Whirlwind (Williams, 1990)


Pinside rating

This game received 485 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 8.082 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #32 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game design: 8.266

Artwork: 7.895

Sounds/Music: 7.301

Other Aspects: 8.356

Rating comments

There are 239 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 239 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 239 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
Currently showing results page 1 of 10.

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2 days ago
Man, this is one tough game! You better be able to place the ball where you want it if you want to score well. Really a great old-style pinball game. Very much ahead of the curve for its time. Lots of cool and some tricky shots, very good music, great sound effects, and call outs that fit the game really add to the experience. Excellent artwork. Dare I say it, for a Lawlor game this is almost "flow-y"! A real classic, maybe Lawyer's best game.
16 days ago
This game has really shown its charm since purchased. The theme of whirlwind is flowing through the whole machine. The playfield art, translight, cabinet, spinning disks and the fan topper really brings the experience together. The gameplay is really some of Williams best gameplay for the system 11 machines. The spinning disks really play a key part of the game changing ball reaction to keep each game fresh. The topper fan blowing on you during key parts of the game really brings the storm theme together nicely. All in all its a great game and wish I would have bought one sooner
17 days ago
Great game. Tons of fun and very challenging.
36 days ago
I love Pat Lawlor designs...just not this one. The playfield always seems a bit too contrived for my liking, with little natural flow. Lawlor's games are known to be stop n' go, but even Earthshaker and Funhouse have better ball flow than Whirlwind. I find the "claustrophobic" complaint that others have about Lawlor's games fits this game well, with less obvious places to shoot from the main flippers. The game integrates the theme really well, but for me, it still falls behind Lawlor's other work.
64 days ago
This machine was quite fun. interesting spinners on play field and a fan on top of back glass that reacts to the game. Fun
69 days ago
Classic Lawlor!
84 days ago
A very fun game, I wasn't expecting to like it as much as I did.
87 days ago
Pros: The fan and the spinning discs, the sounds and lights
Cons: repetitive gameplay.

If i can choose a Pat lawlor's game, i prefer the Addams
3 months ago
Whirlwind was one of my favorite pins to play back in the early 90s. I loved when the fan would start to blow during the storm. The spinning discs on the playfield are also a really cool gimmick. The game has some really nice artwork, the callouts are funny, the light show is cool and the sound tracks during game play are iconic. My game does not have LED for the GI lighting and so I find it to have rather dim general illumination. To me it appears as if the number of GI lights around the perimeter of the game table are not enough to light this game properly. I will be adding LED bulbs to the GI circuit soon which will improve it. Overall a great pin.
4 months ago
This maybe my favorite system 11 machine. It has a great balance of simple rules but still challenging enough.
5 months ago
Excelent pinball with an excenlent flow and playfield. A must have pinball
6 months ago
Really fun game. The rules aren't that deep. Great addicting game.
8 months ago
Pretty difficult game, not too deep, but a lot of fun. One of the best of its time.
8 months ago
Simple yet challenging pin that I picked up on a whim and will most likely keep for a while. My favorite pin I own right now!
9 months ago
Great game. I love the topper and modes. The game is fast and flow is great. I love the theme.

Update: I've had this game for a year. After the first couple of months I wanted to sell it. I'm so glad that I didn't. After playing it more and developing strategy I believe that this game could not be much better. I just love the strategy of going for mega door bonus and playing the ball locks as a secondary mission. The only thing that would make this game better is if there was some other purpose after getting mega door bonus, e.g. if you get mega door and complete all the door bonuses again on the same ball you get 10 million. Other than that this game might be my favorite in my collection and I've got a lot of A list games. Would be one of the last to go in my collection.
9 months ago
Of the games I've had, this is the one that keeps me coming back for more. Uh Oh! Look like rain!
9 months ago
"The storm is coming..."

100% Classic Pat Lawlor at his finest, just like its partner Earthshaker.
Hopefully, his "trinity game" get produced someday based on his concepted design.
Be patient, watch the pinball skies for an angel.

No, this was not Funhouse, RoadShow, or anything else he made.
Certainly not Grand Prix or Roller Coaster Tycoon, his two WORST games.

Solid shots, good ramp action, and the spinning disks.
Ruleset is easy to understand and follow, and fun.
Good windup challenge shot for jackpot during multiple, which he has used on many other machines such as The Addams Family later.
Good artwork, basic on the playfield, colorful and artistic on the backglass and cabinet.
NOT an overrated game, and a family classic.
The working fan on the game really is just a still extra pizza slice with full toppings, that Stern is TOO CHEAP to include in games today with their designs.

If you are Bally/Williams System 11 fan, this game is a must have.
9 months ago
A good, solid Williams pin but not my favorite. Rules and PF layout just seem to elude me. Decent flow and a hard pin (which I usually like) but just CANNOT GET INTO IT.

The fan is a nice toy.
10 months ago
Love that fan...
10 months ago
This is a unique and fun table with several aspects that make it stand out: spinning discs to throw your ball every which way, and and awesome fan on top which sucks you in to the storm theme. The artwork is fun, lighting is nice and bright, and there are plenty of varying shots to make it interesting over and over again.
11 months ago
This machine is just one of the greats in my opinion. The flow of the game is amazing, and I personally just love the sound effects and music. It's like an 80's video game in its music, and it just never gets old to me. I like how ruthless the outlanes can be because it really makes it one of those "live by the sword, die by the sword" games to play. You could outscore the best of them if the other player just gets unlucky sometimes.
I marked it down in "game rules" because if you do eventually get deep into the game, you start to run out of multiballs and you also just don't have much to work towards anymore. The skyway tolls are "free" after 99 of them, so it's just a flat 200k points.
I also find that there needs to be some more lighting in the playfield, so I've added a few lamps to mine.
Overall, this will always be one of my favorites. I will NEVER part with this machine.
11 months ago
This game never gets old. Lawlor is the man
11 months ago
Whirlwind is a classic! I think that the only thing I found got annoying was so much scoring emphasis on the upper flipper hitting the ramp shot.
1 year ago
Great system 11 pinball. One of the top 5.
Love the theme and fan blowing.
I wish I bought one years ago.
1 year ago
Fun, good layout.
There are 239 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 10.

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