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The Switch's Screen Is Great For Pinball

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Zen Studios’ Pinball FX 3 might not look as good on the Switch as it does on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, but neither of them play the long game like this.

Zen’s community-driven video game pinball platform made its Switch debut this week. The latest iteration of Pinball FX allows players to earn levels and unlock upgrades on their favorite tables, adding goals beyond simply getting the high score.


The downside to the Switch version is it’s only launching with around 30 or so tables—the numerous Marvel and Star Wars tables available on other platforms haven’t made it yet.

The upside is the ability to turn the Switch on its side and play a table full-screen. You can play vertically with the Joy-Cons attached, though activating flippers with two very close face buttons next to the tilt-inducing analog stick isn’t ideal. It works best with a stand, holding the Joy-Cons in either hand. Or just lay the Switch flat and pretend you’re playing a real miniature pinball table.


This is the first game I’ve seen that uses the Switch vertically, but hopefully not the last. Imagine all the arcade-style bullet-hell shooters we could play. Ikaruga, anyone?

Pinball FX 3 is available now as a free download on the Switch, with the “Sorcerer’s Lair” table included. A “Carnivals and Legends” table two-pack is available as free DLC until December 19. I highly recommend grabbing the game and playing it sideways.