The Captain America Table for Marvel Pinball Is Marvel-Approved!

50 42
The Captain America Table for Marvel Pinball Is Marvel-Approved!


A lot of people ask me what I do at Marvel as Manager of Licensed Games. The answer is, probably a lot more than you think – but the most important thing by far is checking out each and every element of a game I’m assigned to, ensuring it’s as faithful to Marvel as possible.

Over the last year or so, I’ve had the privilege of working with Zen Studios on Marvel Pinball for PSN. With the Captain America DLC table coming this week, I figure there’s no better time to give you an inside look at what it’s like to approve things here by presenting my…

Top 6 Favorite Approvals for the Captain America Marvel Pinball Table

Why six? Because five just wasn’t enough. Also, know that you’re getting the real deal here – the heading for each entry below is copied and pasted verbatim from Zen’s actual approved submission. Anyway…


6. Captain America Table GDD

Approved: 11/30/10

Game developers love acronyms, and if you’re not down with the lingo, “GDD” is short for “game design document,” which basically describes the whole game on paper. You can tell the folks at Zen have this whole video pinball thing down pat, as their GDDs are always concise yet incredibly descriptive, even throwing in some nice concept art to further illustrate their ideas (yep – just like the one above).

What really impressed us about Zen’s plan for the Cap table was its very specific, comics-inspired vision for the table: “The table’s main missions resemble the stories of Cap and the Howling Commandos and are mostly inspired by Ed Brubaker’s 65th Anniversary Special comic,” the GDD says. “The table also contains many elements of other Cap stories, including conflicts with the Red Skull, who uses the Cosmic Cube against him. Zemo’s Adhesive X and his handheld Death Ray gun are also introduced, along with the Sleeper from the 65th Anniversary Special” (which you can read for yourself via Marvel Digital Comics. From this summary, we knew that we were dealing with a table set during World War II (just like the movie and the Sega game coming out in a few weeks – awesome!), and that it was also going to touch on some classic Cap stuff based in that era.


Just check out the screenshot above to see the comics’ influence in full force, as compared to Zemo’s origin depicted in the classic AVENGERS #4. Notice how the shield arcs away from having just destroyed a canister of Baron Zemo’s Adhesive X. They even nailed Cap’s follow-through!


5. Captain America Table: Character Animations

Approved: 4/12/11

I suppose you can throw in the previous Adhesive X example into this as well, but one of my favorite parts of approving these tables is checking out all the animations in the game, and seeing how they relate to their source material. Straight out of the 65th Anniversary Special, here we see Cap deflecting a powerful green optic laser from the Red Skull’s mega-robot, the Sleeper.

There are a lot of animations like this to review, and I’m thankful that Zen provides me with movie files of each and every one. After all, if you’ve played any of the past Marvel Pinball tables, you know that seeing all of the animations just by playing the game takes a level of mastery only possessed by the most powerful of pinball wizards. Of which I am not.


4. Captain America Table: Red Skull Jet Pack 3D Model

Approved: 12/17/10

Pretty self-explanatory here: It’s Red Skull…in a jetpack. We loved the look and were left wondering how sweet it would look in gameplay. And, whata’ya know…


Awesomeness confirmed.


Approved: 5/2/11

I mean, have you seen this thing? Video pinball has never looked more epic. The music playing just as the Captain America logo comes up is downright inspirational. You know…as game trailers go.


2. Captain America Table: Baron Zemo Death Ray Gun 2D Concept

Approved: 1/7/11

Sure, this trademark Baron Zemo weapon looks cool, with maybe even too much attention to detail (I’m not sure it’s even possible to see that “Z” in gameplay), but that’s not why it ranks so highly here. The real reason this submission excites me so much is the fact that I can now say this with a straight face: “I’ve approved a death ray.”


The day I approved this, I had to tweet this sentiment: “I just approved a death-ray gun for a future Marvel game. I wonder how many people’s jobs involve death-ray guns…” I’m guessing not many. I love my job.


1. Captain America Table: Release Candidate

Approved: 4/26/11

In other words: THE COMPLETED GAME ITSELF. Play it yourself when it hits Marvel Pinball on PSN this Tuesday.

Comments are closed.


42 Author Replies

  • Cool. Captain America looks awesome. Can’t wait to see it.

  • Wow that’s actually pretty nice!


  • Very cool. I love that you took so much time to make your post informative and different. The Cap’n has always been my fave super hero simply because he started out as a nazi-pummeling powerhouse who stood for American Exceptionalism. A figure of national pride. Look how far we’ve fallen from that as a nation. If someone were to introduce a figure like C.A. today, they’d likely find themselves getting sued for making people “feel bad.” Can’t wait to pick this up tomorrow off da store.

    PS- Any chance Captain America will run for president in 2012? He’s got my vote.

  • C-Bake!


  • How bout having a marvel dlc table with the incredible hulk? And when can that be possible happenn?I would like to see that happen if possible but this table looks awesome can’t wait.

    • Zen has definitely considered Hulk, and we have quite a few other tables in development. You never know…

  • not into stuff like this but must admit thats realyyy kooool looking.

    • Try it out sometime. It’s a lot of fun, especially if you have friends to put your scores up against.

  • Captian America.. lol

  • I’ve still held off on this because I was annoyed that I couldn’t add Marvel tables to my Zen Pinball game. Yeah, I’m a cheapskate.

    • Now’s the time to stop being a cheapskate. :-) Just kidding, but I really think you’ll find you get tons of hours out of all of these tables, if you really get into it — well worth the minimal expense.

  • they only played pinball back in the day cause it was the only gaming going on. what make you think we want to play pinball in this age when theres alot more better games out there.

  • pinball mighta been from back in the day but i love games like this. there much better than the new games. gotta remember pinball and arcade games started it all.

  • im looking forward to this

  • WANT IT !!!

  • any chance to be in Europe Store?!

  • I will buy any table that is released for Marvel or Zen . Like you said pinball is timeless. Like Tetris . Thanks for the hard work you guys have put in for this game .

  • Thank you for the inside baseball, Chris. As will all Zen Studio pinball releases, this is a day one purchase.

    • You bet! I was glad they agreed to allow me to show stuff like their concept imagery. Enjoy the table!

  • Yeah, I posted on the old OPM forums back in the day. I can’t believe that it’s been five years since OPM was shut down.

  • why no add on for people who’ve bought zen pinball? i for one being one of the people who helped this zen pinball rolling feel kinda shafted I’ll have to buy marvel pinball to play this like the guy said stop being a cheapskate that should be directed towards the makers of this who are only trying to double dig in your pocket releasing to version of the same thing without adding the add-on feature.just my opinion to all is their own

    • I asked my contact Mel at Zen, and he told me, “We did not want to make people buy ZEN Pinball if they just wanted Marvel Pinball.” I also have it on good authority that Zen is working on a platform system for PSN that would allow all content under one roof.

  • Loved all of these Marvel tables so far! Captain America looks to be raising the bar again. Keep up the great work, Zen!

  • I’m a huge fan of Zen (have all the tables with the original game) and I plan to finally get the Marvel game at the end of the week. These tables are too good to keep putting off!

  • Sounds like a lot of fun. I still play the original tables with a lot of joy, despite them being so darn difficult sometimes.

    • Difficult, yes, but isn’t it just the greatest feeling when you finally hit that groove and nail everything? Few and far between for me, but very, very rewarding.

  • This might sound superficial, but why didn’t this game just come out as an add-on to Zen Pinball? (Maybe priced slightly higher than typical Zen boards?) Idk, it helps keep things more… together. And if other Marvel licenses get their own boards, then great, expand the Zen brand. Anyone get what I mean?

    • Zen told me, “We did not want to make people buy ZEN Pinball if they just wanted Marvel Pinball.” I also have it on good authority that Zen is working on a platform system for PSN that would allow all content under one roof.

  • A Hulk table should make TILT part of the game somehow. :-)

  • So this table will be on the Xbox marketplace tomorrow also right ? I had to pick up Pinball FX 2 with all of the great changes.

  • just so you know, the new film is to suck pretty bad.

  • Take a look at Special offers on PSN to get Zen Pinball FREE when you buy the Marvel Pinball app.
    Wish I could take advantage of this but I bought MP back when it debuted last year. btw this game is awesome and don’t forget about the other DLC Fantastic Four table released I think during the PSN downtime or soon thereafter

  • I’ve been playing it all weekend thanks to some codes going out then but I gladly would have payed for this. It’s one of my favorite tables across both Marvel Pinball and ZEN Pinball so anyone who owns the original game needs to get this!

  • Older gamer here…I remember pinball tables when gaming wasn’t as popular around the game crash of the mid-80’s and before..Thx to a console(that i am not naming here) that it was saved and we can have bada s s tables on our systems :)

  • I am very much looking forward to this new table, and it looks like a great addition to an already fantastic gallery of Marvel Pinball tables. Keep it coming, and I’ll keep buying them.

  • Any word on when/if the Zen pinball games will be going stereoscopic 3D? Would love to see if that would make it even more realistic.

    • I had to ask Mel at Zen. This is what he told me: “Yeah, we’re going to be going 3D stereoscopic. Coming soon.”

  • long live captain america

  • How much is it?

  • ThirteenSyringes

    looks awsome!

  • As usual, I’ll get this as soon as it’s available from the store. I’ve still been working on the Fantastic Four table lately.

  • Awesome Chris, SOLD!!! 8)

  • As others here have noted, you can get Zen Pinball free with the purchase of Marvel Pinball if you act quickly. I own both, and I highly recommend both. After playing through the 5 Marvel tables currently available, I can tell you that I will be buying Cap the moment the store updates tomorrow. Would love to see a Daredevil, Hulk, or Ghost Rider table next, but with the quality work you guys have been doing for this game, I would gladly pay for a Howard the Duck table, even.

    • With all we’ve got in development, you never know what’ll come next! Very cool that you’re enjoying them all as much as I am.

  • I love Captain America, and this may be the board to make me buy this. Enjoyed and loved Zen Pinball! Also, Daredevil! You know you want to make a Daredevil board. I know he’s not as popular but it would make for a great board!

  • I was one of the lucky ones that was able to win a code from Zen. I’ll say this much, this game is by far the best table that they have created. The table is so well balanced and fine tuned. They really kept both the beginner and hardcore pinball fans in mind when making this table.

  • this is awesome!!!!!!!!! captin america is cool but batman has him beat in human super hero’s. speaking of batman are there any updates on arkham city?

  • this is just great to see this. does my heart good to see all of the positive comments and all the great games are back. :)

  • I’m brazilian and I love Captain America. He’s a true leader and a great character!

  • Hmm curious on why Pinball FX screenshots were posted in this PS3 article. Well I was extremely lucky to get a free code for this table over the weekend from Zen Studios and LOVE this table. Extremely well done and looks great. I for one also like having Marvel Pinball separate from Zen Pinball :) Huge fan and can’t wait for more tables, keep em’ coming!

  • Oops, saw that the Marvel Pinball logo is on the left side, the other one just stuck out to me ;)

  • I have all Zen and Marvel tables, PLUS Planet Minigolf as well to be used with my new PS Move. Captain America is coming tomorrow to meet my dark beauty! You guys did a very good deal with Zen Studio, they are exceptional.

  • Up early to get it but not available yet….Been waiting to play….hope it hits later on…Kinda bummed now.

  • I tried to buy the Marvel Pinball + Zen Pinball free but my wife couldnt figure out how to buy it and Im at work. Sigh. i just found out about this deal too. guess it will be gone by the time I get home.

  • Even though I am a cheapskate, I should point out that Marvel Pinball is $10, which is only $2.50 per table, which is less than if you bought the tables individually as add-ons to Zen.

    I’d really like them to be under one roof, but being a cheapskate, I also don’t want to buy Marvel and Zen and then find out later I can’t move all those tables to a new platform.

    Then again, it’s only $10. :-)

    • If it helps, I’ve heard there’s a chance of one all-encompassing pinball platform in the future. It’s just not certain yet, and I don’t know when it would be. I honestly think you’d be happy spending your $12.98 for Marvel Pinball and Cap now (plus another $2.99 for Fantastic Four, which is also great), but there could come a time when you can download them all individually. (That probably doesn’t help you at all, does it?) :-)

  • BlackoutBasement

    Incredible. I’ve been waiting for a Captain America stage! Thank you to the team over at ZEN for putting it together! =D

  • Looks like I’ll be waiting to play the Captain America table. Just bought it but didn’t realize that you needed the Marvel Pinball set. T_T
    Oh well, I’ll just play with Zen Pinball till next week when I can afford the whole thing.

  • Is there a set timeline for Europe? I’m still not able to download this game from the PSN. Looks like an awesome game to me. Thanks Zen Studios!

Please enter your date of birth.