Cirqus Voltaire (Bally, 1997)

Cirqus Voltaire

Pinside rating

This game received 589 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 8.316 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #22 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game design: 8.294

Artwork: 8.697

Sounds/Music: 7.86

Other Aspects: 8.275

Rating comments

There are 287 rating comments for this game.

Pinside staff rating

This is how we, the very knowledgeable (wink wink) staff & moderators rate this game. 7 of us have rated this game.


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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 287 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 287 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
Currently showing results page 1 of 12.

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18 days ago
excellent game, with an excellent wizard mode
21 days ago
The game is a work of art. The fun factor is through the roof.

The only problem I see with the game is a flaw in the rule set. The bobbles: menagerie, spin, boom, and sideshow are too easy to accomplish. You can't play a game without incidentally achieving these goals. If I could change code in chips, I would adjust the difficulty of these particular goals. Aside from this flaw, the rule set of the game is good.

Don't get me wrong, it is one of my favorite machines, and will never leave my collection.
41 days ago
Just a gorgeous game. It's a bit gimmikie with the rubber ball. But in good condition, this game is an absolute stunner. I'm hoping to get one before they get even more expensive :(
45 days ago
I thought I was going to really like this game having played the video version of it, but when I had the opportunity to actual play the real game in person, it wasn't anything like what I expected. It didn't feel "good" and I felt more like I was just trying to keep the ball from draining than actually playing the game. It has more going for it than say a T2, but at least with the T2 it feels "good" and I felt like there was more purpose to my shots. Maybe I just didn't pick up the game quick enough despite having played it online, but it didn't play like I had hoped.
52 days ago
Beautiful pinball machine. It has everything, toys, shots, lights, game modes (if you upgrade to 2.0 which almost everyone has). You cannot walk by this machine without playing it. It's a keeper for me and I'll never sell it. One of the greatest machines of all time!
89 days ago
As a big ToM fan, I was hoping to like this game more -- but it was just kind of flat. Great backglass and interesting color and art. But the gameplay was just not much fun for me.
3 months ago
probably my least favorite "collectable" machine, but still fun
3 months ago
One of my favorite tables . [check my avatar?]

Love the sound and his agony/pouting/laughing during the game and of course causing it.
3 months ago
Dazzlingly beautiful machine. Great sound design. Would love to see a makeover of the rules.
4 months ago
Flipper very nice but the game is definitely below expectations
5 months ago
The game was okay. Played it at 3 shows and 2 locations. Every one of those pins had problems with the ball getting caught up in the ring master and had to wait for ball searches. Twice we had to have someone get the ball from being lodged in that area. Bad design for that? The gimmicks were different but uneventful. Not to fond of the artwork, but that does not weigh high for me. The game play on the display was different, but not too descriptive. After you play it a few times you figure out what you are suppose to do. I'd probably continue to play this at locations because it is a little different and let it try to win me over. Maybe in time and several more plays I would like it better.
7 months ago
I've tried this machine in five different iterations and I just do not get it, the rule set is not that rich or deep and its shots are fast but the geometry isn't actually that great, but equally important it is fragile and quickly seems gimmicky. Maybe it's just me but I think this game benefits from nostalgia d.b.a. hype.
8 months ago
Cirqus Voltaire gets top marks for artwork and toys, it's loaded! The playfield layout is great too. The areas of the playfield feel "unique" which is something I love, between the complex ramp, the Ringmaster area, the ball, and the U-turn the leads into the BOOM pop bumper. Great geometry all around. I even love the brutal lack of lanes. It keeps the game fast! You can't trap up as easily because the ball rolls a few inches up the ball guide, hits a rubber, and comes straight back to the flipper if it has any momentum.

The rules never grabbed me for whatever reason. There are plenty of modes and stackable multiballs, but for some reason it doesn't grab me like a CFTBL or IJ.

The DMD is a pain. First of all, there is an easy and lengthy video mode, ugh. The stupid Ringmaster animation is too long and unskippable too.
8 months ago
Play this all the time at a friends house, but never considered it to have that 'one more game' feel
8 months ago
Beautiful! In my top 3 for sure. Jonh Popadiuk at his best.
9 months ago
First off: Cirqus Voltaire is one of the most gorgeous pinball machines ever built. A very original theme with lots of creativity in the artwork. This machine is so vibrant, it's just crazy. Add LEDs to really make it pop. A work of art.

Cameron Silver's home rom makes the machine an extremely good player as well. He polished the software to something truly worthy of the great playfield.

I'm in love with this game. One of the games where everything just blends together into a breathtaking experience.
9 months ago
"I am the Ringmaster. Defeat me for the Ringmaster marvel."
Who does not get the quote stuck in their head after playing this machine?
Eventually some people will go "$#@%, ARGHHHH, shut up already!"

One of the games new collectors blow serious loads on (outside their pants), but never play before buying the game due to low production availability.
"It looks so cool."
Simulations did not give a good impression of the complexity of some of the things this game has going on in terms of maintenance.
It is equivalent to buying a new car, but never testing driving the model.
This is the fully gear engaged definition of "pintard".

I give credit to John Popadiuk, who at least pulled some different tricks out of his hat on this game unlike ToM and TOTAN.
Phenomenal music and sound, but it grinds on you over time.
Excellent shot selection and gimmicks, however nothing truly revolutionary.
Even putting the DMD inside the game and using a bell shot in the backglass, could not save the game from being a moderate failure when produced.
An owner that states that a game includes a "real bell" installed in the backbox is a prototype, is LYING to you.

TERRIBLE route machine, due to maintenance requirements on assemblies, on the same level as STTNG and RS.
High wire lock, needs the upgrade kit, or it will just fail even in a home environment.
If you do not know what I am talking about owners, go READ the WMS service bulletins.

Time has been kind to this title, however.

Linda Deal did a great job on the artwork.
The ruleset has a lot of hidden secrets packed into the game, but is not particularly cryptic.

NOTE: It has become a collector favorite for BLY/WMS DMD enthusiasts, but it often does not last long in collections for people that are just looking for a "ticket to ride."
Just like TOTAN, the novelty wear off fairly quickly, and you are left with a machine that people will playing when you have been get togethers. There is a learning point here.

The machine will always maintain a high value for collector quality examples, due to the amount of game specific parts that get trashed on most of the games.
The neon tube may be replaceable, but a lot of the other parts are unobtainium.
Hell, I remember people fighting over a set of plastic purple backbox scrolls.

Some CV owners would give their left testicle for some NOS parts, and rarely share that "things are not working quite right".

Note for thought: If a PinSide member's screen name is related or rhymes with video games, they probably are not particularly experienced with rating pinball machines.
10 months ago
This game bores me to tears. Was really excited to play it an found one in another pinheads collection so tried to spend a bit of time on it but had to walk away , there's not many machines I dislike but this is definatly one of them, it looks really pretty but flat out annoys the crap out of me even the sounds grate on me, the ringmaster pops up way to much an his stupid!!! It just shows that one mans trash is another ones treasure because if I owned this game I would flip it in a second to someone who appreciates it because I really don't . Can't believe it demands such a high price for such a boring game. Definatly for people who love pretty things... The most overrated game in my opinion... But horses for courses...
11 months ago
Well thought out and fun game. Dmd display is placed very well and players are able to see the display while playing. Colors are super vibrant. One of the best 90's pins.
1 year ago
This game never quit my collection. A real beauty, all is perfect with this pinball, look,sounds,gameplay,fun factor, etc....
1 year ago
After owning a CV for a few years, it never really grew on me. The sound package is just plain annoying, and the mode progression gets old. It is the the one machine that was in my collection that everyone was excited to play, then no one wanted to play after their first game.
1 year ago
Overall, is is a VERY fun game to play. I like the attempt to bring the display down lower into eyesight, but I think it didn't work. I don't ding the overall game for this tough. Would love to have one in my collection.
1 year ago
Owned a few games , this one for me top 2.......
1 year ago
I played it a few times and I can say it is good machine to play despite not liking the internal display, dull bg and repetitive sound. In my opinion, silly rules too. The neon is beautiful but has no other purpose than blind you during the game.
1 year ago
i really want this game
There are 287 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 12.

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