve got any sort of vision problem, looking at the ball might become quite a hassle.

Star Wars Collectible

All of the action figures you’ve always wanted as a kid.

Finally, there’s the fact that, as of the time of writing this review, Star Wars Pinball VR suffers from a lot of bugs. Some of them are minute, such as the camera moving around as if you were drunk, to sudden crashes that sent me back to the PS4’s main menu, which happened more often than I would have expected from a game like this. Granted, these random crashes can be fixed with patches, and I most certainly expect that Zen Studios will come up with solutions in the next weeks, but losing a high score due to some unforeseen internal coding issue really frustrated me.


Luke is just minding his own business and not lending me a hand with his Force powers…

In short, Star Wars Pinball VR isn’t just a good pinball game or a good VR game, but it’s yet another decent Star Wars video game released in the past few years. This is showcasing that the franchise is recovering its relevance in the gaming landscape much faster than I could have expected. It might offer just the bare minimum to immerse you in a virtual reality world, but it features so much content and so much delightful fanservice, that it’s impossible not to love playing a few rounds of a nearly-realistic VR pinball experience while Grogu looks at you from a distance.


Graphics: 7.0

Just like most mid-tier VR games on the PS4, the visuals have suffered some setbacks in order to run at 60fps, but the game still looks fine enough. It does the bare minimum to immerse you into its world, making you feel like you’re playing real-life (and well designed) pinball tables.

Gameplay: 7.5

The reduced resolution impacts your overall vision of the table, but you can get used to it after a while. Besides this, it’s your typical pinball game. It’s pretty hard to mess with such a tried and true concept.

Sound: 9.5

Classic tunes taken straight from the movies, as well as tons of memorable quotes and sound effects. When was the last time you’ve played a Star Wars game with a bad soundtrack?

Fun Factor: 7.5

It’s an immersive pinball experience which also provides a ton of Star Wars fanservice. The tons of collectibles also increase its replayability tenfold. Sadly, it’s still very glitchy, crashing pretty often. Once things get patched up, this will become one of the quintessential Star Wars experiences for current-gen gamers.

Final Verdict: 7.5

Star Wars Pinball VR is available now on PSVR, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Oculus Quest.

Reviewed on PSVR.

A copy of Star Wars Pinball VR was provided by the publisher.