Big Game

Pinside rating

This game received 49 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 7.498 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #176 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game Design: 7.653

Artwork: 7.729

Sounds/Music: 5.806

Other Aspects: 7.56

Pinside staff rating

This is how we, the very knowledgeable (wink wink) staff & moderators rate this game. 2 of us have rated this game.


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Found 26 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 26 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
Currently showing results page 1 of 2.

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11 months ago
I love the artwork and theme. This game has a lot going for it with drops, rollovers, and a spinner. I can't believe it doesn't cost more!
1 year ago
This classic Stern does not disappoint. Plays crazy fast for a widebody and the rules are super fun. I was not a hug fan of the 4 lower flippers but they fit this one perfect. Artwork and sounds are average but game play and rules make up the difference to this classic a huge thumbs up. Some of the best spinner rips in pinball. My favorite classic stern.
1 year ago
If you like a fast game and drop target action this is your machine.
I really like the Classic Stern collection of games, and Big Game fits right in.
Sounds are typical of the era and nothing special but that is ok, the addictive part is how the game plays. It is easy to get caught up in lining numbers up on the playfield cards to elevate your score. The pop bumpers add a lot of action in the middle of the playfield and a couple of mini orbits on the lateral aspects keep things interesting.
Spinners were a bit tougher to hit (for me) at the upper left -- one of the things I like is a good spinner rip and this is the one area I was left wanting more while playing.
I'd definitely add one to the collection one day!
2 years ago
A masterpiece. Con Delcos, Perth. A machine that you could clock!
3 years ago
I'm biased. I absolutely love this pin called Big Game. It is fast !! If you don't like wide bodies because you think they are too slow, give Big Game a try when ever you get a chance.

The outlanes are tough but not to the point that you would want to walk away from the pin. Good nudging skills can help with the outlanes. If you like a pinball machine where the ball comes to you and offers good flipper action, give Big Game a try. Other than the saucer at the top that traps the ball for 2-3 seconds, the ball is always in motion.

The only time the ball is stopped is if you have trapped it with one of the four flippers. With the four flippers you need to modify your flipper techniques. Post passes are possible but difficult. Flipper passes can be made by bouncing the ball from the lower flipper to the lower side of the upper flipper which ricochets over to the lower flipper on the opposite side.

My girl friend asked me several months ago that if I could only keep one pinball machine which one would it be. Big Game is my keeper. It is like the engineers asked my my likes and dislikes and built a pin to my specs and desires.

The rules are simple but not easy to achieve.
3 years ago
Harry Williams was a playfield layout genius. When this game is dialed in, the shots are, tough, fair and oh so sweet when you hit them. The action is fast and furious with a complex scoring system related to completing three bingo cards and getting bonus based on completed numbers, lines and entire cards. It really makes you think when you get close to completing a card as to what you will need to go for. If you like to catch the ball a lot you may get frustrated with the flipper set up which makes it difficult to set up shots that way, drop catching or shooting it on the fly frequently works better. An above average art package on the backglass and superior gameplay makes this one a keeper for me.
3 years ago
The best early solid state pinball game made...perhaps the most fun and addictive widebody game ever? It's arguable. Harry Williams really did a good job designing the bingo cards into the gameplay, and made it more than a throwaway gimmick. Chasing the drop target numbers as the playfield mechanics cycle through the cards is a fun challenge. The far left spinner into the Big Game "pocket" is a super satisfying shot, and can be worth a decent amount of points. There are some neat angles to be shot here, and many lead through the pop bumpers. Just like all of these Stern games, the rules can be tightened up via DIP switch settings to be extremely stingy or liberal. Make sure your game has the rules tightened up for maximum replay value. I can take or leave the theme or artwork. It seems a bit irrelevant to the centrality of the bingo layout. It could have very well been outer space, sports or the old west and it would have been a bit cooler. The jungle theme stands out in stark contrast to Stern's other games of the period, so marks can be given for originality, even if the theme does seem a bit random. Arguably, one of Stern Electronics' best games.
4 years ago
I don't remember ever playing this when it came out, so my recent turn on it at in somebody's basement was my introduction to the game. It feels very transitional, moving into the solid state era, and has a jungle cat hunter theme that doesn't really tell much of a story or get integrated with the shots. That said, the playfield pleases me. There are asymmetric shots, and managing the double flippers feels like you have an elephant gun - a little high caliber and slightly out of control until you get the hang of it. In any event, it felt like a fair game that rewarded skill more than some other SS games of the era, and the widebody layout is a bit unusual as well. I expect it would be a good collector's game for somebody interested in getting interesting examples of variations in design.
5 years ago
Big Game has some neat jungle themed art on the pf, and the bg is decent, but it is towards the bottom of my favorite widebodies (with Space Invaders coming in last!). Oddly, it seemed like the game wanted to be Paragon, but just couldn't make the cut. The shots were too long from either of the stacked flippers on either side, and there weren't enough targets for the space available. I can't really say that it was awful, but I walked away after a few games and never looked back.

I'd pass on this one unless I found it dirt cheap, and I wouldn't bother playing it there are other games around.
5 years ago
A little confusing, but a lot of variation.
6 years ago
Big Game is a fantastic playfield design by the great Harry Williams himself.

* Asymmetry: very good
* Backhands: YES, you can back hand all the important shots
* Ball Control/Hazards: The 3 pops and the post between the spinners are the main hazards
* Ball Time: seems like an easy player, but if I owned one, it would be steeper and faster
* Drops (Sweepable): (maybe the right bank?)
* Flow/Stop n Go: very good flow -- only ball stop is the saucer, and it's momentary
* Fun/Lastability: very good
* Inlane Flow: very good
* Lateral movement/Nudging: always a little tough to nudge a wide-body, but this is smaller as wide bodies go
* Originality: yes
* Pop bumpers: excellent, three mid-field pops
* Scoring Balance: very good
* Skill shot: barely, it's a 1-2-3 without lane change
* Sound: good Stern sounds
* Spinners: yes 2 of them
* ThemeArt/Lights: good, but you'd better like a jungle theme
* Toys/Gimmicks: 4 flippers

* no voice
* no multiball
* no orbit shots
6 years ago
One of the best looking games of its type.
6 years ago
I have owned this machine for about a month and I love it! The theme is amazing, and the gameplay is challenging. Very hard to get all bingo cards lit up, especially having only one lit at a time, and only 3 ball games. very fast after a good polish and wax, and hitting those double spinners is awesome. Multiple ways to hit the drop targets (off bumpers, fed from top side loops, or direct from the flippers) Keeps me coming back for more. The thumping of the drum beat that gets faster the longer the ball is in play is awesome too. Best part of the sound package is when you have a big bonus 3X at the end of the ball. Blasting the spinners good is a great sound too. I would be surprised if I ever get rid of this.
6 years ago
This game has it all. Great variety of shots, nine drops and two different ways to collect an extra ball. Uses all of its allotted space. Set-up with a bit of an angle and this one is fast! Great machine for its era.
7 years ago
Must first clarify that I am not a big fan of the wide body pins. With that being said, this machine is entertaining and does present a challenge with some of the shots(at least for me anyway). Overall, a decent pin, but not one that I would want in my collection.
7 years ago
Beautiful artwork and that Harry Williams charm in game design. My favorite classic Stern.
7 years ago
Not a fan, thought the theme wasn't used at all on the pin. Played pretty boring to me.
7 years ago
Sorry I just don't rate this machine in any area, not my type of game.
8 years ago
Played this for the first time today, and what a fun widebody Stern this is. Lots of shots, love the double flippers, and the art package is just killer. Definitely worth playing.
8 years ago
Big Game was a table that I was expecting more from. It's an alright table... so far.

The Pros:
Doug Watson put a Big Ol' Tiger on the BG of this deck. This game is telling you that it's going to eat you alive! The rest of the game is green and lush in line with the game's theme. Harry Williams put 9 drops, 3 orbits, 2 spinners and 4 flippers on this table. Lots to do and lots of shots. The bonus tic-tac-toe is multiplied 3x for each bank of targets on this table. This game is surprisingly fast. My favorite color is green.

The Cons:
I am seriously surprised by the layout of the flippers. I thought there would be more to do on this part of the PF. Not the easiest game to step up to and play immediately. The saucer on the upper left of the PF was a strange choice... why not keep it an orbit? Oh well...

The Takeaway:
I have to admit, I am still learning how to play this table. I just need some time and play the game (or play it with someone who knows it well) and really learn the x-y-z bonus scheme and the other intricacies of this table. Scores will be updated at that time.

This game is righteous! The more I play it, the more I like it. The art pax is solid and the rules are eternally challenging once you know what to do with your 3 tic-tac-toe plates. At first I thought that the 4 flipper layout was a gimme until i found that I was consistently throwing the ball in between the center flippers when the upper flipper dropped down and pushed the ball into the trough from a trapped ball on the lower flippers. This means that your traps will have to take place on the upper flippers or your on the fly skills must be activated when you think that a simple trap will do the trick. Backhand and flipper placement shots from each of the flippers to the drop target banks/ spinner lanes mean that each of the 4 flippers has its own strategy/ strength of play. Spell BIG GAME for big points at the upper lefthand saucer. Get all 9 targets down on each of the 3 banks if you can for the 27k + 3x X each completed line at 5k (24 in total) means your score shoots through the roof. It also has that "Gotta hit that last drop target" quality to it compounded with the "is the shot I need to make on the x-y-z bank that needs to be lit. A perfect blend of pinball luck and pinball skills! Harry Williams makes you think and work with this deck. Don't believe me? Check out the Keith Elwin narrarated PAPA 14 Classics battle featuring the Birnbaum/Augenstein battle. You can find it here: I can't wait to get mine into my stable. For a game this wide and this open... it is deadly fast! There are a few of the Stern (v1) games that I really like. This is one of them.

Stars (getting one!)
and a few others that I can't recall at the moment.

Scores raised accordingly. Tic-Tac-Tiger... ACTIVATE!

Traded this game towards another game I really wanted. I hated letting go of this deck, but the other one was calling me bigtime. Would love to find another again and put it back in the stable.
8 years ago
My 2nd pinball. Like the widebody, the "stampede" music, and the backglass. Fairly basic game, but good for its time.
9 years ago
Really fun drop target pin with complex scoring rules that bring strategy to shot selection. With the bingo-style cards, you have to pay attention to what's lit and when to complete targets. The Big Game feature is fun and spinners are good.
9 years ago
I played this game a few times and at first it was ok but then became bored of it quickly.
9 years ago
Big Game is another great Stern title that may not be appreciated as much as it should? For a "widebody" (it's wider than a standard pin, but not as wide as a Bally or Williams widebody) it is very fast when set up properly. At first it is confusion with the cards that you have to fill in like bingo, but once you figure out that its the drop targets it can be a real challenge to get the number you need when the x y or z card is lit...not sure how this relates to big game animals, but who cares its pinball right? Of course the ever popular spelling out big game and hitting the saucer kick out in a timely fashion is always fun. Stern did a great job with the quality of the sounds in this era compared to the comp. imho, and Big Game's increasing back beat the longer the ball is in play is intense ala Meteor. the quad flippers requires new or different flipper skills, you can't trap with the bottom set , and have to be reactive, it does speed up the game though. Programming has to be reviewed on this game to combine fun factor with challenge for more experienced players. First Big Game I played was a clunker and I almost passed on purchasing a nice one for my collection, but boy am I glad I didn't! An added bonus for some maybe "family friendly" artwork as opposed to the women, wizards, etc. so much a part of pinball culture esp. late 70's early 80's.
9 years ago
There's something about these early 80s pins for me. A truer ruleset than the EMs of before, better sounds, and the artwork is the best from any pin era IMO. Big Game is a well designed widebody from the first Stern company incarnation. The backglass is a showstopper, and the game has double stacked flippers on each side giving the illusion of claws while you play. Designed by Harry Williams (the founder of Williams), this game is a great piece of pinball history, as well as a lot of fun.
There are 26 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 2.

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