Attack from Mars (Bally, 1995)

Attack from Mars

Total rating

This game got 1,393 approved ratings and currently scores 8.713 out of 10 points.

This ranks the game #5 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

8.713

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game design: 8.785

Artwork: 8.546

Sounds/Music: 8.394

Other Aspects: 8.917




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Pinside staff rating

This is how we, the very knowledgeable (wink wink) Pinside.com staff & moderators rate this game. 8 of us have rated this game.

9.215

Ranking history

An overview of this machine's ranking over the last years. Lower is better.


Rating history

An overview of this machine's rating over the last years. Higher is better.


Found 471 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 471 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
Currently showing results page 1 of 19.

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7.414
63 days ago
Another classic that plays real well and just has this good "feel" to it. The shots are logical, and so is the basic ruleset. I think this machine is one of the best tournament-machines, due to the simplicity and also speed of things, while there still are different strategies and ways to attempt a decent score. This machine is high-risk in general; it is very easy to lose control, so it makes for exciting matches in tournaments where the player is forced to take considerable riskier paths if he/she want to go for a really good score.
The super-skillshot feature is also quite cool because it adds a strategic element to the play right from the get-go. The voice-acting is also hilarious and so is the theme in general. And the strobe multiball is awesome! Big thumb up.
8.840
80 days ago
A classic for a reason. One of the best games out there at integrating humor into the theme. Easy to understand rules. Satisfying gameplay. Terrific all around machine.
7.940
80 days ago
Super fun for a bash, but gets a bit repetitive. I did own it, but it didn't stay long.
8.407
83 days ago
great game
9.304
3 months ago
Arguably, one of the best games of all time. You wil have to be on your game to reach the end of this one. Perfect playfield layout, great speech, and just a blast to play.
8.768
3 months ago
It has an open playfield, is well implemented, is fast, and is fun. I've only been able to play few games on it to date and immediately understand why it is a classic. I spent a lot of quarters on AFM and other pins tonight (ghostbusters, avatar, batman dark knight, star wars, and world cup soccer). Ghostbusters was a bit more fun. GB and AFM were heads and shoulders above the others...followed by WCS.
10.000
3 months ago
Afm has it all. Theme, layout,rules, sound, quality. One of my favorite pins all time. Really nothing bad to say other then the price tag. Will never leave my collection!
9.184
4 months ago
It's a good game, but it's sequel Revenge from Mars is better. This one is a bit too highly rated.
7.390
4 months ago
This is a fun game. The gimmicks are a little humorous. Lighting and artwork are good. The game play is fun and initially engaging with the gimmicks, but gets repetitive. I'd play this on location every time I see it, but probably would not own it in my collection because it would loose the fun factor too soon. Playing it on location is still fun.
8.296
5 months ago
Good game very fun...
9.464
5 months ago
This game is currently the top of my most wanted list. Fast and engaging game play. There is a straight forward approach to success with the games use of the Saucer and the Martians giving a logical rewarding plan of attack to progress through the game. Top 5 game in my opinion.

Edit: Purchased this game, even better at home, upgraded my rating, so much to do at all times but easy to understand and progress to experience many aspects of the game. Awesome layout and awesome varied multi balls. Easy to learn but still lasting fun. Favourite 90`s game.
8.800
5 months ago
AFM is classic pinball fun. Fast, flowing shots. The theme is well designed and integrated with great quotes. Good rulle set. Challenging but not ridiculously hard.
10.000
5 months ago
Really fun theme and that you're trying to attack the UFOs. I like it because it's easy to play and most likely you'll take down a UFO or 2.
10.000
7 months ago
Such a great game! I didn't think so highly of it the first time I played it in a loud barcade with a broken flipper. The next time I played it in a quieter barcade, allowing me to hear all the music and callouts. This might just be my favorite game yet! I can't think of anything I would change on this so this gets my highest rating!
9.180
7 months ago
I really enjoy AFM. It is a hard machine for me to master but the layout is open and the objectives are clear. It can be both frustrating and addicting. The dancing Martians are a great touch as are some of the Easter eggs. Cows are awesome. I wish my pinball skills were better. It is easy to understand why MB and MM can trace their roots to this game. A great rule set and solid theme music add to the overall execution. The only complaint is that the cabinet graphics get faded easily.
9.060
8 months ago
One my favourite pin to play. Great vibe! Brian Eddy and Lyman Sheats masterpiece. Perfect!
9.180
8 months ago
Words can't describe how much I love this machine. It is the one that got away. I regrettably sold it in 2005 and it's been missed ever since.
10.000
9 months ago
Best pinball machine ever
6.232
10 months ago
Same fan layout as MMR only a lot easier to complete I might buy the Remake only because the MMR was a home run and plays better than the original hopefully AFMR does too!
10.000
10 months ago
The best of the best. Perfect 10 from me.

Without going too much into it, I have wanted this game for 20 years, and now I have one, and man, it is everything I remember from summer of 1996.

This is the game that perfected the fan layout. The artwork is great, and it complements the humor of the game so well. The voice actors nailed everything they touched. The voice actor for the martians especially did an outstanding job. There are many memorable callouts on this game - particularly "Super jackpot" and the totally defeated nervous laughter/cry when you start a third Martian Attack (only happens if you defeat the previous two Martian Attacks).

Animations are superb and never get old. ColorDMD knew to make this one of their first 5 releases a few years back, and man, does AFM shine with one.

Cabinet art is simple yet very loud with its red-orange-yellow-black contrasts. I like that the coin door has just a martian and not the title like nearly every other game in existence.

This game embodies the "simple is better" mantra in nearly every way. Inexperienced players will likely take down a saucer on their first few games, yet experts can have a challenging and rewarding journey to Rule the Universe. The theme from the 1950s is one nearly everyone loves, and the slapstick yet serious humor of the game blends so well.

Light shows are fantastic. Start of multiball is a nice tip of the hat to The Addams Family (lights cascade from the bottom to the top of the playfield just like "Showtime!" on TAF). The game may have a main bash toy, but it is done so well. It never seems or feels old to go after the main saucer, and the lil' saucers all over the playfield created a great ambiance. The martians jumping up and down are a very well done gimmick for Martian Attack. As stated before, even though these are all bash toys, they are done right. It doesn't seem "ho-hum" in this setting; it feels right and like you are on the offensive blasting those horrible, green, disgusting martians!

Strobe multiball is one of the coolest modes I've ever seen. If you are in a room with any lighting, you will not get the full effect. The room has to be totally dark, and with a Pinbits strobe kit, the effect is amazing. The translite will flash on and off with the strobe at the main saucer, and man, is it a major improvement. Don't think about this mod - GET it.

Most mods on this game are very tasteful, particularly the aforementioned Pinbits strobe kit, as well as anything by Bill Ung. I was blessed to get a game with both the mini-saucer light mod as well as the martian red eye mod and the runway lights underneath the main saucer, and boy, all these mods are very effective in creating an immersive experience.

The only negative about this game: the limited (roughly 3000) quantity and the price. The price has gotten insane with routed examples (at the time of this writing) going for $5500+, and excellent examples selling regularly for $8000. No doubt, there is not $8000 worth of game here, but there IS $8000 worth of game AND fun here. Everyone who comes over loves this game, and people who couldn't care less for pinball can't help but play a couple games. It appeals to nearly everyone.

While this may not have been Bally's last game before B/W shut their doors to pinball, to me, this is Bally's Swan Song game - practically perfect in every way. Talk about going out nearly on top. If remakes come out, I couldn't care less if the originals fall in price or not. EVERYONE should be able to enjoy this game, and everyone should have a chance to Rule the Universe. If my game drops to $1000, I wouldn't care. I love this game, and I think I can finally say - after 4 years and almost 20 games - that I have found a title I will never let go of unless there's a life or death/need money for my mortgage situation that comes up. It was a 20 year wait, and every game I play on it validates that the wait was well worth it.

If you have the means, get one.
8.436
10 months ago
"This just in...the Earth is being invaded...from flying saucers from MARS!"

As much as I enjoy pinball "fan layout" designs from BLY/WMS this does not have the same touch as Medieval Madness, however it is an excellent overall game package.
Artwork is superb, as I enjoy the black line lettering and edging.
Translite image is reminiscent of early periods from 1950s.
Music and sound is top notch.
Humor is present everywhere.
Ruleset has decent depth and a variety of secrets and easter eggs.
DMD animations are rock tight.
Basically, however the game is "bash the saucer" to advance the cities, which does not lead to a lot of creativity.
That is why MM edges it out in terms of physical mechanics with "bash the castle" even though it's design was finalized just a couple years later.
I passed on buying one NIB when it was released, but really do not look back in hindsight and feel like I made a mistake.
It was not an "instant classic", because the game concept had been DONE BEFORE on other titles, just not as an entire package.

LITTLE KNOWN FACT: MM design was already under development at the time of AFM release and based on success of AFM is part of the reason the playfield design was replicated. Same design team, same software engineers, same sound/music designer. This was not rocket science to see what occurred.

I give particular note to "Strobe Multiball" which is exceptionally unique and fun, and the flailing martians.
It is hard to capture these effects properly, unless you are physically playing the machine.
If you own a AFM, I recommend getting the PinBits Blackout mod board to properly turn out the GI and key game play times, and the LED saucer boards to enhance its effects.

Overall game design is very strong.
It's best environment is the operator route world over home use.
If you really enjoy later model BLY/WMS games this is a "keeper" just do not overpay new collectors.
Many machines are completely beat to hell now, based on popularity on routes.

What most collectors fail to realize is copycat pinball collections really lead to boredom and getting out of the hobby quickly due to lack of knowledge to sustain interest.
Yes, you can have bragging rights you own an "AFM", but who really cares?
Most long term, seasoned collectors do not care as that mentality goes the "Way of the Dodo" somewhere after the first 5 years or so, and certainly by around 10 years. We are talking about people who own more than a couple pinball machines in their homes.
I started dealing with these types of people all the way back in the late 1990s, when I tried to help them understand pinball as a new collector. Most are long gone, and moved onto something else.

Brokers, dealers, and "flippers" LOVE this game, as they know they will always be able to sell them for higher than reasonable amounts of money just like TAF, MM, TOTAN, MB, and ToM.

I have seen this as I approach 30 years of collecting.
Just take a look at the game review ratings on this forum, they all show the same pattern.
Basically, the same type of new people approach the hobby with the "got to have" titles such as MM, MB, AFM, CV, and even CC and most of the last of the runs of BLY/WMS machines, and then sell out a few years later.
Pinball has a lot more to offer than just a bunch of MM/AFM clones.
I can give countless examples even on PinSide, but that really has no point.
Get out of the "cookie cutter" collection concept and discover what pinball has to offer.
EMs, old woodrails, foreign manufacturers, etc.
There are an incredible variety of machines in the pinball world not just Bally/Williams/Gottlieb/Stern.
Especially late model Stern.
And before it can be thrown out, "but you have all the same types of Top 10 games in your collection" comment, recognize most of my games I owned BEFORE there was a "Top 10" list as I already knew what I was striving for in terms of my lineup. As a result, I still own many of the same games 25 years later.
People asked me my opinion and still do, and it started off a complete revolution in the early 2000s with "off to the races" during the reimport era (2000-2005).

Look to the past for "innovation" as much of what has been accomplished has been done before, and many times better.

I do not doubt that PPS will attempt to remake this game like MMr, but good luck in trying to anticipate the game being available in a reasonable timeframe. Another 2-3 year wait, which is a bit ridiculous, as most collectors will able to find an excellent example, if they really want the game due to "instant gratification", long before that timer expires and many of the same collectors will sell out long before the re release.

I seriously doubt the same buyers will make the same mistake twice, but there are always a bunch of new potential owners and buyers to take their place and complain their decals are wrinkled.
Fortunately, most are gone in 2-3 years.
9.600
11 months ago
Some say that it is repetitive and easy. There are tons of shots on this table. You can play it several different ways. If you just pound the UFO, it can become boring after a bit, but there is much more to this table than just saving the cities. Setting the tilt tight can take care of the "easy" complaints. I'm enjoying it so far.

Edit - This thing gets better every time that I play it. It has stayed near the top of Pinside's Top 100 for a reason; that reason is that no matter how you cut it, every plunge is fun.
9.400
1 year ago
Even though the shots are very repetitive, it's fun to knock out Martians. The only weak point of the game is the center shot to kill the spaceships. A missed shot usually stalls and heads straight down the middle.
9.360
1 year ago
A classic for sure!

This is a title that appeals to all.

The design and theme, in my opinion, will always be timeless.
9.460
1 year ago
I have a hard time finding flaws in this machine. Solid in every way and very satisfying to play. My favorite pin so far (noob) and can't wait to play it again...and again....and again.

Edit: the more I play it does get a little repetitive but it's still awesome. No complaints
There are 471 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 19.

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