Barracora (Williams, 1981)

Barracora

Pinside rating

This game received 53 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 7.725 /10

7.725

Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #80 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.


Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game design: 7.767

Artwork: 8.267

Sounds/Music: 6.271

Other Aspects: 7.883



Rating comments

There are 27 rating comments for this game.


Pinside staff rating

This is how we, the very knowledgeable (wink wink) Pinside.com staff & moderators rate this game. 2 of us have rated this game.

8.046

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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 27 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 27 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
Currently showing results page 1 of 2.

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9.389/10
23 days ago
This game is a hidden gem. Artwork is exceptional and feels like I am playing Defender with the sounds. How have I overlooked this game for so long? Deeper rules than first glance would suggest.
1.000/10
3 months ago
Played this at the boardwalk last week (yes they actually still have one) IMO it was a horrid game.
9.308/10
1 year ago
Wow !!! What a fantastic game. Great rulesheet. Multiplier, super multiplier and collect bonus!
Left saucer and right target scores 2x or 3x during multiball.
Double rollover lanes.
And what a great sound and artpackage...!
4.403/10
1 year ago
Backglass beautiful, playfield very well done but inadequate chest and not in the game of pinball next level
5.700/10
1 year ago
The most novel feature of Barracora is the double number rollovers in the upper playfield. 1-3 is controlled by one flipper, and 4-6 is controlled by the other (took a bit of practice to get the proper coordination on that).

The artwork is weird but I like it quite a bit.

The game play can lag a bit, but, overall, a pretty decent early SS.
9.296/10
1 year ago
Man, I finally got to play one of these at Caucasion's house. Read his rating for the complex rules. Artwork is awesome. This is one of the top 3 pins of the 80s right here.
9.284/10
1 year ago
OMG: Barracora ROCKS. One of Oursler's first games and possibly his best. Story has it that he designed the table without any theme ideas. After all the shots were laid out and the engineering portion was done, he came downstairs one day to see the prototype with all the weird "hot chick meets fish" theme and was like, "what the....?!!"

FANTASTIC shots, really great rules, a cool horseshoe shot, great sounds, 3-ball multiball, a great spinner, and the individual drop targets all combine together for one heck of a game. Seriously, this game might be my new favorite out of the 100s I've played. It's that good.
7.193/10
1 year ago
Barracora is a good game withh good rules, good layout, and it's very fast but the theme weird and the artwork is not that great.
7.791/10
2 years ago
I kept coming back to play this one at the show I saw it in, but I don't think I'd call it a great pin. It's a lot of fun, and the rule set is pretty deep but it seems to be missing something. Might be the lackluster layout.
5.657/10
2 years ago
Absolutely gorgeous game with a surprisingly deep ruleset for the time period but the playfeild layout robs it of the fun that it should have. Interesting and lovely game but not a truly good one.
8.274/10
2 years ago
I had played this game a few times at shows.
I thought it was ok.
Then I played it at a collectors home who explained the rules to me.
Wow! What a fun and deep game.
Yes, deep. For the time it was released it is way ahead of its time.
Roger sharpe had his hands on this game and it shows.
If you ever get a chance to play this title do not pass it up.
It is a great title that gets better every time you play it.
9.326/10
3 years ago
I didn't think much of this game until I was told that it is much deeper than you think. So when given the opportunity to pick one up came by me, I took a chance. The one we got is not in the greatest shape except for the back glass. It is in great shape! I have to say, what I heard about it is so true. This is a great game! I'm amazed at such a deep rule set for such an early SS game.

I usually don't like early SS games as the sounds drive me crazy. The sound isn't stellar on Barracora but it is used wisely. There is a driving rythmic beat that gets progressively faster making your heart beat a little faster with as it builds anticipation like some impending doom is coming.

The upper rollovers at the top have two sets of lights. The top set of three cylcle right with the right flipper. The lower set of three cycle left with the left flipper. This seams like a simple thing but it takes much more concentration than you'd think. The top three when lit control the score amount in the upper left lock hole. The lower three control the score amount of the upper right target and also awards an extra ball at that target after it has been completed 3 times. The lower three can not be lit unless the the light above it is lit on the upper three. Trust me - your brain will fry as you try to quickly cycle the lights to get them all.

To light the locks you must hit the drop targets on the left and right of the machine. The left targets light the two ball multiball and the right targets light the three ball multiball. This seems easy right? Well you have to hit them in order or they reset. Yep, they reset. At least the whole bank doesn't reset but just the one you hit out of order. Each is controlled by it's own solenoid. That lock for the three ball multiball also acts as a ball save. If you have locked it in it and still haven't locked the left one then drain your ball it will kick out and you keep playing that ball.

There are two ascending rows of lights on the middle of the playfield. They both angle inward towards two targets. These lights are a multiple of 5,000 points on one side and a multiplier on the other. Each target hit raises the light one notch increasing the value. The value is scored when the ball is shot through a little upper right loop and the lights reset back to their begining values. BUT... if the lights are even (i.e. 2 on one side and 2 on the other) when you go through the loop they will stay lit for one more score through the loop before resetting.

Wow, you say, that is a lot of complex programming for that era of game. Why yes it is. BUT WAIT! There's more! If playing a multiplayer game, and the last ball drains ending the game, an old school bell starts ringing loudly as the the game counts down to give the player with the highest score 30 more seconds in a free for all three ball play! If one drains it is served back to the plunger. The excitement of getting the mode is so much fun. Almost always we forget about it and the bell starts ringing and we all turn to watch. The player with the highest scores number will be scrolling across all LCD score displays letting them know it is they who wins the final prize.
6.163/10
3 years ago
After reading all the great reviews, I was a little disappointed. I'm somebody that appreciates simplicity in pinball, and I love early to mid 80's pins. This game has a deep rule set for the era. The backglass artwork was great, the cabinet artwork was decent, and the machine was fun for a few plays. This is a fun machine that was great for it's era. However, the gameplay feels a bit dated.
7.078/10
3 years ago
Fun for it era
9.569/10
3 years ago
This game probably has the best rule set of any 80's pin I have played.
Art package is off the charts as well.
I'm hooked on Barracora and you should be to.
8.381/10
3 years ago
Lots of fun, I love the feature that makes you knock down the drop targets in order, adds a lot to the game. All about trying to lock your ball for multiball where you can get some big points. Would love to play more!
7.088/10
3 years ago
The Luge!
8.918/10
4 years ago
A nearly perfect game. Thank you, Roger Sharpe.

* Asymmetry: very good
* Backhands: good
* Ball Control/Hazards: good, middle post is most evil thing to avoid
* Ball Time: short
* Drops (Sweepable): in this game you shoot drops in order, so sweeps are meaningless
* Free ball: only one way to earn: the bullseye target.
* Flow/Stop n Go: very good, only the saucers hold the ball 1 second, or force a re-plunge
* Fun/Lastability: excellent
* Inlane Flow: perfect 10/10
* Lateral movement/Nudging: very good - big part of the game
* Multiball - entering: very enjoyable 2 and 3
* Multiball - enjoyment: great - lots to do, and TWO detain shots
* Orbit Shots: none, but you "can" remove the ball gate
* Originality: very good -- slight borrow from geiger
* Pop bumpers: not evil, but balanced for sure
* Scoring Balance: very good - no jackpots
* Sound/Callouts/Voice: no voice !!! (great sounds from defender, galaga, etc)
* Spinners: 1
* ThemeArt/Lights: excellent look and feel (red/blue/yellow)
* Toys/Gimmicks: excellent: 1-2-3,4-5-6 lanes, horseshoe, bullseye, drops in order. Lots to do.

Pros:
* 9 shots
* Teaches you to practice very precise end of flipper aim (the toughest shots)
* Surprisingly good flow. Especially the two-way Horseshoe shot
* Only 2 low hanging posts to punish poor aim - very playable
* Very interesting double 1-2-3 lane feature
* Gorgeous yellow/blue/red theme, legendary artwork and backglass
* Great early 80's Williams sound set. Part Galaga, part Defender, part Barracora

Cons:
* No skill shot (typical of most early SS games)
* No voice, no callouts
9.590/10
4 years ago
Barracora is a game that I only got to know recently. I have learned to respect this game highly from that opportunity.....

The Pros:
Simple but not easy would be my description of the ruleset. This game shares a double layered lane change feature that I don't remember seeing in other games. Cosmic Gunfighter is the closest game to this one regarding the left/right lane changes with the flippers. This game is about multiball and bonus. The center PF shots require skill to hit, but can lead to outlane drains quite easily. Drops that must be hit in order on both sides of the PF require your aim to be on target. The artwork is vibrant and Brooke Shields never looked so good with fish growing out of her ears.

The Cons:
I can't really think of any. This is a damn fine game. Barry Oursler 1981-1986 consistently made KILLER pinball games.

The Takeaway:
A pure 80's pinball experience very much like playing a nicely setup Firepower. Do not under estimate this game, it's a man eating monster wrapped in a great art package... kind of like Brooke Shields.

Update:
More time on this game leads to the subleties of the 1-2-3 / 4-5-6 lane change rules. Setting up your 3 ball multiball takes a bit of planning, but is well worth it. Once you know how to do this... build your bonus and collect it from the upper saucer. Rinse and repeat. Righteous!

Update #2:
If you lock your ball in the upper arch saucer, it kicks out when you drain. EXTRA BALL, and you didn't even know about it. I'm curious to know if this is something that can be adjusted in the software settings or not. If not, this game provides a serious advantage to those familiar with the ruleset and can execute the shot. Scores reduced slightly.

Update #3:
Now that I have finally acquired a copy of this deck I am putting some real miles into it. First thing I have to pay attention to is the Artwork. Doug Watson must have been reading a lot of Heavy Metal when he did this art pax. Between Moebius and Geiger, this game is absolutely stunning all over. But the real surprise for me has come from the gameplay. First things first. The geometry off the lower 60 percent of the PF is designed to do one thing. Put the ball in danger of heading out towards the hungry-hungry Hippo-Oursler (tm) outlanes. You NEED to make the shots to the standups and the drops and all of those shots are going to send the ball to the sides or arcing side to side across the PF and out. The building and collecting of the dual bonus shots require long, short, angles and tight shots. Getting the ball all the way up into the upper lock to collect bonus is always satisfying and as you have seen from other reviews I have done, build and collect is one of my favorite ways to play pinball. One thing that has become apparent with this deck is the lack of any scoring benefit for multiball. A 2x or a 3x PF multiplier would have been most righteous with this game. There is safety in numbers, so to speak, but considering the importance of accurate and sniper like shooting that needs to take place on this game's 15 shots for this deck to sing... it is disappointing to know that the chaos of multiball has such little value in this otherwise most awesome game.

This game is up there with Solar Fire, Warlok and Defender in my book.

Update #4:
There is an updated ROM out there that doubles PF scores with 2 ball multiball and trebles it with I noticed some shots were scoring more than 3x and thenI tool a look at the game's manual and on the very past page... page 26 was this note:

"Scores for switches 09 (BARRACORA lane rollover), 11 (Lower Eject hole) and 33 (Upper right bullseye standup) are doubled and tripled during 2-ball and 3-ball play." This also seems to work for the switches that score bonus and the horse shoe stand-up collect.

With the addition of the PF multiplier, this means these shots are 4x (2 ball) and 9x during (3 ball) multiball play! all 3 balls on the table. This changes the game completely and makes it a multball orgy of point multipliers! It may be unbalancing, but hey, it's multiball and if you can rock this table in a controlled manner and in multiball play. Do it! The strategy/skill requirements on this game just jumped up another level. Ratings scores updated accordingly. PM me for more info on the updated ROM.

Is it just me, or does Brooke Shields have a massive schnozzola on the BG?!? I can't un-see it now. Almost as bad as Doug Watson's "floundered" Indiana Jones BG portrait.
7.722/10
5 years ago
Great game that is fun to play. Backglass is right up there for best artwork. Getting the targets to fall in order and getting multiball, plus the two bonus targets is cool.
8.560/10
5 years ago
Best early 80's pin I've played (but that ain't sayin much).
The art deserves the highest score out there. The backglass for this game is the shit. Awesome.
More depth to the rules than I expected, and tough to get that 3-ball multi going.

Did I mention the Backglass is fucking awesome?!
6.858/10
5 years ago
Off looks alone it is awesome, unfortunately didn't find the game play too much fun in the end. Be a cool one to have in a collection for eye candy, playfield and backglass look great!
8.817/10
5 years ago
Great game. I wish the 2-3 multiball did something else besides provide an extra ball to bat around like 2x-3x scoring or something. Other than that this is a real fun game that requires good ball control and accuracy.
10.000/10
5 years ago
What an awesome game! This is one of my favorite machines from any era. Its just amazing especially for the era. The ruleset of this game is so far above its contemporaries, its in a class of its own! The ball lock at the top adds so much to this game imo. Basically it creates a sequence of objectives that you need to complete in order to maximize your scoring, which adds strategy and risk.

My ideal strategy currently is to complete the right bank and lock the ball in the top. Then complete the left and right banks as many times as possible to get the bonus as high as possible. Once you have the the super bonus x maxed out it will not reset like regular bonus x after a drain so it wont be necessary to complete the right bank anymore. Assuming I still have a ball locked in the top, I like to get the right bank primed but leaving the last two targets up in case I drain as an insurance policy so I can open that upper lock and get the ball back up there.

At this point hopefully I've got 25x bonus and phase two begins, rip the spinner! Basically when the ball is in the top lanes you want to make sure you light the bonus collect at least once before you drain so the next time you shoot that top lock hopefully you have maxed out your bonus score and get a huge 25x collect. If the bonus collect is already lit get as many extra ball advances as you can while you are building bonus. Rinse and repeat.

So of course you will drain eventually and that will screw up your happy top lock situation but completing that left bank for bonus x also lights the top left saucer for a lock. There is no reason to shoot this lock when you have a ball locked at the top and in fact you want to avoid this lock as much as possible. However building bonus requires the ball to go to the top lanes and every time its up there an unlucky pop bumper hit can ruin your top lock and put you into 3 ball multiball. If you have your right bank primed down to 2 and one of these balls knocks the targets down during multiball you are screwed because the completion won't open the top lock again. It can only be opened in single ball play so now you have to get the entire bank completed before you can lock up the top again. So its actually better in some cases to drain the other two balls if multiball starts. In a situation where you've got the right bank primed but the left lock saucer is lit, you might actually want to collect that for 2 ball multiball so you won't run into a situation where your happy top lock situation can be later ruined.

When you are playing against other players the strategy that comes into play is how far do you want to take this bonus x advance thing before you start building up bonus score and going for collects. Its so much more than shoot targets for score or start multiball and hope it lasts a long time and racks up good points like so many other games of this era.

Chess and Checkers might be played on the same board but thats where similarities end. If you can think of another 80s Williams that involves as much strategy as Barracora let me know! 10/10
7.861/10
6 years ago
As a Barracora owner, the only drawbacks I have with it is the lack of speech and the cabinet artwork. The playfield and backglass are fantastic and get everyone's attention in an arcade setting. I love the fact that the drop targets have to be hit in order and when they are they give a nice sound effect when the solenoids below fire to put them back up. Game is difficult to play and the outlanes can be monsters. Other strong points for this pinball is that it is very affordable and has a cult following; if you can find someone that will sell one. I have yet to see one show up at a pinball show. Overall, a very nice and somewhat rare pinball from Williams.
There are 27 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 2.

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