The Simpsons (Data East, 1990)

The Simpsons

Pinside rating

This game received 115 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 7.278 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #187 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game design: 7.018

Artwork: 7.872

Sounds/Music: 6.851

Other Aspects: 7.327

Rating comments

There are 40 rating comments for this game.

Pinside staff rating

This is how we, the very knowledgeable (wink wink) staff & moderators rate this game. 4 of us have rated this game.


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 40 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 40 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
Currently showing results page 1 of 2.

List options

5 months ago
I had a Data East Simpsons for a short time, and found it quite fun but not memorable. It was ok for its era but would get boring as the only game in a collection. Nice white cabinet, nice topper, good sounds but otherwise standard DE clunky fare. a solid 6.5 out of 10 game
7 months ago
This is a good Looking pin. Bart is great and at the time it was a top pin! Love the backglass and art on it, it's like you're in the cartoon while plating it.

Maybe a bit simpel nowedays but a Classic never Goes out style
9 months ago
Some disclaimers on my rating for this game: (1) I'm a big fan of the show; (2) I owned this game for a few years in the early-to-mid 1990s, when it was fresh (and when the show was peaking); (3) I tried not to be to unfair to the game by comparing it to current technology and gameplay. I think this game has some fun gimmicks (like the ramp that goes around behind the back of the playfield) and very entertaining callouts. Although gameplay is simple, it is fun and can sustain a lot of entertainment. For its time, this machine was very well done.
9 months ago
The Simpsons quickly devolves into a one shot game (the millions ramp shot), but it is a game that does integrate its theme very, very well. The sounds and the art bring the player into a mini-Springfield that accurately represents the early episodes of the Simpsons series. The game seems to be missing that one signature playfield toy mechanism that would mask the fact that the game had a single dominating scoring strategy. This game, along with TMNT and Back to the Future, have become fodder for the hipster crowd who prefer style over substance.
1 year ago
I feel this game would rate much higher for a Simpsons fan, which I am, especially for the original seasons. The game is very fast, and somewhat difficult - maintaining a multiball on such a fast table and then being forced to hit a ramp shot is very challenging.

The artwork integration of the first season of The Simpsons all over the playfield is really well done. Many different areas of the playfield focus on a highlight of a specific first season episode. At the same time, Sideshow Bob is still Krusty's sidekick! The mirrored backglass is very pretty and an excellent example of on-model Simpsons characters.

The music is superb - *if* you like The Simpsons theme, which I do. It has a good main play theme that turns to a rock theme during multiball, and also uses Elfman's main theme motif during the Jackpot mode music. The music is fast paced which keep in line with the speed of the game.

The sound quality is... ok. My wife can't understand half of what Homer says, and also asked me if they used the original voice actors for the callouts.

I understand the complaints that it's a 'hit the left ramp' game, which is true - it is the main feature shot. Good god the size of the outlane that leads to the kickback. Also... watch for flying plastics as you airball off the bowling pins! But I still feel, if the game is well-maintained, that it is a challenging and entertaining game with a wonderful theme.
1 year ago
another great pinball game..very challenging
1 year ago
The artwork is what draws you in. The call-outs are cool. Bart tells you to “shot it” at the wrong time causing you to miss the ramp shot for the mystery shot. The way you have to lock the ball for multi-ball is a challenge. Back in 1990 it was a huge hit. Rule set is easy and becomes repetitive. Game for the masses.
1 year ago
The ball goes down the out lanes so much this is the first pin I've ever sold because it wasn't playable for me. Great theme, music is fun, but can't keep any kind of flow when you loose the ball every ten seconds.
2 years ago
This is a great data east title. I remember when it first came out it was a top notch game. Of course pinball has evolved quite a bit and this game feels like it is lacking now compared to pretty much anything 1993 or newer. For the price you can pick one up though it could be a fun addition to a collection. This was the first pinball i owned and I learned a lot with it. The music is really fun as you gear up for multiballs. The sound effects with the explosions and such are really well done and times well too. If I could have 10+ machines in my place this might be a fun one to have on hand again. The problem with this pin is it is a bit repetitive. Hit bowling pins, lock ball, lock ball, shoot ramp. There isn't much else to do.
2 years ago
Typical data east ramp oriented game, fun for kids and beginners. Artwork is good for any simpsons fan, callouts are lacking as well as the music
2 years ago
Sold mine after a year. Good machine and well playing, just not deep enough to keep. Worth playing, just not owning for me.
2 years ago
first simpsons made,great when it came out,old and repetitive after i kept getting replay after replay yet i still like it, very good flow,nice art, its not too deep, easy to learn and fun to play.. definatly not a keeper for me but good game at a good market price !! i mite buy one, but everytime i see a clean one at that great price i miss out...not meant to be i guess, plus no space so i dnt push to buy as hard as other machines i prefer to have...
3 years ago
Though TSPP gets a fairly deserved high rating, DE's original Simpsons game is no pushover. I play a place with 75-100 pins and every single time I go, DE Simpsons gets some of my quarters. Why? Because it's really fun and brings me back to my youth when this first came out. It's that next level of rules complexity over games like Firepower (multiball is the same concept - hit center targets then lock balls... but Simpsons first does a 2-ball multi and then you have to lock those both to get 3-ball!) but also adds in other objectives (hit the ramp 2x in a row, light up millions, Bart's enemies bonus...etc) to keep you thinking about what you should do next to get a high score. The artwork is awesome and is obviously Season 1 artwork as evident from Bart's mouth on the side to Homer on the Millions graphic; however, this means that the dialogue is also Bart-centric as Homer isn't the primary focus in Season 1 like he is in later seasons. Therefore the awesome Homer comedy we all know from the Simpsons show is mostly replaced in this pin by Bart's rebellious catchphrases which were what drew so much attention to this show in the first place. I personally like later seasons for viewing, but for this pin, it captures a cool snapshot of what this show was originally. Fun to play, great to look at, always want to play again, cool playfield features... not a grand slam pin, but easily a 3-run home run.
3 years ago
Purchased this pin to teach my kids pinball and was surprised how much I liked to play the machine too. Great machine for the money.
3 years ago
Played this game as a kid and couldn't walk away from it. Ended up buying one recently more for nostalgia than anything else. Playing it the past few days really brings me back to my younger years watching the show and being a kid again at the arcade except this time around my kids are along for the ride. The rules are pretty straight-forward and while not too deep provide enough of a challenge to keep you coming back for more. Overall, great pin and at a price point that won't break the bank.
3 years ago
Nostalgia rules with this one. Played the heck out of it on skitrips. It is my favorite DE Pinball. The Stern machine has a much deeper rule set offcourse but I love old school Simpsons instead of the newer look. The "old art" and frases like: "Cowabunga Dude" is how I like The Simpsons.
3 years ago
I love drop targets. I also like the bowling pin sound effects.
3 years ago
One of my favorite DE games, and one that I hope to add to my own collection someday. It's not a top 10 game, but it's a solidly fun game.
3 years ago
Nostalgia piece #6,532. At the local grocery store arcade room for about a year. What a cool rush to keep hitting those millions ramps!

Loved Homer saying "Chocolate! Double Chocolate! TRIPLE Chocolate!"

Really hit the theme square on, which is where TSPP feels off to me as a major Simpsons fan. TSPP feels like a set of fragmented "Simpsons related" elements kind of loosely thrown together. Data East Simpsons is well integrated, simple, and just eye popping and fun. The sounds, the music, and the flashing lights make it a great game.

I'll probably buy one soon and restore it.
3 years ago
A solid pin. I like the fact it is based on early Simpsons. I actually like the old school art work. The game is fun but is repetitive and can get old pretty quick. It is a great entry level pin. A great pin to get for the kids or if you just want to have a pretty cool looking pin that is affordable.
4 years ago
Good- Theme, playfield looks great and is well done, main ramp is huge and actually leaves the playfield area then returns down right side. Multiball is easy and jackpots too...good fun game for the novice kids love it and its one machine that people seem to check out first.

Bad- Center drop targets can send ball into glass. sound quality is very bad. not much to do and gets boring quickly.

Verdict- Not a machine i play much, my wife and kids seem to play it quite a bit, they love the theme and the ease in which you can get into it will eventually replace it with a Simpsons pinball party.
4 years ago
Love the theme but gets boring after a few games. When playing it in the mid-90's, was awesome but then STNG, Adams Family and Twilight zone came out....... would not want to own this pinball
5 years ago
Leave it to Data East to destroy a perfect theme like The Simpsons. I'm a huge fan of the show, and this game had so much potential. But as typical with most DE pins, it's just not very fun to play. And since it was based on the first season of the TV show, and The Simpsons really didn't hit it's stride until towards the end of Season 2, there really aren't many memorable quotes from the show that could've been used.

TSPP totally made up for the god awful pin that is Data East's "The Simpsons".
5 years ago
Early Simpsons license pinball. Fast and often violent, with the ball frequently flying through the air sometimes breaking things. Mine is in good shape, but still has a few broken and missing plastics..

The audio and art is dated, only because there are Simpsons characters referenced in the game that haven't shown up in the show in 20 years, and Bart says thing that haven't been catch phrases for him since 1990. (Cowabunga, Dude!)

But, it's still a good pinball with some tight shots. The spinner shot is really hard, and the ramp shot, on my machine at least, isn't indefinitely repeatable.

I love the bumper caps, mirrored backglass, difficult multiball, and satisfying shots.

I don't like how large the outlines are. The right out lane is a drain magnet, and the left out lane is massive, but at least you have a kickback. Relighting the kickback, however, has a huge risk, as the targets to do so are directly over the same left out lane.

Overall, a really good game that some credit with starting the pinball renaissance of the early 90's...
5 years ago
Simpsons DE is a fun game that holds true to mischief and irreverent fun the theme of the TV show.

The Pros:
A fantastic PF layout that looks great with the artwork placed on top of it. A REAL MIRRORED BG with all of the characters from the show. The credit on the BG is named Matt Groening... The credits here nameK.O'C and Margaret Hudson. Well, whoever did the artwork on this take nailed it! 2 banks of drops and a tight spinner a the top of the PF with tricky saucers make for lots of great shots to be made on this table. The 3 mile island pop bumpers were so awesome, that they made it to the stern game. There are not many audio calls on this game, but this game was made in 1990 and what is put on the table sounds great. The build up on multiball requires skill and nerves. I actually like the character of this game much better. It's based on the first few seasons and has a much less formatted and refined look to it. It's more human and therefore Simpson-like. Looping the ramp when millions is lit is a hoot.

The Cons:
Make no mistake, this is a 1 ramp game. Not as bad as BK2K, but the left flipper is useless for higher scores. This is a fun game, not a true player. This is a shame, because the rules on this game could have been so much more... CALLING MYSTERY PROGRAMMER! The toughest shot on this table doesn't have a switch on it! Look at the lane to the right of the upper right vuk that leads to the donut lanes and you'll see what i mean. The double your score random award is never a good idea. Did DE ever test their games in competitive play before releasing them?

The Takeaway:
This game is what it is: A fun game with a great theme and a reminder that Bart used to be the star of this show. A good pinball game for a casual player or a simpsons fan that may leave an more demanding player looking elsewhere. I have to someone who considers himself a capable player (on a good day), I still can't resist it's charm and play it when I can.

... Sssspriiinklessss ...
There are 40 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