Whirlwind (Williams, 1990)


Pinside rating

This game received 515 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 8.080 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #37 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game design: 8.266

Artwork: 7.881

Sounds/Music: 7.286

Other Aspects: 8.358

Rating comments

There are 253 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 253 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 253 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
Currently showing results page 1 of 11.

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12 days ago
Great rules for a system 11. Has a wizard mode. Excellent shots. Making the 3 shot combo is an achievement. Played a lot in the wild so hard to find a decent “survivor”. One of the best bang for the buck pins in my opinion. Similar rules to Earthshaker but having both is a treat.
13 days ago
Cool game, but not a keeper for me.
35 days ago
All around great game! Can't seem to get tired of it.
69 days ago
Classic game by pat lawlor. Good rules for the time and a very satisfying side ramp shot. The spinning discs on the playfield are pretty cool and the huge fan topper is super unique. Overall a pretty fun time.
71 days ago
great game. classic system 11
74 days ago
Fun pin with fairly easy shots to achieve multiball and quite possibly the most difficult jackpot (multi millions) shot. Great for a small or large home collection
84 days ago
This game is my favourite. Great music, solid sound, superb gameplay wrapped in a package that simply appeals to me. I simply love it, and if a friend didn't have one, I'd be scouring the market for my own.
85 days ago
Just picked up a second WW. The first go around was early in my pinball collecting a few years back. It kicked my tail and I just didn’t get into it at that time. I couldn’t pass up a very nice HUO recently, so WW is back in the stable. I appreciate the game more now that I am a few years farther along in my pinball collecting and playing.

The game requires a soft touch and precision shooting. With no ball save or kickback, one has to be on point from the first plunge through the last drain. Got to hit the shots when they are there. Any miss will require great skills to get the ball back under control. I now see more ways to score than my previous one-dimensional approach of starting 3-ball multi-ball.

I lived in Overland Park KS for 13 years and married a great gal from Kansas. The theme resonates well. Love the “Welcome to Kansas” sign on the translite! The spinners and cloud fan add great elements that really plays into a storm effect.
3 months ago
Absolutely love it. It's a tight playfield, fast and there is no daydreaming while playing, or it's a quick drain!!
4 months ago
Whirlwind is has good rules, cool features, and good playfield artwork. But, I have never liked the theme, backglass art, and cabinet art.
5 months 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.
5 months 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.
5 months 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.
5 months ago
This is a very Nice Pinball.
9 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.
9 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.
10 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 actually be able to hit that shot consistently) 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.
11 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
11 months ago
Great game. Tons of fun and very challenging.
11 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.
1 year 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
1 year ago
Classic Lawlor!
1 year ago
A very fun game, I wasn't expecting to like it as much as I did.
1 year 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
1 year 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.
There are 253 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 11.

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