Diner (Williams, 1990)


Pinside rating

This game received 198 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 7.737 /10


Top 100 ranking

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

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game design: 7.721

Artwork: 8.056

Sounds/Music: 6.856

Other Aspects: 7.902

Rating comments

There are 74 rating comments for this game.

Pinside staff rating

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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 74 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 74 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
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68 days 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".
89 days 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.
3 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.
3 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.
8 months 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.
1 year ago
This is a classic Pinball table.
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.
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.
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
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.
1 year ago
Good game but not great
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.
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)
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.
2 years ago
I'm usually more of a fan of modern games but I find Diner to be a great machine. The audio is so distinctive with some of the best music and most recognisable callouts. Its got a good layout and art is top notch. Very much like Taxi in terms of rules, you're just feeding people instead of giving them lifts to the airport, but I think I prefer this one over Taxi ever so slightly. I wouldn't own one as theres not much to do but I'll will always play it when I see it.
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.
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.
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!
2 years ago
fun game with reasonable and achievable rule set, cup shot is very satisfying, overall an excellent pin
2 years ago
Not a fan. Don't really dig the theme much at all. Dislike the art. That being said, ignoring the theme and art, there are some fun shots, but all in all there isn't anything about this game that would make me want to own one. It is mediocre.
2 years ago
This is a game I had been wanting for a long time, and I finally picked it up this year. Really enjoy the layout, the theme, and how hard the game can be.
2 years ago
Lots of people fuss about this one, but I just don't get it. Gameplay is ok, not great. It's a horrible theme, with mediocre artwork.
2 years ago
Expected a bit more but still fun to play.
2 years ago
I was very impressed with this game. I immediately noticed a lot of similarities between this game and Taxi. While they're both great games, I found this one to be the better playing game. There are lots of interesting shots and the game has great flow. The playfield layout is expertly designed and it features a wonderful risk/reward balance. The music is very catchy and couldn't fit the theme more perfectly. The call outs from the 5 customers get a little repetitive, but it's a small blemish on a great game. This is a great playing machine with an interesting and family friendly theme. Classic!
2 years ago
Finally acquired one after wanting one for so long, A big Mark Ritchie fan.
It optimizes the very best of System 11 machines, should be rated higher than Taxi.
There are 74 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 3.

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