Theatre of Magic (Bally, 1995)

Theatre of Magic

Pinside rating

This game received 891 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 8.431 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #15 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game design: 8.56

Artwork: 8.599

Sounds/Music: 7.934

Other Aspects: 8.447

Rating comments

There are 444 rating comments for this game.

Pinside staff rating

This is how we, the very knowledgeable (wink wink) staff & moderators rate this game. 8 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 444 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 444 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
Currently showing results page 1 of 18.

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20 hours ago
When I think about 90's pinball machines this is the one that always stands out. There's so much going on, yet somehow it isn't overwhelming. The spinning trunk was jaw dropping to me as a kid and it still makes me smile today. Might have been the pinnacle of the golden era machines for me. Artwork was so cool, the theme is interesting and makes for cool gameplay with the different acts you have to fulfill. The cabinet is super cool, draws you in! A little too pricey for me to own one myself... but if it's in an arcade, you can bet I'll be dropping some quarters on this classic.
16 days ago
My favourite game so I'm biased! It has weaknesses - 'shoot the trunk' is a much over used shot. But for me it has sufficient depth to enjoy without the needless complexity of some modern games (no need to spend hours watching youtube just to figure out the rules). And every time I hear the words 'welcome to the theatre of magic', I know I want to play...
18 days ago
Beautiful game with great flow and fun modes. Unique toys that really feel like magic tricks (the trunk, vanish, magnets etc.) . Over time it becomes a little monotonous since many shots are aimed at the trunk and the strategy is rather limited. The playfield follows a classic fan layout. The Grand Finale wizard mode is rather lame and not very satisfying. Theme however attracts a large audience and is fun for both beginners and more experienced players. Playfield, cabinet,, dots and sounds are gorgeous. We owned it for a couple of years after which it got a little boring.
31 days ago
Beautiful machine with a very nice theme tie in, a number of satisfying shots, combo shots, great flow and excellent toys, tricks and features. The cabinet, playfield artwork and light show are one of the best. The rules are good, but the finale isn't much. But the game is very enjoyable and immersive on its own without focusing getting to the grand finale. Ramps and orbits are spectacular and its a lot of fun to get multiball flow going. There is a lot more than just hitting the trunk, Orbit and ramp combos are great and the trap door shot is fantastic.
This is a great game to go to after grinding it out on other more complex ruled machines. One of the best machines out there for more novice players, who can enjoy a a lot of what the game has to offer without frustrating drains.
56 days ago
This one is a lot of fun and because of the price will probably always be on my wishlist. I love the use of magnets in pinball and this one has them in spades. The trunk has alot of neat functions game wise and gimmick wise. The ramps are fun and the game modes are clear (something I've seen too many machines struggle with). The theme doesn't really strike me as must have and the sounds are pretty meh, but this game makes up for it in everything else. I sure wish the price was lower.
72 days ago
This is a great game. It's a lot of fun to play. I would recommend it. I think lastability and fun are two of it's strongest features. The sound and animations aren't as good as my absolute favorite games, but those features aren't the end all, be all. This game would make my top 10.
79 days ago
I'm not sure what I can add to the discussion of ToM, but having played it to death when it first came out, it's always struck me as having excellent balance in the scoring. It has a wizard mode that's fun to work towards and which isn't so difficult as to be impossible but nevertheless is a real achievement. It's got good tournament chops and also plays well as a single player. As noted, about the only real criticism is the prevalence of maintenance headaches from the magnetic toys, particularly the trunk, and the degree to which a poorly-tuned Theater of Magic will just drive you ape, fast. It's far from the most temperamental machines of its era, but it goes from near perfection to horrors pretty fast, especially since it's got some drain zones on the outlanes and some STDM opportunities if flippers, ramps, plungers, and toys are off a bit.
87 days ago
A nice fun classic pin. The modes are fun and the spinning crate is a cool toy. The ramps are nice and the game shoots pretty decently. Kinda overpriced but there is a reason. Solid all around.
3 months ago
Love everything about this machine except for the ruleset fairly shallow and the wizard mode feels unfinished. However it's really fun to play and the toys and magnets along with the smooth and fast flow make this a great machine to have in a collection. Newbies gravitate to this and can make some progress (and usually the cool trunk multiball) so it's great for non-pinheads too.
3 months ago
Really like this one.
4 months ago
Fun game with some cool effects and gimmicks. Would play it on location every time if it was there. I think some of the cool effects would get old if you owned one though. The fun factor is there for me primarily because of the gimmicks. Overall "one of the good ones".
4 months ago
Theatre is a good looking Game but I don't like it because the game is too easy.
5 months ago
Great classic.
5 months ago
Quite easy to play, but fast and fun. Great theme.
6 months ago
Great game with amazing play field and fun factor

I love games that are a fast experience yet allow the player to engage the modes and tHis gives the player a chance to really see the shots and where the game is sending them

Super awesome sounds and lighting add so much to the game. Amazing fallouts really add depth to the plays. I love the magical theme and art. For a player who loves accomplishing a game this is top 10 all time.
This game is a true piece of art. SometHing to keep you coming back every time even after you beat the game.
6 months ago
Classic, popular game with a really fun trunk toy. It's common for the trunk to be glitchy, or beaten up, but when this game is working right, it's really fun. Good theme and ambiance, kind of exotic, mysterious and carnivalesque. Good ramps, tricky shots (like into the basement). I consider this one of the first classic "modern" era pinball machines. This machine, along with Addams Family, Twilight Zone, and Funhouse, seemed to usher in a sort of revival of pinball in the early 1990's. Excellent game. This game has great flow. The two lock lanes, the ramps, the orbit shots. You can really get the ball moving and keep in moving in this game. The trunk is a nice break from the speed and chaos in this game, and it really has a perfect balance of a fast, flowing game with some nice breaks to start modes. This game deserves to be a top 10 game I feel.
8 months ago
Awesome game, played a few times last night at Level Up in Raleigh. Really like the smoothness and overall feel. The theme is great and goes along with the artwork. Somewhat of a difficult game, would love to have it in the basement.
9 months ago
There's a lot to like about "Theatre of Magic". The playfield is gorgeous with unique ramps that resemble red rug-covered "stairs" and a beautiful "magic trunk" that gives you several different missions to play. It's incredibly polished and classy. The issue is that the trunk is the center of everything and the audio constantly reminds you of that. That's your #1 target every single time. Either that or the one or two ramps which are easy to hit. That and points are too easy to accumulate. A player with little to no skill with decent reflexes can hit 250M in about five minutes or less. It's so easy, you basically don't even need the missions. That said, it's a great table, reminiscent of "Tales of the Arabian Nights".
9 months ago
Great machine. Will always stay in my collection.
9 months ago
Very fun game. The animations are really nice and the shots are smooth. Trunk is a really great idea and loaded with magnets. Top 5 in my collection for sure.
9 months ago
I would love to get this game. The theme is great, the trunk is fun. My six year old son was playing this game at Tilt and kept nailing the ramps, it was fun to watch. Not sure its as has the depth, but it sure is a fun shooter.
11 months ago
Such a fun game. I love the use of the Magicians Trunk! I love this game so much I had to get it.
11 months ago
Bash toy/toy chest is a very cool and unique gimmick. Magnasaves are super cool. Ramps are satisfying. Lots going on here. Theme is great too.
11 months ago
TOM's strength is the interesting layout and cool trunk gimmick. Rules are good. Overall, very strong package. I love the theme. Art is just OK. Definitely worth checking out. Love JPop layouts.
11 months ago
beautiful fun game, but got old quickly. Code is just not good enough to compete with the newer Stern/JJP games.
There are 444 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 18.

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