The Who's Tommy Pinball Wizard (Data East, 1994)

The Who's Tommy Pinball Wizard

Pinside rating

This game received 201 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 7.770 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #66 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game design: 7.9

Artwork: 7.428

Sounds/Music: 7.706

Other Aspects: 7.758

Rating comments

There are 88 rating comments for this game.

Pinside staff rating

This is how we, the very knowledgeable (wink wink) staff & moderators rate this game. 5 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 88 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 88 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
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27 days ago
One best pinball from data east!!
85 days ago
Had a big write up for this and a lot of pins on pinside, but Ive really lost all faith in those who have submitted terrible reviews on classic games... just look at the rankings.. look at all the complete piece of CRAP games , EM games even, mind you.. ahead of Classics like Tommy, GNR, Taxi... its an absolute travesty. SMH
6 months ago
A top notch, fun game. One of Data Easts finest.
6 months ago
For a game that should be one of the best in the world (in proportion to the ubiquitous and fame of the Pinball Wizard song from the freaky rock Opera "Tommy"), this game is the pits. The shots are super-clunky, and most of the mirror / gobble hole action on the upper PF is occluded from the player. And then there's the most annoying call outs on a machine since the "uh uh uh uh"' s of Xenon. "HOLIDAY DARLING!" and "READ ALL ABOUT IT, EXTRA BALL EXTRA BALL!!!!!" are so repetitive that I want to turn the sound off - which is extremely sad because this table is dedicated to a Rock Opera!

The one cool thing about this machine is that "blindfolds" that block the player's view of the flippers can be activated (they slide out of the apron) either by normal game play or by holding the lower button when hitting the start button. Sure, that is a fun gimmick, but I can do that with a towel, so even that feature can't save this game from a devastatingly bad rating. Booooo!
6 months ago
A good game that lacks some polish, but makes up for it with a solid layout, lots of modes, and a good theme.
7 months ago
This is the oldest machine I own. I tracked it down for a while and find it extremely addictive. Early example of LFS' code work and his future brilliance is there if you look for it. The new, better balanced scoring ROM is a nice upgrade.
11 months ago
This game feels like it is younger and is in many ways a worthy namesake for Tommy, and it is very "meta" of course in that it is a pinball about pinball in which your pinball emulates the pinball player who ... you get the idea. This machine would be at the top of the charts but for one thing: its theme tie-in to the musical vs to the Who. Nobody wants to hear the Broadway rendition of these songs and frankly the feel of the machine needs to be darker to go with the awesome shots and speed of the game play. Really rewards a good player.
1 year ago
I just slapped in Chad's new code and also the Color DMD and it made this really good game great! I really like the Who so maybe I am biased a bit, but the blinders coupled with the dropping mirror and propellers are some pretty nice features on the game. The skill shot is crazy tough for me, maybe I need a better plunger/spring though. The mirrored pinball topper with Tommy written on top of the backbox is a cool touch. I agree that some of those outlanes are frustrating as the ball always seems to find them regardless how level the game is. The CPT Walker video mode sucks but it is better with the new code. Also the scoring is a bit more balanced now too. If you have a Who fan in the house they will love this game even though it is based off the musical - kind of a weird creepy kind of play in my opinion. Especially when you hit the jackpot and there are some psycho clowns with balloons grinning you down. It is even creepier when you have had a bit to drink, or some funny mushrooms, with the colored display. Give it a go!
1 year ago
This game looks great and is addictive. At first, I wasn't sure about it, but now that I have had it for a few months, it is one of my favorite games. I have never seen the movie or play, so it's tough to say whether the pinball machine does it justice. I love the layout, sounds, game play and variety. It is also by far the coolest looking game in my collection.
1 year ago
BEST MUSIC PIN! - I give this high rating, but it is for a game that is freshly shopped with latest coding, pinsound board with Julien re-orchestration, an external sub, and shaker. I didn't enjoy this game when it had poor sound without the Who, weak flippers and non functional controlled lamps - real easy fixes though!

Find a game with these modifications and you will be hooked. You come back for the play and the music. So many shots are very enjoyable to make on this gem.

Another pin that the kids and wife enjoy too!
1 year ago
great game want to get one soon
1 year ago
I loved the DMD animations. I liked the music and thought it was a solid game but it bored me a bit. Solid game but do not think it will be a keeper.
2 years ago
I get "Pinball Wizard" a lot, but they more than likely have never heard about this machine before. Tommy is a great playing game. While having a bit less sound quality than Williams, there is a great ruleset within the game, similar to that of Addams Family, and a great Multiball feature as well.
2 years ago
Easily my favorite game of all time. It combines the many different shots and toys for every kind of player. The blinders are some of the best toys in all of pinball, the soundtrack is perfect, and the art is spot on. Tommy is a game with tons of different strategies, and a Pin that brings back memories.
2 years ago
Tommy the who is a really good game with a good rule set, good theme, great music and sounds, really cool toys like the plane and the mirror is pretty cool, and the game also has really good artwork.
I also really like the topper
2 years ago
Got a chance to play it..nice game
2 years ago
Great theme, fun game. Awesome!
2 years ago
Another great players game!

Finally! A game in my collection with a proper Upper LEFT Flipper! I can practice on Tommy for when I go play other pinhead's Trons. Ha!

Seriously now ... Tommy is one of the best (If not Best) Data East machines.

Tons of modes. Unique Toy (The blinders) that is perfect for the theme. Throw-back EM chimes in multiball!!! Oh ... and that staged multi-ball ROCKS! Add-a-Ball by making Jackpots ... Brilliant!

Mine is set brutally hard, and yes, it has that "One More Game ... ok one more game ... hmm, one more game ... oh hell, one more game ... F#@$ It, on more game ... (and two hours go by easily)

This is a game that will make you a better pinball player! Period.
2 years ago
This is seriously one of my top 5 favorites. The theming works out very, very well! It's just a little too hard, that's all.
2 years ago
Tommy is a tricky, tough game. Multiball jackpot rules are basic, get both ramps then advance the jackpot. Not so easy to get that second jackpot. Definitely a game that you want to do a bit better on.

One thing I don't like is the game seems to go from being a left flipper game to a right flipper game, not quite feeling like it uses both at any time. Target banks on either side are more a gamble and pretty much come with sling hits then outlane rather than tight flipper shots. The ramps both feel good and some things are just fantastic on this table. The way the theme of Tommy is worked into gameplay is fantastic, you really can feel blind with the game.

Layout leaves a bit to be desired. There is a manhole behind the right scoop that seems to be an accident and shoot directly into the right vuk often rejects right back out. I like the game but don't think it would be a keeper for more than a few months for me. Integration of music is great but it would be nice to have the option of having the original WHO songs here.

EDIT: After having one around for a couple months I have to completely rethink layout and gameplay. This game is just plain addictive and I think possibly the best layout of a DE game. The 'rear' entry into the right vuk is the only strange thing to me now. Right ramp is super-pleasing to make. This game has excellent scoring opportunities and a number of ways to go about playing. Now on the hunt for one.
2 years ago
This machine would be a lot better if it incorporated more of The Who and the original track and less of the opera. The game is pretty solidly well-rounded though. It just hit a double when the opportunity for a home run was there.
2 years ago
I wait'd 2 1/2 yr's to buy an HUO Tommy from a guy ,, Dam I was Bored w/ it after just a few games .. I passed it on to the Next Pin Stalker ...
3 years ago
good game
3 years ago
A sleeper here !

So it's based on the rock opera and it's not The Who performing, but hey - where else can you play pinball to pinball wizard? The shots are varied - there are 12 modes - all with there own songs, a couple of skill shots that actually require skill, and a crazy 6 ball multi ball (as well as two others) Stereo sound as well. All this and code written by the great Lyman Sheets. I don't think enough can be said about the lighting either - The GI is excellent for a machine of this era, and try counting the number of flashers. LED it and watch it pop. Really like the playfield and back glass artwork. The blinders have to be one of the most clever toys in pinball. If this was The Who and had a B/W badge on it - it may be a higher up the ranks.

The one major neg for me is the cabinet artwork. Very bland, and often worn - then touched up incorrectly around the flipper buttons.
3 years ago
I think this title is a bit underrated, very enjoyable game.
There are 88 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 4.

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