(Topic ID: 96455)

Centaur or Fathom

By wcbrandes

5 years ago

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  • 47 posts
  • 38 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 years ago by Shoot_Again
  • No one calls this topic a favorite


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centaur final 002.JPG

#1 5 years ago

Its one or the other, both pretty games so would like to keep it strictly to game play? Haven't played either for decades and I'm guessing wont get to any time soon. Would love to hear from those who have good time on both if possible. Cheers

#2 5 years ago

Centaur hands down!!!!

#3 5 years ago

Must agree, CENTAUR!!
centaur final 002.JPG

#4 5 years ago


#5 5 years ago

killing me here. I've got leads on both of these and want BOTH

hoping the Centaur winds up here this week and luckily the Fathom may come very, very cheap or a non pin trade.

#7 5 years ago

For game play, centaur is the winner. My opinion.

#8 5 years ago

Centaur for me, but it would be REALLY hard if I actually had to chose between the two which one I would own.

#9 5 years ago

That's like asking, "What would you rather have, a blonde or a brunette ?"
Your Answer: irrelevant
Real Answer: whichever knocks on your door first

I have both Centaur and Fathom, and both in my book are top-10 games of all-time.
Happy Hunting!


#10 5 years ago

You will not regret buying either.

Both were at the SFGE in ATL last month!

I would give the edge to Fathom based on slightly more to shoot for.

#11 5 years ago
Quoted from cody_chunn:

You will not regret buying either.
Both were at the SFGE in ATL last month!
I would give the edge to Fathom based on slightly more to shoot for.

Welcome to Pinside Cody!

#12 5 years ago
Quoted from Magic_Mike:

Welcome to Pinside Cody!

Thanks, Mike. You shoulda tapped me on the shoulder and said hello at SFGE.

#13 5 years ago

I haven't played the other, but Centaur is a Grail pin for me. Awesome gameplay, art, and sound combination. That voice is kick ass. I hope to own one some day.

#15 5 years ago
Quoted from cody_chunn:

Thanks, Mike. You shoulda tapped me on the shoulder and said hello at SFGE.

I was going to but you were waaayyyyy to engrossed in Star Trek.

I think around the time you were done was probably around the same time I was getting my ass kicked in Ironman.

Awesome moustache by the way.

#16 5 years ago

I had both, sold Centaur and kept Fathom. Two ball locks, two sets of inline drops, a spinner, "outlanes" that actually feed the flippers...I think Fathom is the better player, and has better artwork. Centaur is beautiful, but I could never get past the poorly done face on the backglass. Hard to go wrong with either though.

#17 5 years ago
Quoted from Magic_Mike:

Welcome to Pinside Cody!

It was only a matter of time.

And before anyone else says it:


#18 5 years ago

Man, that's about as tough a comparison as there can be! I own both and have for years. Also played both when they were new, and actually would seek out Centaur back in the day. I am not really sure which I would sell if I had to get rid of one of them, but for all the talk about Centaur being incredible, and I agree, I have to agree with the poster that gave a slight edge to Fathom if what you want is the most fun game. Fathom has a bit more to offer as far as game play, with more to do. They are both equal imo in the looks dept. I also need to say that I tend to play Centaur once or twice and then, as fun as it is, I go to Fathom and find I can play it more often and have fun doing so. Someone above mentioned buying both. I know your wallet won't like that suggestion but he is right....buy both. Whichever you get, you will wind up wishing you got the other. Quite unusual you have an opportunity to buy both. You can always sell one on here in about ten minutes flat if you decide you really favor one over the other after you have them awhile. I have 12 games and find I don't play either of those two that much, but I am glad I have them in my collection even though it makes little financial sense based on what I could sell them for. I learned my lesson when I sold my Spirit a few years ago....don't let hard to find games sell anymore. You may not have the opportunity to buy it again...another reason for you to try and buy both while you can.

#19 5 years ago

No poll? Bad move, human!

Centaur all the way

#20 5 years ago

both are great games
in the end I would pick the one with artwork or theme I prefer... or the one that shows up first!

#21 5 years ago

Fathom may be the perfect early electronic! He has everything... inline drops, drops, kick out holes, nice extra ball rule, 2/3 ball multiball, spinner, playfield multiplier - very nice overall rulesheet! It is good loking and well executed. Gameplay is superfun and there are a lot of shots (also a combo). Even sound and speech are great.

So this should make Fathom the clear number one! (okay EBD or Flash Gordon are also not too bad

But... Centaur is an unique experience. Coolest design ever in pinball (if you like the style), coolest sound ever - especially the say-it-again style. probably most innovation in one machine, way ahead regarding the time it was released... self ejecting FIVE ball multiball, captive ball inline drops, magnet which holds the ball, unlimited add a balls,...

Playing Centaur can give GOOSEBUMPS like no other pinball machines!

I am happy to own both machines... if I had to choose, I would go for Fathom, because of the more satisfying shots - but ask me again tomorrow and i will tell you something different

#22 5 years ago

Centaur or Fathom ?
Answer to this question: Buy both

About 12 years ago i buy both in the same time as project machines

#23 5 years ago
Quoted from trudert9:

No poll? Bad move, human!
Centaur all the way

polls tell me nothing about game play, more who owns which one!

#24 5 years ago

I own both. They are both incredible. As others have said its a really tough decision. Depending on when you ask i could flip flop. Today i would say Fathom. I think gameplay is slightly betteron fathom. They are both very beautiful. You cant go wrong either way. If you could only get one id pick the one that is nicer condition.
Let us know what you decide.


#25 5 years ago

Centaur, but Fathom is fun and both have awesome art. Both great games.

#26 5 years ago

Reading this thread reminds me I need to add a early Bally SS to the collection. From the limited time I spent on each I would pick Fathom

#27 5 years ago

I don't think you can go wrong with either.

#28 5 years ago

Wow...the rare thread where most our in alignment pointing out that both are amazing. Forgot to mention, as someone pointed out, the unique and amazing sound on Centaur. If you are into great sound (that is a big part of any game for me) no doubt that should slide you into the Centaur column. While Fathom is fine in that regard, it isn't anything special, merely serviceable for the time it was made. The death dive tilt sound in Fathom is pretty cool though, with the wicked laughter!

#29 5 years ago
Quoted from wcbrandes:

polls tell me nothing about game play, more who owns which one!

start by downloading the instruction cards, and the op manual on how to play the game.

Centaur is more interesting play, but if set up wrong or all factory, you end with infinite add-a-ball.

#30 5 years ago

"help me" !

but as said, both are great

#32 5 years ago

Fathom tutorial and Centaur gameplay:

#33 5 years ago

these are great! Thanks for this. I have acquired a new playfield (CPR) Fathom so it looks like Fathom is first unless anyone has a Centaur they have already done

#34 5 years ago

If you are basing your decision strictly on game play then I say Fathom. Both have stellar art packages, although I think the cab is nicer on Centaur. The audio is also much better on Centaur. However, there are more things to shoot for on Fathom. The reversed out lanes are very cool as well. I just like the game play strategy on Fathom more, with the green and blue MBs.

Both are great though.

#35 5 years ago

You can also play a digital version of Centaur on Pinball Arcade (buying it also allows you to purchase Pinbot)


#36 5 years ago

I own/love both. Son's favorite is Fathom...mine is Centaur.

One thing Centaur has that's hard to compete with is the 5-ball MB. It also has many ways to keep multi balls in play...really unique/innovative. Fathom's MB approach with the trapped balls is cool, but not nearly as fun as Centaur.

#37 5 years ago

I own both and you can't go wrong with either imo. 2 absolute classics, and if you like this era of pinball, these are both must-have machines. Slight edge to Fathom in this comparison.

#38 5 years ago

I wish I had both of them so I could be of some help. They both rock my world, but only Centaur on a daily basis, unfortunately

#39 5 years ago

I've had both for years and love them both. I would also give a slight edge to Fathom. I just find the Fathom gameplay more interesting and addicting. Multi-ball rules are cooler, getting EB rule is a challenge too. If I was forced to sell one, I guess it would Centaur. Get em both if you can though.

#40 5 years ago

Fathom I just love gameplay and design. Especially being a diver.

#41 5 years ago

I've got both, they're both killer games but totally different. Fathom is beautiful and has the 2/3 multiball & inline drops, Centaur has the captive ball inline drops + the Orbian multiball action...

I couldn't decide so I bought both. You can't go wrong with either one.

#42 5 years ago

Have both.
Play both.
Love both.
Get both.

#43 5 years ago

They are both about equal in my book but it seems that collectors are scrambling for Fathom more nowadays.

Fathom is definitely a more attractive machine and is considered one of the most-beautiful of all-time.

#44 5 years ago

OK well have to weigh in on this one and disclaimer I'm definitely biased, lol. First I think Centaur is one of the greatest if not all time greatest machines ever created. I also think that the games from this era are some of the best and its what I tend to collect. One can argue about no jackpots, modes, etc of these earlier games but if that's what makes a game good or playable there wouldn't be so many dogs from 92 to present day.

Ultimately I believe a great game from any era is one which achieve a synergistic balance and where the sum of the parts is much greater than the whole. Centaur achieves that from every perspective, sound, art, game play are combined in a fashion that very few other games have come close to. I personally love the way Centaur does multiball, the ability to maintain and add balls as you're in multiball is absolutely addictive. If there was ever a game that teaches you playfield management during multiball this is the game. A great game on Centaur is a goose-bump filled adrenalin rush like no other. "Maximum Orbiant Strength Achieved" and "Begin Your Being Attacked" are probably to of the greatest phrases on any machine bar none, and of course the way the balls just appear on the playfield was unique then and is still pretty amazing.

So yeah got to vote Centaur but Fathom is probably just as desirable. Widely regarded as the most beautiful pinball machines ever made with a great rule set to go with it, you would not be disappointed. To some extent it comes down to personal taste. I own a Centaur, will likely buy a Fathom when I find the right one. I would definitely play both if I was looking to buy and figure out which one feels right to you, its a very personal thing. I own a Defender, and a lot of folks don't get that game but for my money one of the most underrated games, with a great rule set and a lot of subtlety that takes time to figure out, but again its personal preference and having the opportunity to really learn a game.

Anyhow just my $0.02

#45 5 years ago

2 GoPro vids of my Fathom/Centaur in action.

#47 5 years ago

I have owned neither but have played a considerable amount on both.

I like the warm fuzzy art on Fathom better for home enviroment

Fathom flows well and I really like the ball lock and upper gate mech.

Centaur is a ball breaker. It beats on you like it was named Flash Gordon .

That said the gameplay is way better and the shots and layout are much more unique on Centaur. IMO

I would say if you like the art package on either game CENTAUR RULES.

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