In the second article of our review series on Stern’s The Mandalorian Pinball Machine, we will now be jumping into more details after spending some time to really get to know the game and how we feel about it to give you our most honest review.
So without further ado, let’s get right to it!
Table of Contents
Some General Gameplay Observations:
For starters, we just want to say that we really enjoyed how intuitive the gameplay felt, even for beginners who might not be familiar with pinball mechanisms.
The main game modes and rules were easy to follow and understand. Yes, the rulesets are still considered deep enough to keep experienced players on their toes and interested, but the long play experience seemed to pass by in the blink of an eye with everything being so fun.
Fun for all types of pinball players without trying to be overly complicated, it’s definitely a game we can recommend for both pinheads and even Mandalorian fans alike.
We also realized that with the Mandalorian, Stern decided to try something different with their fan layout, with a beginner-friendly Razor Crest multiball target, and a multi-functional scoop. This made the general feel of the playfield quite smooth, fast, and honestly refreshing.
The highlights of most machines are typically the ramps. With Mandalorian, they were really smooth to hit, so shots felt all the more satisfying. This was especially true for the left ramp, which either feeds the ball to go around the playfield and back to your right flipper, or cleverly diverted into the unique mini-playfield for the Encounters mode.
There was even exhilaration and excitement whenever the ball zoomed up and was stopped by the divider to be guided into the upper game playfield where you would be able to access your extra flipper to play on the mini Hunter playfield. Yet another very innovative feature observed that is very welcomed by players!
A key aspect of any gameplay for pinball machines, the game modes reflect the story of the TV series as a treat to fans and to truly bring the game to life.
For Stern’s Mandalorian Pinball Machine, it’s obvious that each mode highlighted a part of Mando’s adventure within the series. The main ones can be broken down as:
–> Missions: you complete missions that feature iconic scenes from the Disney+ series. The added time limitations for each of these missions give players a sense of excitement, keenness and anticipation to complete the mission themselves, regardless of the points gained.
–> Encounters: these are triggered as time passes, advancing for up to three stages that give players certain challenges to face along the way. This requires players to strategise their gameplay differently as time progresses and make better decisions to ensure they don’t hit any obstacles along the way to victory.
–> Razor Crest Multiball: there are actually several different multiball modes such as Ice spider, Jetpack, and Pirates. This variety was interesting because it gives the player a chance to experience the different scenarios just like the Mandalorian himself! The eagerness of seeing which enemy you have to battle brings a new light to the gameplay every time your ball is on the playfield, making things always feel fresh.
Since we noted earlier that shots are generally beginner-friendly, it was also fairly easy to activate the game modes we wanted once we got the hang of it.
We thought it was great that the activations were easy to follow and understand so that players can easily advance and rack up points in a way that’s fast and exciting rather than it being time-consuming.
Skill-based games are still great but for this particular fan-favorite title, Stern and Brian Eddy clearly built the game to be an enjoyable experience for all fans.
There are also two special gameplay modes that we felt really delivered an experience both gameplay and story-wise.
–> The unique use of the Foundry as a weapon shop for players to purchase items, weapons, and even an extra ball with their hard-earned Beskar currency throughout the game.
–> It gives players an incentive to plan out their strategies and gameplay to maximize the currency they can obtain from
–> Foundry mode was interesting and novel because each equipment purchase offers unique perks and support that made every game different from the one before. We’re still having fun with it even now!
–> A cute and useful mystery feature (baby Grogu!) that will give out a reward to players at random once the CHILD lights are lit. It’s a great feature that allows the Child to be part of the gameplay in such a distinctive way.
–> Some of the rewards given by the Child include some rare ones, such as an extra ball or even ‘Light Heal’, which can only be obtained using Beskar currency at the Foundry.
Through hours of endless gameplay the previous few weeks. Stern’s Mandalorian Pinball Machine has established itself as a fun and exciting game for pinball enthusiasts and newbies to enjoy. Stern has clearly done their research in order to create an experience that both entertains the player and brings the TV series alive with gameplay modes, rewards, and mystery features.