Party Zone (Bally, 1991)

Party Zone

Total rating

This game got 146 approved ratings and currently scores 7.404 out of 10 points.

This ranks the game #154 in the Pinside Ranking.


Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game design: 7.508

Artwork: 7.484

Sounds/Music: 6.93

Other Aspects: 7.341

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Pinside staff rating

This is how we, the very knowledgeable (wink wink) staff & moderators rate this game. 3 of us have rated this game.


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 51 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 51 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
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1 month ago
A rare ho-hum offering from Dennis Nordman. I respect that the game unifies his oeuvre by using characters from past games (Monsters, Dudes and Animals) but I get the feeling that the game is TOO MUCH of an inside joke, leaving causal players out in the cold on much of the humour. Capt. B-Zarr will never usurp Rudy as the most famous pinball talking head. The game comes off as a bit too obnoxious for my liking. Not even Nordman's uniquely shaped ramps can save this one.
3 months ago
nice classic pin
4 months ago
Party Zone is OK, I'm not a huge fan of the layout and I find it somewhat repetitive. I don't like that the major shots of both ends of the playfield lead to VUKs followed by a return to the flipper, it makes the game feel just a little strange. There are a bunch of low-value dangerous shots, the center scoop and standups in the middle of the playfield are crazy, why would anyone shoot for it?

The game is multiball all day for me, although maybe I'm missing part of the strategy here. A unique part of multiball is that once you cash in the Big Bang super jackpot (20-99M) the rest of multiball is way lower value (250k all targets). This makes an interesting risk/reward strategy where you want to cash in on max value regular jackpots as long as you can without hitting the Big Bang. An unfortunate part of Big Bang is that it increases game-to-game until collected. This means if you're playing competitively at a location where patrons don't frequently hit it, one player can cash in a 99,999,999 Big Bang then the other players can only get 10M. It's a pretty devastating imbalance, but fortunately fixes itself after someone scores it once.
5 months ago
Fun pinball machine with good sounds and great pf artwork.
Like the game but not rules are shallow.
10 months ago
A game that definitely provides a great deal of fun. It's very strange not to see it in the Top 100 list...

- fantastic toys
- colour composition is dazzling; the playfield artwork is a real Bally work of art
- surprise multiball
- enjoyable theme ("Let's party again, dude!")
- wonderful swirling ramps
- flipper-choice elements provide a nice variation to the gameplay

- shooter lane could be a bit more interesting
- game gets a bit hectic, it's a really fast-flowing game (much like a party, though)
- animations could be a bit better considering that this is a DMD game
- quite a let down that the pop bumpers are hidden, personally I like being able to see the ball whizz between them
12 months ago
More fun than i thought it would be. shots are smooth and satisfying and some of the shots go places you wouldn't expect. Love the corkscrew ramp. Theme, artwork and sound package really don't add to the overall experience IMHO. I like the shots, though. It's all about the shots.
1 year ago
This game was just annoying and the the "party on dude" phrase just irritated me. The playfield was good and I had the best games with the sound on silent. Theme was not for me at all, didn't last a month in my collection
1 year ago
Annoying artwork but other than that pretty fun. Bunch of stuff to shot at and a good game flow kept me entertained for a while. While not my all time favorite it is better than your average pin.
1 year ago
Fun Game!!! Love the Captain.
1 year ago
I owned this game for several months. I liked a lot of things about this machine. Given it’s date, it was hampered by the generally early and basic rules around this time, and this seems to hurt these early DMD games, as we often pit them against later, deeper DMD games in comparison.

For the year, the rules in PZ are pretty good I think. To most, this is a hit the left, ramp and work towards your extra balls, and then the right outer shot and load up the multiball. That’s the meat and potatoes for sure, but once you start to get close to having eat drink and b’merry, as well as the 1M pop bumpers ready, and have the entire 2x PF lit, many scoring aspects of this game become all of a sudden quite lucrative.

The negative aspects of this game are as follows: The ramps are beautiful, as most Nordman ramps are, but are very prone to breaking, and I’m not sure if replacements will ever be made. Take note of this especially if you are considering buying. The main head boards are in the same boat, and are very susceptible to all kinds of issues. The animations when loading up the main multiball (hmmm, the only MB…) get real annoying, really fast, and can’t be skipped. I would have liked to see more variance here to mix it up.

The center saucer shot was a design I’m surprised at the date of this machine they went with. This was just asking to be bent to hell and broken soon out of the box. Once this happens, it makes it almost impossible to make this saucer with a direct shot, as there is just too much power. There is also zero “real” flow shots in this machine. Having said that, the ramps both having vuks and hold the ball only momentarily when nothing is happening with those shots, and create a flow’ish shot, but have the ability to hold, and even hold two in the left during the big bang attempt.

As for the good, I gave this machine excellent for music, lighting and variation for both. The music is typical to the theme, and likely annoys some, but it changes to Purple Haze after you have scored the big bang, and you have the option to change songs with a good use of the center saucer for the party saver, and reinitializing the multiball. The lighting as well has the multiple GI strings being mixes in together, not just your usual front, rear, left and right, allowing for many flickering effects and with the use of one being all domed red llight bulbs, totally making the PF red at times. I don’t believe any other machine does this up to new Sterns, which on the LE machines, they have now started copying. Really neat original idea.

For the time, the layout is not bad. It has many typical shots, but lots to shoot for, if the rules were a bit more advanced. The lower right 45 degree shot is very cool and fun to hit. The call outs are funny too. If you are shooting the main ramp, and only partially make it up, you get a couple different responses.

Going for the Big Bang is flat out fun, and not super easy, and you really need to implore patience. Loading up the rocket fuel and then getting the left ramp twice is a lot harder than it seems with this 2 ball multi and no ball save, and thus this is rewarding, and the music and light explosion after is as well. Getting 1M pop bumpers is also very lucrative, and I found hard to get.

This would benefit from a revisit and additions to the rules, and someone reproducing the ramps. All in all as is, I think many would agree it’s a fun, whacky game, but one that isn’t staying forever.
1 year ago
Easy to pick up ruleset. Wasn't a big fan of the gameplay, but it has it's moments.
1 year ago
Fun game. I think it is under rated. Tons of fun!! Not sure of all the shots to do yet. Music may get to you but one that would be a great filler game. The colors of the playfield are great. Seems solid. Party on Dude!!!
1 year ago
I wanted to like this game. Dr. Dude was a cool game, but this was just not nearly as original. Captain B. Zarr annoyed me, and felt like a cheap "Rudy." One of the ramps, the ball goes flying off of because it's built so poorly. And there just isn't enough to do on this game to keep me interested. I think it's a beautiful looking game, and certainly better than many other pins out there, but all in all, I found it to be kind of boring, and quite corny. If you dig corny, all the games in this "Party" series would be great additions (including this one) to your collection. If you're looking for a deep pin though that will keep you coming back for more, look elsewhere. One of the earliest DMDs out there.
1 year ago
This is a drastically under rated pin. It has a lot of action on it, the DJ moving head following the pinball at times is pretty unreal, talking robot, dancing crash dummy, lots of ramps and the spaceship engine lights are all very entertaining and different. Also picking your own music is a pretty neat option.
1 year ago
Fun and wild pin
1 year ago
It was a nice pin to have. For the price, lots of things to do and shoot for. After a while the call outs got annoying and the pin got old to me. I found someone who wanted to trade for it with their WW. It's been a year since, I'm glad I traded it, however, my wife and kids like PZ better. Too bad they don't pay the bills around here. lol
2 years ago
This is a real fun game, esp for its time. Fast and fun with some cool shots to make. I always loved the scoring of this game. Meaning, if you scored 150 mill, that was a great game as opposed to some of the crazy scoring in machines today.

Anyway, the sounds in this are really cool for the time. Being able to choose a song with your flippers...AWESOME! Esp PB Wizard. How do you top that? We're talking '91 here!

A very bright and colorful game. DJ B-Zarr is cool with his voice, sayings, singing and following the ball head movement. You gotta give it up for that.

It's on my wish list and should be on yours too. = v )
2 years ago
Low volume machine in the UK....pity! My first pin. Played it in the 90's when it first came out in my local pub/bar. Was nice to finally track one down 20 years later and have it as my first pinball machine. Hopefully many more to come.
2 years ago
The pinside scoring system asks....

"Fun - And finally the last rating is for the fun factor. A machine may play, look or sound bad, but sometimes still be fun!"

Partyzone is bonkers, childish, stupid, simple, uncomplicated but above all, lots of fun.
2 years ago
Really cool rocket ship shot. I liked all the toys. It wasn't always clear to me what I was supposed to be doing though. BG music is fairly irritating after a short time.
2 years ago
"He passes the test, let's keep him!"

When I first played "Party Zone" in the Pinball Wizard Arcade in Pelham, NH, I wasn't expecting much, but I was proven wrong. One of the reasons the game is so charming to me is the original theme. I love how it integrates all the characters from Dennis Nordman's previous machines into one cohesive theme. The one thing I don't like about it is the hilariously overbalanced scoring with 10x Playfield (100M payoff lane, anyone?). Still, if you ever find one on location, play it. "Pick a song, not your nose!"
2 years ago
Good pinball, elevated giocability, very fast, amusing sketch, plain of original game and music of high-level, one of the best pieces of Bally
2 years ago
Flipper I day-dream, good graphics, stupendous audio and very amusing game, one of the Bally improve.
2 years ago
A lot of fun.....callouts mad music great
2 years ago
Ok for a couple of quarters, but not one that would keep calling me back - one ramp shot on a drain monster.
There are 51 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 3.

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