Houdini

Pinside rating

This game received 71 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 8.084 /10

8.084

Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #36 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.


Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game design: 7.72

Artwork: 8.563

Sounds/Music: 7.826

Other Aspects: 8.113



Rating comments

There are 39 rating comments for this game.


Pinside staff rating

This is how we, the very knowledgeable (wink wink) Pinside.com staff & moderators rate this game. 1 of us has rated this game.

7.624

Your Rating?

You need to be logged in before you can rate pinball machines. No account yet? Registering only takes a sec!


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 39 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 39 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
Currently showing results page 1 of 2.

List options






9.900/10
2 days ago
Great job by American Pinball !! A nice fun game with a great theme. The back glass and animations are excellent. There are several modes and some very tight shots to keep things challenging which I really like. I look forward to seeing what the next game American Pinball puts out.
8.380/10
4 days ago
For first time company I wanna give it a 10, solid game,, all the shots are great(9), the inner orbit (lock)shot is challenging and addicting, the through pop bumper shot to eiether stage or magic hat hole is nice too.., both very tight ! ,game plays smooth and fast , some stop and go, you pick the mode is cool, missions, multi balls, many... lots to do, lots I didn't do, .the game tells u what to do. I found the milk can shot feels and reminds me of the taxi Dracula shot with the catapult,, easy shot with practice , i got tierd of the catapult into box after awhile, nice to see it tho....one ramp feels like two, great orbits, center stage, back box ,so much to say... great experience, And it is very fun to play!!!!
9.620/10
9 days ago
Houdini is an awesome pin entry by American and deserves to be among the best. The artwork is beautiful. Gameplay is fun, and went away wanting more. this was better than most i have experienced.
7.034/10
16 days ago
The game that could have been... this should have been a wide body. You play this game and the whole time you fight for your life. The game isn’t fun to play because they tried to do way to much in to small of a space. Widen this game to a wide body and its one of the best pinball games made ever. It might be the best looking game ever made but one of the least fun to play. What could have been.
7.624/10
17 days ago
Cool game. Shots are tight, about like Avengers. I’m not a huge fan of Houdini as a theme but AP did a good job with this game.
9.720/10
28 days ago
This game is amazing it’s challenging, smart, well built and is destined to be a true collector must have.
9.720/10
31 days ago
Always looking for that pin that holds my interest, I think I have found the one that will never leave my home. Feeling that i need or want many Pinside top games I've found to be very overrated to me. Houdini is the most stunning pin, just beautiful. It will force you to become a better pinball player. Watching people play Houdini that didn't like it were just hitting the ball around, using no ball control, hoping it will do something and saying it to hard. I am still in awe every time I see it across the room. Nice job American Pinball!!! Proud to own it.
8.367/10
32 days ago
So, first let me say that I would highly recommend buying this game. It was clearly a labor of love and AP did an amazing job for their first game. The shots are definitely tight, but not nearly as bad as some people make them out to be. The theme integration is top notch, the rules are very deep and engaging, and the overall game qualify is top notch. The trunk shot is one of the best toys I have ever seen in a pinball machine and never ceases to amaze me. The sound quality isn't great due to the lack of a sub-woofer and the shots can be frustrating if you don't own one to practice on.
9.640/10
44 days ago
This game is cool! It is a beast and is very unforgiving! The 22” jump to the chest is amazing! This game beat me up at every opportunity, but kept bringing me back for more! The game talks smack to you and taunts you- just like a big brother! Another game on my short list to own!
7.951/10
50 days ago
Wow! What a fun game. I don't have one so I can't mess with the audio settings which I know can be manipulated, but the Houdini at my local arcade has great sound but some of the call-outs get irritating. Beautiful pin. Super fun to shoot. The theme is done well but it's Houdini. Houdini was never on my top 100 list of dream theme's but damn American Pinball did a great job of incorporating Houdini and Steampunk into the theme. Someone really did there homework here. Lot's of interesting information about Houdini. FW is good. Shots are hard but something to work towards.
Update
I’ve played this a bunch more and it’s still fun but I think some of the shots are too tight. And it’s not about having more time on the pin to get better, I understand that and realize I would probably make shots more consistently with practice. It’s that I shouldn’t have to work so hard to enjoy myself on the pin. Still like it, will still drop a few dollars into it on location, but I updated my rating to reflect my no longer wanting the pin in my collection right now. At this point, I’d rather have something fun. My GB Premium is my challenging pin and don’t need another just yet. That said, when I’m ready to move on from GB, Houdini might replace it :-)
6.168/10
51 days ago
good looking game , very tight shots. I really like the trunk shot, the ball flying up the playfield is cool. creepy and dark mood makes this one fit in well with a horror themed collection. This game will make you a better player.
9.620/10
53 days ago
Just got in today , played at expo in banning . Well worth the wait
7.368/10
54 days ago
Game is interesting. Tight shots and tough as nails. Not for the weaker players, as it may get frustrating. Can be fun, and definitely needs to be learned.

Some cool shots and tricks to it though.

Nice first effort for American pinball
8.125/10
58 days ago
Absolutely stunning game. The backglass is so crisp. Not even sure how they made it look so good. For me, the game is too challenging. The shots are too tight and it is WAY to hard spell Houdini and get to the wizard mode. Milkcan shot is near impossible. Wish it was just a little easier.
7.284/10
62 days ago
I want to qualify my review by first stating that I own the game and took it out of it's box about 10 days ago. To this point I have played 285 games. I like to set my games to hard settings from the get go so that nobody gets 800 zillion trillion points in week one. I didn't set this game to the hardest settings but pretty close. I did not remove the posts and left them in factory settings. I purchased this game new along with Dialed-In at the same time and are my first two new in box games. They are also the first two games that I have played since 2015, so I have played none of the new games since that time period. Currently I have played 49 of Pinside's top 100 and only have a decent amount of time on about 17 of them.

After 285 games I have reached 500k once and have passed 250 k, 6 times. Average time per game is 3:20, 1 game has made it to 10 minutes, 7 have made it to 8 minutes. Average score is 62K. Game is set to max of 2 extra balls but I have never gotten more than 1. In total I have gotten 9 extra balls.

Wizard mode?..LOL...I have never gotten even 1 letter in 'Houdini'. For anybody reading this who hasn't played the game, you need to get all 7 letters to get to Wizard mode. Once again, I do have a lot of things set on hard, but I haven't even come close to getting a letter yet.

This game does not give you a breather. There is nothing easy. There are no gimme's. OK maybe one mode is real easy (in that one you can hit any target on the playfield). Even the ball save feature is next to impossible. I have never saved my ball by hitting the 'SEANCE' targets in 30 flips and good luck hitting the 'ESCAPE' targets in 30 seconds, you can't even get a direct shot on half of them.

Some Positive's: - The game looks and feels unique.
-The art is very good and the backglass is as nice as you will see.
-If you are looking for a challenge, this is as challenging as it gets.
Oh yeah, and the water barrel shot is not as tough as many say it is. It is hard but satisfying to make and I make that shot more often than I do to any of the other shots other than the orbits(left orbit is easiest shot in the game) and perhaps the scoop and key lane shot.
- The game designer tries some new stuff. This is the first game to actually have two different shots that go through the bumpers. (I actually don't love this idea. I kind of think it's a bit of a waste having two shots end up in the pop bumpers most of the time.) If you successfully navigate the bumpers you get rewarded.
- The much talked about 'trunk shot' works almost perfectly on my machine. It reaches the trunk every time and I have not had to adjust the settings. There were just a very few times where the ball bounced out of the trunk and a very few times that the ball must not have been sitting in the catapult correctly because the ball went well off to the right. But a solid 95% of the time the ball goes straight in with no issues.

Some Negative's: - The Inner Loop is simply too difficult of a shot. The opening is too small. Let me be clear here. If this shot was used for just 'super jackpots' and similar very important shots I would have no problem with it. The problem is that it is incorporated into many of the modes and missions. And no....on my machine it is impossible to backflip that shot. I have tried it 100 times at least and have never been able to do it. I can easily hit the ramp with that shot but the ball doesn't have enough power to carry all the way up. The closest I can get is dead center on the 'C' post...any tighter and I hit the slingshot.
- The key lane shot drains down the middle far too often as to make me not want to shoot for it.
- Advancing is very difficult even on easier settings. This is not a game that will probably do well on location.

This game can be made better just like any game can. The scoop sends too many balls out of play for my liking. Even by changing the settings on the coil strength I find many modes start out with the ball draining down the middle or bouncing down the side. This can be changed by allowing a few seconds of ball save just as is done on the 'magic' shots. These drains at the start of a mode are both frustrating and annoying.

Some of the shots are simply impossible with the way my game arrived. For instance, the second secret mission requires me to make a shot that cannot be made on my machine without me make some changes to the game. Therefore I have never seen the third secret mission.

Conclusions: If you want a challenge, look no further....this is easily the toughest game I have played yet. Tough is subjective. My definition of tough is....how hard is it to get to all the modes? At times I feel like it is simply too tough but I have no regrets about buying it. Every time I get sick of hitting the same ramps and same targets in my other games over and over again, I simply switch to Houdini where I rarely ever hit the same target or ramp twice in a row.

I know that I am at best an average player but I am no beginner. I have not played a game that I miss so many shots since the EM days. Those game's are this games only competition for tougher shots.
The designer has admitted that 'American Pinball' did not have the time to do a 'whitewood.' This shows, they gambled on experience but this game could have used a bit of play testing before finalizing. With just a little testing, some of the shots could have been made smoother.

If you are one of those people who complain about not being able to hit every target in the game with ease then stay away. For example, if you think the sim card shot in Dialed In is too hard, stay clear!!! Some of the easiest shots in this game are hard to make.

Sooner or later I am going to give in and change the settings to easier so that I can actually progress in this game. I'll probably adjust the flippers too.

Playing this game after playing Dialed In feels like you are going from a Redemption game in which everyone wins to playing a carnival game which is impossible to win...kind of like throwing those little hoops onto a bottle top. Or it's like going from watching a G rated Disney movie to a NC-17 movie.

If you don't count the 'SEANCE' targets (or posts) as a successful shot. I hit nothing on well over half my shots. I would say closer to 2/3's of my shots just slam into a static target or post and come right back at me. This is especially so on the right hand side. The left hand side is a bit easier.

After playing this game I need a headache pill. I feel like I've been punched in the face over and over again.
Once again, this is without question, the hardest game I have played in the solid state era.

Bottom line is that I won't be getting rid of this game for a very long time, if ever. If it was the only game I had it would be a different story. But for anyone that wants a collection of games that have varied difficultly levels then this would be a solid choice.
This game is for 'you', the buyer, not for your family. My friends don't like it, it's too hard, they can't make any shots...they love my 'Dialed In'. I find myself playing my other games and getting myself psyched up to have another go at 'Houdini.'
I'd love to watch people play this one in a tournament set on 'Tournament mode.'
Hope this was helpful.
10.000/10
63 days ago
I played this at TPF and immediately placed an order. It will be the game to beat in 2018. I would give it the edge over a very strong field this year including JJPs new Pirates, Spooky’s Alice Cooper, Heighway’s Alien and P3s Lexi Lightspeed. I will update my rating once I get a chance to put a lot of plays on it. I can say, right off the top, that the right ramp shot (2nd from the right) seems impossibly hard. I like a challenging game, but I can only make this shot, maybe every other game. The art, music and animations are just spectacular. Lexi has more ‘stickiness’ since it uses the p-roc board and can be customized, but Lexi doesn’t have the eye candy you need to attract players. Lexi and Houdini should be in every collector’s (afficionado’s) collection.
Yeah, I’m giving a plug for P3’s Gerry Stellenberg. Lexi is a labor of love and, I think, under appreciated for its enormous potential.
6.990/10
64 days ago
This is a beautiful game with a bunch of neat features. It just was not any fun. Some of the shots needed were simply hard to get to and all of the shot lanes were just terribly small. I felt the overall layout was uninteresting. I played at least five games on it at the Texas Pinball Fest thinking there must be something I'm missing because it's such a beautiful and interesting game, but my wife agreed with me that it is simply not fun. I was really hoping it would be one to go next to my Theatre of Magic, but it's not to be.
8.644/10
65 days ago
Help Houdini escape my nightmares.
9.000/10
74 days ago
One tough game with a lot of possibilities, it's a difficult game and deep with all the different options.
No match at the end of the game either ..Keep adding coins and paly hard !!!
9.860/10
78 days ago
For a game to stay fun it needs to be hard to finish and that requires tough shots. This game has tough shots. 3 magnets help unpredictability and help keep things interesting. My only wish is that the designers had put in Houdini's signature Chinese water torture cell as an interactive playfield toy. I can't help but dream up ways to make one myself. So many things that could be done with a feature like that.
8.636/10
78 days ago
Great theme. The layout is good except for the shot to the popbumpers. Seems to create a drain situation when ball leaves that area of the playfield. Majority of skill shots are super tight, no room for even slightest error, not a complaint. I like the level of difficulty but for most people may be frustrating. especially like the video game portion of the machine. Very nice job but I think it would have done better as a widebody
9.400/10
78 days ago
I spent the weekend at the 2018 LAX and played this machine over and over...it was Houdini that stood out among the new machines. JJP's Pirates was there and is certain to be an awsome machine but wasn't quite there yet. Houdini is a full package...lots of shots, campy call-outs/humor...beautiful art and lights with a nice sprinkling of innovation...catapult shot and playfield magnet use. I made up my mind that it needs to be part of my collection...so, I put one on order.
Update: So, I have now had my Houdini for a couple of weeks now and have played it nearly everyday...I know people have "dinged" this machine for its tight shots...I have to say, that although the shots can be tough, they can be made which makes the game all that more challenging and adds to the desire to keep playing. The game is entertaining, it has variety and the rules are easy to understand...it will tell you what to do, where to shoot but if you no longer want to be told what to do a simple touch of the flippers aborts the program. I am enjoying this game immensely...if you want a "Magic" themed pinball machine or just a cool themed, well thought out game this is it. I had a TOM and it got boring very quick, sold it for a CFTBL...Houdini is quite the opposite, this game has longevity and I predict will have a long stay in my collection.
7.352/10
80 days ago
Good game. Sounds very repetitive and not always in sync with game play. Some very challenging shots.
7.845/10
80 days ago
Amazing art package, especially for a first pin. This is one of the BEST art packages I've ever seen in pinball. Beautiful hand drawn/painted art. Classy, attractive cabinet. The backbox shape is a bit odd, but it works for this unique game. I'm not sure yet about the tv screen blended into the backglass art. It's ok, but where this game really shines is on the playfield. I also like the layout of the shots and the lighting. The build quality and toys and materials feel solid. This is a carefully made game. The shots are tight. Some are very tight. That's not a negative, necessarily, it's just an observation. You must be precise with your shooting on this pin. The flippers do feel different from other machines. This game feels like it would benefit from being in a home environment, where you can really dial in the settings, and study the shots and the unique feel of the game. This would not be an easy pin for casual players. I experienced a few airballs and clunky shots, but the good far outweighs the bad here. GB felt clunky to me at first, and I stuck with it and now it plays great. Some issues can be improved. With a few small adjustments, this could be a classic game.
5.427/10
83 days ago
This is a solid first effort from a first time company. I have probably 50 games on it now. The code and ruleset is by far the best part of the game. Unfortunately the layout and ultra tight shots remind me of avengers level tightness which means it is just not that much fun long term. I love the theme and the overall concept and ruleset. Callouts need to be edited back as they are like reading a novela for each mode. I would rate the toys higher but on all the games I have played I have only seen the trunk shot made a handful of times.

Josh has done a great job with the code, but at the end of the day this game is hampered by the shots/layout being just average and hurt from the too narrow of right side shots and just not much fun to play. I have found myself bored of playing before the game is over and annoyed by the lack of fun factor for what was a great non-licensed theme.
There are 39 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 2.

You too can add your own comment by rating this game! Click here to rate the machine.


Hey there! Got a moment?

Great to see you're enjoying Pinside! Did you know Pinside is able to run thanks to donations from our visitors? Please donate to Pinside, support the site and get anext to your username to show for it! Donate to Pinside