Space Shuttle (Williams, 1984)

Space Shuttle

Pinside rating

This game received 173 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 7.669 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #91 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game design: 7.851

Artwork: 7.726

Sounds/Music: 6.602

Other Aspects: 7.923

Rating comments

There are 76 rating comments for this game.

Pinside staff rating

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


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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 76 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 76 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
Currently showing results page 1 of 4.

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35 days ago
I will admit that I like this machine because I seem to be quite good at it. It is one of a small numbers of machines that I have not been defeated on in tournament play.
57 days ago
Great game that saved pinball!!!! For the casual player, it is perfect. Airlock save, center ball save, ringing bells AND sound effects. Classic. Plus manipulating USA with the flippers to increase bonus is another great idea. Great system 9 game, and one I'd take over most modern pins. Plus, with LEDs, this game looks and plays as modern as any DMD game! I could play this game over and over. Great fun and theme.
58 days ago
Space Shuttle is a classic game with simple rules and extremely fun gameplay. The layout is excellent and allows for some great, rewarding shots that are beginner friendly but still tough to master. The spinner shot is very rewarding and the addition of the side drop targets offer some extra incentive to hit the shot just right.

Like many 80's games, the sounds are a bit repetitive but I like them and feel that they add to the experience. Multi ball is very fun and can be total chaos at times. With multiple players, it's possible to lock a ball and then have another player "steal" your multi ball which makes for some fun competition.

Overall, a fantastic, fairly simple game with the ability to keep pulling you back for more.
4 months ago
A classic. My arcade staple for almost a decade growing up. I remember how sad it was when it was no longer there waiting for me. For its time, it was an advanced machine, and fun to play. They nailed the theme and was one to always draw a crowd.
6 months ago
The first pinball machine I ever played--it was at the Showbiz Pizza on West 38th Street in Indianapolis. I finally owned one a few years ago. Always loved the Space Shuttle on the playfield.
6 months ago
Great older Williams system 9 game. Doesnt have all the bells and whistles that the newer games have but is true pinball fun.
7 months ago
Absolutely love this game. For 1984, it really impresses me. The way the lights spell "Space Shuttle" during startup. The occasional speach and bleeps/bloops. It's friggin' cool for 80s kids with a NASA obsession. Multiball is pretty easy to achieve. I'm in the process of restoring mine but there's no way I could ever get rid of it. Just too fun to play.
8 months ago
A really great System 9 game. Great play-ability for those new to pinball. The theme still holds strong and it's probably one the best space themed pins in the non-DMD era.
11 months ago
3...2....1...Launch Space Shuttle which is a timeless classic and a blast to play. Please keep in mind this is 1984 and it's finest a whole new endeavor of game play. In my opinion this pin has the best back glass of any Williams Pin, it is gorgeous in the dark. My game was changed to led and the rockets flickering red and orange really draw a crowd, plus when the attract mode spelling of space shuttle is spelled out this is awesome! This pin is fun to play and the music and sounds are 1984 aka infatuation with anything space related. This pin has a bell and a space scream when the ball drains that would rival any ring tone today. I absolutely love this pin and it took me a long time to track one down with a trade, it will not be leaving my collection! Own one if you get the opportunity!
1 year ago
Pushed the boundaries of early 80s pinball tech, and for that reason it's an iconic title. That said, game play isn't good. Not I game I find myself wanting to play with any regularity.
1 year ago
very poor design, funny little pinball
1 year ago
This is the game I think of when I think back to the game room in the rear of the small convenience store near my school that my friends and i met everyday. Simply a classic and playing it brings me back to simpler times.
1 year ago
I admit that I am a bit biased with this. I played the heck out of it as a kid and now that I can play it any time I want it's just as fun. It's easy to play, theres no complex stuff just shoot the ball and try it get it in the air locks or the ramp. I think the thing that drew me to it was it was the first pinball game I ever remember talking and with that big booming voice it just was amazing. It doesn't matter if you suck it was just fun to hear that voice.

There are not allot of voice clips but that makes it better. it doesn't need to keep talking, only at just the right times. The sound effects are fun and interesting, the music, if you can call it that is ok but kinda repetive and the sound effects stop the bg "music" to play so it is a bit odd. Theres no real moving parts gor gimiks. the shuttle just is for looks. the table doesn't shake or anything but thats just fine.

it's well layed out and fun to play. It's not hard or tough to figure out and the graphics on it look great and fit the theme well. this is my 2nd fav pinball game and well worth playing!
1 year ago
Space shuttle is a decent game it has decent rules, good theme, and it has good artwork.
1 year ago
Game Design: Simple layout that is easy to understand. Spell "shuttle," and lock some balls. Aiming is key, and with a bit of luck from the "shuttle" score value, you can do well. Smart programming eliminates straight down the middle drains by popping up the ball saver when the game senses an incomplete ramp shot. Light shows are fun, the game is balanced, unique drop target placement, and overall the gameplay experience is very good.

Sounds/Music/and artwork: This is where the game really misses the mark, in my opinion. Stagnant background sound wears on your nerves. It doesn't fluctuate with ball time or score, and it never changes. Even games like Firepower and Gorgar before it had background sounds that would change as you played. Worse still is the speech. It's hard to understand, muffled, and not diverse at all. It is clever that the game yells at you when you drain down an outlane when a high shuttle reward is lit though (special or extra ball), I'll give it that. Artwork is so-so. Cabinet artwork is utilitarian and clean, and the backglass is near photorealistic, not something I'm particularly a fan of. But on the playfield, the astronauts are firing guns. Why? What are they shooting at? Why does the shuttle program have guns? What's the conflict? How is firing an artillery gun even possible in space when there's no oxygen to act as an oxidizer? For a game that banks on it's realistic theme, this factor alone really misses the mark. What is neat though is that the artist cleverly future-proofed it by adding a drawing of the Hubble Space Telescope, something that was still under development at the time, and wasn't launched until the early '90s.

Overall: I can overlook the artwork annoyances, but not so much the sound ones. The game does have killer gameplay though, especially when compared to offerings from other manufacturers at the time, and that alone is worth the ticket price.
1 year ago
My first Pin ever......excellent.......over and over again....
1 year ago
I was sort of surprised just how much I liked this table... this is one of the easier tables to understand. I found out everything I had to do within my first game, I think. There aren't any "tricks" that are difficult to follow. The ruleset is very simple, but it's not so simple to get high scores on this table. Space Shuttle plays very quickly, and you need a quick trigger finger to keep balls in play. Multiball is very easy to release on this table, be it two or three. It's satisfying to "launch" the shuttle, hitting that middle ramp to start multiball. The sounds are quite good considering the year this machine was released, too. This is a very underappreciated machine. I'm not super fond of the cabinet art or the backglass, but the game plays very well.
1 year ago
Space Shuttle has its moments, but ultimately it usually just frustrates me. The game has a few features I enjoy - the static rollover skill shot, the hard-to-get ball locks, but easy multiball once those ball locks are settled, and the outlane saver gate which reminds me of the EM gates that I enjoy.

Sometimes sluggish, but sometimes a fun time, I'd recommend playing Space Shuttle on location, but I don't know about owning it. It seems challenging enough to have in a collection, but I think I'd get tired of it quickly.
1 year ago
Every bowling alley in my area seemed to have one of these in their game room, when I was a kid.
Loved the pop-up heat shield and the multi-ball sounds. Hell all of the spacey bleeps, bloops and buzzes have a great early 80’s funkiness to them. The wave over light show when locking a ball is pretty cool too.
As an older player, there may not be a ton to shoot at I still find the game compelling. I’m sure some of that is nostalgia but fun is fun and this game is that.
1 year ago
A decent game I could simply not love. Multiball is easy to reach (not a bad thing) but scoring seems unbalanced (?): spinner rules, for what I know.
2 years ago
The background sounds are annoying but just about everything else it awesome.
2 years ago
A classic game which brought Pinball back from the brink, finally getting to play a real one was a blast. A game I would consider owning at some stage, plenty to do, lots of fun and a great theme!
2 years ago
For the day and age of the game, it has a decent play ability, but lacks BIG TIME in the artwork. Fun game, but not up there for me.
2 years ago
Such a cool game. This is the only pre-1985 game I think my son loves to play over and over. Obviously part of that goes to the super cool space shuttle in the top of the playfield, but there are other reasons too. The pops are somewhat isolated and are in a way where any ball exiting their area will give you a flipper shot. Rarely do we see a SDTM or outlane out of the pops which means no wasted turns which means you're not frustrated which means you're having fun. Also the ramp (first ramp ever I believe) is a great ramp that throws the ball back to the center of the PF. The secondary ramp has a target at the top which changes values, and though I want to give an "A" for effort, this ramp feels a bit empty and should've been designed to go under the main ramp and loop over to the left side of this game to mirror the main ramp. Having a switch in this ramp instead of a target may have opened that train of thought. The sound is ok, the strobe in the backglass is awesome, and one thing I loooooove about this game is the cabinet. The cabinet artwork looks much more professional than other space themed pins. It looks like the pin cabinet is an official machine from NASA or something. Multi-ball is very easy to get, which is also why it's a great pin for anyone.

Overall a really fun game with lots of cool things to look at, enough objectives for the player and enough things for the rookie or child to keep them from getting discouraged, all while forgetting they're playing a pin from 1985.
2 years ago
[FWIW I self-rate my skill level as medium] My first and thus far only pin... but I waited to rate it until I had several hours worth of other machines under my belt, to ensure an objective review. And I have to say I must have got lucky, because even after playing bonafide legends like Medieval Madness, Attack from Mars, Firepower, Whirlwind, Dr Who and other games, I really still do love Space Shuttle.

It's certainly not a "deep" game, and the playfield shuttle isn't even so much a "gimmick"as much a static toy - you could replace it with a boxcar or Winnebago and have the same functionality.

But of its era and for simple honest casual fun, it just works. There are some gem shots hidden, such as strafing the spinner lane drops all at once with a backhand - doing this to reclose the airlock after opening it is a thrill, and the game rewards with a nice "blastoff". So too is the 100,000 point shot on the center ramp - not so easy to set up but oh so rewarding! The bell never gets old either!

The machine is simple enough in layout that kids seem to pick up the scoring objectives... but shots are a good mix of balance, skill, and luck. You can hone skills by mastering some shots from either flipper, while some target "shots" don't seem to exist at all, so you'll be at the mercy of silverball randomness. Even when you master some shots, the game bites back HARD at unexpected times. It can be tough to get the score building but once the multipliers stack, look out! Multiball is easy enough to set up but not so easy that it becomes old - and there's a definite strategy involved.

All in all, I know there are "better" pins out there, but I don't think I could have done better for a first machine, and for being 30 years old it's still plenty of fun!
There are 76 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 4.

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