Tales of the Arabian Nights (Williams, 1996)

Tales of the Arabian Nights

Pinside rating

This game received 778 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 8.488 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #14 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game design: 8.384

Artwork: 8.796

Sounds/Music: 8.144

Other Aspects: 8.446

Rating comments

There are 394 rating comments for this game.

Pinside staff rating

This is how we, the very knowledgeable (wink wink) Pinside.com staff & moderators rate this game. 7 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 394 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 394 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
Currently showing results page 1 of 16.

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8 days ago
Physically, one of the most beautiful games ever produced. The rules aren't terribly difficult nor are they simple either. The theme is fantastic.
3 months ago
Popadiuk had quite a string in the 90's, from World Cup Soccer to Cabaret Voltaire, but I think this is the machine that really established him as an auteur -- a designer whose work you could recognize just by playing the game, without knowing for sure he'd designed it. Arabian Nights is "themed but not licensed" - inspired by the classic work of literature, but also clearly drawing inspiration from the arabesque Hollywood movies of the 30's and 40's and maybe a few Warner Brothers or Scooby-Doo cartoons. (I consider World Cup Soccer to be of similar ilk -- licensed by FIFA perhaps, but almost creating a new back story for Stryker. I digress.)

My quibbles with "Tales" are mostly in the areas where Popadiuk games tend to fail -- their toys break, and when the machine isn't tuned or the magic lamp spinner or magic trunk or goal keeper isn't working, the games tend to be a chore to play. I'm also not a huge fan of his skill shots, which tend to be short and trinary.

But finely tuned and maintained, this game is tops: medium-depth rules-set, an achievable but not too easy wizard mode, balanced scoring, sequential goals, and a sort of whimsical interpretation of the theme, all in a two-flipper game.

Add on to that one of the best pieces of backglass art of the modern era, it's a lovely and fun machine.

I have a magic wish to make: that the ROM set to this game be expanded using modern capacity and programming, to incorporate more tales; we've got another 990 or so to work with.
3 months ago
WOW, the perfect machine, Nothing negative about this pinball. Pure fun, a keeper.
3 months ago
this game doesn't has deep rules but atmospheris specialso you want to play again and again
this game is too easy if you take jewels with your wishes
very beautiful pinball
3 months ago
WOW, very fun and magic machine. Great flow, a lot of toys, the ramp is awsome, not too easy and great for all the familly.
4 months ago
“In ancient Baghdad, a most beautiful princess was imprisoned by the evil genie, Saleem Bagazai!!” It’s beautiful. It’s pretty. Can we just get that out of the way? This is one of the most gorgeous pinball machines ever produced and if you are in the market to buy one, the price will reflect this. When fitted with proper LEDs it looks even better. This title is from the golden age of DMD pinball in the mid 90s. Some of the most collectible machines were created during his time period. The local bar I frequented in the 90s had this machine and I spent countless hours on it. The vocal cues, toys, long spiraling and winding ramp returns make this game very enjoyable. The ruleset is not very deep. Beating the game does not have the extreme level of difficulty as modern pinball machines, so I am not sure how well the replay value would be in a home collection. Despite the accolades the backglass has received, it has always been my least favorite part of the game. I have seen alternate translites that I have preferred better. Magnets, spikes, spinning lamp and Genie bash toy, all great things that add to the fun of this machine. Music, animations, lighting and sound effects are well done. Any pinhead would be proud to have this machine in their collection, thus why it is becoming more of a rarity to see it on location. “Fly on your magic carpet!”
4 months ago
I dont get this game. Played it at a convention because I had heard it was awesome. I had to wait forever for the two guys ahead of me to finish their game. When it was my turn I found out why: nothing happens in this game! It was practically impossible for the ball to drain and super easy to get extra balls. I just kept playing and playing, my score slowly going up as I didnt know how to get good points. As I recall people started waiting for me and eventually I felt bad and just left. It was a beautiful exercise in pointlessness.
5 months ago
Hard to beat is terms of visual appeal. Damn difficult game when set up right - almost like it should have been a widebody, but got squeezed into standard size. Very rewarding for careful play. Plenty of shots and goals to choose from. Excellent game.
5 months ago
great game
5 months ago
Arguably, one of the best machines ever made. I think there are few machines that can match this game. For me, this was quintessential pinball. The theme, the mystere, the layout, the really cool genie with the light up eyes. The artwork was second to none. The entire game was just superb.

To be fair, shooting the lamp could get a bit repetitive and the game rules weren’t overly in depth, but overall, this was and is the pin everyone wants to play, and then play again beachside it is just so much fun.

Edit: Played it again at a friend's house and updated my rating. I want this pin.
6 months ago
Pretty looking game, although I don't like the backglass. Cabinet and playfield art are stunning.
Lot of fun shots. Great ramps, love the magnets and ballsave cages. Vanishing the ball under the playfield is a cool feature. Can get a bit boring after playing it over and over if this is your only pin or in a very small collection.
6 months ago
Playing this on pinball arcade was what got me to buy my first machine. Beautiful game with proper leds, best looking game ive ever played. Airballs can be brutal, and fairly easy to complete wizard mode. Can get old in a small collection. I only have room for 2 machines so got old for me.
6 months ago
A classic! Plays like an older pin but has a challenging layout. I love the lamp feature and would definitely recommend to anyone that has never Played. Top 10 in my book!
7 months ago
An old classic that we have put on our must have list! Great game and hopefully to be remade soon!
7 months ago
Beautiful but boring like TOM. It's a pin for beginners or kids.
You see all this machine have to offer after a few games.
Layout is fine, some shots are interesting, i don't really like the rotating lamp, and the game is too easy.
Music is repetitive fast, the fireball hurry up is...well... annoying. Modes are too similar and i hate the machines that tell you where to shoot.
A collectors game if you're into that stuff but if you want a challenge and a great code, forget TOTAN.
7 months ago
The only thing this game is missing is a video mode. Pretty much perfect otherwise.
7 months ago
fun game to play and will be in my collection for a long time
7 months ago
Tales of Arabian Nights has a great theme, fun skill shot and excellent artwork. The game can be challenging, but that's what makes you want to come back for more.
8 months ago
All time favorite game.
8 months ago
The Spikes that come up from the outlane save is the best of any pinball game .. Bar none !!!
8 months ago
Great theme and artwork. Game play is great with plenty of shots and good shot layout. With some upgraded lighting and some simple mods this machine would really come to life. The one I played was a bit dull and had some wear. Great lane ball save feature. The lamp does get a bit annoying sometimes when trying to make shots and clutters the playfield a little, but also it also ads something to the overall game. Would love to play a nice clean well lighted and set up machine. This pin is well deserved of a top ten spot.
9 months ago
Great game. Rescuing the princess is always fun and is not too difficult when you collect gems through making a wish. The music and sounds are great on this machine and the genie on the playfield is a cool touch.
9 months ago
Great looking game, but software falls a bit short of potential.
9 months ago
Beautiful game to look at and listen to. Unfortunately it is marred by to many airballs (at least in the example I played) and a wizard mode that is to easy to get to for my tastes. I could live without the lamp as I prefer playfields that are a little more open. I love the multiball start on this game and how you start modes. The modes make good use of the whole playfield. Throwing the fireball back at the genie seems to happen to often and isn't worth that many points.

Overall it is obviously a classic and worthy of being an A-lister, I would just rate it farther down that list than some other games.
9 months ago
A classic. This is one of the best pinball machines ever designed.
There are 394 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 16.

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