Fish Tales (Williams, 1992)

Fish Tales

Pinside rating

This game received 627 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 8.013 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #42 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game design: 8.009

Artwork: 8.285

Sounds/Music: 7.315

Other Aspects: 8.118

Rating comments

There are 317 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 317 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 317 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
Currently showing results page 1 of 13.

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9 days ago
Fish tales is a fast game that shoots pretty well. The rules are pretty shallow as you basically just have monster fish and multiball to play for. Collecting fish is not the most fun thing but stretching the truth is cool. Overall a cool theme that shoots well but it doesn’t have enough to do for me.
12 days ago
A great all around game. Don't let the fishing theme scare you off. This is an amazing table with all kinds of shots. Rule set is not super difficult but enough for hours and hours of entertainment. I can be playing competitive games with my friends one minute and then turn around and play with my daughter and have just as much fun. I would have to rate this in my top 7 golden era pins (1992-1997). I finally was able to pick one up after searching hard for a nice collector machine. I am looking forward to telling many fish tales in the future!
65 days ago
a 90s classic
77 days ago
Surprisingly a pretty fun game.
78 days ago
Probably my top 5 favorites. Original theme. A bit repetitive but fun nothe the less. Funny and addictive gameplay! Tell no lies!!!
5 months ago
"Fish Tales" isn't a game I'd play over and over with the intent on conquering it like I do other games. It's basically a series of ramps which give you combos. The other targets catch you "fish" which add to your score. The game is fine in terms of theme, I supposed. It's cutesy and revolves around rednecks fishing if you hadn't guessed. There's just not much to it and I feel like all I did was hit ramps and lock up balls for multiball. The audio is hit and miss with a GREAT banjo bluegrass tune which sounds beautiful (and seamlessly goes into an ending strum upon ball drain) but the call-outs and other audio remind me of "Creature From the Black Lagoon": garbled as hell. All in all, a nice piece to have in a collection but, really, it's only for completion purposes and nothing more.
5 months ago
Fun family friendly theme. The topper really draws people over especially when it gets going. I think this game could have been a little more wise with playfield layout, some heavy wasted space where the boat is. This game is also very tough to get a high score on. It is a nice game to get to improve your skill while not turning off the non-pinball playing people because for whatever reason difficulty will not stop the general audience from playing several games and getting their butt kicked.
6 months ago
This is a great game and a favorite of my family. The game's humor from the funny call outs (Gone fishin, leave a message , look, waterskiers, etc ) , classic water/jet skier season video mode, to the flopping fish topper make this a family friendly classic.

The game play is a lot of fun once you get a good understanding of the rules which are deep enough to keep itvfun and lasting while not so deep the game bogs down in minutiae. Plays very fast in Ritchie form.

I'vee read that some don't like the repetitive banjo type music and loud fish topper but to me they just add to the game's personality and fit the theme well. Most of these I've seen have a lot of fade on the orange cabinet but I found one that had been in a home for 20+ years that has the original bright orange cabinet. The artwork on this pin from the cabinet to the backglass is top notch.

I think this game would actually be rated a bit higher if not for the fact it is fairly common with over 10k originally produced.
6 months ago
I love this game but also suck at it. Have played it around 15 times and cannot get anything above 4M. It's extremely challenging. The theme, artwork and play field are so cool but I cannot get it up the boat ramp. This would be a great machine to practice on to get good. Going back to Level Up in Raleigh to give it another shot.
6 months ago
I’m intrigued and amused by this game because it is so wasteful of playfield real estate – that big plastic in the rear left of the game – and not much is made of the space under the ramps - just appalling, right ? Fish Tales is a great game, really great rules - I like the way the different timed modes are activated in different ways – some with the captive ball, some by catching fish (“Feeding Frenzy”, “Rock the Boat” if you’re good at telling tales), “Monster Fish” using the ramps. The balls being locked in the reel is a cool idea, then being shot out on a big ramp at the beginning of multiball. Multiball is really hard though – hitting the casters club twice then the left loop (supposedly you can set the drop target in front of the casters club so it is not up at the beginning of multiball, but I have not figured out how to do this). The video mode is great – shooting surface torpedos (from your rowboat?) at all those motorized boats and skiers disturbing the fish - gratifying. The video mode yields a lot of points and if your shooting is good you get an extra ball – a game of Fish Tales without the video mode is usually a disaster (points wise I mean).
Fish Tales has great music. I’m a big bluegrass fan (I play banjo myself) and I like the way Chris Granner has created a bluegrass feeling using the synthesized sounds of the early 90s – it’s fun.
The playfield lighting really comes alive with LEDs (as do most I think), I enjoy the light show.
6 months ago
Fish Tales is the third game I have owned (Starship Troopers and Taxi would be the first two). I must say that Fish Tales is one of the toughest games I have played but it's also one of the funnest. The game is fast and can be addicting to play. The music theme is bluegrass and I must admit I clapped my hands and did a two step while the music played. Maybe a weak point of the game is that multi-ball is tough to get but if you're skilled enough, it shouldn't be a issue. Another one would be the flippers are shorter than most games and it will cause more ball drainage. Overall, it's a game I would recommend playing and if possible, owning.
7 months ago
difficult, fun and a real beauty
8 months ago
This pin is fun. The DMD game play is not too corny either (but looks a lot better with a 3rd party color DMD). I wouldn't mind owning one of these for the right price, but other pins are on my priority list. The physical lock is different and fits the theme. The lastability would probably be pretty good for the first year or so, but the shots would get repetitive. This pin attracts people to want to play it, then play it a few more time. It kind of has that "one more time" feel ... at least for a few times.
8 months ago
One of my ten favorites!
8 months ago
First machine I ever bought and will likely never leave the basement. Pure fun!
10 months ago
Pretty fun game with a good theme. The boat idea is pretty neat and it feels great when you combo shots. The slightly smaller flippers generally piss me off, but that's because I'm not very good. Fun game.
10 months ago
the amount of players who play it gave me a reason to score it high..
10 months ago
A great game from Williams. A great example how to make a fun to play game that is not associated with a established brand or franchise. The music does not really hold up after 25 years. The playfield art is a little cartoonish, but what do you expect in a game about fishing?
10 months ago
I thought I wasn't going to like this one but it surprised me! The ramps are a blast to hit. Artwork is great. Gameplay was fun. The sounds and music seemed at little weak. There are no toys aside from the cool locking mech! I would like this one in my collection
10 months ago
This is a good game, but I do think it is a little over rated. Especially if you are trying for a high score then all you are doing is alternating boat shots and ramp shots
11 months ago
Fish Tales is a comedy game that offers a unique layout and a challenging set of shots. The rules are deep enough to be interesting, but not exceptionally complex. The two center right and left ramps are almost intrusive on game play, but I appreciate the closeness of the ramps (but not the repetitiveness of the shots) at times, much in the way that I like the ease of hitting the WHO Dunnit ramps.

The theme wasn't appealing to me, and there are some limitations to the table, but overall it is worth playing several times and would be a fun addition to a collection that already has better games in it.
11 months ago
Enjoyed but probably not for long stretches, but I prefer target shooting tables, but still a fun one with good sound.
12 months ago
The rules may not be the deepest, but they are well thought out. The playfield layout is fast and flowing. The theme and the music are good, but the cabinet and backglass art less so. Overall a fun game when you look past the art.
12 months ago
A great fun players machine, and a very accessible theme
12 months ago
Gets old.
There are 317 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 13.

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