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Thread: Zen does it again - “Zen Pinball Party” for Apple Arcade

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    Senior Member Scared Stiff's Avatar
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    Zen does it again - “Zen Pinball Party” for Apple Arcade

    Well Zen has done it again. More of alienating their biggest supporters, more fracturing of their content, more exclusives locked away on another platform. It’s gotten all rather ridiculous.

    I am referring to today’s announcement of Zen Pinball Party exclusively for Apple Arcade. A lot of tables are stuff we have seen before, even some Williams tables, but some are new and well, unless I am not understanding their plans correctly when they say “exclusive”, I guess you’ll have to have an Apple device and pay a monthly subscription to access these new tables.

    And that’s a shame as the How to Train a Dragon and Trolls tables look pretty good.

    https://youtu.be/lp2dRMES3uI

    The My Little Pony one, eh....not so much. Zen seems to think it’s a “Hot IP” though...lol.

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    Senior Member shogun00's Avatar
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    Zen's definition of "exclusive" is as farfetched as their definition for "soon". Personally, I think it is just a timed exclusive.

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    Administrator Gord Lacey's Avatar
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    I believe Apple gets a 1 year exclusive on the Apple Arcade games and then they can appear elsewhere. "Alba" was an Apple Arcade game that recently made its way to other platforms.

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    Whelp... 2021 is a wash but maybe 2022 will be the great year for Zen pinball. By then we'll get FX on steam and probably super discounts on all of these new licensed zen original table packs that maybe my girls (Trolls/Pony) will still care about when they release.

    If you've got an Apple device sign up for a Target Circle membership (it's free) and get a 6 months of Apple Arcade for free and play them to bridge the exclusive gap if that's your thing.
    Also has 4 months of Apple TV & music for free too for those (like me) who waited to watch Ted Lasso.

    https://www.target.com/circle/partners

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    My daughter would be interested in a few of them, but I'm not getting an iPad to play pinball on a tablet. What are they thinking?! I understand developing many different platforms can be an issue, but PC goes around? I don't get it. Zen had something great going, but maybe it wasn't making enough money.

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    Im going to laugh like crazy if i see Tarek Oberdieck leading all the leaderboards of these tables! . Poor kids trying to catch him up!

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    Quote Originally Posted by HighFive View Post
    Im going to laugh like crazy if i see Tarek Oberdieck leading all the leaderboards of these tables! . Poor kids trying to catch him up!
    Mom, what does the E+18 mean in this score?

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    Moderator shutyertrap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Narc0lep5y View Post

    If you've got an Apple device sign up for a Target Circle membership (it's free) and get a 6 months of Apple Arcade for free and play them to bridge the exclusive gap if that's your thing.
    Also has 4 months of Apple TV & music for free too for those (like me) who waited to watch Ted Lasso.

    https://www.target.com/circle/partners
    That's really helpful info! Plus, Ted Lasso
    I'm just sayin'

    official BlahCade Pinball Podcast website blahcadepinball.com/episodes

    subscribe to BlahCade Pinball Podcast on YouTube

    buy BlahCade t-shirt at RedBubble.com

    play with me on PSN, iOS, and Steam: shutyertrap

    follow me on Twitter: @shutyertraps or @BlahCade

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    Senior Member curtis's Avatar
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    I wholeheartedly agree. It's beyond ridiculous. I was so excited about Zen and it's pinball product/software. Now, being alienated, I've turned away from them. I feared craziness would happen with the acquisition, and here it is.
    My 2 cents.


    Quote Originally Posted by Scared Stiff View Post
    Well Zen has done it again. More of alienating their biggest supporters, more fracturing of their content, more exclusives locked away on another platform. It’s gotten all rather ridiculous.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Scared Stiff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Narc0lep5y View Post
    Whelp... 2021 is a wash but maybe 2022 will be the great year for Zen pinball. By then we'll get FX on steam
    Well, not until one year after release on Epic. So the clock hasn’t even started yet on Steam. Meaning most of 2022 will be a wash too for Steam players. I guess I will devote time to my other Steam games instead.

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    Senior Member shogun00's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scared Stiff View Post
    I guess I will devote time to my other Steam games instead.
    Is one of those games Zaccaria Pinball by any chance?

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    Quote Originally Posted by shogun00 View Post
    Is one of those games Zaccaria Pinball by any chance?
    Funny thing, on my side its what i did, but on Switch. I got use of the somehow different ball physic compare to fx, but got use to it. And by trying them all, i found some pretty interesting tables to play.

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    Senior Pigeon Kolchak357's Avatar
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    I have Apple devices, but if it’s a subscription service, them I’m out. I don’t do subscriptions for games.
    I try and avoid subscriptions as much as possible for anything. In most cases, there is no bigger waste of money than a subscription. I don’t even have Netflix.

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    Administrator Gord Lacey's Avatar
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    So the good news for people is that Apple Arcade games usually have 1 year of exclusivity, and then they appear elsewhere. So, for those that don't subscribe to Apple Arcade (I don't), think of this as a preview of what's to come..

    I'm more worried about their apparent lack of plans for the regular iOS game. That's been my platform of choice due to ease of picking it up and playing, and I own all but 8-9 tables on it, so I'd like to continue to see it supported.

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    Senior Member Pinballwiz45b's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gord Lacey View Post
    So the good news for people is that Apple Arcade games usually have 1 year of exclusivity, and then they appear elsewhere. So, for those that don't subscribe to Apple Arcade (I don't), think of this as a preview of what's to come..

    I'm more worried about their apparent lack of plans for the regular iOS game. That's been my platform of choice due to ease of picking it up and playing, and I own all but 8-9 tables on it, so I'd like to continue to see it supported.
    Zen Pinball Party before FX, it seems like. Zen's wording of "currently" greatly implies a timed exclusive before arriving on other games. What's yet to be determined is how long before these tables arrive -- Dread Nautical was 6 months both on Apple, then on Epic.

    As for the regular iOS game, remember that it's running on Zen's in-house engine, whereas ZPP is running on Unreal. If Zen releases a standard app for general mobile platforms, it'd likely be the same case we're seeing on Pinball FX re: no purchase transfers.

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    Senior Member Scared Stiff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shogun00 View Post
    Is one of those games Zaccaria Pinball by any chance?
    No, I meant other games in general not necessarily pinball. ��

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    Senior Member zmcvay's Avatar
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    Looks like Pinball Party is out this Friday, so we can start the exclusivity clock countdown.

    Anyone remember back when one of the big plusses of the Zen catalog was that releases would happen on the bulk of platforms simultaneously?

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    Senior Member Pinballwiz45b's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zmcvay View Post
    Looks like Pinball Party is out this Friday, so we can start the exclusivity clock countdown.

    Anyone remember back when one of the big plusses of the Zen catalog was that releases would happen on the bulk of platforms simultaneously?
    It didn't really start out this way. Even the earliest of Zen's titles were exclusively on individual platforms, back in the FX1 / early Zen mobile days.

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    Well -- if that's the case -- I'll be checking it out on my iPad Pro this Friday!!

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    Senior Member zmcvay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pinballwiz45b View Post
    It didn't really start out this way. Even the earliest of Zen's titles were exclusively on individual platforms, back in the FX1 / early Zen mobile days.
    More thinking of the TPA heyday, but honestly, I'm not even really upset. I'm sure the last year and a half has been just as unkind to Zen as everyone else, and I do not begrudge them a few months wait to play tables if the exclusivity money allows them to keep the lights on.

    Just looking forward to more pinball eventually, Pinball Noir, more Williams tables, and yes, I'll even give My Little Pony a spin when it's out for PC or Playstation.

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    Senior Member Scared Stiff's Avatar
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    It’s out now. But holy heck, it’s not a small app. 3.2 gigabytes! Making it larger than any other app I have on my device!!! And with “more to come”, I guess it will be getting even bigger as time goes on. Yikes.
    Last edited by Scared Stiff; 09-03-2021 at 09:10 AM.

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    Senior Member Scared Stiff's Avatar
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    Okay first impressions:

    1. Upon starting, the game throws you into playing Adventure Land. But once you are done with that you can play all other tables...no unlocking anything.

    2. Fonts are different for the points earned animations as you are playing. This is a good thing as they are much more readable.

    3. The game starts with all the little extra Zen animations turned on by default. There is no need to earn them. You can however turn them off in the settings if you don’t want them.

    4. You can adjust the lighting....somewhat. It’s not a huge range, but at least it helps a little and better than nothing. The Getaway looks especially good this way. Medieval Madness benefits from this as well.

    5. Both the animations and lighting are set on a per-table basis, so it’s not all or nothing which is good.

    6. The ball looks different when it’s behind things. Like an X-ray view of it. It’s very easy to see.

    7. Trolls is a really fun table.

    Now the bad part: ALL the Williams tables crash the app as soon as Multiball mode was activated on each of them. I haven’t noticed that problem outside of Williams tables but I am still researching that. I’m playing on the latest version of ios, with lots of room so I don’t know why it would be crashing. I am going to try on both my Apple TV and then Mac and see what results I get in that regard.

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    Senior Member Scared Stiff's Avatar
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    UPDATE: It crashes on my Apple TV too in the exact same way. I am not even going to bother trying it on the Mac computer as I would have to update to a new OS just to even run Apple Arcade there, and I don’t want to do that right now. So there you have it...out of the gate day one and already broken. Why Zen, why?

    At least I can play the other tables still.

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    Senior Member Dok5555555's Avatar
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    I don't understand why they can't let you play the game in landscape. It's more comfortable for me to hold my ipdad that way and I like the more zoomed in view of the tables. The Williams app did the same thing, you could only play in portrait.

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    Senior Member Scared Stiff's Avatar
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    So more playtime has returned some curious good news/bad news results:

    Unlike earlier in the day, tonight I played many games of Attack From Mars and it did not crash. BUT there was now a new problem. Even when the Zen extra animations were turned off (and SAID they were off) they would still be on anyway. I had a heck of a time getting them to really be off. Sometimes they would turn off for one game and then come right back on. And here’s another weird thing: even when they actually kept themselves off, ONE little launching missle animation didn’t get the message and was still going off anyway. So annoying.

    So, I thought well, maybe all the tables are magically fixed now and switched to Medieval Madness with the same settings and camera view only to have it crash on multi-ball just like before. (Sigh).

    Ugh Zen...you are really making me pull my hair out here. I cannot explain these behaviors but I sure hope they can. And then fix them!

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