Cirqus Voltaire (Bally, 1997)

Cirqus Voltaire

Pinside rating

This game received 591 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 8.340 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #23 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game design: 8.32

Artwork: 8.712

Sounds/Music: 7.883

Other Aspects: 8.291

Rating comments

There are 294 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 294 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 294 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
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1 day ago
Is CV the ultimate case of "style over substance"?
10 days ago
Beautiful game, decent amount of fun. Maybe i'm just not familiar enough with some of the deeper rules or strategies. It gets boring after three to five straight games.
46 days ago
Get ready for the greatest pinball on earth!

John Papadiuk and his team managed to create one of the greatest and most inovative pinball machine that walked the earth. I wish to thank em for this !

What is so special with this pin u asking ?

From ringmaster, to great callouts , music and sound , amazing multiballs, playfield dmd , canon backbox and educational things (you can read entire history of cirqus after you done with playing ), artwork etc.

There is some bad reviews on this game, that i cant and would not agree, people either are haters or think they are very smart and good pin players so game is easy and boring for them.

Well, if you are fun of pins and love and enjoy playing em this is game for you.

As i said above , game have great callouts , they are also not repetitive and you are not going to be bored cose everytime you will hear something new.

Have great gameplay and good rules , game is fast and challenging and not so hard to learn , allowing you to enjoy it . So very nice gameflow .

Ringmaster is not that hard to beat , in same time nor easy to beat cose shots might be very risky. Also ringmaster battle can be very very hard , so gl with that :).

Boomballon, jugglers , neon ramp,various multiball modes, good video modes , and other things will be only cheery on top for anyone that playing game.Volts spot on playfield when you cross with ball over it you feel like electric shock trough flipper buttons which is one of the greatest gimmicks in pins(along with bony beast heartbeat on scared stiff).

Ramps are also hard to hit and give bit challange to even expirienced players .

Did i mentioned that game have one of the most beautifull artwork from all pins ?

Mentioned all things above and not having one single downside ill give it 10!

"Au revoir, arriva derci, adios, goodbye!"

i am just a fan of pins , i am not pro player, love this hobby (love to play pinballs) and every review is based on my personal feeling and emotion. I am in this game only for FUN and to have stress free ;).
57 days ago
Ok, wow, this game is incredible, off the map, probably one of the best. The playfield layout, the rules, the lights, the toys, the music and callouts – are awesome. Something else I really like about CV, but something I think may disturb other players, are the features which increase the randomness of the ball movement – the captive ball of the menagerie, the pop bumpers on the lower right side above the slingshots, the ball being flung by the ringmaster magnet, even when the ball is being fed from the ramps to the flippers it can do something unexpected (not 100% sure if this is intentional or not, but I like it) – the ball is going every which way much of the time.
The ball is visible almost always (except when it goes into the subway system). This is part of the genius of this very unique layout. And at the same time not having anything blocking the DMD display which is under the playfield glass – is quite a design achievement. CV has two separate ball lock systems (highwire and juggler) – both are cool, but the high wire multiball lock… - one of the coolest ball locks ever ! And how about that big sink hole under the completely raised ringmaster? – it’s like hitting pinballs into a golf hole – so nifty and fun.
And the multiballs – so many different ones – they can be stacked, this can get really exciting (definitely easier to achieve than on BSD !).
And the wizard mode – I’ve yet to complete it, but it’s clever.
Ok, ok, I’ll admit, the sideshow award “Fire that Cannon” is pretty lame. And “Amazing Roonie” and “Copy Cat” (Homerom 2.0) – yuck – two separate video modes…, but once you accept them they’re both kind of challenging – Copy Cat gives you an extra ball if you can keep your stuff together – that’s a motivation, right ?
61 days ago
Very unique machine, lots of colour and great themeing. Ringmaster is a great bash toy, and the way in which different marvels are collected offers up plenty of variety as far as rules go. Not a huge fan of the inlane/outlane arrangement, but it does offer an additional challenge. The playfield layout is great with the exception of the upper left corner with the juggler mechanism, more could've been done there. But overall, it's a classic game with a quirky theme, great art and good audio, well worth a play whenever you see one.
73 days ago
What a beautiful machine, all is perfect on it. 100%, very fun.
3 months ago
I love it really good and fun gameplay !the artwork is awesome for the all pinball!amazing flow!just perfect..
3 months ago
I'm not a big fan of JPop games, other than admire his ability to create fantastic lighting and colors. This game is just sorta fun, the shots are repetitious tending towards being tedious. Circus theme becomes grating quickly, unless you really like the circus. Make sure you play this game a lot before you buy one--it gets old fast, just like TOM.
4 months ago
excellent game, with an excellent wizard mode
4 months 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.
5 months 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 :(
5 months 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.
5 months 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!
6 months 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.
7 months ago
probably my least favorite "collectable" machine, but still fun
7 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.
7 months ago
Dazzlingly beautiful machine. Great sound design. Would love to see a makeover of the rules.
8 months ago
Flipper very nice but the game is definitely below expectations
9 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.
11 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.
1 year 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.
1 year ago
Play this all the time at a friends house, but never considered it to have that 'one more game' feel
1 year ago
Beautiful! In my top 3 for sure. Jonh Popadiuk at his best.
1 year 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.
1 year 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.
There are 294 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 12.

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