Game Info:

Pinball FX - Homeworld: Journey to Hiigara Pinball
Developed By: Zen Studios
Published By: Zen Studios
Release Date: August 25, 2022
Available On: PlayStation 4/5, Windows, Xbox One/Series
ESRB Rating: E10+ for Everyone, for Fantasy Violence, Mild Language
Genre: Pinball
Mode: One Player
MSRP: $5.49

Thank you Zen Studios for sending us a thirty-day Pinball Pass!

Zen Studios has been iterating on the digital pinball game for quite a few years - at least since the original Pinball FX way back on the Xbox 360. Since then, they released FX2 on consoles and PC, and FX3 some time later - and they reused the Pinball FX moniker once again for the latest version of the franchise. Like previous iterations, this latest Pinball FX offers a few free tables, with the rest as DLC. With each new iteration, the cost of individual tables seems to go up. While $5.49 for one table isn't exactly a bargain, at least the table itself is kind of amazing.

For those not familiar, Homeworld is a series of real-time strategy games that rocked the PC gaming world in 1999 with great graphics for the time, amazing gameplay, incredible music, and a compelling story. If you played the original classic or the newer Homeworld Remastered Collection, you may find that this pinball table takes you right back to the same sense of admiration you felt for the game then.


Strong Points: Pinball table is an amazing homage to Homeworld; great graphics, music, and sound effects, many of which come straight out of Homeworld
Weak Points: A bit pricey
Moral Warnings: A large silver ball slams into stuff

Despite being based on a video game, it's still pinball. So all of the things you expect, like ramps, flippers, and various things that light up when you hit them are all there and accounted for. Being a video game rather than a physical table, some liberties are taken that would be rather expensive (if it's even possible) to implement if it were a physical table. Some of the crazy effects when activating certain missions would be basically impossible without some kind of screen overlay in the real world.

Given the flexibility of being virtual, one of the best uses is the campaign mode. Once you fill up and activate the research ship, you can choose a mission to take on. There are at least four missions available. These mission names are straight out of the Homeworld games, and were each iconic in the source material. These missions include Diamond Shoals, Gardens of Kadesh, Karos Graveyard, and Chapel Perilous. Once activated, these missions behave more like a game than a pinball table at times, but are all unique and shake up the gameplay quite a lot. For example, one of them needs you to create more ships (via certain ramps) so that those ships can then shoot an asteroid headed straight for the Mothership. The way the ships you create fly and attack the asteroid looks just like how Homeworld would have done it.

That is what's so remarkable about this table. The graphics for each mission are consistent with the Remastered games, at the very least. The music and sound effects are largely straight out of Homeworld, or at least stylized so much like it that they fit right in. I have to say, while playing, the audio presentation consistently impressed me. The ambiance and vibe really does feel like Homeworld, and not just tacked on. For those with fond memories of the classic game, this pinball table does a great job of hitting those feels hard.

Pinball FX - Homeworld: Journey to Hiigara Pinball
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 86%
Gameplay - 15/20
Graphics - 9/10
Sound - 9/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - 5/5

Morality Score - 98%
Violence - 9/10
Language - 10/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

Unfortunately for me, I'm not that great at pinball. Thankfully, there are several modes in Pinball FX that made it more approachable for me. These include Classic, Arcade, Hotseat, and Practice, along with four challanges, like Distance, Time, 1 Ball (hard!), and Flips. Each of these limits you in one specific way, while offering freedom in the others. For example, in the Distance, Time, and Flips modes, you have unlimited ball save, but a limited distance the ball can travel, limited time the game will last, or a limited number of flips (presses of the flipper triggers). I found these modes allow me to stretch my playtime, since I otherwise don't last long when lives are on the line. (In 1 Ball mode, I lasted less than a minute.) I'm really glad that I got to challenge myself in other ways, while being sympathetic to my ball save woes.

Morally, there is very little concern. Space ships shoot asteroids with lasers in one mode, and the Mothership can get hit a few different ways. There are voice overs, but I didn't notice any curse words. This table should be fine for most audiences.

Pinball FX - Homeworld: Journey to Hiigara is a fantastic virtual pinball table that honors a classic gaming franchise with aplomb. I can't easily say if it's better or worse than most of the tables on Pinball FX, but what I can say is that if you are a fan of Homeworld, and you have an interest in pinball, then this table is definitely worth checking out.

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