Grand Lizard (Williams, 1986)

Grand Lizard

Total rating

This game got 82 approved ratings and currently scores 7.493 out of 10 points.

This ranks the game #127 in the Pinside Ranking.


Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game design: 7.773

Artwork: 7.138

Sounds/Music: 6.417

Other Aspects: 7.732

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Pinside staff rating

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Ranking history

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Rating history

An overview of this machine's rating over the last years. Higher is better.

Found 29 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 29 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
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1 month ago
One of my favorite games of all time and has been with me the longest out of all my pin. No plans on ever selling it unless I can find a better one. Top 3 System 11 pin and best bang for your buck pin, IMHO.

Love the music and sound package, love the upper playfield and the ramps. Fast, flowy, and lots of drops.

Only minor detraction is that the playfield art doesnt line up with the backglass and plastics.
4 months ago
As a company, how do you follow up High Speed, a watershed pinball game that sold a ton of units? Apparently with Grand Lizard, a game whose layout is a copy of Solar Fire, which was in turn a near copy of Black Knight. It may not be fair to compare this game to High Speed, but how can you not? Everything about this game seems lazy: from the copied layout to the simplistic jungle drum soundtrack to the disconnected art package. Python Anghelo, bless his soul, really missed on the backglass design. The playfield art works, and it is a shame the original “matching” backglass wasn’t used in the production run as it gels better with the overall package and is head and shoulders above Mr. Anghelo’s work. The changes in gameplay make Grand Lizard a step above its copied predecessor Solar Fire, however the game pales in comparison to other early System 11 luminaries like High Speed and Pinbot.
5 months ago
Wow I wished I had a chance to play this title back in the day. At first glance I thought it had a multilevel play field. Very deceptive but just a fabulous title. Looks like a green Sorcerer from a distance and plays phenomimially. If you get a chance play or pick up.

The backglass is interesting. It fits the times, but I think it could have been a bit less cheesy, more like Sorcerer.
5 months ago
This pin has some triply art and sound. The game needs some explaining to understand, but its a fun pin.
6 months ago
Great game. Wwwway underrated. It has some tricky ramp shots and wicked fun upper playfield. Like BK it has the magna save, but I love the way GL kicks the ball back into play (if you time it) with the magna save as opposed to just dropping it in the lane.
9 months ago
Have recently upgraded,refurbished,and adjusted my GL to play much faster than before and really having a fun time with it.I think it will be staying for a while.I really enjoy all the sounds and the PF artwork is really good too.It also has some nice shots.I like trying to keep the ball on the upper PF area and bashing the drop targets.The bell is a nice surprise too.
If you get a chance to play or pick up this sometimes hard to find pin,do so,its worth that "just one more game factor."
Have fun!
9 months ago
Fantastic game for the age. Lots of fun aiming for the shots needed. Plan your multiball!
9 months ago
fun and fast, I owned one and would own one again. the jungle sounds are awesome.
11 months ago
Great machine ,fun to play,cool sounds!
Brings you back to 1986.
1 year ago
A blast to play. Love the upper flipper action. Multi-ball can drain in the center way too easy. Too bad I have got so good that none of my friends will play a game with me.
1 year ago
My first, so I may be biased! My three favorite pinball features are magna save, upper flippers, and multiball. This has all three! Game play is fun, there a a couple poorly designed areas (The "D) target gets bashed hard from the side and could use a block of some type to protect it.) The sounds are fun, the lack of voices doesn't seem to bother anyone who has played it.
1 year ago
Great pin from its era . Cool sounds
1 year ago
The sound really makes this game, I love he music and how it builds throughout the game. Fun upper playfield that really plays I to the game, not just a gimmic. Tough to post a high score on, not a huge bonus either. Enjoyed a few runs on it.
1 year ago
Neat layout and design by Oursler. It give you the illusion of an upper playfield without actually having one. The game seems like it's in two pieces and using ramps and the spinner shot to get up to the top (where the real scoring happens) is a neat part of the game.
The sounds are like no other game and, when you first hear those jungle drum beats and baboons, you'll be hooked. It really sucks you in.
I guess it can get tired after a while and it lacks the story-line that many later system 11 games had, but still worth a spot in a larger collection. Very unique.
2 years ago
Very fun game, with lots of shots to go for. Of course you want to try to rack up the scoring by keeping the ball in the upper playfield as much as possible. Shooting the lizard is also a cool aspect of the game. This is a classic Williams that you can usually pick up for a modest price, and has the cool addition of the magna save, which I always loved from the Williams family...
2 years ago
what Caucasian2Step said.
2 years ago
My first pin. I'd never played it before I bought it, just went purely by what was being said here and I was not disappointed. Great flow and one I've put probably 400 games on in 2 months and I'm not sick of it yet. If you find one in decent shape... buy it.
2 years ago
Great playfield layout , good game flow , I really enjoyed it ....
3 years ago
Best flow I have EVER experienced...

I love the defensive playfield. Ball can fast-drain at any second when in the lower PF.

* Asymmetry: very good.
* Backhands: good.
* Ball Time: very good.
* Drops (Sweepable): very good (2 banks)
* Flasher Blinding: Fair. Too much blinding to try and mess you up.
* Flippers (extra) 4 !!!
* Free Ball earning: 2 ways
* Fun/Lastability: Excellent.
* Hazards: Lower PF is as mean as it gets.
* Inlane Flow: Excellent.
* Lateral movement/Nudging: Yes. Slings are a total shell game once they grab hold.
* Multiball - entering: On the easy side, but with a lot of risk.
* Multiball - enjoyment: Decent. Ends quickly, but it's fun to try and get 2 or 3 balls on the top field
* Orbit Shots: NONE
* Originality: Excellent.
* Outlane save-ability: Excellent. Magnets are great.
* Ramp/Orbit Re-entry Speed: Very good - feeds to upper PF.
* Pop bumpers: NONE
* Rules (Time and Order-based) Very good. On drops
* Scoring Balance: No stupid jackpots
* Shots per flipper: tons.
* Skill shot: None
* Slap Saves: Excellent.
* Sound/Callouts/Voice: Funny sounds and no voices.
* Spinners: 1 Very fun one dead middle.
* Stop n Go/Flow: Best of all time.
* Taunting: Yes. The monkeys yell at you.
* Theme/Art/Lights: Very good.
* Toys/Gimmicks: Magnets, lizard head, 4 flippers.

Pros: Best flow ever, 4 flippers, variable magna save.
Cons: no skill shot, no voice.
3 years ago
Love this game. A really fast playing game with awesome magnasave. It really throws the ball around and actually can slingshot the ball back across the playfield if you aren't careful. I am usually not one for this kind of artwork, but it has kind of a Mystery Science Theater vibe to it that I dig. The lizard head is kind of cheesy but it gets the job done. I think they could have molded something better than a kids halloween mask, but it was the early 80's ;)

Probably my favorite of the early magnasave games. Solar Fire coming a close second.
3 years ago
Grand Lizard is a game that was inspired by my favorite of William's Fabulous 4, Solar Fire. Some things were improved, some things were toned down. The good news is that this is a great game to play.

The Good:
Great rules and flow with ramps make this game feel like a 2 level pf. The Sounds on this game with the monkey howls are the best! The light show is a blast as well. Stealing your friends locked balls is always a treat. The ramps feel great and intgrate into the ruleset very well. Oursler tm outlanes require your full attention as always. The ball coming out of the Grand Lizard's mouth from the ramps is a great gimmick with the head lighting up as the balls roll off the lizard's tongue. Multiball and PF multipliers keep your juggling skills sharp.

The Cons:
Multiball locks can be backhanded from the left flipper easily once the sweet spot is found. PF's on this game seem to be trashed quite a bit. The PF looks better than the BG. I've played the game with the original BG installed as well and... the PF still looks better either way. Achieving multiball can be really easy at times.

The Takeaway:
While not a complete copy of the original, this version stands on it's own quite well. Most of the good stuff has been kept from the previous generation of design. The things that have been taken are cost cutting features and are understandable for a Williams game made in 1986. The upper pf is nearly identical to Solar Fire. It's fun to play and sounds like a jungle. The ramps seem to be further up the PF than on Solar Fire making this game a bit more friendly. All in all a damn fine game.

Release the monkeys!

After playing this game a bit more, My opinion of it is that the older dual deck Solar Fire is the superior player between the two decks. The biggest reason is that multiball can be acquired rather easily once the pass-trap-backhand to the left flipper to rinse and repeat multiball... is too easy on most copies of this deck. A simple physical modification to the post just to the right of the left ramp should make both of those shots more difficult and require more balanced play over the entire PF. Scores altered accordingly. I still love playing this game.
3 years ago
A total sleeper game! Proto BG is mucho better than the production glass!
3 years ago
Grand Lizard was a lot of fun when I got to play it, and I was really considering buying the one I played. I really enjoyed the art style, and how the game worked, but after a few games it wasn't as much for me as I had thought. Worth playing, but not really worth owning in my case.
3 years ago
I think Grand Lizard is def not thThe thing I like the least about this game is the back glass which is kind of ugly imo and that stupid looking plastic lizard thing.
4 years ago
Addicting gameplay, no pops to slow the fun down, huge lizard head that rolls balls off of it's tongue, pulsed magna saves, timed drop targets, groovin' jungle sounds/tunes, howling center spinner... What's not to love?
There are 29 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 2.

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