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Avatar (Pro)

Pinside rating

This game received 157 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 7.343 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks 2nd in the game group "Avatar". The group itself ranks #131 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game design: 7.071

Artwork: 7.771

Sounds/Music: 7.284

Other Aspects: 7.075

Pinside staff rating

This is how we, the very knowledgeable (wink wink) staff & moderators rate this game. 5 of us have rated this game.


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This game is part of a group

Note! There are multiple versions of this game!
This is "Avatar (Pro)".
The other version is: Avatar (LE)

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 100 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 100 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
Currently showing results page 1 of 4.

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41 days ago
Game is to hard for reg. players. its very tough.
77 days ago
Cheap toys and lackluster design have done this pin in. It isn't bad by a long shot, but there are certainly better pins for the era. The price is pretty fair, but I still feel there are better games to be had around that same range.
83 days ago
It's a god damned masterpiece. Live the Bond, Know the Bond. Seriously TWD and Avatar are GOATS.
6 months ago
An average game from my experience. I played on location for a while but could not get into it at all. I was bored at the time and would have been happy to play just about anything but I struggled to keep playing this one. I wanted to like it because I love the movie and hoped it would be epic but I didn’t get any of that epic feeling coming through in the game, maybe my expectations were too high going in. It seems to have a deep rule set which might peak some peoples interest to keep playing but not for me.
1 year ago
I recently picked this game up. I personally find it pretty hard, which i think is good - keeps me coming back for more. wish there was another ramp, 1 is never enough for me. decent game overall, i think it will be a good addition to our league.
1 year ago
Not a good pin at all, done nothing for me I'm afraid, poor design, poor layout. A try once machine.
1 year ago
A beautiful pin - especially if you swap in some colored LEDs. Artwork, sound, music, and DMD animations are superb. Gameplay is merely adequate. The playfield is quite bare, though the ruleset is pretty deep and interesting, and this compensates somewhat. It's an average-ish game in beautiful clothing, so to speak.

Thought I'd add a more detailed breakdown.

The Good:

1. Cabinet and backglass art is among the best Stern has ever done. And it is, bar none their absolute best that isn't hand-drawn. Only the new Zombie Yeti stuff can compare.

2. Playfield and plastics look amazing if you convert to color-coordinated LED GI. Teal/Cyan, Purples, and Blues work great. Again, some of the best playfield art Stern has done that isn't hand-drawn.

3. Music is excellent. Very unique for a pin. Really captures the theme well.

4. Callouts from the original actor who played Colonel Quaritch are spectacularly well done. Very engaging, with enough variation to avoid becoming annoying as a home use pin.

5. DMD animations are good for the era - but definitely go Color DMD with this pin.

6. The rules are pretty deep, and you can stack scoring modes, which adds some strategy as to when you want to engage multiball modes. Stack Bomber Battle or Seeds with Amp Suit multiball... or hit Link multiball, and then slam Amp Suit multi ball or vice versa, when you need more balls. Definitely update to 1.1 code, though, if your machine doesn't have it. A lot of problems were fixed in that release.

7. It flows well (provided you have the spring to prevent SDTM drains - some Avatars came with them factory, others did not and it had to be added). Borg designs are like that, I feel. Good flow, though a bit empty. The ball lock is really clever, too. The magnet is engaging and challenging.

The Bad

1. The biggest single problem with this pin is obvious to anyone who sees it: the playfield is just bare. This was from a time when Stern was fighting cost-cutting measures, there was no competition, and pinball was at a very low point in popularity. The ruleset tries to make up for the general emptiness, but it only succeeds in part. The design of the playfield - given the bareness - is good, provided you have the version which has the little spring below the pops to prevent SDTM drains. If you get an Avatar Pro and it doesn't have the spring (look it up to find the part), get it. It changes the whole game experience from frustratingly annoying to pretty good (but not the best). You'll know if you get constant SDTM drains as soon as it leaves the pops. A little $5 part does make that big of a difference here.

2. The toys are so-so. They could have done a lot more. The Amp suit is very cool, and the motorized crash when you defeat it is great, but the Colonel's figurine should have been in the pro as well as LE. It's like a $5 thing. The Banshee and Navi figures in the LE improve things - and you'll find most modders will add those (as I have done with my Pro). But it's still just... so bare, in terms of gameplay and toys. The Link with Jake Sully's figure is cheap-looking, too.

The Ugly:

1. This game is HARD. You will fight to get to the wizard mode. Having to light all modes - and modes dropping if you drain unless you complete them - means it's a very difficult machine to fully play out. Casual users will have a reasonably good time - the action and callouts are engaging and fun for them. But for pinheads, you will find yourself cursing at this machine sometimes. This is both good and bad. It's good in that, despite the bare nature of the playfield, I still have this machine in my collection after 7 years, for the times when I want a challenging game. But bad in that it can often suck the fun out of a long game when, right at the end, after fighting the pin for half an hour, an unlucky drain happens. It's brutal. Sometimes I like that, sometimes I don't.

In the end, it's like I said in my initial short review. This is overall an average playing pin in beautiful clothing. A worthwhile game to buy for the pinhead who has everything else, or for a fan of the movie. Or, in my case, if you want a pin that pisses you off and challenges you from time-to-time. And it really is beautiful...
2 years ago
Beautiful game. Excellent rule set and very very addictive.
2 years ago
some cooldude wrote a rulesheet for this game:

I enjoyed this game while I had it, though it was too difficult for me, so I moved it on within a year to someone more competent at pinball than me, before I got around to modifying Jake in his sunbed (he was gonna get a Borat mankini and some sunglasses). the best parts of the game for me were the custom speech by your enemy Major Quadrich, the overall blue hue appearance, and the freaky backglass with those blue monkeys looking at you. standard fan layout. one for the purists.

ooo Eywa!! spray your seeds of life on me! sploosh
3 years ago
Fun fast game that is good to add to any collection for a while. Only thing that hurts is only 1 ramp. Sounds are fantastic.
3 years ago
Avatar is a fun game. I don't like this game in tournaments because all you do is go for link. However if your playing it for fun, it can be really intense to get final battle.
3 years ago
Interesting game. Flow is average. Only one ramp.
Need more time on it.
3 years ago
Avatar is the most underrated game on Pinside, by far.
Music and sounds are excellent, gameplay is immersive, with a shaker and a better cabinet speaker it's nice.
I love Iron Man (my favorite Stern) and Avatar is very similar on the ruleset. The wizard mode Final Battle is very difficult to obtain and it's a great mode. This game is very challenging if you like that, and it's never boring to play. Ball control is key and you have to be precise and methodical if you want to score.
This game deserves a better rating!
3 years ago
If you liked the movie this game is awesome. The rules are pretty unique in that you have to start and hopefully complete modes to get to the wizard mode "The Final Battle". Stacking modes with certain multiballs is crucial and quite the challenge. Sounds and speech are top notch, 3D translight is one of a kind, playfield and cabinet art are very representative of the movie. Changing the GI lighting to light and dark blues with some UV's gives you that Pandora look and is the only game for me that good in colored GI. This game is great and glad to have it in my line up.
3 years ago
I really liked the movie so naturally I was drawn to the pin. Nice backglass and cabinet art. The game was fun to play and did relate to the theme/bring up some memories of the film. I would definitely consider adding one to my collection if I had the extra room. . .
3 years ago
Cheap looking toys, played slow on site, and not much fun.
4 years ago
A decent machine I guess, but the fun factor is definitely near to zero (I admit the theme is not ideal for that). I got bored very quickly, even though I became Grand Champion on it (factory highscores, so not a big deal). But it really lacks of interest and variety. And, on location, the replay value is incredibly low, but it's almost impossible to get an extra ball: not the best for players who want to go deeper and explore the ruleset.

An other typical thing that really bugged me: you launch the ball, aiming for the skillshot, it goes in the bumpers for a few seconds, then it drains SDTM. Too bad, no ball save anymore. Very frustrating, and even more stupid as this machine is visibly aimed to casual and novice players.
4 years ago
Boring, uninspired game play that's coupled with the machine being a drain monster makes this a game that simply isn't fun to play. Cool backglass.

Earned a replay the first (and only) time I played it, and I walked away from it... yes, I found it that bad.
4 years ago
the most cool pinball I try, soft music, soft colors , ramps are very easy to climb, it's a very interesting machine with a game play very deap and very difficult to finish ....not in his place in this classement must be on the top 50 sincerely ....
5 years ago
Unbelievable to me that this is not in the top 100......I love the game and some of the best callouts in pinball.
5 years ago
Just can't get into the game that follows the pattern of BBH without any interactive toy to speak of.
5 years ago
I had a pro and miss it very often. If I can find a nice one again, I'll definitely keep it this time.
It gives me that I am in the deep of the jungle feeling because of the gret sound effects and ambiance.
Gameplay is really great. Love the ramp, love the AMP suit shot with the magnet and the 3 bank. Love the lock system for the link multiball too.
I like the challenge of: you drain you fail. Just like in Ironman you have to get everything done with one ball. Which also means even if your first 2 balls sucked you still can get to the wizard mode with the 3rd one.
5 years ago
Avatar is a notoriously simplistic modern Stern game. Despite this simplicity, it is a solid game that is built for controlled/skilled players. Flailing only leads to ball drains here, and the game is absolutely punishing as a result. Some may not enjoy this one because of that aspect, but to everyone else, give it time and it will likely grow on you.

Rules-wise, Avatar is an enigma in that there is more to do here than what initially meets the eye, but there's still not enough meat in the end to make it last in a small collection. The playfield itself is limiting to a degree, but there could have been so much more done with the existing rules already in the game to make it constantly interesting. Still, in order to play well you need to know what everything does in detail, otherwise you are not going to pull off a decent score. Without knowing the fine details of each mode, you also might not have much of a chance in ever making it to the wizard mode, the most lucrative scoring mode in the game.

Mode stacking is Avatar's strongest aspect and it is one of the few games I can think of where you can stack every single main mode in the game together--Seeds, Banshee, Bomber Battle, Navi Scoring, Link Multiball and Ampsuit Multiball. When you string all of this together it really feels amazing (and the points flow as a result). From a casual perspective, being able to start both main multiballs together is a great thing. If you are scared to go for the Amp Suit in single ball play (that magnet can really whip the ball around unpredictably), start up Link instead since it's safer, then bring in Amp Suit during the safety of Link.

Playfield-wise, I can't ask for much more on Avatar other than more intricate rules better built for the layout. The layout is simple, but at least everything on the table has a worthwhile purpose (Seeds being the weakest part, but from a mode completion perspective it is fine). My only wish is there being something more to the one ramp. I don't mind there being one ramp on the game, but I wish more modes utilized it.

Sound-wise Avatar does an amazing job. This is easily one of the best audio packages Stern has put together, even if some of the callouts are taken straight from the film (others, like the main antagonist, were recorded specifically for this game. Sweet!). The cabinet and backglass are incredible as well for a Stern game and look beautiful. The playfield only looks so-so, but when you're playing you really don't notice.

For me, Avatar is a game that demands patience as it can be very brutal. Methodical play and planning if you plan on making it to the Final Battle and it's this aspect that kept it interesting in the first month-and-a-half of owning it. However, a limiting ruleset turned it into being a rather repetive game when it came to the replay value in the second month-and-a-half I owned it. If you just want to step up to a game, bat the ball around and not think much, Avatar can be fun, but even then don't expect it to be easy.

Edit on 8/25/2015 -
I have now sold the game and updated my rating as a result. I thoroughly enjoyed it while I had it, but after achieving the Final Battle 20 times or more, it just became repetitive for me in my small collection of pins. More thought into it also made me realize that the character inserts don't do anything, and there are a lot of little other gameplay and scoring tweaks that could have been made to allow the game to truly flourish. Multiple wizard modes would have been a great start, but fleshing out other neat ideas (like The Bond hurry-ups) and adding a diverter on the orbits could have really made the game one of Stern's best in the same category as something like Iron Man.
5 years ago
Played a very nice and well cared for version of this game at a local meet not long ago which certainly helped but this game just doesn't do it for me. The playfield feels very bare and the ramps all seem to hug the edge of the game which looks a bit odd. Stern could have done a bit more with this license to make it so much better.
5 years ago
love the game it ranks in the middle of my collection have had it for a while it may the next one on the trading block to keep things fresh.
There are 100 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 4.

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