Whirlwind (Williams, 1990)


Pinside rating

This game received 502 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 8.075 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #33 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game design: 8.253

Artwork: 7.865

Sounds/Music: 7.288

Other Aspects: 8.367

Rating comments

There are 244 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 244 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 244 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
Currently showing results page 1 of 10.

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9 days ago
very fun pin! i love the drop targets and shot channel through the bumpers. very tough shots but very rewarding. the additional flipper really makes this a a top 20 game. this game is not for beginners, and really demands attention to the mode you are in. overall, very stimulating and fun to play everytime.
12 days ago
A really fun pinball machine to play. The gimmicks of the spinning disks and fan are very immersive and raise the excitement level of the game. This game can play very fast and be difficult at times, but it's very rewarding to master the different shots. The rules are great for this era of pins and the super cellar bonus is a nice goal to aim for beyond the typical multi-ball jackpot. The two sets of pop bumpers on the game are also neat and help differentiate this game from others.
23 days ago
Lightning effects.
Music and sounds.
Hardest jackspot shot ever, but most satisfying.
6 popbumpers.

This was my 2. Pin and i have alot of love for it. Well designes,nice coding. Great 80s music. Satisfying shots, this pin is brutal as F but really really really challenging/fun to play. One more play appeal.
I really understand why its rated SO high here. Great players loves this pin. Average players dont understand the rating ;-)
True classic and a top 10 pin.

Just make sure ALL 3 flippers are strong, makes a big difference.
4 months ago
Whirlwind is a classic. Anybody that doesn't like it is dead inside. The rotating circles in the playfield, the fan, etc. really fun and unique. Backglass artwork is mediocre at best but I haven't found many games that are more fun to play.
4 months ago
Nice fun little title with spinning disks around the playfield and even a fan on top of the head to blow wind in your face. Can feel a little empty at times due to placement of objects on the playfield but still is enjoyable to play.
5 months ago
Man, this is one tough game! You better be able to place the ball where you want it and be able to feed the upper flipper (then be able to hit that shot) if you want to score well. A lot going on in this game and a lot of things to shoot for--but it isn't overwhelming like TZ. Really a great old-style classic pinball game. Very much ahead of the curve for its time, a portent of things to come. Some cool and some tricky shots, good rule set, excellent artwork, very good music, super light show (especially with leds), great sound effects and call outs that fit the game perfectly and really add to the overall experience. Dare I say it, for a Lawlor game this is almost "flow-y"! TZ may be Lawlor's greatest achievement, but Whirlwind may be Lawlor's best game. WW will always keep you coming back for another game.
6 months 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
6 months ago
Great game. Tons of fun and very challenging.
6 months 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.
7 months 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
8 months ago
Classic Lawlor!
8 months ago
A very fun game, I wasn't expecting to like it as much as I did.
8 months 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
9 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.
10 months ago
This maybe my favorite system 11 machine. It has a great balance of simple rules but still challenging enough.
11 months ago
Excelent pinball with an excenlent flow and playfield. A must have pinball
1 year ago
Really fun game. The rules aren't that deep. Great addicting game.
1 year ago
I played this pin a lot as a kid, and now I've owned it for about three months. It is soooo fun to play, especailly on a hot summer night with an ice-cold beer. I don't see myself getting rid of it any time soon. My major criticism, unlike some other pinsiders, is that this game is too easy. I've found that as long as you have a good backhand (mine can't be backhanded from a standstill right flipper) and can nail the side ramp, you can score big, too big. Also, there are a zillion extra balls in this game. I've had to crank up the difficulty, and I'm still finding it too easy. I'm likely going to turn off all extra balls and turn off the cellar by default. Hopefully that will lesson my chances for finishing the cellar. Unfortunately, my friends will find it overly difficult when I do this. My summation is that Whirlwind needs a better balance in its somewhat simple ruleset. Overall, a GREAT pin.
1 year ago
Pretty difficult game, not too deep, but a lot of fun. One of the best of its time.
1 year 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!
1 year 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.
1 year ago
Of the games I've had, this is the one that keeps me coming back for more. Uh Oh! Look like rain!
1 year 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.
1 year 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.
1 year ago
Love that fan...
There are 244 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 10.

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