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Bone Busters Inc.

Pinside rating

This game received 36 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 6.752 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #307 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game design: 6.811

Artwork: 6.975

Sounds/Music: 6.742

Other Aspects: 6.556

Pinside staff rating

This is how we, the very knowledgeable (wink wink) staff & moderators rate this game. 1 of us has 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 22 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 22 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
Currently showing results page 1 of 1.

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3 months ago
All fun and spooky camp, highly recommend for fans of Gottlieb or horror/humor pump
5 months ago
Very underrated game...
6 months ago
I owned this for awhile. Was fun but got a bit stake after a bit. Great theme and fun to be had! The call outs are fun too. Suffers from build quality I thought.. wouldn't mind I e again though.
10 months ago
This era of Gottlieb games was so weird. And that's the best way to describe Bone Busters, weird. That said, the oddness definitely adds its own level of novelty and fun. Beyond that, it's a pretty ugly game, but I do applaud the designers for trying something different.
10 months ago
Had a really nice example of this game. Sat unused for years and cleaned up super nice. One of the locks never worked right and I couldnt quite get it worked out. With that aside, I like the talking skull, music is fine. Translite looks nice with LEDs. Not a big fan of the little flipper. Cabinet art isn't anything special. Game honestly wasn't much fun. Zero one more game appeal. It does have an easy multi-ball which is fun for kids.
2 years ago
Bone Busters is honestly kind of a snooze fest for me. The music is decent, and the ball lock is unique but thats about it. The layout is strange and the rules are so basic and random. Not a very fun experience.
3 years ago
Quirky, original game with lots of fun features and shots. One of the best toppers around, and great music. This game deserves more love, and with a low production run (and several of those lost to Amazon Hunt 3 conversions), you should snag one if you ever see one. Great, odd-beat, fun pin.
3 years ago
me and my mate have countless fun with this pinball machine, great great fun.
3 years ago
This pin didn't do it for me. Cool theme that had potential but fell short like many gotliebs
4 years ago
Fun game, somewhat easy to get multiball, fast moving, lower flipper button for flipper diverter. Topper makes this game look great!
4 years ago
Bone Busters Inc. is definitely underrated. It's a simple game covered in an almost nostalgic skin due to its highly ripped off theme. A Ghostbusters pin would have been far more lucrative and long-lasting, no doubt. Bone Busters Inc. comes close.

What makes it good? It's simple. Lock up to three of your Bone Busting crew, then let them loose on the town zapping up skeletons! Locking the balls is one of the easiest things in the game, too. Gottlieb definitely wanted the novice players to keep inserting quarters. Shoot the left ramp (Maxwell Street) to light a randomly-lit lock. It's either going to be the ramp you just shot (Maxwell Street), the lower left capture (Headquarters), or the lower right capture (Moon Street). If the randomly chosen lock isn't Maxwell Street, the ball launches into the right ramp area so you can use the second flipper button to control a diverter (mini-flipper) to send the ball over to Headquarters or down to Moon Street to lock the ball. It's relatively easy to figure out. To start multi-ball, launch the ball up the center jump and over the bridge.

There are a few other noteworthy things that happen in Bone Busters. The upper left flipper can send the cars over the highway to collect the lit value on the right. The value is increased by hitting a target or completing the drop targets. Once dropped, the lit car value is also awarded over the highway. The lit value of the car being served is changed by hitting various targets on the playfield which make it difficult enough to choose the one you want.

Also of note is the extra time earned after your game is over. When lit on the outlanes, the ball adds bonus time that is granted after your last ball has been used. I've had it as high as 40 seconds where multiple balls were available for that time to do with as I pleased. I couldn't earn locks or increase any values on the table, but I could score what was there. The manual doesn't explain this so it's a bit confusing as to why it's part of the game at all.

The bottom of the playfield isn't normal either. The inlanes are curved, meaning that fed by the highway shot keeps the ball flowing much more quickly. There are no slingshots near the flippers either, but kick targets to keep you thinking. The ball just doesn't move around this area of the playfield as you expect it should. Things like this keep me intrigued.

Also of note is the Opera Jackpot which increases game to game if not won. It can get very lucrative to light it and collect by hitting the captive ball on the left. Nifty feature to keep people playing.

The skull topper laughs and taunts you with really bad one-liners. "Did you hear the one about the traveling salesman?" repeats over and over. "This eye's for you babe," is because he's a one-eyed skull. He's amusing in attract mode, but repeating every ten seconds on the slowest setting is just too frequent.

Being System 80b, the high score is the only one kept on a power off. There are two buttons on the front of the hot pink cabinet for initial entering, something I'm sure Gottlieb made intentional. If you put in your initials so easily, why not keep playing to do it more!

Overall, the game is quite easy to play but hard to master. The bright pink cabinet and the skull topper are fantastic aesthetics to a quirky game. I'm glad I picked this one up and am having a great time playing it. May not be for the more advanced player, but casual players can feel like they've achieved a lot in a two minute game.
6 years ago
this is the first pin that I owned , it is fun to play and the topper is really cool, great multi ball
6 years ago
Oddly enough the last rater of this game is the guy I bought Bonebusters from!

Artwork: Awesome all the way around, cool cabinet, best topper EVER, and a funny backglass. The playfield artwork is top notch.

Gameplay: A little bit of everything. I really like the spinners and you can get some real action off of them. I really like the mini-flipper diverter. It adds another little nuance to the game that doesn't take up/waste space.

Rules: If you want a deep game this is not it, there is no awesome wizard mode or missions to complete. However there is more than one way to rack up points on this one. I also like that you can get a two, three, or four multi-ball going. It all depends on how patient you are before you go for the "jump" shot in the middle.

Sounds/ Gimmicks: Nice for the era. Also love the there one better? Not sure, maybe the fan in Whirlwind. If you have never played this there is a full sized moving/talking skull on the top that lights up. Very cool. Music has some variation during multiball, but otherwise is looped. Also has a "bonus time" feature where you can get 10 to 30 seconds of additional gameplay when the third ball drains...this would be great for 4 player games when you need a boost to take the lead. could be a real heartbreaker.

Theming / Fun: I guess there was a potential for this to be a ghostbusters game and you can see that. I dont think there is a fictional "story" told better by the artwork on the backglass and playfield. Really tells the story of bonebusters. It's not deep, but there are enough shots on this one to keep you coming back.

Should you buy it. I have two pins that I paid under $1000 for, this is one. I think it is worth more on the marketplace and if you ever see one with the ground mods for anything around $1,000 you should add it to the collection. It is fun and is noob friendly, your friends will be able to compete with you on this since there is no "hidden" way to score points. Well worth it.
7 years ago
I've had this game a couple days now & as usual I like to write up an initial review while the game is still new & fresh to me but still have enough plays to form an opinion. As time goes on, I may tweak my ratings.

What an interesting game this is. The couple times over the years I've seen one for sale in my area I gave it a lot of thought to it being something I would like but the timing never worked out. Not many made, 2k I think.
It interests me for a few reasons. 1 being that I was a fan of Ghostbusters growing up & this game clearly has that sort of theme. Also I appreciate games that go above & beyond with artwork detail & this game has loads of it. The art is more of a "fun" style or comic book style than a serious art piece like Paragon, which is fine by me. The game also makes use of so much color. A lot of green & pink (the colors of the slimes found in the Ghostbusters movies).

Before I just got this game, I only played 1 quick game on it before a couple years ago, so I didn't remember much. One thing I didn't realize was just how incredible the topper is on this game. Might be among the best toppers ever, especially in terms of functionality. In a pinball world filled with useless toppers, this one is a big part of the game. The skull can move left to right as it flashes & talks, & yes even the jaw of the skull moves up & down in sync with whatever it is saying. This had to be expensive to produce.

Another thing about the game that piqued my interest when seeing pics of it over the years was the layout. Not because it is the best layout I've ever seen, but because it is different. & when you have 2 or 3 other games that have a more standard pinball layout, IMHO it sure is nice to throw a unique playing game into the mix.
What also makes the game unique is that this was the game where Gottlieb made the switch to their newer style of flipper. Yet it was also the last system 80 game. Which means that this is the only game to use that newer & likely stronger flipper style but on a 42" long playfield rather than the 46" they all went to after this. What this seems to do is make for a lot of possibilities & shots are easy to reach. Many shots can be made with either flipper. There are tons of paths the ball can take & there is no predictable flow to the game. But again, that is what I like about it.

I was a little surprised by the complexity of the game. I was expecting fairly simple rules but honestly it took me some thinking & quite a few plays to see how the entire game worked. Even reading "how to play" in the manual didn't answer all my questions, some I had to find out as I played.
The rule set isn't deep, but what is there can be a little complex, if that makes sense. To where this might not be the best game for a casual player to pick up & understand right away. But for me this title was my guilty pleasure for myself, if others don't like it they can play my other games!

The game looks good in the dark although some areas on the PF can be a bit dark. Not a ton of spots on the game where they could fit GI lamps but they look good where they are put & flashers look cool. As far as lighting I think the backbox is the strongest point. A ton of flashers & lots of #44 bulbs as well, even a few #455 blinker bulbs mixed in. The flashers make zapping animations that go along with the art you see.

The sound seems pretty good. The quality of the music seems pretty good & the tune is catch, again similar to a Ghostbusters tune. Speech quality isn't quite as good but it is good enough that I can understand it all (barely). That is surely typical of any system 80 game though. Quite a few speech samples between the lady & one eye (the skull). If you enable the topper for attract mode he has quite a few different comments! You hear them more sparingly during play.

Bottom line is that I'll never claim BB to be a masterpiece of a game like TZ or MM, but I don't think it was ever designed to be that kind of game. It seems like it was made to be a fun game to look at & a good one to flip the ball around on, with a few clever gimmicks mixed in. I think anybody with similar tastes to mine should consider checking this game out & it is probably more affordable than it should be, just considering the topper alone.
7 years ago
Topper is the best. One eyed skull talking to you the whole game. Great graphics. Fun multiball. Bubble gum pink color scheme. Skeletons all over, whats not to love. Fun ramp and hotseat. Fast and fun.
7 years ago
Bone Busters is a strange take on the GhostBusters theme, but with lots of pink. I think that it is different and a good table to play.

The Pros:
Nice shots all around the table. Some are short, others are all the way across the playfield. Multiball is challenging and I really like the topper. The PF has lots of funny details.

The Cons:
Finding one in good working order is tough... Tiny blue lights make me wonder "What is my score"? Must have strong flippers to jump the bridge or the game falls flat. The BG does not look so good...

The Takeaway:
An unusual and entertaining game. Lots of pink and purple on the table. I've only played this game a few times and would like to find one in tip top shape. We shall see what happens to my rating then.
8 years ago
"Let the game talk for itself!!!" apparently is the slogan Gottlieb came up with. I think if the game could talk it would say, "What on earth were they thinking." There are worse Gottlieb tables than this and thats about the only thing this table has going for it.
8 years ago
I just played an excellent one at APE convention 2013, neeeat game.
8 years ago
Like the flipper diverter and the moving skull head on top of the machine. This is the closests thing to a Ghostbusters game ever made
8 years ago
A very odd playfield layout that I like... the ball has a habbit of appearing in strange places... some unique stuff on this game for sure! A surprising game, highly recommended to play and experience it!
11 years ago
This pin is a relative rarity. The one I got my hands on was definitely a chore to bring back from the dead. It came from a beach side arcade down in Mexico. You can imagine the sand!! Yikes! Parts were and are nearly impossible to track down, but if taken care of shouldn't be an issue. The talking/moving skull topper is right up there with the waterfall on WH2O in my book. It has such smart ass comments while you play and laughs at you if you drain. It's enough to bring your blood to a boil. Fast and fun play field layout. What can I say? I dig this pin.
11 years ago
Bone buster is a hidden gem for the money! It has a great skull topper that speaks with flashers. The playfield is well planned and far from boring with various pathes for pinball travel.I like its unique toys that weren't copyed from other pinball!It still is a knock off from Ghost Busters but it still has its own appeal.I just don't get tired of playing it like half the others that i have owned in the past.This pin in the future will be a hot collectible. Small numbers plus the fact that quite a few got parted out and fall prey to neglect. Steven Lindenback
There are 22 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 1.

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