Banzai Run

Pinside rating

This game received 228 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 7.877 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #104 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game Design: 8.093

Artwork: 7.858

Sounds/Music: 6.99

Other Aspects: 7.987

Pinside staff rating

This is how we, the very knowledgeable (wink wink) staff & moderators rate this game. 8 of us have rated this game.


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Found 99 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 99 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
Currently showing results page 1 of 4.

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4 months ago
Enjoyed Banzai Run at Electric Circus.

It’s a very good System 11 for location with easy to understand rules (completely standup targets to challenge a rider), and then you wallop the ball to the top to enter the upper playfield mini-game. The mini-game is unique and fun, with multiple levels to complete for all four riders, and two flippers.

I suspect it would get tired after owning at home as there isn’t much to the main game.
5 months ago
The big draw of this game is the incredibly unique back box. Is this the only one that has a playfield in the back box? I don't recall ever seeing another like it. That said, with it being vertical the ball speed is so fast when its up there it is nearly all luck what you do with it. The novelty wears off quickly. This is a great one to play in an arcade from time to time, probably not great in a home collection.
8 months ago
Let me start this by saying that I know this isn’t a deep game or a crazy fun shooting game overall and more of a show piece but come on, everybody wants to play it. I love my banzai run and think it’s one of my favorite games I’ve ever owned. The normal playfield is fun and has some great shots and spinner rips but nothing too crazy until you mention the vertical playfield. Easily the best upper playfield in pinball history. It brings the game to the next level. Everytime I’m up there I wanna do it again. It’s addicting, beautiful, and just overall super fun! The art is incredible as well and don’t get me started on the music. Easily some of the most catchy music in pinball. Compared to a lot of 90s games it may not be as fun to shoot but it’s far more addicting and makes you want to play it again everytime.
9 months ago
Very unique game with the playfield in the back box but a ton of fun to play. Game is pretty fast and mean.
10 months ago
Unique and challenging, definitely worth playing if you come across it.

Banzai makes for a fun experience which holds until you begin to figure out the timings of the back glass game play-field. Once timing is internalized game loses a lot of challenge and the novelty of it wears off.

This game predates my entry into Pinball, so I could see folks that "grew up" with it liking it more. For new players it is worth some flips, but I would predict you won't fall in love with this one.
10 months ago
For me Not good.
11 months ago
I had one for a few years and it was a lotta fun. The lower playfield is pretty simple since they spent so much money on the upper one. Only other con is that if you play this game a LOT for a long time eventually you will begin to automatically make the upper playfield shots when cradling the ball based on sheer timing of the flip, to where the challenge of them is sorta lost. But again you have to play the game a long time to get to that point. A very very unusual, one-of-a-kind game.
1 year ago
It was unique to get up to the backboard playfield. I could see this being part of a big collection, but probably not great in a small collection.
1 year ago
Loved this game the first time I played it and loved it the 100th time. The backglass may seem like a gimmick but is easily the most fun back glass game. It can be mastered and feels like an extension of pinball rather than a side gimmick. The art and theme are all around well executed. The ruleset is simple but it is all you need for a great game in my opinion and is easy to follow.
1 year ago
Arguably with the vertical play field, it is one of the most creative of all time (certainly for it's era it is).. But the game play can be very choppy as a result. If you like games that "flow" you may not like this game as much as others. I will always play it it if I see one around because finding one can be rare but after one or two plays, I am good. There are other machines of its era that I would rather play....
1 year ago
Got it with Tommy and Eightball Deluxe LE. love thes three being tops in my 28 pin collection. the music is so awesome it sticks in your heard. system 11 games were unique and this one is truly out there. love doing that ramp over and over, smashing the captive ball too. clocked it few times. i keep coming back for more… i own 2 of these. they are bolted here.. like all my pins, when i add i’ll never again remove.. miss my dr dude! got back my getaway and my mousin. so there. this is a great game, cycle stunt up the hill on plunging is nice.. it goes off well when you hit replays or extra ball… all the world knows something seismic just went off! sits next to my eightball deluxe and mousin. the swords of fury is also great to play. similar era, but banzai can run you a long game, if you are good. love maxing out the laps and getting that king. need to get him 5 x in 3 ball game next. it’s like the race is not over yet…
1 year ago
this is definitely one of those games you need to play at least once. the theme is absolutely solid and getting up to the backbox is fun, playing the game is fun and making the shots is easy. there's really not too much too this game but there's something to be said for simple mechanics executed very well. getting to the backbox really feels like the main goal of the game and playing pinball vertically definitely gives some variety to this game. overall I had so much fun playing this game and hope I can find one again to sink my quarters into.
1 year ago
I’ve never played a game that shows you so many lights, flashers and music when you have reached a milestone or a win and it goes on for awhile! If your playing this game in a arcade and you win every one around you will know. What’s not to like with two play fields , but be warned it’s tough to maintain because of it.
1 year ago
Best part is playing the backglass. Great game and I think will always be.
1 year ago
Such a unique game with the play in backbox, lots of fun but does not have that much variety to it in the end
2 years ago
Favorite game. Yes it’s limited in depth, but what it does in the shallows is an epic rip tide into a fabulous choral reef.

Music is timeless, call outs are memorable. The backglass does the clever digits tied into the artwork, and there’s a less is more aspect with more playfield, less art. Plastics are awesome.

Of course adding a left ramp, a drop target bank, another mode for each playfield, and a way to activate “freestyle” more often (maybe a ball save chance feature if you drain quickly) would improve the variety in gameplay. But in the context of how tough the manufacturing was and a first time designer it’s understandable how simple the game was to balance the vertical ambition.

If Banzai Run and Blackwater 100 had a baby, it might have been the ultimate demonstration of pushing the envelope in the pinball art form.
2 years ago
This is certainly a memorable game because of the playfield in the backbox. I always thought it was really cool how it actually pulls the pinball from the lower playfield to the upper one with a magnet, rather than just firing a new ball out on the upper playfield. The rules are simple to understand which is nice, and makes the game feel like you're always a little big away from the next goal. The backbox game gets a little stale and the playfield is a little bare but the game remains fun.
2 years ago
This game kicks so much rear end. It's so validating to challenge an "opponent" and then get that ball into the Banzai trap off the right flipper (or backhanded off the left) and then to play the upper playfield. The more one plays the upper playfield, the more they get the hang of the timing of the shots. Good results on the upper playfield can be easily repeated with practice.
2 years ago
Such a unique and amazing game should be rated higher but there are not many of these out there for people to play.
2 years ago
This really unique game is great fun. I restored 2 of them for a client and was really tempted to buy one. Great system 11 game.
3 years ago
Quite the unique machine. I felt the ball drains too quickly on the back box.
3 years ago
Fun game. Novel idea. Vertical board on backglass is both cool and hard. Then put in pretty pointless (from what I could see) and the game loses its mojo after that.
4 years ago
Such a quirky could you not love it? System 11, motorcycles, and more pinball!!

These have climbed greatly in price, so it is tough to pull the trigger on one unless you like the rarer/oddball stuff.
4 years ago
Once you figure out what to do this game is so much more fun than just trying to get into the upper backboard area
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