Black Knight Sword of Rage (Pro)

Pinside rating

This game received 39 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 7.940 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #60 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game design: 7.579

Artwork: 8.156

Sounds/Music: 7.852

Other Aspects: 7.917

Rating comments

There are 18 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 (Pro)".
The other versions are: Black Knight Sword of Rage (Premium), Black Knight Sword of Rage (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 18 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 18 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
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1 day ago
Got to play this game several times today at my local pinball lounge alongside the original BK as well as BK 2000. SOR is a great culmination of the trilogy of BK pinball. Great soundtrack by Scott Ian of Anthrax fame. Game play is fast and intuitive with fun and challenging shots. Playfield layout is great without too much open space as is common in newer Stern games. Would have liked to see magna save on both outlanes as well as another flipper or second level, however this game stays true to the heritage of great BK pins while observing the newer Stern paradigm. I would like to add this to my home collection ahead of other newer and great releases such as Iron Maiden and the Medieval Madness remake. I foresee much re-playability here.
7 days ago
Pro is the way to go on BKSOR
7 days ago
I love BK1 and I'm pretty content with BK2. With several years to think about it, with new and advanced technology and all the possibilities, I really expected BK3 to be out of this world. I only watch the trailer videos and never read a single review so that I wasn't influenced one way or another.

The game looks AMAZING! The backglass, the graphics, the lighting.... A+.

Sound? Another A+. Voices are clear and crisp, music is powerful.

The knight is one of the best toys ever created. His eyes light up when he talks? He verbally harasses you all game? Awesome.

The layout has a lot left to be desired. The knight is right up close to the flippers. Even when you hit what you're supposed to hit, the ball goes right down the middle. That happened to me three times. I then just backhanded everything rather easily and started the modes & multiballs with ease.

Munsters, by comparison, has so much room inside the machine. Heck, nearly every other machine made lately has that. BK3 makes you feel like you're playing on less than half a playfield. I hate that feeling.

The modes are fantastic. Some of my favorite modes in any game. The animation, lighting, and sounds all go perfectly together. They are varying and fun to play. The multiballs are fun too. When you advance the game far enough, it turns into a mixture of BK1 & BK2 with the sounds and graphics. I LOVED THAT SO MUCH! Made me nostalgic.

Also happy with the magnasave feature. I'm glad it's back.

Overall, fun game. However I think it could have been so much better. Push the knight back another 4-6 inches. Give the user some space on the playfield to work with. The shots would also be a tad tougher. The also feels dimensional. No depth, no height. Hard to explain, really. Kind of like how TNA is put together. This is uncharacteristic with other BK titles. That was disheartening after a while.

It slightly missed the mark of excellence for me. It under-achieved my expectations, but it's still a fun game and I'll be happy to play it again for a few months at least.
8 days ago
I was disappointed bit reaveal videos. Played a few games and like it more than I thought I would but not a home pin. Gets repetitive feeling. Still early code with easy exploits. Still underwhelmed but not as right flipper heavy as it first seems
10 days ago
Steve Ritchies Magna Carta!
12 days ago
I really wanted to like this machine more, because Black Knight was the first pinball machine that ever made a real impression on me, and Steve Ritchie has made some of my favorite games ever. But after sinking about $15 into a Pro version at my hangout, I just think it's too unforgiving with too little reward. I was able to score over 200M once, and I didn't really notice until the ball was over. But most of my games are near 20M and over very quickly, even when trying new strategies. You can't really get better if you're constantly punished for hitting things you're supposed to hit.
A few other things just make this machine too frustrating to continue putting money into it. The slings are very powerful and consistently shoot the ball over the lane guards for instant drain (this is a machine set to factory settings by an operator I trust). It makes me wonder if they're leaving the factory with rubber that's set too low. A full third of the near field is hard return targets that punish you for actually hitting them from nearly any angle. The magna save feature is the center button, which is a horrible design choice - and it only engages for about 2 seconds, so it punishes you for predicting when your ball will reach the area.
Animations are low quality. Whatever is on the playing surface is very slick and makes the ball even more unpredictable than other comparable games with short playfield areas. The quick angle trap that locks or starts modes consistently gets balls stuck, and it sometimes even has to go through two or more (record is five) ball recovery modes to dislodge it. Sometimes it never does and then just says "Ball Missing - relocating" for 10 seconds and then just ends the ball and begins bonus tally. Garbage.
Just too much wrong and not enough fun.
13 days ago
What a fast-playing pin (I love that). The shots are fun and the damn spinner can wreak havoc. I guess you want that given the theme. The music is pretty sweet too. I enjoyed the game a lot after playing it several times, but also could see it getting a bit repetitive and losing its charm after a bit of time, so this will be a good on-location pin for me and not one I'd opt to have in my collection. That said, I did not get to play a premium or LE yet, so those could change my overall impression on this theme.
16 days ago
Here is the deal on this game and read carefully before you buy one!

PRO VS LE/PREMIUM: There is NONE ZERO reason to buy an LE or Premium because there is hardly any difference between the PRO and LE. I think you should buy an LE if you actually believe the game will be a collector game down the road. This game will NOT be at all... this game is boring after a while. This will be the game you own for about 3 months and look to move quickly for a new game. Without a license attached to the game I doubt very seriously this game will be something people are dying to buy a year from now after another 5 new games emerge.

If you really want this game buy a PRO! This game is NOT worthy of an LE. Even an LE the game the effort put into is a 5k pinball machine nothing more or less. This game is the prime example why Stern shouldn't make the pricing the same for every game, and furthermore not every game should have an LE.

The game has virtually no toys, and the code is so basic a friend of mine beat the game three times in a row. The music is pretty much the same over and over and over again.

This game should spark a debate about Stern selling games for what they should be worth. ACDC Pro with all those magical songs, is $5700 and this game is $5700... HOW and WHY? This game brand new should be about $4500 TOPS!

But let me tell you what is going to happen with this game... you'll buy one for $5700 and within 12 months maybe 18 the games will be selling for about $4000. You will find no market for these games outside of diehard Stern fans. You may hate Ghostbusters, but most of those games got sold to non-pinsiders. People buy for the theme this game has no possible secondary market because its not a licensed game. So in other words the market for the game will be within the pinball community, which I feel will make it harder to resell the game. Back to the Future not a great game, but some guy has to have it because its his favorite movie. Get the point? The Knight will have no such market. Even the original Knight games can be bought for lows 2's... this game is headed to the same place.

Pinsiders will bore of the game, and will find it hard to sell it down the road. LE's forget about it those will be worth $5500 after 18 months bank on it. There are some movies or songs that over time become classics and we have the same thing in pinball. Time will not be kind to this Knight.

The two previous Knight games are more fun than this version and in the end will be worth more as well.

SKIP THE KNIGHT and if you really must have one wait and buy one when they're selling for about $4000 this same time next year.

Stern really laid an egg with the Knight. The game is just so basic, no boring, and with no long term market again I'm merely trying to save you money. I will say this after people play it a few times there is no way in hell Stern sells 600 LE's just no way.

Save your money and wait for a new game that deserves your money!

Lastly let me say this directly to STERN... you didn't pay $1000 per machine for Batman license, you didn't pay a $100 per song for Aerosmith, you essentially paid nothing for the license here to create a new version of Black Knight.

SO please tell me with all that extra money freed up why didn't you create the next coming of MM, with Castles, Monsters, and more detail than we've ever seen? WHY charge $5700 for a pro or $8k for an LE when this game has no high dollar license, and you put less into this game than any game I've ever seen you make. How did that happen?

Some people might not like this review but its still the truth!
20 days ago
Very fun, fast, and brutal game. High energy. Has that one more game appeal. Will need to see how the code develops to determine if BKSOR will have long term last-ability. Game punishes you if you miss your shots. Center target is very risky, but critical to hit. Magnasave can be really difficult to use. Should have been a button on the right-hand side of game and not on the lockbar.
21 days ago
This game is METAL!!! Fast and fun to play and easy to understand game modes and definitely can be challenging at times.
22 days ago
Right flipper heavy like everyone says and requires a lot of passing due to a setup that rewards low risk right flipper shots to start multiball. All of that aside it is still very fun and reminds me of the TNA in certain ways.
23 days ago
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.
27 days ago
So much better than the previous two Black Knight games! So fast! So smooth! The king is back, and his new Black Knight is the best that it has ever been. The RGB lightshow in this game is absolutely epic and well choreographed, the modes are differentiated well, and even the early code is set up very nicely. Easy to understand objectives, hard to complete. It's pinball at its best. The LCD is so well done, and I agree with Tim Sexton, definitely the best animations in a pinball machine ever. Steve's taunts as the black knight are hilarious, absolutely LOVE everything about this game! Can't wait to see 1.0 code, Stern really nailed it with this one. This is a perfect example of a '...just one more game' pinball. So much damn fun.
27 days ago
Played Pro version Saturday night 4/20/19 - Probably 15 games.

Game play = Shoots very nice / Smooth / Cool shots / Nothing OVERLY gratifying. But cool nonetheless. It does integrate with the heavy metal theme very well;
Flow = There are some cool loop shots / It’s pretty smooth – I would NOT use the word “clunky” to describe this game. I mean – Unless you are just tagging posts non-stop.
Has magna save – I was never able to do this successfully – If I played the game more / owned it / you would get a LOT better at using this feature. I just didn’t play enough.
Goals / Targets
• The black knight is cool. You have to shoot the shield button to open the shield (the knight lifts the shield to expose the ball lock) – kinda neat.
• Also – his mace / you have to bash that for some hurry-up bonus and stuff. Pretty cool - I liked it.
• The modes and ball – lock were the same target
• Heavy metal shredding non-stop-high-energy music / Black Knight – Curses / swears / etc… Not enjoyable to me AT ALL. In fact – Its kind of a turn-off, to be honest (for me - If you're a fan of heavy metal - I am sure you would love it... )
• The deep dark voice of the knight out of the game = Not so great. I am sure I didn’t’ hear all of the call-outs, but here were a few…
• Again – for me – This was a big turn-off. It was the opposite of attract mode (for me) – I am sure some people will love it.
• Modes that I was able to unlock would unlock these mythical / horror-like beasts that I didn’t care for much.

It very much feels like a throwback to the 1980s games with a bit of modern flare thrown in (video modes / more consistent flippers / much faster / cleaner design / etc…). Which I like very much!

Do I like the game? – Yes, absolutely.
Is it good? – Meh… not really - I would call it a B- / C+ type of game.
Would I ever play it again? Sure – Absolutely; in fact I likely will this week...
Would I ever own it? – That’s a hard NO for me (Also – I have young kids - the theme is just an absolute "No" for that reason alone).
Would it be my main play if I was out on route somewhere? – Likely not.

Again - To each their own. It's fun; it shoots well. The knight is cool. Simple rules for a walk-up player. The theme is not for me... at all... And when you weigh $ vs. fun / other options out there ... There are better choices.... However - I am still excited for it, and will definitely play again.
29 days ago
If this scores higher than any other Black Knight, the credibility of all Pinside lists should be called into question. It’s pretty fun, I like the layout and the taunts. The PF art is lame, and the whole thing smacks of cost-cutting. Like, instead of a kickback you get a pseudo kicker. Cheap Sears Roebuck pop bumpers. Airballs galore. So this looks and feels like a Zizzle, other than the big BK toy in the middle. If you can get over that it’s a pretty fun game for a Stern. I’m not even gonna get into the lack of upper playfield other than to say good for Stern for conditioning it’s customers to have such low expectations.
32 days ago
Excellent game by Stern. The shots are fantastic, the Black Knight is a great interactive toy, and the music isn't nearly as repetitive as I thought it would be. The art is just ok but still perfectly theme appropriate. This is Stern's best use of the LCD screen yet. I would highly recommend this game to someone who is looking for a NIB pin.
34 days ago
Steve ritchies best.
39 days ago
CONTEXT: I own a very nice BK (1980), and consider it one of the best games every designed. My hopes were set very high for BKsr

4/19/2019: Review #3: I just got to play the Pro at Free Gold Watch. Playing it live taught me how pretty the playfield is in person. The red/white/blue inserts look really nice in person. Playing and watching others play it live confirmed everything I observed from spending time with the videos.

Final Mofscore: B-

(TL;DR below)

Review #1: EARLY TAKE on the "teaser video:"

* 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
* Metal ramps (love the sound and reliability of metal)
* Two spinners
* No obfuscation!

* Layout looks like yet another cookie-cutter Stern fan layout. 1 drop bank in the lower, and 7 fan layout shots. I’ll need a few more looks to understand what the flow feels like on this.
* 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.

* 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, and other early 80s games for great uppers, why bother if you can’t equal or better those designs?)
* 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!)
* One spoon-fed flipper return lane (SR never did this in BK, High Speed, or BK2K — he kept the ball returns more exciting)
* Rollover lanes into a safe pop-pen? On an original theme? I just don’t get it…
* No smart, inline, or sweepable drops
* No horseshoe

Happy for Stern, happy for SR, optimistic about the game, but I’m not holding my breath...


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
Spinners: very good: 2
Toy/Gimmick: good, the BK is good looking and the motorized flail is innovative. Magna save is not variable, nor is the button in the right place.
Innovation: good, clear upper (on the premium/LE), and a spinning flail.
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

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.
Nudging: average: for the outlanes, but didn’t see a reason to nudge when a ball is in any other part of the playfield
Shots (total): average, 9 - I think?

Drops: poor, only 1 bank for a BK. This is abysmal for a BK. (didn't get a sense if they even had a hurry-up on them or not)
Drops Sweep: none
Horseshoes: none
Inlane Ramp Release: poor, one spoon-fed inlane, making the far-left fan shot fool-proof when you make it
Pops: poor: they do not help or hurt the player. Pops to nowhere. Waste of space.
Stop’n’Go: poor. waiting for animations looks laborious
MB Fun: fair, 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.
Asymmetry: poor: The wall of posts/standups are nearly in a straight line. You brick, you drain. It’s really unfortunate.

Taunting: unknown (I presume there is some)

ART: 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 looks very cool.
SOUND: very good, and 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: lower PF drains instantly on a bricked shot, any made shots seemingly cannot drain, missed ramps do not drain or present much challenge. Seemed very imbalanced to me, that missed shots are 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 know for sure)
Passion: (Risk-Taking/Innovation): B

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

BK is a *much* better layout. Sequels are risky and very hard to pull off.
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