ZEN Studios continues to mine Marvel's rich back catalog of stories for table themes with Marvel Civil War. After an incident that resulted in the destruction of Stamford, CT, the Super Hero Registration act was put into effect requiring all super heroes to register with the government and reveal their secret identities. This leads to a split among the heroes between those who support the act and those who refuse to submit to it, with the pro coalition led by Iron Man and the anti by Captain America. The table is flanked by the figures of Iron Man and Captain America, who will verbally (and sometimes not so verbally) spar while you're playing the table.
Marvel Civil War has a unique feature to it among other tables in that you begin the game with a two-ball multiplayer mode. This mode takes place during the destruction of Stamford and your goal is to rescue civilians by completing ramp loops. Once a ball falls, the mode ends and your score is used as your base score for the game. On subsequent plays you have the option of replaying this mode or using your high score for this mode from a previous game.
Before the main part of the game begins, you'll be asked to choose whether you want to side with Iron Man or Captain America for the game. Once you choose sides, you'll be ready to launch your first ball and your goal will be to persuade eight undecided heroes to join your side. The game's missions are tied to the battle for each hero and feature familiar goals such as target hits and ramp combos. Each mission is critical because the difficulty of subsequent missions will depend on your success in the current mission. Having more heroes on your side means more time to complete your goals while being outnumbered will make things more difficult for you. This alone makes Marvel Civil War more challenging than other tables, but there are other factors at work that make it a table more for gamers looking to test their skills than for casual pinball players.
Ramp loops don't drop the ball into exit lanes that feed the flippers, but rather send the ball right at the flippers requiring quicker reactions from the player. The shots you need to make during the missions require a greater degree of precision than in your average table, and not making them only makes it harder on you as you go. And then there are the flippers themselves which are spaced ever so slightly farther apart than normal, and that little bit of distance makes a big difference.
Overall, I enjoyed playing the Marvel Civil War table, although I have to admit that I came out on the losing side of the war more often than not. It's not a table for the easily frustrated or casual player, but those who enjoy a challenge and who appreciate ZEN Studios' tributes to the Marvel canon will be happy that they added it to their collection of tables.
Final Rating: 88%