Flash Gordon (Bally, 1981)

Flash Gordon

Pinside rating

This game received 145 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 7.842 /10

7.842

Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #65 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.


Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game design: 7.896

Artwork: 8.116

Sounds/Music: 6.661

Other Aspects: 8.019



Rating comments

There are 62 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.

8.029

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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 62 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 62 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
Currently showing results page 1 of 3.

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9.221/10
38 days ago
What's not to love about Flash Gordon?! Awesome layout, exposed pop bumpers, inline drops for bonus multiplier, "Emperor Ming Awaits!," the spinners; an awesome game that is brutal and punishing for making poor shots! People complain about the linear flippers, but I actually like them. Rebuilt, they are not as sloppy as some people say. Compared to Williams of that era, they are a bit, but compared to the previous style Bally, they are a bit more precise.

The upper playfield is challenging, and your ball doesn't stay up there for long, but the 15 seconds of 2x playfield with lit spinners and the lit bank of drops is worth it. There are also two opportunities to collect bonus. You can really rack up your score this way. A basic set of rules, but you'll kill yourself trying to line everything up, and that's a good thing.
9.183/10
38 days ago
Phenomenal Bally game with a perfect ruleset. Scoring is balanced between playfield values, ripped spinners, and huge bonuses (and exciting bonus collects!). Lower playfields often have pointless close quarters death targets up the middle, but FG just has drop targets to the sides that you can actually shoot. The upper playfield has tough, long shots and the ball is never up there for too long. There's nothing pointless on this game, you shoot pretty much everything! That's kind of rare for an old solid state game. Inline drops are still one of the coolest things in pinball, and they're the first thing you shoot during every ball of Flash Gordon.

If there's a single bad thing about FG, it's that middle saucer is kind of weird (and not very effective at holding the ball). There's really nothing at all to shoot in the middle of the game. It does give you a needed reprieve though. This game gets your heart racing, especially during competitive play when the ball can go out on any slight flubbed shot or recovery!

One of the best games ever.
4.893/10
4 months ago
Had a nice one.
Hated it at first, then it was growing on me.
Played it a bunch. Very overrated.
Sold it.
5.736/10
6 months ago
Flash Gordon is regularly described as one of the hardest games out there, and I wouldn't argue with that. I bought this because it is so gorgeous to look at that I wanted to want the game more than I did .... but in the end, i'm a crappy player so its beauty alone was not enough to make me want to hang on to it for very long. i'd get just as much pleasure from it by having the backglass up on the wall, and a lot less space taken up.

if you like single ball games, and you like inline drop targets, wide fat flippers, and early solid state pins without modes or ramps, then you could do a lot worse than Flash Gordon. lovely game but too hard for shit players like me.
7.022/10
6 months ago
Definitely in my top-10 most overrated games.
Just cause a game is hard, doesn't necessarily make it good.
There are only 2 long shots in this game. Fewest amount in all of solid state pinball.
7 shots total. 5 from the lower flippers, 2 from the upper.
9.221/10
7 months ago
"Emperor Ming awaits". Yeah...and he will kick your ass...

A compelling game with a unique layout. The only split-level pin I care to play on a regular basis. Walk upon the tightrope, choose your shots wisely...or drain! (ok AND drain).
9.432/10
10 months ago
Simple but great. Can play it again and again. Love the color scheme and art - however, my favorite color is red, so go figure ... also, love the character generally and really liked the hugely corny movie.
Not an easy game, but can kick its butt IF you know the rules and get luck enough to avoid a bunch of drains. One of my all time favorites. Sold my first one. Mad at myself afterwards. Bought another. Will keep this one for good.
8.336/10
11 months ago
FG is a mean game! Very tough to score big due to the very fast game play, close quarters (lower PF), and nasty outlanes. The art on this game is very attractive on the PF, BG and cabinet! I also love the sounds: very cool background sound and I love how the spinner changes tone as you advance through the game. I would not recommend this title for a novice player; it will just leave you frustrated.
1.150/10
11 months 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.
9.744/10
11 months ago
Very brutal and unforgiving game. It will make you a better player.
8.051/10
1 year 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. . . "
8.918/10
1 year 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!!
9.118/10
1 year 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.
8.045/10
1 year 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.
7.778/10
1 year 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.
8.817/10
1 year ago
This game is just flat out fun. It would probably be the last pin I would sell in my collection.
8.846/10
1 year 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.
7.835/10
2 years ago
Very nice looking well designed game that's challenging. Amazing theme for Queen and Flash Gordon fans.
10.000/10
2 years 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.
7.986/10
2 years 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.
8.986/10
2 years 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.
6.820/10
2 years 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.
8.169/10
2 years 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.
7.229/10
2 years 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?
8.341/10
3 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.
There are 62 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 3.

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