I never played physical pinball even though I'm old enough that pinball tables were still common when I was a kid. I also never played anything on my son's PS3 until I discovered Zen Pinball. Now, it's pretty much the only game I play. I find that Zen pinball provides a perfect balance of excitement, challenge and relaxation. It's a wonderful change from the PC games I'm used to where you run around frantically shooting and killing and desperately trying to stay alive.

The only trouble is that I'm a fantastically poor player. If I break into the top 10,000 on a given table it's a personal victory! So I had a couple of questions for the more experienced pinball masters on this forum.

Do the good players try to always keep the kickbacks and the ball save activated? Or do they just mostly hit the shots they aim for and avoid shots that would lead to drains? As a weak player, if I try to keep kickbacks and ball saves activated it tends to be almost all I do since I will often lose the ball in the process of trying to activate the protections.

Do good players use the nudge feature regularly to keep the ball in play? Given the speed of the ball, by the time I figure out that the ball is heading straight down the middle or about to bounce down the side drains and tell myself "hit nudge" it's too late.

It seems to me that there is a lot of subtle variance in ball speed and table angle and flipper control between the tables. Since it seems that these tables were designed over many years is this a chronological change? Do older tables play one way and newer tables play with a different feel? Or is it just a random variance?

Finally I feel like I need to pick a couple of tables and concentrate on them instead of bouncing around from table to table like I'm doing now because it's all such fun. Out of the 13 Marvel themed tables which would be the easiest for a newbie to start working with to develop his skills.

Thanks for reading and thanks for any advice.