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Big Hurt

Pinside rating

This game received 56 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 7.148 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #235 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game design: 7.469

Artwork: 6.695

Sounds/Music: 6.271

Other Aspects: 7.507

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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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 28 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 28 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
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1 year ago
I tell you, this game comes so close to being a real winner, but comes up just shy for me. It's a System-3 Gottlieb, which means it's packed FULL of stuff. I'm a sucker for wire-form ramps, and there are some great examples in this game. You can tell they really weren't holding anything back when doing this game design.

Gameplay is actually pretty fun. Some great ramps to work with, and given the number of ramps in it, it's nice to see they all work well with each other, and it never gets confusing. The rocking glove, though, after a while it really started to annoy me. It just spends too much time blocking the critical three center ramps, and does a great job delivering STDM returns. It's too prominent and has too much of a negative effect on overall flow. I think if it swung further, and spent some time NOT constantly in your way, it would really improve the flow of this game. I mean, why have a glove doing so many catches in a home-run-derby mode? Would have been really nice if it could 'hide' sometimes. Modes are good for its era, nothing really stands-out, but can get a bit repetitive after a while.

Overall artwork is good, actually, both cabinet and playfield. Everybody has a different style but it sure comes across as a baseball stadium to me. Translight is 'ok', but doesn't detract from the game either. Leagues better than just about anything in the System-80 era for sure.

DMD animations are mediocre, you can tell that Gottlieb just didn't put the emphasis there which Williams had. Not really a game-breaker for me, but for those who feel DMD animations are important.... you'll come back underwhelmed. Very bland. Particularly the end-of-game and end-of-ball sequences.

But the sound, this really is what worked against me most on this machine. The call-outs from the stadium announcer are decently done but over-used and don't have much variety. The 'music', though, is the real stinker. Gottlieb did some fantastic synth work a decade before this title came out, so I don't understand why it's so bad here.

So I guess that's a great way to summarize this game to me. They put a LOT of work into the playfield, but seemed to run out of initiative after the white-wood was done. And that's the sad part, was how close it comes. A bit more polish to the rules, animations, and sounds could have really resulted in an outstanding title. But it comes up just a bit short for me.
1 year ago
I've owned this game. It was my first machine and I had a lot of fun with it. Its basically a chopping wood game. None of the shots are particularly difficult. The catchers mitt is a cool toy but easy to avoid or hit. This machine does have a great baseball feel to it though. If you like baseball this game can really keep you busy hitting homers and grand-slams. Its a monster of a Gottlieb game... bulky and the quality of the playfield and metalwork is poor. If you can get one cheap its a fun first pin... but soon you will be wanting something more.
1 year ago
The large number of multi-ball modes (2, 3, & 4 balls) make this an exciting table for all skill levels. It's also the best baseball-themed pinball out there.
1 year ago
Bought this relatively cheaply so thought Id give it s go even though I'm not at all into baseball.
Build quality and serviceability is great on the whole but all System 3 Gottlieb's seem to get playfield wear down near the flippers where the mylar ends. My particular machine needed a bunch of small fixes that actually added up to a lot of work. I completely LED it, new rubbers, and a bunch of other parts. Had to basically disassemble the upper playful ramp/stadium assembly as the optos under it for the orbit were out. These are impossible to get to without this disassembly and its a big job so best to check this. The game would benefit greatly from a complete code rewrite as the rules and scorings are silly. Would have loved to have been able to turn off the cheesy 80s background music which gets old really fast but you can't. Kids seem to love the machine, especially the glove. I could see it making money on location but unless you have a particular interest its not really on par with the good machines. All the fixes made it play much better but nothing could fix the poor programming and confusing gameplay.
2 years ago
Admittedly the machine I played was setup poorly, but I think I was still able to get a feel for the game.
2 years ago
Great game. Art looks really good. Call outs are also great. Layout isn’t bad but I can see the rules getting stale in a smaller collection. A very recommended game.
2 years ago
I'm a huge Frank Thomas fan and this game delivers. It's fun at IRA core, albeit a bit cheeky.

So cool shots, good angles and enough to keep you interested.

Play one if you can find one.
2 years ago
Simple and addictive game !!!
2 years ago
This is a solid game. Considering the lack of baseball themed games that aren't a variation of Slugfest, this has some pretty good shots and the rules work, for the most part. This is a pretty fun game to play.
3 years ago
I grabbed a Big Hurt for about $400 mostly new just after it came out, and it was cheap because it had enough oddities (including mechanical unreliability) that kind of harshed the buzz. The main thing one notices is it's all about Frank Thomas (try not thinking about the testosterone replacement he's hawking on TV now when looking at this machine) but without any licensed Major League Baseball logos etc. So: no ChiSox, no Comiskey Park, just Frank standing alone. The baseball bat multiball is kinda fun but has some of the flaws of the bat and ball theme games since time immemorial, notably it's just hard to control with skill (and mine had mechanical issues). Each mode (Home Run Derby, etc.) felt a little disconnected. But: if you like baseball, it's one of the only modern baseball themed machines that's playable, and now the real Big Hurt is in the Hall of Fame, if you are a collector it may have a certain caché.
3 years ago
Frank Thomas Big Hurt pinball is easily the best baseball themed pinball. The modes are fantastic and encompass almost every aspect of the game. Gottlieb themed this after one of baseball's biggest stars of the 90's, neck and neck with Ken Griffey Jr. at the time. The home run/grand slam shot is one of the best in pinball and the glove is one of the most satisfying "stuffs" in all of pinball. The 7th inning stretch is a blast and what the music/sounds lack overall, it's made up for it in this mode. The announcer is fantastic and will take you right back to the mid 90's; it reminds me a lot of NBA Jam. If you get a chance to play this game, don't pass it up, and if you can find one to buy and have an affinity for 90's sports, it's a must own.
3 years ago
I've seen people call this game a "modern day pitch & bat"--I agree. It's a lot of fun when the difficulty is turned up and the ball save timer/extra balls/other similar settings are turned down or off. It can be played as a normal, go for the highest score game of pinball or it's also fun to play a game and just focus on setting the high number of home runs or shots into the glove.
4 years ago
Very fun pin with some bad art. The glove is a fantastic toy, it will STUFF you hard on your attempts at hitting balls out of the park. I Love the pop up ramp, and the rules aren't bad. lot's of ways to score points on this one. This is like a world cup soccer, but much better.
4 years ago
Great skill shot, neat moving glove target
5 years ago
This game has its moments. It's not terrible for a baseball themed pin, something that I was afraid of. It's got a few really satisfying shots that give it a faster-feeling experience (something baseball definitely is not!) The outer loops fly around for awards; the alternating ramps during All-Stars mode is great; then there's the home run/grand slam ramp. Hit that and it really does feel like you've accomplished the impossible.

Kinda sometimes feels like Frank Thomas sat on the R&D board saying things like, "I know! How about 'Grand Slam Derby!' or have me steal home!" Some of those things raise eyebrows. Why is a plane flying overhead to advance the inning? Who flies planes over baseball stadiums?? It's odd. Collecting Frank Thomas baseball cards and trading them in for bonuses (A Gottlieb thing, apparently) is fun.

Fun game, though overall. Scores can be in the billions since running the outer left lane advances from 50,000 to a Billion for each shot. That shot's scoring is the most unbalanced on the table. Otherwise, it's a good pin for a baseball theme.
5 years ago
i had a blast playing this ! its a whole lot of fun !
5 years ago
My father has owned this game for over a year now and I have probably close to 100 plays on it. If they game is playing really good, has a good incline and the flippers are nice and strong this game is a lot of fun. The main gripes I have with it are the horrid Sys 3 sound quality and the multiball centric modes. They are nearly the same mode structure as Stargate (another game my father owns) but they seem a bit more repetitive in Big Hurt. I would assume this is due to the playfield layout. It is always fun to play for runs or home runs instead of score so there is some variety there. There are two bad things about the rules though. 1.) The left orbit, while a tough shot to repeat, can be hit consecutively for billions of points. Now, in over a year of playing the game I have only done this once, but it resulted in me getting over 4 billion points in a matter of seconds. My previous high score to date was 1.7 billion. Like I said, this can be an extremely hard shot to replicate and it is a dangerous shot because the standups on each side of the orbit entrance can throw the ball back down the outlanes. I honestly try to go for that shot all of the time as it sucks the fun out of the rest of the game which is pretty dang fun. 2.) Being able to trade in your "cards" you have collected to double your score. I have never done this because you have to have an exact amount. The rule is there though and I don't like it.

All of this said, it isn't a great tournament game, but a lot of fun in a home environment. I think a lot of people would enjoy it if they just got a chance to play it. It actually is a pretty game if it is cleaned up. My fathers is a very nice example with a clear coated playfield.
5 years ago
Always see people hating on this so I gave it a spin. The callouts get old fast, but gameplay is well done. Several modes, run scoring, moving target....a lot to do. Suffers from what I think all system 3s suffer from, and that is the crazy valued shot. Sf2, freddy, this...they all have a crazy valued jackpot or bonus that gives you way to many points and offers some unbalanced scoring
If you're a baseball fan you'll like it, if not you probably won't. Not lit very well either.
6 years ago
I see a common theme in these Pinside reviews “this game is underrated”. I totally agree but I'll be a little more specific about why.

Multi-ball is too easy. Every game, regardless how poorly you're doing is rewarded with several multi-ball sessions. When it's so easy, it loses the thrill. You're supposed to feel that “WAHOO - I DID IT” when you finally make that last locking shot and know you've arrived at one of the pinnacles of the game in play. In this game it's just another round of too many balls on the field. Which is the second issue - there's really nothing all that special you're supposed to be doing while in multi-ball. Sure, the home run now shows “Jackpot” on the score board if you happen to look at it. But there are no significant differences in the sound. WCS would be going nuts with fireworks, announcer screaming exciting plays and lights flashing on the ramps to advance to the next team. BH - nothing.
Oh, this just kills me, quick ball drain, announcer says “same player shoots again”. Really? OK, I'm not a big baseball fan but I've watched a few games and I've never heard an announcer say anything like that. Why couldn't he call “foul ball”? DUH!!! WCS calls “Out of Bounds”. Way better.

I have to wonder how the designer never saw a link between baseball (you swing a bat to hit a ball) to pinball (you swing a flipper to hit a ball). What the hell were they thinking with a base hit being obtained by knocking down drop targets whereas the great orbit shot doing nothing to advance the runners. Really? It's so dang obvious a line drive around the orbit should move a player to the next base and how rewarding would that feel?

So, sounds like I've bashed the hell out of this game, how could I possibly think it's underrated? Easy. When you play it, don't think about it as a baseball game. As a generic pinball game it's quite amazing really. Three gap shots, two ramps down either side of the game. Different VUKs let the ball enter from different places (even TZ only has one under playfield entry point). Knock downs, glove, reversing ramp, captive ball, very high fidelity on the audio sampling. It's got all the technical bells and whistles. And build quality - I have a lot of Williams / Bally games and compared to them, this thing is built like a brick shit house. Wire gauge on the ramps must be larger as these are really solid. The playfield is also up higher - the whole cabinet is taller. You feel like you went from the kids arcade to the adult game room when you step up to this thing. And the play? It's a blast - really, it just doesn't seem to give you the rewarding feeling for the great shots. You just have to create your own joy of completing the shot you were striving for.

Bottom line, the layout and play of this game is fine. All that would have been needed to put this somewhere in the middle of the top 100 like WCS (a very similar game on many levels) would have been to have one of the Bally software artists to make a few changes to the play and audio as described above. What a pity.
7 years ago
Very dark game, needs additional spots to see much of the playfield. Everything else was ok.
7 years ago
Big Hurt is one of the best Gottleib games to come out during the 90's.

The Pros:
Great shots, triple ramps and a moving glove to keep you occupied at all times. One of the best Gottleib Layouts. I had never heard of Bill Parker before... but he did barb wire and a few other of the better games from Gottleib. The game does not really have flow, but it has some great shots. Scoring a home run on the upper deck is always a rush. I usually don't pay much attention to the cabinet, but the ball screaming out of the park in flames as it's stitches pop off is a great visual. The glove moving back and forth at the top of the ramps is a fantastic toy that integrates into the game seamlessly. Well done on that glove.

The Cons:
Trading in your cards to double your score... um...(take a sip of coffee) yeah. The artwork on the pf is good, but esp. on the BG, is not the best.

The Takeaway:
IF properly maintained and kept fresh, this is a very fun and entertaining table.
8 years ago
Gottliebs of this era are vastly underrated but this game was average to me vs others of the s3 era like SF2, Freddy, H20W or even wipe out, I like the concepts and center ramp, not sure I would own one.
8 years ago
I think this game doesn't always get its due. Yeah, the art and the sound aren't all that great but I love the layout of the playfield. The center ramp area alone has many great shots: right warning track to the bullpen, left warning track, hit the glove soft for a single, hit the glove hard for a catch, get past the glove into the center for a home run (or raise the middle ramp to shoot over the glove), left loop for an inning, right loop for multiball, and left and right scoreboard shots for a letter. How many other games have that many cool shots in a four inch square area of the playfield? Add to that the repeatable orbit shot for big points and the scoop-captive ball-drop target combo for a steal.

This game is fun and a bargain at that.
8 years ago
Frank Thomas was my favorite baseball player growing up and I had no idea he had a pinball machine until a couple of months ago. I tracked one down and if you like baseball, you will really enjoy this game. Great layout with the moving baseball glove (similiar to the goalie in WCS94), most of the modes are multiball. I'm not a gottlieb hater, and think this is another good machine (i.e. stargate and freddy). The worst things about the game are the scoring is unbalanced (if you master the loop shot you can get ridiculous amounts of points) and the world series wizard mode is a little confusing. All in all, Big Hurt is a steal at its price and to me outperforms a lot of the newer sterns.
8 years ago
Incorporated the whole baseball theme well. The field played well. Simple enough to start having fun straight away. Not excellent, not bad. Somewhere in between.
There are 28 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 2.

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