The Simpsons (Data East, 1990)

The Simpsons

Total rating

This game got 148 approved ratings and currently scores 7.284 out of 10 points.

This ranks the game #164 in the Pinside Ranking.


Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game design: 7.083

Artwork: 7.737

Sounds/Music: 6.924

Other Aspects: 7.363

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Pinside staff rating

This is how we, the very knowledgeable (wink wink) staff & moderators rate this game. 4 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 31 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 31 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
Currently showing results page 1 of 2.

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“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.”

  • RussT has owned this game in the past.

  • “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.”

  • boiler2331 currently owns this game.

  • “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.”

    “I love drop targets. I also like the bowling pin sound effects.”

  • jimpinball currently owns this game.

  • “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.”

  • drsfmd has this game on the wishlist.

  • “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.”

    “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.”

  • achtungboyy currently owns this game.

  • ek77

    Pinball master

    “The Stern Simpsons game if great I found this to be a let down”

    “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.”

  • pinballcrazed has owned this game in the past.

  • “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”

    “Excellent pinball , this has to be one of the top data east pins.....this was one of the pinball I just go after school and play it for hours my mom had to go get me from this little restaurant where they had it .....I waisted my lunch money in this pinball , it was so much fun . I want to own one of this in my collection .....”

    “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".”

    “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...”

  • tamoore has owned this game in the past.
  • 2 Pinsiders starred this rating review

  • “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 ...”

  • 3 Pinsiders starred this rating review

  • “I used to hate this pin, but the only one I had played to that point was actually not working properly. Once I played a working machine a few times, I was actually shocked at how fun this game actually was.

    It's tougher than a two-dollar steak, the shots feel pretty satisfying, and the theme/art work always helps, because the Simpsons is an amazing show.

    I actually hope to get one someday. It's definitely an underrated gem, and my personal favorite Data East so far.”

    “I really like 'The Simpsons'! There, I said it! I know that it is nowhere as deep as TSPP, but it is just plain & simple fun, based on a great theme & at an affordable price. If you have a smaller pinball budget but looking for fun nonetheless - look no further. Great artwork on the playfield, decent sounds & music. The speech may get old for a lot of folks as the quotes can get a bit repetitive, but if you're a true Simpsons fan, you'll love it anyway. I know I do.”

  • KrustyBurger currently owns this game.

  • “This is a tough game, and one I feel is underrated. The theme is great. The game was made after the first season of The Simpsons, so it's somewhat limited in it's portrayal of the show.”

    “Have owned this about a week and can say that my wife is hooked! Lot's of fun even if seemingly simple rule set and play. Large ramp that disappears into the backend of the machine is fun and not as easy to hit 2x in row as is necessary to "score big". Addictive but simple gameplay. Popup bowling pins sometimes get hit hard enough to launch ball into glass but no damage! Ball gets stuck behind closest cooling tower to player . . . game soon discovers that ball is stuck and runs all coils to clear it. Right drain does not often get used (good) but left drain sees lots of action, good news, in that is has a "return to play" plunger that puts the ball back in play. Overall a fun pin to play that scores lower than others in areas of: Sounds variation and game rule set.”

  • MT45 currently owns this game.

  • “I love the Simpsons so I really enjoyed the sounds and the music a lot. The pin looks nice with a nice playfield and cabinet art. The back glass is very colorful and looks great. The machine played ok but I'm fairly new to buying and really playing pinball machines and it seemed to me that games went really fast as the ball seemed to drain quickly. But I think for the price this seemed like a nice beginner pinball machine.”

  • Nbrizzle has owned this game in the past.

  • “Love the theme, a decent enough game fun to play, vey basic rule set. Not sure about the lastability. Good entry level game.”

    “Thank you Come again! ...great especially for that era...still plays well and is lots of fun”

    “A very average game... woulkd be a lot better if the theme and artwork was something else!”

  • pinballslave has owned this game in the past.

  • “The playfield was warped due to repairs it coulda been better taken care of but it was still fun to play.”

    “Fun to play. Too expensive to buy.”

    “Nuke tower jet bumpers are cool. Voice callouts are funny and represent the theme well. Other than that... yawn!”

    There are 31 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 2.

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