Black Rose

Pinside rating

This game received 294 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 7.666 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #142 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game Design: 7.716

Artwork: 7.707

Sounds/Music: 7.069

Other Aspects: 7.791

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 134 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 134 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
Currently showing results page 1 of 6.

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3 months ago
Very underated pin. Must have WPC title. Lower cannon a blast....pun intended!
8 months ago
The first pin i bought and it will not leave the collection near future
Still fun to sink ship and play for multiball .
8 months ago
I’ve played Black Rose on the Williams Pinball app and in real life.

Black Rose is better in real life - the shots feel more interesting, possibly because the third flipper works better on the physical machine, and it’s harder to just shoot the broadside over.

However, the layout feels oddly crowded and the main event seems to be the cannon. It’s not bad - it’s just not gripping enough for me to want to explore further.

Also, I hate the animations.
10 months ago
Black Rose is a fun shooter with some unique shots. I'm always a sucker for the upper flipper shot, and this one is repeatable similarly to the star trek warp ramp. The rules are simple enough to understand with the goal being to sink ships for rewards and get multiball. Overall it's a fun shooter and the game is fun enough, albeit a little shallow. I enjoy it overall plenty though.
10 months ago
Black Rose, a game we all want to love…
Anything with pirates is instantly cool. Even bad films, books, or video games get a slightly higher rating if pirates are involved, unless we’re talking about pirating said item, that’s not cool.
Black Rose has potential. Not just because of pirates but because it all almost comes together.
Keep in mind that I have a very difficult time talking about the negatives of the machines from the 1990’s WPC golden era. There is no doubt that pinball had reached a crescendo never seen before or since. It actually gets to the point where you feel you are comparing Michelangelo’s to Raphael’s. Not the turtles…
Black Rose isn’t as strong of a game as most others from this era.
There! I said it.
Doesn’t mean I wouldn’t love to own one, but I love all pinball.
Sound and music:
The music is really good, as is the sound quality. One of the problems lies in the callouts. “Shoot this! Do that! Nag nag nag!” First of all don’t tell me, I know! I get it! Secondly, either the voices and I have been married too long or they hired my mother back when ai was a teenager. Sure this isn’t as heavy handed as Cirqus Voltaire or Tales of the Arabian Nights, but it’s there just the same.
If your ruleset and shots are so confusing that you have to have an announcer tell the player where to shoot the ball, then your playfield is the problem, not the player.
There are problems with this playfield as well, the design is torn between instant reward no brainer shots and difficult hidden or obscured targets. The flow is interrupted by trick shots and stupid luck shots. It’s missing the middle type shots. A very unbalanced game that is challenging but loses its fun Good, but not great.
Here’s a shining example of a good art package. Although the toys are a bit cluttered, the game art is incredibly attractive. The side of the cabinet Black Rose logo stands out, sadly most pinballs have this area obscured by other nearby machines. Some of the art looks a bit cluttered but it all does what it’s supposed to do, attract attention.
Fun factor and lastabiliy:
Subjective opinion is up to the individual. I found the game to be a bit too shallow and repetitive. If the repetition is fun, this isn’t a problem, but many shots on this machine are somewhat a chore to build up to the next minor award. On the other hand, if you aren’t playing it frequently I’d assume this wouldn’t be a problem, but three games on this machine seems to be the limit until next time.
The big question would probably be is it a keeper. I can’t say. If I bought one, would I keep it forever or blast a few hundred games on it and then sell it on to the next person. Pirates of the Caribbean may be a better choice for some, others may prefer a non pirate containing licensed product like Terminator 2 or Whatever. The right theme helps drive the lastability factor quite a lot with many owners, This game is for someone who really loves pirates but really hates Disney pirates.
That’s me to be honest!
You won’t see people lining up to play Black Rose. This is a benefit because you don’t have to wait at a small show like you would to play the Indiana Jones. I once heard someone say “If it were a System 11 game, Black Rose would probably be forgotten.” Sad, but probably true. I still love the machine, but let’s be honest, it’s not one of the Holy Grail games everyone in general loves. Just a really good game that just happened to be a part of the golden era of pinball.
1 year ago
Love this game but the outlanes are brutal.
1 year ago
Great introductory WPC game for first time buyers. Fun theme and cool cannon gimmick. Arrr matey shiver me timbers!
1 year ago
Horrible theme, awful art. Bad call outs. Shoots ok, but just not very fun. One of the few games I was glad to sell.
1 year ago
Vera nice game to play, had a lot of run on this machine.
1 year ago
Fun toys and a good layout, but that center rail is so distracting and the game is just missing the magic of other games from that timeframe.
1 year ago
Played the heck out of this at the on-campus beer bar in grad school. My sleeper pick for great games... good balance of flow and toys with interesting rules and a cool theme.
1 year ago
Not a fan of this game. Art is bland as is the gameplay and rules. A definite pass for me.
1 year ago
Black Rose is a good game, especially for 1992. 2 distinctive ramps, with one going around behind the back of the playfield. A third ramp on the upper left raises, similar to BSD to expose a scoop leading to a subway which loads the cannon. This game has fairly simple code, and really is mostly about the cannon shot up the middle to sink ships. The cannon is a cool toy, and works well when dialed in. Not the smoothest shooter I’ve played, but the design is good, the theme is well-realized and it’s a challenge to sink several ships. Very different from potc, but a fun early dmd pin in its own right.
1 year ago
Black rose has TONS of charm. The theme, cannon, and behind the backboard shot are all quite fun. This would look great next to a stern potc and JJP POTC. For a Bally dmd, the price is great. The value is definitely there.
2 years ago
Shiver me timber’s!
2 years ago
All my reviews are going to follow a simple formula for those reading.
Number of shots to make - Pro's - Con's - Must Have Mods - What To Look For When Buying

Number of shots - 7 - above average

* Theme tie in is quite good
* Cannon is placed in a unique spot compared to other games with cannons
* Shooting around behind the backboard is a fun shot
* Short sharp video modes make good use of the fire button

* Destroying a ship is the most valuable shot so scoring is imbalanced
* Even with a level cannon, ball travel can be erratic
* Very easy to get an extra ball each ball
* Quite simple rules, seems more like a system 11
* No skill shot

Must Have Mods: (Note I will not include things like LED's, Color DMD, Invisiglass or Speaker Upgrades unless it's really badly needed)
* Saw a shooter rod that looked like a sword and that was impressive
* Fire leds in the backbox

What To Look For When Buying
* Cannon plastic casing nearly always broken and very hard to find a replacement
* Wear around the cannon and where the ball drops from the habit trail common
* Ramps are pretty much unobtainable so make sure they are not broken
* Also look for wear around Davey Jones locker
2 years ago
I've had the machine about 4 weeks now. So far it's been a go to for any visitors not to mention i've played it a ton.
This game does not play near as well in the wild as it needs to have the cannon properly working, flat as possible, etc. so you'll be pleasantly surprised with how great it plays when dialed in at home.
typical recommended upgrades add a lot to it (color dmd, LED lighting, etc). This one really shines with pinsound as far as feeling updated. (My rating is based on pinsound installed) Added a little thicker post rubbers as this thing loves to drain down the sides.
As far as play, it is really fun. Rules aren't complex but there are many things to do. The davy jones shot to load the cannon can sometimes be tough to hit from the upper flipper but maybe i'm just no good. Sinking a ship is always satisfying and I'm glad it tracks the highest number so there is a target i'm always trying to beat. As far as a first/only pin, it would probably be ok especially if upgraded nicely. Plus it doesn't break the bank so pin #2 is probably right around the corner.

Update: Added Pinsound and it is so good for this game. i like it so much i created a soundtrack using music from others but i added better explosions, cannon fire and other effects and posted on the pinsound community.
still enjoying the game a bunch. Pinsound makes it shine. Speakers are decent enough you don't need to upgrade, may only want to add a sub.
2 years ago
Happened upon this game at a bar just down the street from Pacific Pinball Museum. Hadn't seen it before but after just a few rounds I'm completely hooked. Though the cannon shot is an easy one to return over and over there's enough incentive to play the board – and animations keeping things fun. Swim for shore!
2 years ago
Wonderful machine with a very long shot - maybe the longest in pinball history.
Definitely a keeper although the backglass could have been designed a bit better.
3 years ago
Distinctly average game, nice backglass and cabinet. Just felt repetitive, with the cannon being interesting at first then boring, disappointed, I thought I would like it better than this. Hate saying it, but Stern's Pirates is a better game, would love to play JJP POTC.
3 years ago
Just played. Never came across one in the past. Really nice game. Very smart game play with high level of lastability. You just dond want to stop playing.
3 years ago
Great looking machine with outstanding artwork and a really cool video mode that let you walk the plank, out swim a shark, and throw knives! Black Rose is beautiful and fun to play, a sleeper pin for sure.
3 years ago
Fun game. Different layout makes it interesting.
3 years ago
This game sure looks great and is an eyecatcher in any lineup due to the cool pirate theme. Not many DMD games show this great combination of cabinet sideart, backbox and backglass that ties in with the general theme. Both music and call outs are also well integrated with this motive. As far as game play and playfield design goes- this is unfortunately a one (or maybe three-) trick pony.
There isnt really too much variety to the shots here and even the center attraction gimmick, the firing cannon, cannot change this impression. On top of that, the look of the playfield is totally dominated, I say destroyed, by a weird-looking habitrail that goes center from top to bottom, right over the flippers. This could have been done so much better.

For me personally the video modes on Black Rose dont benefit the playability at all, instead they create strange stops in what I want to be fast and furious action on the playfield- which is the reason I steered to a "pirate" pinball in the first place.

So even if this is not a total dud, it certainly comes across as a little underwhelming once you look past the awesome exterior of this admittingly beautiful game.
3 years ago
Black Rose is definately a sleeper pin and I'm absolutely shocked that this pin isn't rated higher. I mean come on it has everything a boy and man can dream of. Being a pirate on the open seas, knife throwing, walking the plank, firing a cannon!!! This is one pinball machine I'll never get rid of and I'm in the process of having every single piece of metal done in gold before I re decal this machine!!! If you've never played it in person you wouldn't understand as I didn't either. Once I played it I cannot stop coming back for more and more!!!! Long live Black Rose!!!!
There are 134 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 6.

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