Back to the Future: The Pinball (Data East, 1990)

Back to the Future: The Pinball

Pinside rating

This game received 90 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 6.870 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #278 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game design: 6.439

Artwork: 6.881

Sounds/Music: 7.032

Other Aspects: 6.973

Rating comments

There are 40 rating comments for this game.

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Ranking history

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Rating history

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Found 40 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 40 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
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3 months ago
Great theme and fun/simple game. I never thought I would own a BTTF. I always thought this title seemed to sell for a higher price tag based on the cult following of the movies more than the game being good. I agree that it’s a simple linear ruleset with limited objectives, but it is still very fun with decent lastability. I really like how the art ties in all 3 movies, however it sucks MJF didn’t want to be a part of it : (
5 months ago
One of the greatest themes in pinball history. The backglass and playfield art are fantastic for the era (in spite of no MJ Fox). The gameplay is very simple, yes AND not deep at all. It is not a game you go to if you want a deep experience but as far as a fun machine with a fantastic theme at a decent price, its a keeper. Not many around all things considered. Getting rarer all the time.
7 months ago
Cool Theme, if your into the BTTF movies you'll love it, fun to play, unfortunately there's some so much room for improvement no hover boards, no Michael J Fox, no light up Flux capacitor ect ect.
Wild ramp and crazy powerful flippers. Really impressive lights and great music.
Parts are hard to get,
11 months ago
Back to the Future is an iconic theme. This pin is good for entry level and casual players to understand rule-sets and game play strategy. That being said, many advanced pinball players will find this a bore after a couple of rounds as it follows an extremely linear rule-set.

Some people love to insult this game, but there's definitely a place in the pinball world for shallow games that are good for newer players.
1 year ago
I wanted to love this one so bad but it's not good. Aside from the sound when you initially press the start button the sound is terrible. The game is klunky and I wish they'd been able to use Michael J Fox. Not a fan.
1 year ago
I owned this game for 3 years and played it almost daily. They could have done so much more with it in regards to the theme they had to work with. Really basic rules, hit the drop targets, lock the ball, repeat, multiball ramp millions. All of that said.... I really love this game, its simple and straight forward so you just play it to beat your high score over and over again.
1 year ago
Yet another pin that could've been so much east really dropped the ball with this....shame williams didn't have the licence.
2 years ago
Sure is alot of games. I like better then Back to The Future.
2 years ago
Back to the Future lacks complexity for seasoned players and it lacks intuitive game play for beginners. Most shots are straight up and back down (could use an orbit instead of extra-wide ramp bases), and the call outs are not helpful. Missing the skill shot (which is typical, even with the extra-wide "1885" ramp base) generates one of the most annoying noises I've ever heard an SS make. If the game wasn't BTTF themed, I don't think I would have played it more than twice. Unfortunately, even after giving the game ample time to grow on me (because I want to like it), it is a boring, annoying waste of floor space.

I played BTTF on location with 3 balls per play on free play. I wouldn't recommend anyone purchase this game, and I'd only recommend playing the game so you can see how a fun-looking game can be terrible.
2 years ago
BttF is my favorite movie franchise. Unfortunately, this game does not do the franchise justice. At all.. This is just a run of the mill and shallow late 90's Data East game. It plays very much like Playboy, The Simpsons and Phantom of the Opera. Which is a major shame, considering how much cool stuff there is to work with from the 3 movies.

BttF is a missed chance. If anything, this theme deserved the treatment that Indiana Jones got from Williams a few years later.
2 years ago
A good game in its own right. Nostalgia reigns supreme in this one. The layout is okay and the rules are easy to follow but aside from the ramps, there isn't a ton of flow. The game's strengths lie in the theme, music and sounds. Each lock brings on a different tune, the sounds (in stereo no less) are quite good thanks to data east's sound board and the light show is excellent (if the dozens of flashers are working properly). An enjoyable game if not remarkable worthy of a few plays, just be careful of the clock tower eject It can be a straight down the middle drain.
2 years ago

- Really good sound... hey, at least it's better than BSMT2000.
- Nice, strong flippers.

- Rules amount to "shoot ramps a couple times, shoot ramps for millions, repeat".
- Skill shot is more important than anything else... take high score? Really?
- Fun fact, Michael J. Fox was so embarrassed by this machine that he wouldn't allow his face to appear on the backglass!
- New spinners are guaranteed to spin at least twice! Now attached with honey instead of superglue!
3 years ago
Aaah, I own a BTTF. I like the pin, but only for nostalgic reasons. I love the trilogy and I'm a collector of BTTF items. I bought this pin in fair shape, but I shopped it completely and clearcoated the playfield.

The game however doesn't quite do it for me. Sure, it's fun, but so little rules, flow is bad, so little to do. The sound is okay, artwork okay but misses the image of Fox.
But it will never leave my collection.
3 years ago
Nostalgia rules, dudes. as i sit here in my rocketboots contemplating whether the bomb i made out of old pinball machine parts will be discovered in time for me to get to 88mph and make sure my mother and father can meet in time for me to be born, i realise that i must have made it home safe.

it's a shame that Michael j decided to be a dick and refuse to let his face go on the machine, but we don't need him for it. Great Scott! we have Gary Stern instead in the flyer!

fun music, awesome theme, nice colours, but yes this game does get old after a bit. does well in a big collection for variety, but would be boring by itself. still, pinball is pinball :)
3 years ago
Huge BTTF Fan, also love the pin. Ramp shots feel really satisfying, jackpots are not easy but feel extremely rewarding. Also the light show this machine puts up is simply fantastic! Never saw that many flashers in any pinball. It cost me a small fortune to LED all the lamps, but now my BTTF is blindingly bright.
The music is just awesome, as are the callouts.
True, there is not much variation on this pin, just build up the Locks and go for multiball or try to hit the ramps consecutively for delorian millions. But it doesn't feel like there is something missing for me! A game doesn't last too long and i keep coming back for more almost every day.
Have this machine in my collection since about 6 months and it really doesn't feel like it's going to grow old anytime soon

EDIT April 2015:
After a two day tournament where i got to play a lot of games for a long time, this pin seemed more and more shallow to me. The theme bonus wore off and all that was left was a nice art package, awesome music, and a very limited gameplay. Tried to love it again for several weeks but in the end i only got bored from playing it and so i sold the machine last month.
3 years ago
First, it is a shame MJF isn't in the art, but who cares?
The artwork is extremely intricate. I ended up spending a couple minutes just looking at all the details in it.

Gameplay is... well... not the most intricate of rulesets. The missions are lacking, and sounds can get boring but it works for the age. The skill shot is nothing special, and the two ramps are essentially the same... I think the idea was there, but it did not live up to it.

The rules are a bit confusing and there aren't too many different shots to make.

I did, however, enjoy playing it a couple times, but it felt pretty easy to move on and walk away without wanting another go.

It still is pretty good for the artwork alone though. And the lightning storm match on the display is kinda cool.
3 years ago
True nostalgia pin, love the whole 80s retro look, real bttf fan, fun to play not the deepest of games but fun, loving the 80s music tracks that change on ball locks!
3 years ago
Where's the flying Delorean or the clock tower or the hover boards or any other of the amazing things that could have been integrated into this potentially amazing pinball theme!? Maybe it's because I was such a big fan of BTTF as a kid but I was soooo let down by DE's rendition of this title and towards the end of my third ball, I just wanted it to end. Too bad DE can't go back in time to make this pile of poo what it really should have been.
3 years ago
Need to get this one, lots of fun. Especially for the average player, which I am. I am sure a pro would destroy the left ramp....but I liked being able to get in a groove with it. Right ramp ain't so easy tucked away in the corner.

Tough multiball...great artwork and music...a classic.
3 years ago
Data east could of had a delorean somewhere on the playfield, I feel this title is great and has great lighting but can be repetitive. It does have a beautiful backglass and the only drawback is no Michael J. Fox.
4 years ago
Great theme but Data East really dropped the ball on this one. Not much variety to it and is very boring. Could have been way better. Data East messed up so many cool movie pins.
4 years ago
Have had this game for years and due to my love for BTTF won't sell it. The music and sounds are amazingly good, feels like the movie comes alive. The lighting is very good. The artwork is not great and the playfield is kind of boring, with very few shots to try. the out lanes are make you lose balls more than other games and VERY frustrating. Without the music and lighting and theme a decent game. Play or buy only if you love the theme.
4 years ago
I bought one for 400 and brought it back to the present lol. its a great game with nice art except that mike j fox didnt want his appearence on the machine. LED the game is a must especially the flashers and wow you have a light show worthy of the 4th of july. all the sounds and music are great and really take me back to when i would watch this movie over and over as a kid. The coils in the flippers should be looked at as a 5020 is to much and you may break somthing, mine had 5030 and they are still to much, or maybe i am used to my bally dr dude. either way its a great fan fav and will make a good permnment spot in the collection.
4 years ago
Game is great, very fun for me and my family. The MJF face is weird but once you get over that it's a great pin IMO. Music is cool and crisp for its time, light show is awesome when you get into Multi ball or clock tower holes.
4 years ago
Come on the only thing this lacks is intricate game play. It has everything, the sounds, the theme. It's simple and fun. It's also very rare, good luck finding one to play!
There are 40 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 2.

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