BlahCade 231: Not Salty About Peanuts (new Zen table)

Jared Morgan Jared Morgan Follow Nov 01, 2021 · 6 mins read
BlahCade 231: Not Salty About Peanuts (new Zen table)
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We are back with another episode that, this time, features the gameplay of Zen’s newest Pinball Party title, Peanuts.

Plus, we take a look at Skillshot FX’s new virtual pinball cabinet.

And then there’s the big question mark over Zen interviewing Spooky Pinball! Does this mean we’ll be seeing digital versions of their tables in Pinball FX?

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Show notes

10:00 - Skillshot FX and Zen Studios partnership

For over a year now, Arcade 1UP has had its product on the market. Now there is a new partnership to talk about.

Zen Studios partnered with Skillshot FX to offer a premium digital pinball cabinet, including tables from FX3.

This is a steam-based system that lets you connect your library to this cabinet. The lockdown bar has a control interface suited specifically for key interface options in FX3 (such as camera and pause).

The product features a 52" monitor with a live backglass monitor (size not disclosed yet). The backglasses are supplied with the table, meaning that you don’t need to track them down yourself. There is no manual plunger and no accelerometer: you have buttons for the nudge function. Why Skillshot FX didn’t work out a way to use the lockdown bar as a tilting interface boggles both our minds.

231 skillshotfx table

All this for $9000. "Wait, what?" you might be yelling at the screen. Yep, that’s a steep price point for the features offered in this package.

27:00 - Snoopy Pinball playthrough.

We play through the brand new Zen Pinball Party table: Snoopy Pinball.

231 snoopy pinball keyart

Jump over to the video link about the jump time in the heading and check out the playthrough.

Peanuts Snoopy Pinball Screenshot 1

Overall we both quite like the table and think the game is probably the best Animated Heroes table released to date. The callouts actually tell you where you need to shoot, and the gameplay is quite peaceful in nature. The art style is fantastic, although some were obstructing features like the Kite-eating Tree obscure rollovers.

Peanuts Snoopy Pinball Screenshot 6

41:40 - What do Jared’s kids think of Zen Pinball Party

I gave the iPad over to Zach and Sienna to try out the latest Snoopy table, and the feedback about the game surprised me.

Zach and Sienna’s feedback gives weight to Zen’s vision for Zen Pinball Party and the overall ecosystem of Pinball FX.

45:00 - Dolby interview Spooky Pinball

Last episode, Chris and I talked about how it would make sense for Zen to pair up with boutique pinball manufacturers like Spooky Pinball and American Pinball.

This month we get a full 30-minute interview with Dolby from Zen and Spooky Pinball. The really interesting part of this interview was right at the end. The discussion turned to Spooky’s "discovery" of FX3 and the license integration. They openly admitted that they have looked at the product and will be honestly stealing some theme integration for upcoming titles.

This is the first time that Zen has ever featured another company in the scope of The Pinball Show, and this makes me pretty confident to offer this prediction:

The next Spooky pinball table produced will debut physically as a table release and digitally on Pinball FX.
— Jared Morgan
BlahCade Episode 231

There will obviously be some sacrifices with digital effects not possible in physical tables, but expect the same layouts, with mechs inspired by digital effects.

Both Chris and I believe that Spooky may be partnering with Zen to get access to their licensing chops. This partnership would potentially mean they don’t get snubbed with licenses as they did with Stern getting Godzilla.

1:03:00 - Jurassic Park Pin designed by Dead Flip

This redesigned layout screams of a late 80’s pinball layout, and that is not a bad thing. Stern needed a design refresh for The Pin machine, and Dead Flip got the nod to do it.

It makes me wonder if this new gig as table designer is the start of Dead Flip getting his homebrew table produced through Stern.

1:10:00 - Can you help us get to 500 subscribers?

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We really appreciate all the support you have given us. Both Chris and I really enjoy bringing the news of digital pinball to your ears.

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Cabinet backbox art

If you want to make your digital pinball cabinet look amazing, why not use some of our free backglass images in your build.

Jared Morgan
Written by Jared Morgan Follow
Technical writer, product person, VR junkie.