Pinside rating

This game received 80 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 7.336 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #180 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game design: 7.513

Artwork: 7.389

Sounds/Music: 6.154

Other Aspects: 7.492

Rating comments

There are 35 rating comments for this game.

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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 35 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 35 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
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4 days ago
Meteor is a fantastic game, simply put. While so many will focus on the oddball sound package, the gameplay and experience of playing the game should really trump all else. This game is amazing for either casual or competitive play, and few games will really test your ability to keep a game away from the dreaded outlanes like Meteor will.

The rules on Meteor are simple, yet deceptively challenging. Knowing when to focus on the spinner versus drop targets or pops can make a huge difference in your final score.

A lot of these are being bought up to be converted into Star Gazer, but I hope that before people push forward with that too eagerly that they give Meteor a fair shot. Stern Electronics put out some special games, and Meteor is one of the best of its era.
27 days ago
Meteor is one of the best machines in the short design career of Steve Kirk, who was a pioneer in pinball tournament play. Meteor is quite possibly the first machine ever designed specifically with multiplayer balance -- "tournament mode" -- in mind as a result. While similar thematically and in terms of layout to the equally excellent "Stars" Kirk designed just before this, Meteor's got a cleverness factor to it that takes it just a step beyond, with the subtle control of the M E T E O R targets in what is essentially an upper playfield, but with the targets controlled from three different locations -- drop downs, standups, and rollovers. Yes, a lot of the shots are basically left flipper to the right spinner - but there's actual ball control required with the single upper flipper. You can build bonus instead by going for the drop targets, and the scoring is a bit balanced between the occasionally frustrating and ever-changing spinner values, based on all the METEOR resets and how well you've set up the scoring there, but the drop targets don't return the ball as reliably and a smart-money game tends to avoid them.

The theme is based on a kind of lovably cheesy late 70s science fiction movie of the same name, although you wouldn't know it from looking at the artwork, which shows none of the characters. It's just missiles getting launched to blow the Meteor up. (Wouldn't an Asteroid pinball be a great idea? If they didn't get sued. Who cares about a meteor hitting the earth? Astronomy and exogeology wasn't exactly a long suit of 1970's screenwriters. I digress.) It's a nice touch having the fiery path of the meteor end at the jet bumper, where the streaking missiles of the three lit bonus banks are heading to meet it -- but the bumper cap is just a star, not some hulking rock or explosion, which sort of mutes the effect, and in turn the bumper is pretty minor in scoring, so the big shot isn't the "big shot" of the movie theme. A lost opportunity. Still, I think this game was one really great gimmick or shot away from being among the all-time greats of the 70s, and it's still just an excellent player's game. The look of this machine, I have to say, is really improved with glaring LEDs, and I don't say that about every game.

As for the allegedly annoying sound...this was very, very early in chip sounds, and having the pitch increase steadily as the urgency of the scoring/shot levels is effectively a call-out. You may go insane, but it's a decent use of the technology they had at the time to make the sound useful to the player. So give them props for that, if you are still sane.
66 days ago
A good example on how poor sound can detract from otherwise sound game play... every pun intended.
8 months ago
I wanted so much more from this game.

The Good:
-plenty of drops!
-fun to rip the spinner
-a decent set of rules for the time (hint: don't knock down all the METEOR targets! Always leave 1 standing!)
-nice artwork as with all the vintage Sterns.
-lots to shoot at. Truly a sniper's dream.

The Bad:
-The SOUND. Quite possibly the most annoying sound in all of pinball. When you get the game singing, it's awful. Such a loud, high-pitched sound. Reminds me the "most annoying sound in the world" from Dumb and Dumber.
-I may be alone in saying this but I just do not like the bottom half of most of the old Sterns. The way they positioned many of their slingshots just Not sure what it is, but I don't like it.
-Just not that fun of a game overall IMO. I really wanted it to be good, as it was Stern's best selling game back in the day (of all time?) but it just didn't have that "one more game" factor for me. Maybe it was the sound?
11 months ago
We loved this game when it was released. Like most Sterns of this era lots of character and fun.
1 year ago
This game has lots of replay value for me :)
1 year ago
I bought a Meteor mostly because it was a Classic Stern. I am pleasantly surprised at just how great of an actual player this game is. Set up steep, with the p/f cleaned and waxed this table plays very fast. A drop target lovers dream, it also has cool art and the background sounds fit the theme. A good ball can bring out the slightly annoying high pitched sound but hey that means you're playing well. Ripping the spinner when fully lit is a very satisfying shot. I thought I might play it a year or so and rotate it out but it's been nearly two years now and I have no intentions of selling it anytime soon. Great game that everyone loves to play when visitors come by.
1 year ago
Great tournament game. Simple rules with enough variation to keep it interesting. People seem to either love the sound or hate it. I feel under the LOVE camp. I love the early 4 bit sounds of early solid state pinball and video games. The use of the increasing-pitch drone is brilliant. It really amps up the stress factor when playing; similar to the Gorgar heartbeat. While she won't win any beauty contests; the gameplay is where this pin shines. I still feel that had the regular bumpers at the top? of the playfield been? pop bumpers, it would've? elevated this pin from "classic" status to "must-own" early solid state.
1 year ago
Great game!
1 year ago
Meteor is a real S-O-B. It is challenging in a brutal way and tends to knock me out of local tournaments. There isn't much to the game other than wailing on the drops and popping the spinner when all but one METEOR drop is down. I'm not a fan of the angular design in the upper PF and I think that the "All-Bonus" scoring is a boring design. Still, it would be fun to own one of these, even if only to light it on fire once if drives me mad with the sound and outlane abuse.
1 year ago
First game I bought... Played it alot... simple fun game
2 years ago
Have enough time in on Meteor now to rank. Overall, a solid early SS pin. The space theme is ok, I prefer the playfield art to the backglass. The rocket launch animation is pretty good for the time period. Too early for speech, and man, can those sounds be annoying on a good ball. (Un)Fortunately for me, that doesn't happen that often. Good gameplay, easy to understand objectives...hit the drops! Has a good deal of strategy in when to drop the METEOR targets, to keep the spinner score high, or to not reset the multiplier. Balanced scoring, good game for improving skills, prototypical "gateway pin" or great in a large collection. In my case, with limited space, I think it will have to go before Firepower.
2 years ago
Nice classic pin, put yourself it the timeframe the machine was made when you play it and this would have been a top pin and that's obvious by the number of pins they sold . I just added this to my collection and it's a good solid pin to mix in with newer ones. I like the classic play and sounds of this pin .
2 years ago
Really fun! Good game to play in between playing newer ones. I like the sound as you keep a ball alive but most don't. That spinner shot sure feels good!
2 years ago
Was excited to own this game because I was intrigued by the drop rules. Ultimately I decided to shrink my collection down and this was an easy one to let go of.
2 years ago
Doesn't play that great, and I really don't like the art.
2 years ago
Nice shots and a great drop target game.
3 years ago
Saved this game from a basement of neglect.
I didn't have much draw to it when I played it at shows, but now that I have one all cleaned up and adjusted right; its a very fun game!
The rules are easy to understand. Hit the 1 2 3 drop targets, bash the meteor targets and rip the spinner. The shots are well laid out and can be challenging at times. I don't find the spinner a gimme shot; but that might be just me.
wracking up the points and multipliers is very satisfying, but the higher pitched noise at that level almost make you want to drain your ball on purpose.... Almost.
One of the better single level, older Stern games i've played.
3 years ago
A very simple game but that is what makes it all the more enjoyable. I found Meteor a lot of fun playing it on location but likely would not last in a collection that long.
3 years ago
A very fun drop target game - great design / layout. The playfield looks pretty cool too and the sounds work fine for that era. Play is pretty fast and fun - one of my favorites from this era.
3 years ago
What a fun game! It's a classic. It can be super fast at times. Always time for one more game of Meteor.
3 years ago
Sterns best selling game for its era. Good solid game lots of fun!

Update: I bought a mint condition example of this classic & I love it. I play a few games every night, although, often a few games turns into hours of game after game addiction.

Great game, one of the classics, my collection is mostly Bally games but this Stern sits well with the others.
4 years ago
First time I played this pin I couldn't walk away from it. Second time through it just didn't seem to hold my interest. I do like the flow of the game and the pretty clear and easy rule set, but for some reason the initial feelings I had about the pin are no longer true. Still, a decent game for its time, but not one at the top of my want list.
4 years ago
i love this table, been spending loads of quarters on it lately...
4 years ago
This is an oldie but a goodie. The music trips me out man.
There are 35 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 2.

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