Air Aces

Pinside rating

This game received 15 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 7.752 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #143 in the Pinside EM Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game Design: 7.534

Artwork: 8.362

Sounds/Music: 2.56

Other Aspects: 7.628

Pinside staff rating

None of the staff have rated this game. Sorry, no rating from us.

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Found 8 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 8 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
Currently showing results page 1 of 1.

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2 years ago
I have this game high-tapped and jacked way up on 3 inch leg levelers. Fun to shoot the drop targets, then snake your way back up to the top to land in the saucers. There just isnt too much to shoot for outside of that. People talk about the outlanes, but I found the center between the flippers to be an absolute death trap. If I hit a part of the bank where the targets had already been dropped there is a high chance the ball comes straight down the center right between the flippers. Absolutely brutal.

Love the artwork. Would be good for a bigger collection
2 years ago
I restored one of these. Really fun drop target game! Great artwork.
4 years ago
Fun machine, enjoying it as a filler machine in my collection. Not a keeper for me but I am glad to have owned i and enjoyed it while I did. Would be a great machine in a smaller collection, but just doesn't hold up in mine.
4 years ago
Simple layout and scoring with some amazing old time artwork. Big bank of drop targets at the top, wicked outlanes -- usual EM stuff -- spiced up a bit with two top flippers that are useful. Nothing amazing but very decent, a little better than the average for the time.
5 years ago
My theory on the theme of this machine is that it was meant to piggyback off the popularity of the movie The Great Waldo Pepper, which came out earlier the same year this machine was released and which starred Robert Redford (check out the artwork of our air ace for the similarity).

I am also guessing that the design center of this game was a hybrid between pinball and the classic shooting arcade games, since pretty much the whole game is sniping at the targets in the upper playfield. There is a sequence here that can be used to roll up points which has a certain satisfaction, if that's what you're focusing on.'s not really pinball. The layout is dull and the play action mostly a matter of catch-or-flip-randomly any caroms off the top targets. The bumpers are sadly misused at the top.

Where the major fail here is -- if the theme is aviation, why are there no flight or plane-like shots?

In any event, it is the sort of machine that's probably best used as eye candy for the occasional play and not for the hardcore player, except as a break in the routine if you have the space.
5 years ago
I owned this machine at one time and I was glad to sell it. For me it was very boring. It simply does not have enough going on in the playfield.
And it did not keep my interest at all.
10 years ago
Not even the colourful eccentric artwork by the great Dave Christensen can save this game.
This is amongst the dullest most abominable games ever designed. A three year old could have done better.
11 years ago
Air Aces is like a beautiful model that can't do much more than look great walking down the catwalk.

The Pros:
Dave Christensen is THE MAN! I was so excited to play this deck after I stepped up to it. The colors and details on the PF and the BG are brilliantly executed. Looking at the woman on the BG makes me want to unwrap a pack of livesavers. Goodness, is she perky!

The Cons:
I played two balls and walked away. Quite possibly Jim Patla's most boring/worst playing design (aaaagh, it's painful for me to type that last sentence) other than Champ.

The Takeaway:
Step back and good long look at this game. Soak it all in and then go play another pinball table. I'm too sexy for Air Aces... damn... 2 Right Said Fred references in a single pinball review... (hangs head in shame)

I got to play a better copy of this game and boy was I wrong about this game. I LOVE being wrong, that is when you LEARN! I admit I, this game is a player and requires you to make long accurate shots up and across the pf and then hit the saucers at the top for double bonus and extra balls. The outlanes are pure EM death and this game reminds me of the most righteous Flip-Flop with the pops up top rather than by the fleepers. Get 8k (adjustable?) on the bonus and head to the double bonus to roll this score reel on over! Cross passing with the upper flippers is fun until the ball heads down the pf at a sideways arc...

Is it the best EM ever, nope. But it is a good game. Good enough that I'd like one in my collection now. That and the woman who looks like she is in a candy wrapper GAW-JIS! Please note, this game must be maintained properly to not become another pinball snoozer. Note to self, buy more white rubber rings...

And the best part, that awesome cadence to the Bally bonus cout that makes you do the happy pinball dance! Even when you lose with this game... You WIN!

Scores updated accordingly.
There are 8 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 1.

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