Flash Gordon (Bally, 1980)

Flash Gordon

Pinside rating

This game received 134 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 7.803 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #64 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game design: 7.858

Artwork: 8.104

Sounds/Music: 6.681

Other Aspects: 7.956

Rating comments

There are 56 rating comments for this game.

Pinside staff rating

This is how we, the very knowledgeable (wink wink) Pinside.com staff & moderators rate this game. 4 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 56 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 56 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
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12 days ago
Again, I hate negative reviews, but I feel like I must rate this low. My crazy uncle has this machine in his basement along with many, many 70's and 80's pins. He thinks the world of this game but I could never get into it. In fact I despise the game... its terrible. For me it has no flow, the shot selections stink, its just not fun for me. I know everyone has their opinion but honestly this is one of the worst games of the 80's I've played. And ive played most of them over the y ears.
20 days ago
Very brutal and unforgiving game. It will make you a better player.
60 days ago
Flash Gordon was the first machine I acquired that needed a little "polishing" to get it going. It was simple enough that I was able to work my way thru the issues and fix several electrical problems (not something Id consider myself good at or comfortable with) and had the game up and running several days after I bought it. I found the game to be tough but fun -- I liked the design with the upper playfield. Great artwork, cool sounds for its day. Ended up selling the machine due to limited space but I still seek FG out at shows when I can because I know "Emperor Ming Awaits. . . "
4 months ago
Back when Flash Gordon came out I HATED this game!! I was a kid with a limited amount of money, and this game would drain so quick and easy, ARGHHH!!! A week's allowance gone just like that!
Fast forward 35 years later...I now LOVE this game! Now I own it, and find it VERY addicting and challenging!
I think it was ahead of its time when it was released. This game and Black Knight was the first to do the upper playfield.
Now when I play it still drains a lot, but when you get a good ball going it is so much fun!
Honestly I keep coming back for more, love love love this game and think it's one of the best from its era.
Really colorful playfield and backglass, lots of challenges to accomplish...and of course the WOOD BEAST!!
The Wood Beast punishes more then it rewards hahaha, but I keep going for it anyway.
A great classic movie theme game from Bally!!
4 months ago
When I was first starting out my pinball restoration business all of my pins were for sale as a matter of necessity. The ones I wanted to keep like Flash Gordon I put a premium on. Despite that, the game sold as did other games. Of all of them the only one I missed enough to seek a replacement for was this game. I've had it back in my collection for over ten years now and it is not going anywhere. A great game that keeps me coming back.
4 months ago
Got to play one of these finally. It definitely had a fun layout to shoot, and it got super fast at times as I would expect it to for this theme. While the basic rules are relatively easy to follow, completing the challenges and maximizing scoring is not. It kept me coming back for more and I would definitely have this in my collection for a little while if the right deal came up. Some of these older games are pretty decent. Plus the art was nice as well.
5 months ago
The lower playfield has a great layout, but the upper playfield could use a one-way gate above the center ramp. The in-line drop targets are always a great feature. Sounds and speech are good and the art package (excluding the cabinet) is beautiful. Overall a good game.
9 months ago
This game is just flat out fun. It would probably be the last pin I would sell in my collection.
11 months ago
This game is just an all around ass kicker. You make a good shot you get punished, you make a bad shot you get punished. You walk away cussing and then keep coming back for more for some reason. This game is the perfect complement of enough things to do but they are incredibly hard to complete. It's essentially and old school Iron Man from 30 years before Iron Man came out. Great sounds, hard fun shots, a creative ruleset, crazy short ball times, everything a hard core player wants out of a game.
11 months ago
Update 4/26/17 (about a year after selling mine): This is my favorite early SS pin. I don't regret selling it when I did, but I miss it and definitely want to own it again in the future.
1 year ago
Very nice looking well designed game that's challenging. Amazing theme for Queen and Flash Gordon fans.
1 year ago
Flash gorden is a pretty good game it is very tough and challinging with good artwork, good theme, good sounds and callouts, and it has great rules.
1 year ago
Flash Gordon + Pinball = Epic! If you can find a new playfield for it (because the game was always played so much) Do yourself a favor, restore this game & never sell it! It defines Classic EM Bally pinball.
1 year ago
A great bang for your buck machine. I really like the layout, the shots and the objectives. Drop targets, inline drops, spinner and a saucer that spits the ball in different directions. Who needs multiball! Blasting it up the left side and to the top flipper is satisfying, only to be topped by a clean shot the right ramp and into the shooter lane - which requires a near perfect shot. A bonus heavy game which I like. You need to nudge to keep the ball out of danger but you must respect the tilt. Good art package and the callouts are pretty cool too - miserable earthling!

Did I mention that the game is challenging too. Fun all around game.
1 year ago
Love this game. One of the few classics I want to own. The artwork is really good on a nice machine. Unfortunately a lot of it is lost from wear on most. Lighting and lightshow were really good for its time. Short ball times if you can't make your shots. Keep that ball in control.
1 year ago
Decent early SS. I really liked the drop target series on the upper right PF and the raised PF with 2" flippers. Also, the sharp drop-off to the saucer is a unique way to get the ball back to the main PF (center down ramp). Some of the sounds drove me a little nuts, but that usually isn't a reason to dislike a game for me. rnrnFG would be a great early SS for a collection, and I'd pick one up for a good price if I found one.
1 year ago
"Emperor Ming Awaits" is the speech you hear when starting up a game. What it should say is"Be prepared to get your ass handed to you." The game is brutal, but with this title, that's a good thing.

A three flipper game that has you on the defensive most of the time trying to keep the ball away from the outlanes. You will frequently be punished for making good shots as well as bad.

Spinners, there are two....I love ripping these spinners. Knock down the left target bank to light the spinner for 1000 points a spin. There also lots of drop targets on this game. A single on the upper playfield, three more on the left middle of the upper playfield....then four on the far left of main playfield and a set of three inline drop targets on the right side. The three inline drops on the left will punish you on occasion for daring to hit them, so be cautious.

Mirrored backglass is fantastic and playfield is also good.....it was a cheesy movie, that I have seen, but the pin is superb! A solid title that sits towards the top of the heap of many great Bally early solid state pins.
1 year ago
Picked up a dusty gem for $650. Replaced sound board and shopped it out. Always a little finicky though. I really enjoyed it but, at least for me, a total drain monster. I do miss it and probably should have kept it. When it sold, it was working great and shined like it never had been dirty. Made a couple hundred on it at least. Again, I wonder to this day if I ever should have sold it. My time with it was... memorable?
2 years ago
One of the early Bally's I'd seriously consider owning, I've played 3 or 4 of these now in various conditions and every single TIME this game has kicked my ass which is probably why it has staying power, a very challenging game and had plenty going on to boot. One of my faveroute early Bally's.
2 years ago
Hadn't played this in years. Remembered liking it back in the day. Played again at PAPA 18 and thought it really holds up. The shots are tough just like other games of that era. Overall, good game.
2 years ago
One of if not the best single ball games ever. Inline drops, multipliers, upper playfied. Fantastic!
2 years ago
You have an upper and lower playfield which both are fairly boring. Poor layout, poor game flow, few toys and so-so artwork make this pin a total waste of time.
2 years ago
The arcade I went to as a kid had a Flash Gordon AND a Buck Rogers, which I thought was funny and neat. Flash Gordon is a cool, very very old school pin. It has its charms and its fun in doses. It would be great as a part of a collection but there's really not all that much to do and there are other titles that are more fun and would be more fun long term as a representative of this era of SS pinball machines. Good machine but not a top 100 game, especially when there are other more deserving titles out there.
2 years ago
First saw this title at the Atlanta Pin Swap in 2013. Someone had a complete example with a CPR playfield set for sale and someone walked off with a pretty decent deal. Never gave much thought to the game and was giving other Bally titles like Centaur and EBD my attention. Finally got one and loved the play but it was a beat project, also with a CPR playfield. Sold it but unlike most machines that go I wanted this title back. Short story long - finally got one back with a really nice playfield and backglass. Most bulletproofing and tweaking done, it plays brutally and with great satisfaction.


Fantastic dual-level playfield provides fantastic opportunities to slam one of two spinners, several shots available from all three flippers, including at least five or six from the upper flipper. Like Centaur, the layout of Flash Gordon offers tons of scoring options without feeling cluttered. Inline drops...two rows of drops and a single...three places to work to max out the Bonus to 5x and it's a bitch getting there. Fantastic sounds and artwork on this game - something that was a highlight of this era.


Most are shot if not restored as they were played to hell.

One of my top all-time titles. Perhaps makes me push the credit button more than any other game I've ever owned.

Update: My enjoyment of this table accelerates with every play. I had one of the switches on the lower left drops not working and got it fixed. Couldn't believe what a difference it made for those to properly ramp up the spinners and saucer. Everything about this game oozes awesome. When I think of redoing rules for an early Bally SS, I really can't come up with any ways to improve this game. If only it had the Queen soundtrack. Apparently there is a board that adds sounds to this game for around $300 and I have to say I am tempted. Had one and had to sell, really don't want to ever not have a FG in the collection.
2 years ago
True classic pin awesome back glass and play field artwork fun and tough to play
There are 56 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 3.

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