Whether you were a fan of classic pinball machines or the pinnacle of modern pinball video games, you’ve probably at some point had a love affair with those glorious shiny silver balls and flashing lights, statistically speaking, you’ve probably also cut down some zombies in their prime without the slightest bit of remorse. Since I too fit within that demographic, I had to check out Zombie Rollerz: Pinball Heroes.
Dive into the role of a pinball blasting warrior venturing into a hexagonal maze of perils under the guidance of some kind of living encyclopedia. This book of infinite knowledge shares with you minuscule amounts of almost comprehensible information about what the hell is going on and why you’re on this adventure. Thankfully, you don’t really need to know much to enjoy slapping some balls in the faces of a bunch of undead. Your task is simple, head through this roguelike hex maze beating up zombies, collecting loot and gold, and moving on to the next map, along the way you’ll choose your path between combat encounters and digging your way through random piles of wood blocking your path. Treasure chests, stores, and all of your favorite generic RPG rest stops are available to provide you with trinkets and abilities to buff up your ball blasting capabilities. You can unlock powerful skills like lighting your balls on fire, calling down lightning bolts, and turning your paddles into machine guns to “redead” your undead opponents. They won’t go down without a fight though and will make use of tactics like running right at you or putting down poison blobs that will shrink your balls making it possible for them to fall right out the bottom. Don’t worry though, after you take a little damage, you’ll load that ball right back up and fire it at them with a ballista and if you maintain your health and navigate through the map while avoiding the onslaught of poisonous zombie goo that spreads after every battle, you can face off against a boss at the end of the level.
These big zombie bads can be a breeze to take down or a total pain in the ass depending on how many of those cool abilities you’ve gained and how much you suck at aiming and smacking a pinball. If you lose, you get unceremoniously booted back to the menu. But if you finish all of the levels and defeat the final boss, you get a small paragraph of text before you’re unceremoniously booted back to the menu. Then you can progress down this zig-zag road of upgrade levels that unlocks tons of new junk for you to discover on your millions of subsequent journeys into the wide variety of four levels you revisit every single time. This upgrade road can also unlock new characters to take the paddle flipping helm in your limited adventure. These weird little characters have almost distinguishable stats on their report cards and feature different starting abilities for their balls. They also have distinct stories and personalities that are revealed as you play and culminate in their own special ending paragraph for a story that, after 16 hours, still doesn’t make any sense at all.
All the visual mayhem and ball bouncing fun of pinball with the infinite repetition only a roguelike could guarantee. Despite how much fun I had with this starting out and how nice it was to beat up waves of zombies with pinballs, it started to get old after a while. After finishing it eight times and unlocking every character, the same four levels started to get monotonous, and I still have no idea where the ending is or how to get to it. Although for this price, I cannot recommend it more especially if you are a fan of pinball games.