Black Knight Sword of Rage (LE)

Pinside rating

This game received 23 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 8.218 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks 1st in the game group "Black Knight: Sword of Rage". The group itself ranks #32 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game design: 7.903

Artwork: 8.733

Sounds/Music: 8.545

Other Aspects: 7.899

Rating comments

There are 11 rating comments for this game.

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This game is part of a group

Note! There are multiple versions of this game!
This is "Black Knight Sword of Rage (LE)".
The other versions are: Black Knight Sword of Rage (Pro) (regular version), Black Knight Sword of Rage (Premium)

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 11 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 11 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
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8 days ago
Game is a blast to play music and animations are awesome and the toy is one if the best in some time. I think the upper playfield adds a lot.
13 days ago
Still need some more time playing this one but so far it's fantastic! Right in line with the BK theme and story. The BK toy is just fantastic, best new toy in a game in a long time. The custom guitar music fits this theme perfect and is adrenaline producing. Really fast game! And I really love the awesome animations they've done. A little more code polish and this game holds its' own with any other out there.
16 days ago
So nice to see this game out on location already.
17 days ago
This game is intense, fast and maddening.
Multiball sessions get to be a workout.
Time up top isnt that fun but is rewarding.
20 days ago
The first part of this review is based upon the pro version of this game. The second part specifically deals with the preem/LE.

Black Knight v.3 is fast and furious. What didja expect? It's a Steve Ritchie game!

The Pros:
This game is FAST. All shots flow and the center ramp is surprisingly easy and smooth. Backhanded shots are king to the ramp and the 180 degree lock saucer. The rules are going to make this game. So far, they are pretty good. The sound and animations on this game are way sweet! From the first plunge, the game is FAST, furious and true to Steve's philosophy.

The Cons:
Not the most creative fan layout designed. Feels like No Fear v.2 meets Got v.2. Narrow shots missed absolutely punish less accurate shooting. No mercy to the point of no return. The center standup that has to be hit is a purposely dangerous shot to The point of being cheap.

The Takeaway:
A solid playing game that has benefited from iMaid with its less deep/moar wide ruleset. Do not be fooled. This game is not for the timid or the SJW-love-peace and treefrogs crew. This is a manly man's man of a man... man's game. Play better or lose.


Update v.1:
Yeah, already. And unfortunately not for the better. The layout is becoming less endearing to me. All raised lanes lead to the right inlane. I am sure this will change with the preem/LE, but for now this lopsidedness is disappointing. Can't wait to play this game with the upper PF now. Two spinners on adjacent lanes is not something seen too often and the VUK where the lefto orbit normally would be is interesting but also feeds to the right flipper. Rinse and repeat. Artwork on the translite looks muddy. That works with the theme, but I expect better from this team. The animations though... Incredible!

Respect must be given to the TimBawlz application of the Elwin'd "breadth" of rules as compared to "depth" of rules that are still clear and not confusing. The OG BK sound mode is a total hoot, sounds awesome and is the highest point opportunity in the game. Spinners ripping, YAY! Unbalanced scoring... not so hot.

We shall see what happens in the future with this game. Once again, this is only going to get better as time goes on. I look forward to the day when the rules of this game exceed the quality of the pinball layout. Scores reduced accordingly.

Preem/LE addendum:
THIS is the game that should have been EVERY BKv3. While most Stern Pros have as much if not even more game in it than preem/LE's, this game (just like the other two) has an upper playfield. This upper PF is not complex, but it is very well designed. The entrances from the lower PF become evident in relation to the reductive choices SR had to make for the BOM of the pro to exist.

I get it. This is part of Stern's business plan.

But for me, THIS is the BK v3 to play! The game plays and flows as it should. Starting a multiball and then stacking another one on top of it FROM THE OTHER PLAYFIELD, is what Black Knight is all about. you can start a multiball with 3 flips from the upper pf. Learning how to nudge the rubber on the left hand side of the upper pf means that you are manipulating this game from the work GO!

The rules, almost the same
the shots on the lower pf, almost the same
the upper PF makes this game.

This version is the one to get!
20 days ago
Game plays awsome. Fun and fast and smooth. Lanes are hittable, no crazy ball drains, lock is easy to light and get. Multiball was fun and graphics are to tier both printed and digital. Glad the game is on my way home
23 days ago
I put several plays on this game over the weekend. My wife walked away from her last ball, but I wanted to give it more of a chance. No dice. Just not that much fun. Great animations, and the artwork is pretty good, but just didn’t make me want to keep playing. I won’t be plugging quarters into this one in the future.
31 days ago
CONTEXT: I own a very nice BK (1980), and consider it one of the best games ever designed. My hopes were set very high for BK3. My theory is, if you are going to make a sequel, you have to create something equal or better than the original. BK and BK2K are games about the upper playfield. I cannot say the same for this latest installment in the trilogy, the upper has been nearly abandoned.

5/17/19: I just got to play a few games on the LE at GSPF. I consider BK (1980) to have one of the BEST upper playfields of all time, with 4 things to do. BK3 upper has 3 things to so, and here’s where it gets even worse: I watched my friend make the lock 2 out of 23 tries, and when you miss, it’s NOT fun to watch or play because nothing happens when you miss (you watch the ball dribble away to the lower inlane, without any interaction). It is quite possibly the most barren upper playfield of all time. In short, BK3 overall does not live up to the greatness of BK, and it's not even close. It also doesn't come close to the BK2K upper with 2 sets of roll-overs, a ball that exits roughly in front of the flippers instead of spoon-fed to the inlane, (they both have a ball lock), and they both have an orbit. But it's a clear step down from BK and BK2K in terms of "things to do" up there -- (design)

Final Mofscore: B-

(TL;DR below)

* Stern finally having the guts to try an original theme
* SR getting his original theme mojo flowing - so happy for him!
* See-through upper, nice achievement!
* Art design overall
* No bash toy (this is a Stern miracle to abandon the boring “chew toy”)
* Music from big name metal musicians (Scott Ian)
* Low profile good looking black knight toy with a robotic swinging mace — they look good, but are they fun?
* Metal ramps (love the sound and reliability of metal)
* Two spinners
* No obfuscation!
* Orbits (Repeatable): Great!, in TWO directions like high speed.
* Action/Per/Minute: good. Lots of action, but then the huge drawback of the 18 second stop-n-go for ball locks. 18 !!!
* Ball-times: good. Seem short.
* Inlane Lane Change: very good, looks like you light up 4 for the ball save
* Innovation: good, clear upper (on the premium/LE), and a spinning flail. (but are they fun?)
* Lane Change: good, but I didn’t see many balls going back up to the rollover lanes (need to learn more)
* Metal Ramp: yes!
* Slap-Saves: yes
* Shots (total): decent. 12.

* Theme integration could be a home run, I think that’s what we are all hoping for -- need to play in a person's home to really hear this thing.
* Taunting: unknown (I presume there is some, people are commenting on that it’s good but I can't hear it in an arcade yet -- this is likely very good)

* Dink-Donk: average, I don’t like how the ball dribbles out of pops to right orbit lane to top of right sling…
* Outlane Fun: average. (left outlane looks less save-able)
* Flippers: average (just 2 on the pro, 3 on the premium/LE)
* Skill Shot: yes
* Voice / V. choreography: average, I have always despised voices modulated to sound like “a tough guy” — better to find a real tough guy! (most will disagree with the modulation knock, and call these great callouts, and I'm fine with that)
* Nudging: average: for the outlanes, but didn’t see a reason to nudge when a ball is in any other part of the playfield

* No drops on the upper, then why have an upper? (I’ll say it until I’m blue in the face: When you are competing with: Grand Lizard, Black Knight (1980), and other early 80s games for great uppers, why bother if you can’t equal or better those designs?)
* One spoon-fed flipper return lane (SR never did this in BK, High Speed, or BK2K — he kept the ball returns more exciting) Why is he dumbing down the inlane ball returns?
* Rollover lanes into a safe pop-pen? On an original theme? I just don’t get it… The pop pen cannot — I repeat cannot score or harm you, the pop pen design is worthless, and just adds stop-n-go the game. These pops fail all 4 tests for greatness.
* No smart, inline, or sweepable drops
* No horseshoe like in BK or BK2K
* Magna-save is not variable, it’s only on one side, and the button is in the wrong place. People justifying this as anything but a cost-cutting measure is laughable.
* Drops: only 1 bank for BK3. This is abysmal for a BK, where the original has 4 banks of drops.
* Stop’n’Go: poor. waiting for animations is laborious.
* MB Fun: very poor, I didn’t see a lot of good detain shots, I don’t see any reason this has more than a 2 or 3-ball MB. It’s simply not fun or exciting to be in multi-ball mode in the cramped space in the lower. In the original BK, your mind explodes when you have a ball on the upper and the lower at once — trying to decide whether to “catch the baby or the puppy from the burning building”… knowing you will likely drop one or the other.
* Asymmetry: poor: The wall of posts/standups are nearly in a straight line. You brick, you drain. When you often only have a 1% chance to save a brick-drain -- it really takes some fun out of the game.
* Use of Color on the cabinets/BGs. There are wayyy too many colors — I prefer when games have a cohesive two or three color feel like Swords of Fury is: “Black, Light Blue and Orange” — This is a spilled crayon box… I’m not sure why moderns often struggle with this. I see: (pink, purple, fusia, light blue, black, red, green, orange, yellow, white — what the heck people! It’s like a modern tie-die shirt — no color focus!) (I realize this is very subjective, and some won't care about the spilled crayon box approach)

ART: good, Is funky and imperfect -- like other 80s games, and I really like that… However, Not a fan of the “use every color in the palette” approach though to the cabinets. Fire behind the head of the BK is very cool.
SOUND: good, the music is great. But listening with headphones on, it doesn’t “sound” like pinball… It sounds like listening to a metal cartoon. I listen for how well the sounds correlate to actual flips/deflections, and it doesn’t sound like pinball to me.
DISPLAYS: good, I like that the animations are not too complicated. Lots of work went into these.
FLOW: poor, lower PF drains instantly on a bricked shot, any made shots seemingly cannot drain, missed ramps (based on velocity) do not drain or present much challenge. Seemed very imbalanced to me, that missed shots often drain, and made shots are mostly safe.

Layout/Physics: C-
Does it sound like pinball when you play: B-
Art/Music: A-
Theme Integration: unknown (really need to play it in a quiet home environment to get the feel and learn more about the programming)
Passion: (Risk-Taking/Innovation): B

Mofscore: B- (“it’s good effort for a Stern”) There just aren’t any shots I’m looking forward to shoot on this, period.

BK is a *much* better layout. BK2K is a better layout. Sequels are risky and very hard to pull off. In short, I think the pops-to-nowhere, the barren and overly-difficult upper, the flat row of posts with flat targets blocking shots that brick in a way you cannot save them period, and the mis-placed magna-save button are such blatant design flaws, that no level of great art and music or updated rules can save this pin.

Note: If I reviewed this pin in an absolute vacuum without BK or BK2K, perhaps I would be giving it a higher score. But like walking out of the theatre of Return of the Jedi... this 3rd installment is hard to pretend it's a home run after considering what came before it. Bottom line is SR is capable of so much more than what got released in this pin, and that gap in "what could have been" sours my experience even with the great art and music...
34 days ago
I know this may be premature as I've only owned the game a few days, but wow, what a difference from the Pro to the LE. The pro, which I played numerous times on multiple visits to Game Exchange is fast, fun and a beauty, but far too easy in my opinion. The left shot with the spinner can just be hit over and over and over and over and it drove me nuts. It was still fun, but it lacked. However, when I got the LE I instantly realized what I was missing with the pro and am so glad I decided to stick with my original LE pre-order (though I must admit I backed out a few times with confusion and fear of spending too much on a game I hadn't even tried yet). The upper playfield, which is one of the major highlights, is outstanding for one gigantic reason alone... and I'm not trying to compare it to the older Black Knights or anything like that.... it's just simply one of the most satisfying locks I've ever witnessed in a game. On top of that it's also one of the most satisfying skill shots as well. This, along with the fact that the left shot is no longer a repeat offender made me realize I very well may have picked up my favorite LE game yet. Yes, it looks a bit like they cut features from earlier stern titles, making it "too simple" of a game, but step up and play this and you'll realize that the knight toy alone is quite a big feature and shouldn't be taken as a cop-out in any way. In fact couple him with the amazing ball lock mech, and I'm good. I wasn't good before, like many others, but once I played it, I realized I was very wrong... and this game (though still far too expensive) is worth every penny.

Which brings me to the point that I do agree that the 3 models per game is making it very confusing as an operator as well as a collector, and I wish it would at least be trimmed down to 2 models if they truly need to go this route with every game. It's just not fair to buy the pro without trying the Premium/LE first, and it's also not fair to the designers of the games to have to cut some of their ideas to meet costs. In this case, the Pro doesn't even feel like the same game. It just doesn't play right when you play the LE. I get that they had to cut that to keep the Knight, but man.... this game needs to be experienced with all features intact as Steve intended.

additional notes:
I also need to state this as I think people in the forums and on here are losing touch with constantly comparing sequels to their successors. Why do we expect new games to have the same features, with additions to those features? This is Steve Ritchies game and he could have done anything with the layout that he wanted. He is the designer. He has far more experience than any of us. This isn't Black Knight, nor is it Black Knight 2000. It's a new game, with entirely new features. Yes, the upper playfield doen't have as many switches. But if you play this game more than the 5 times you did at a show you'd realize Steve made this to be fast, flowy and new in it's design, and thats a good thing. I bet if he copied BK2000 exactly and put all the same switches up there, people would still be complaining for the complete opposite reason. It's not fair to the designers to constantly tell them they are doing something wrong, when he was obviously trying to just make a "fun" experience. And trust me, this game is super fun, and I'm not biased to any company at all... as I was about ready to stop buying new games after some recent huge flops in my mind...
42 days ago
This. Game. Rocks. The animation is the best I've ever seen and I love the classic theme and art. The game is fast, which I love, and is a TON of fun. I simply love this game.
There are 11 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 1.

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