Diner (Williams, 1990)

Diner

Pinside rating

This game received 208 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 7.751 /10

7.751

Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #73 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.


Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game design: 7.734

Artwork: 8.057

Sounds/Music: 6.857

Other Aspects: 7.932



Rating comments

There are 80 rating comments for this game.


Pinside staff rating

This is how we, the very knowledgeable (wink wink) Pinside.com staff & moderators rate this game. 5 of us have rated this game.

7.188

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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 80 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 80 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
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8.034/10
2 days ago
A great theme & the machine certainly has presence not the least that the theme is in tune with the pinball heydays. A great player & certainly a keeper for me.
7.750/10
51 days ago
Diner is the first pin I bought. I'll admit, it wasn't on my short list but it came up in my area at a good price in great condition so I went for it. It quickly grew on me though - the music is a little goofy but still catchy, fun, and true to the theme. The two ramp shots are satisfying and reward accuracy. I find the right a bit harder to hit consistently than the left. Also, the way the ramp shots cross over each other is unique and neat to see.

My only gripes would be the multiball and the cup shot. I wish there was more than 1 MB or an option to make it 3 ball. On the cup, it's an awesome and rewarding shot to make with good sounds and lights. But, once I realized I could pass on the cup to light lock again without spelling DINER, I don't go for the cup as much.

All in all, its a great game with some neat quirks. I'm a fairly new player so it took me several months to get through everything in the game. Still, it is not an easy game - balls can be brutal coming out of the pop bumpers, off the drops, or on a missed ramp shot. It definitely improved my accuracy and technique. I know I won't have this game in my collection forever but I would still recommend it to any level player and it will hold a special place for me as my first pin.
9.579/10
79 days ago
Love this game!

In my opinion probably the most beautiful pin out there. Simple but also stretches out a little to give you extra goals and shots. Really fun and a nice break from the more serious pins.
7.429/10
3 months ago
I once owned a Diner, and I regret having parted with it, because it was a great, albeit simple by current standards, original theme game. There's a schtick that's sort of like a series of modes, where you serve up different customers (although there are a few moderately un-PC snippets, to modern ears) and a simple multiball. Ramp shots and a cup of coffee, with a clock on the backglass (which if working adds a lot to the appeal). One of the fine machines in a very good Williams era.
7.979/10
3 months ago
Things I like best about the game are the well integrated theme, the backglass art and the stir the cup shot, which is a fun one! Oh and tip bonus is very cool. Things i like least about the game are the hard to see upper playfield, the skill shot (too easy), and the callouts get annoying. I like the rest of the sound package.

As for the great Diner vs Taxi debate, I definitely like Taxi better. The skill shot is better, the characters are more fun, the jackpot and million shots are more challenging and the Flashing Taxi sign and bell ringing are just awesome. Taxi just gets my blood pumping more too.

Overall, a fun game with a decent amount of appeal, but not quite exciting, charming or challenging enough to be a long term keeper for me. I'll give it more time to see if it grows on me though!
8.716/10
3 months ago
For me, Diner has always been “the game”. My fave. Why, well, aside from the theme (the greatest theme in pinball – and dining for that matter) this game has a lot going on. Serving the customers to go for dine time, hitting the left ramp repeatedly to activate extra ball and increasing the dine time bonus, hitting the right ramp to activate the ball lock (the left ramp rises to expose the ball lock) and, and, and the CUP SHOT – watching the ball spin around at high speed and the cup bonus going up over 2.5 Mio. – well, as some have said, maybe the most satisfying shot in pinball. Now some folks say you should avoid the cup shot and keep going for multiball over and over – it’s a valid point as multiball can be very lucrative – but it is pretty hard to hit the spinner and the sink hole, then start nailing the ramps – so risk vs. reward – players choice. Diner has the pop bumpers in front of the lanes and a lot of space around them so there is a lot of ball action. The skill shot on Diner is rather easy, once you figure out how to time your plunge you can get the max almost every time – but hey, I don’t mind the points.
Diner has some nifty accessories and sounds to make you feel like you’re in there working hard – the cash register showing your progression on the left ramp, the juke box for the skill shot, the sizzling of the griddle, the irate customers if they don’t get served fast enough. And what an iconic back box ! - with the diner from the outside, the moon, the clock and the customers on springs moving around when you nudge.
9.139/10
7 months ago
Diner is a beautiful System 11 masterpiece. The animated backglass is perfect. The skill shot into the jukebox is a joy. The left bank of drop targets are challenging and must be hit to progress the game. The gobble hole is a nice one in a tight spot. The goals are very clear. The play is exciting and speedy. The multiball lock is ingenious. Only two ball multiball, but that's all it needs. And finally, the "stir the cup" shot is magnificent, definitely a top 10 shot in all of pinball history. My only gripe is I wish there was more music and the callouts can get annoying. However, the sound roms were limited in 1990, so I can't gripe much about that. The sound that is there fits and still has some classic early SS sound to it as well which makes it feel even more like a classic. As it says on the backglass, it's "A Classic Williams Pinball".
7.759/10
8 months ago
A system 11 Mark Ritchie classic! Cool theme tied in well with the gameplay. Art is great, and gameplay is fun and challenging. Nice all around package and one of the best designs of the system 11 era.
6.903/10
8 months ago
Dine has some fun shots and neat rules. The playfield is populated with a good variety of targets, ramps, gobble holes, etc., but it doesn't feel too crowded. The layout is expertly done and the rules keep the player involved, but they aren't particularly deep. A slightly above average, family-friendly machine all around.

Worth playing and adding to the middle of a ranked want list.
7.199/10
9 months ago
A good system 11 game with a beautiful art package and pretty good sound. The gameplay is fun but it doesn't hold its appeal that long.
7.378/10
1 year ago
A good game, with obvious look and feel and rules similarities to Taxi. I much prefer Taxi myself. I like how the right loop snakes up to a saucer, it reminds me of Embryon.

Serve customers, get multiball, shoot rush, loop the left ramp over and over, cash in your cup bonus (or don't... and DINER stays lit for multiball which is kind of neat). It's fun, but nothing mind blowing.
8.620/10
1 year ago
This is a classic Pinball table.
8.713/10
1 year ago
Great classic Williams pin. Simple, surprisingly addictive, and reflective of the best of the system 11 classics. This seems to be a pin everyone remembers, and loves to play. A great addition to any line up.
8.433/10
1 year ago
Diner is one of those games where a designer decided to replicate a prior game and add to it, such as AFM to MM. Taxi is a great classic game, and some say they prefer that to Diner, but I believe for many reasons Diner is the better machine.

For one, it’s more difficult to complete each person. This needs to be, as they carry over in Diner, where in Taxi, they do not, unless you can light the carry over feature. While I think the wide and crossing ramps of Taxi are some of the most memorable ramps in pinball, the Diner ones cross as well, and both have diverters for a second shot essentially for each. In Diner, the ramps feed back to the same flipper that made the shot, allowing for repetitive stacking of shot after shot, which has a lot of meaning in this game. Some might think it’s boring to shoot the same shot over and over, but it’s nicely done in Diner, for both ramps, and there is something to be said for a game that has this, as it’s not done much, and it’s harder than you think to keep making the same shot over and over.

One of the nicest art packages in pinball, just stunning all in all, and the transllite, with the 3d jiggling characters, and the clock, make this quite possibly the best BG in pinball. Very well done! Taxi has bland PF art, and a goofy BG at best.

People talk about the unbalanced scoring in Diner, but I just don’t see it. You can either go at that left ramp all day, and get a lot of points from that if you are consistent (especially in MB!), you load up the Dinetime JP, and run through the characters, with a lot of points there. You can keep loading up “diner” and cashing out the coffee cup. IMO, all of those methods can get you to the same level of points, depending on the length of your game, and combing them allows for a nice variance in play.

My only grub with the game, is the art of the customers and their callouts. This was by design though, they are supposed to sound and look ugly, but it grinds a little on you.

All in all a fantastic game. It adds to the great game Taxi is, and makes a better version.
7.116/10
1 year ago
played it in the early 90's ,havnt play one since...its just o.k.. if u have a cafe it would b sweet to have, i dnt like the clutter up on the playfield cant see the ball good, not that fun to me i will pass on playing it,not a keeper
7.621/10
1 year ago
Diner is an ok game artwork is ok, theme is ok, but there's not really any toys in the game but it also has a decent rule set.
5.886/10
1 year ago
Good game but not great
8.219/10
2 years ago
I'm a big fan of Taxi and Diner is very similar. It's definitly a great looking machine that will attract anyone, young and old. It's true the upper playfield is crowded and I wish I could see more the E-A-T lane but the display right above is a neat idea to solve the problem.

It can be punishing when playing fast as you know that you are leaving tons of points on the field. This is the mark of a great pinball coming back to it. Not super deep but still a few things to do and a cool ball locking mecanism and multi-ball get can though imo. The skill shot is repetitive and not super rewarding as in Taxi or other games.
6.924/10
2 years ago
“[FWIW I self-rate my skill level as medium] Oh, I really wanted to like this one better. I love the concept and from an artwork perspective, it works. But playing this was next to impossible: between the blur of red, red, red, and more red, under white... and hidden / obstructed targets, inserts, and other toys... I really did not have much fun at all. Plus the music just doesn't sound good even for its time, but I admire the attempt. The clock and patron animations are neat. It's very creative and I appreciate what they were going for, I just wish I had fun playing it. Probably my biggest disappointment to date.(Played at Louisville Arcade Expo 2015)
7.427/10
2 years ago
The most outstanding detail about this pinball is the nice artwork on the back glass and field. Certainly one of the better looking machines.
The bonus is a 2% or 3%,... whatever tip. That's a cool idea. The overall game play was good but not great. Flow was so-so, too much of the upper field covered by stuff which makes it hard to follow the ball.
Overall a pretty good machine that looks better than it plays.
6.486/10
2 years ago
I love this era of Williams and Bally pins and games such as Taxi are amongst my favorites but this game just doesn't click for me. It never feels like it all comes together as it should.
9.221/10
2 years ago
This game is spectacular to look at great use of the theme i really do love playing it, i have a soft spot for system 11 games and i would love to own this one day. Update 2017 my local arcade now has this machine on site there is a god, put loads of games on it never got bored just shed loads of fun between this and funhouse are my two fave pins and i now have access to them every weekend along with 8 other machines.
7.926/10
2 years ago
hawkmoon says i have this machine and its realy fun! the sound can be rough but it shows what your made of! ive gotten to 20200000,so far
9.600/10
2 years ago
A sentimental favorite of mine. Love the sound of the ball spinning in the giant coffee cup. Loads of fun. I'm going to the best pinball museum in the United States later this month (better than Las Vegas!) and I will play Diner there!
9.448/10
2 years ago
fun game with reasonable and achievable rule set, cup shot is very satisfying, overall an excellent pin
There are 80 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 4.

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