Alien Poker

Williams

Alien Poker

Pinside Rating

This game received 65 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 7.617 /10

7.617

Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #164 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.



Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game Design: 7.82

Artwork: 7.15

Sounds/Music: 6.955

Other Aspects: 7.887


Pinside staff rating

This is how we, the very knowledgeable (wink wink) Pinside.com staff & moderators rate this game. 1 of us has rated this game.

6.707

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Found 30 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 30 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
Currently showing results page 1 of 2.

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9.326/10
45 days ago
Patiently building your Royal Flush to 400,000 as well as the x5 bonus at the end of the ball is a profitable strategy, if you are able to aim at the targets in order. :-) Very interesting game play, especially with multiple players. Finally, the Williams sounds of the time are, in my opinion, the paragon of Eighties arcade sounds! This little-known pin is a success, addictive, stimulating from a multiplayer point of view and immersive in the SF kitsch atmosphere of the 80's. I recommend !
8.265/10
1 year ago
Alien Poker is one of those ugly games that has some great gameplay. Probably one of the worst backglasses in Williams history, if not the worst. The playfield is better to look at, but still not great.

Where Alien Poker shines is its gameplay and rules. Maxing out your jackpot multipliers and getting the royal flush drop targets down in order is fun and rewarding. My only issue with the game is that the spinner being lit really isn’t that good of a strategy here unless you have it lit on the plunge. You don’t get that many spins on it when you hit it from a flipper, and at best, it’s worth about 20-30K on a plunge. You really want to focus in on getting your kings completed to increase the jackpot multipliers and hitting the lit joker targets to max out your bonus multiplier. Also completing all your joker targets starts a fun “joker hunt” mode where each flashing joker target is worth 10K and moves around randomly after being collected.

Shots are relatively safe on this game. I don’t feel like the game is very outlane hungry especially since there is only one sling kicker on the left.

Some like to make the game a little more challenging by taking the guide out under the third flipper, making it a scissor flipper game so you have to have more restraint with the right two flippers. Even with that removed, I’ve played enough scissor flipper games to know not to try to trap up in certain situations and dead flip when the ball heads to those flippers.

No multiball here, but truly, the game doesn’t need it. Multiball would break this game.

Getting your aces completed and spelling “poker” just gets you to the extra ball and special.

My favorite moment in the game is crossing a million in scoring, there’s a voice call out and some sound effects that probably would have been incredible to experience when the game was new. Most people weren’t used to scoring in the millions at that time.

That’s really all there is to know about the game. It’s simple, and the rules are fun. There are some cool moments for those that can get to a million and max out the royal flush jackpot value, and some fun callouts and attract sounds. Having this in my line up gives me a break from the games I have that have a ton to do. Alien Poker wouldn’t work well in a small line up of three or less, but if you have more than 5, it’s a nice change of pace and a good single ball game.
9.164/10
1 year ago
Fun game. That sequential drop target really forces you to pay attention to your aim or you're going to lose a bunch of points. This is the game in the house that gets the most play.

The artwork is pure 80's cheese. Not everyones cup of tea, but if you're into that retro vibe it's great! Sounds are typical Williams. The speech callouts are fun and that first sound drop when you start the game, followed up by the five successive thunks of the drops resetting. Super satisfying.
10.000/10
1 year ago
Hands down alien poker is my favorite game from this era for so many reasons I don't know where to start. First it's the art. Lots of people hate on the art on this game but it's my favorite, up there with silverball mania and Phoenix. It's a matter of taste, the weirder and uglier it is the more I'm going to love it! The backglass is a ripoff of the starwars cantina scene, I love it so much. Then the blue/red/black cabinet paint, it shouldn't work but it does.
Next the gameplay. You get a lane change, drop targets, saucers, a zig zag shooter lane that hits a spinner. Never gets old. Same sounds as firepower and other system 6 games. The voices are what get me, totally cracks me up like "when I deal I win" and "jackpot" in a funny alien robot voice. It's the best, better voices than gorgar IMO.
If I could only keep one pin it would be alien poker. It's the combo of the art, space poker theme with awesome 80s electric sounds and robot alien voices with gameplay that's interesting enough to keep me playing 'just one more game' for hours on end. I love this game! Holy grail game for me, think I'll go play it!
7.798/10
2 years ago
Own this and is always fun to play
9.234/10
2 years ago
I watched a PAPA tutorial on Alien Poker before playing a physical copy at Flip Out in London. It’s a real shooter’s game, thanks to the drop targets that have to be hit in sequence, and I really enjoyed the challenge.

The theme is…. Original. It is definitely the best pinball machine with an aliens-playing-poker theme. Obviously, it’s somewhat dated in theme and the artwork looks like it was drawn in MS Paint by a toddler.

However, great game and definitely better than many games that succeeded (and preceded) it.

UPDATED: Increased my rating. I have a minor obsession with this pin, mostly to do with the extremely simple but challenging gameplay. It is just a really good way to practice making accurate shots at drop targets, and with an absurd cheesy 'aliens playing poker' theme to boot.
9.073/10
3 years ago
Pros:
-- Excellent rules. I love how you can take the straight flush at 100k or fight for more. The bonus is also worth a good amount of points. I love the balance.
-- The double flipper adds a unique element.
-- The sound when you get a straight flush is awesome. It takes over the room.

Cons:
-- I wish there were more things to shoot or a multiball. The kickouts provide opportunities for this...

==========================================

I didn't say much but this is a rather fun game. I enjoy it every time I play it. It also makes for a great competition game.
7.118/10
3 years ago
Great game for its value with Awesome 1980 robotics sounds. I like that it forces you to hit the drop target in order and the light sequence when you hit 100,000. No multiball and the funky art package hurt its rating but it’s a great early ss williams table.
6.707/10
3 years ago
The artwork is certainly odd, but the gameplay is good. It's not my favorite playing card themed game, but the market price is certainly appealing for newer collectors or someone looking for a rotator game.
8.667/10
4 years ago
The first game I owned, several years ago, and I'd like to find another one. I doubt I'd change anyone's mind, but over the years I've grown to like this one more than Firepower, which is obviously much more popular and has a (somewhat) similar playfield. Despite the lack of multiball there's more to do here.

I like to drop the first two or three drop targets so I'm not accidentally lowering the bonus constantly, then try to get the aces and maximize the jackpot from the top rollovers. This game sure does love to let you get that jackpot maxed and have one or two drop targets left...oops there goes the ball -_-

Sounds and game speech didn't get better than this in 1980. The voices are so funny. Yup I'd love to get this game again.

*Wife approval* She hasn't played this one but I know for sure the voices would crack her up. The sequential drop targets would probably annoy her. But this would be a keeper.
6.035/10
4 years ago
I just can't get into this pin. I will continue to try to like it more, but the sounds are so repetitive, and the actual gameplay feels boring to me personally. The overall game play experience just isn't at the level I wanted it to be.
6.118/10
5 years ago
The game is outright ugly- although there are worse out there. Luckily the playability is somewhat better. Flipperpositions seem a little odd at first, but they work pretty fine and offer a lot of varied shots. Very cool spinner and nice looking bumper caps.
The game I played had weak flipper mechs, which really limited some shots. Maybe I would have ranked a fully serviced machine higher.
A solid but ugly midcard game. Absolutely no A-list - but not a complete dud either.
7.236/10
5 years ago
spinner and left kickout could really be easier to hit.

Spinner also isn't worth enough

Seems like a grind to max your multiplier, just shoot it up top again and again

Missing doesn't really cost you anything since you just max out your value anyway by hitting more drops
5.318/10
6 years ago
Very fun for an early SS. Great strategy needed for use of drop targets.
9.521/10
6 years ago
This game is a blast. Awesome risk reward rules. Give it scissor flippers, and it makes it even better.
6.015/10
7 years ago
I own a Laser Cue, and prefer that game over Alien Poker, the layouts are quite similar with advantage to LC. AP is a good game in its own right. Great controlled drops in the middle provide a challenge. Lots of looping shots that bring the ball to the corners of the playfield. Tony Ramunni art is terrible, no need to sugar coat it. Speech callouts are creepy, and fit the theme. Theme of aliens playing poker is unique...however I've always imagined dogs playing poker to be a better theme (so many different art opportunities). One of Williams last great games before talking a nose-dive as video games took over the arcade space.
7.092/10
8 years ago
As it sits, Alien Poker is a game that is willing to divide an audience in to fans and detractors. I am a fan, but sympathize with those who find the faults overwhelm it. To me, the key to this game is to never play solo. This is a game made for COMPETITION. Even if against yourself.
Solo, your path is clear: complete kings, get the 4X, then complete the drops. Lather rinse repeat.
In competition, you cast your die and realize the scoring opportunities of the bonus are often enough to crush your opponent, and then things get really interesting.
This is a GREAT competition game!

The artwork? I am not a fan, but nonetheless I will champion this machine. I want to see full backglass, playfield and plastic repros on the market merely for the satisfaction that the game will survive, not as a testament to the art and design.
Sounds though? I am in love. the lo-fi digitized speech, the pitched-up drones as your ball goes on, the oh so satisfying spinner noises, this is everything you'd want to hear in a pin from this era.

Fully shopped and properly dialed in, this game can be delightfully brutal. It is a wonderful ambassador of that "ONE. MORE. GAME." feeling
8.205/10
9 years ago
I picked this up as a broken donor for another project but it was so much fun I just had to keep it.
7.808/10
9 years ago
This is one of a few pinball machines I had when growing up. Played the snot out of it. I recall the sound pitch ramping up as the ball went on longer and longer. Truly building some suspense. One of those art packages that you either love or leave. I love it.
6.945/10
10 years ago
Initially, I picked this game up as a working project and as a trader. I'm not a big fan of the backglass artwork, but the game play is fun, and the rules are easy for all to pick up. My kids have really enjoyed this pin, and I'm not sure I'm ready to part with it. Overall, it's a decent poker game for it's time.
4.011/10
10 years ago
Best poker game with aliens that you will find.
7.484/10
11 years ago
Alien Poker is a game that snuck in to the Williams line up at the height of their early 80's powers.

The Good:
A true shooters game. I love the fact that the game makes you restart the card sequence on the drop targets if you hit it out of order. That and the double flippers make your shots much more difficult to control and there are lots of shots all over this playfield. Classic sounds accompany the classic early 80's feel of this table. When properly maintained, this game epitomizes the quote: "The ball is wild!"

The Bad:
Tony Rammuni is not my favorite artist in the pinball world, but he has also done much better art packages than this. As good as this game plays, it looks that bad. I'd say it's downright ugly. I mean UUUUUGLY! Even with this art package, the game sold 6,000 copies. Imagine what it would have done with a Dave Christensen look to it.

The Takeaway:
This game is packed full of pinball goodness. It makes me wonder why Ed T. only did 3 games. Now Laser Cue was heavily based on this design and is a good game as well. I think I like this one a bit better though. I'd love to try the multiball variant that someone out there made for this game someday. Even with just 1 ball on the PF this is a great playing pinball game.
7.465/10
11 years ago
Still come back to this one again and again. Fun poker theme. It's great for a quick game. The 1 million light show is fun too!
6.945/10
11 years ago
I'm in the minority here, but I like the theme and the artwork. Fun game to play. I picked one up cheap expecting to flip it in a month or two, but I'm still playing it quite a bit.
8.475/10
12 years ago
First pin, so i'm biased. I enjoy the pace of the game, you can play it slow or thrash it out and it can get pretty fast. Lots of shots to make. Robo alien voices are sweet! I think its excellent for the era. This game has much better lastability than I expected.
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