Cactus Canyon

Pinside rating

This game received 383 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 8.182 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks 2nd in the game group "Cactus Canyon". The group itself ranks #17 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game Design: 8.153

Artwork: 8.288

Sounds/Music: 7.651

Other Aspects: 8.241

Pinside staff rating

This is how we, the very knowledgeable (wink wink) staff & moderators rate this game. 9 of us have rated this game.


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This game is part of a group

Note! There are multiple versions of this game!
This is "Cactus Canyon".
The other versions are: Cactus Canyon (Remake - Special Edition), Cactus Canyon (Remake - Special Edition Plus), Cactus Canyon (Remake - LE)

Found 206 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 206 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
Currently showing results page 1 of 9.

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70 days ago
This is my rating for the original game.
4 months ago
Unlike some of the other reviewers, the most appealing component of Cactus Canyon for me is the theme.

I like the fact that there is no license for this Western focused game. Would a game with a "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly" or even "Blazing Saddles" theme be great? Probably, but so many opportunities for material exist with a simple Wild West theme so I like it in the generic state.

Visually all the Western imagery of cowboys, railroads, gunfights, mineshafts, etc. are spot on. The translite, cabinet, and playfield are cohesive and represent the theme well.

Gameplay is adequate. . . by that I mean I enjoy the Western theme enough that you could probably put a spinner, pop bumper, and set of drop targets out there and I'd be happy. Re-theme this layout and I may not think so highly of it -- I feel the same way about a game like Back to the Future (CC is a much better player!). The bad guy drop targets are definitely fun to shoot for when they pop up and having a scoop/several ramps adds to the fun.

Will I ever own a Cactus Canyon? Maybe. Right now its a game that I enjoy looking at as much as I enjoy playing. There are other games that I enjoy playing more but have a less appealing theme. It is difficult to justify taking up a space in the game room because I like looking at a machine. . . but if the right opportunity comes along I'd fit it in.
4 months ago
A really good game, for all the family.
I played a lot with my 7 years old son, he discovered playing pinball on it !
Sad after the barman replaces it by a Metallica pro.
6 months ago
I played the original in the late 90's and it was good. Can't wait to play the new one. I would like this in my collection, maybe one day.
8 months ago
Fun game, but can't get into the theme. Artwork is goofy, but maybe it is supposed to be.
9 months ago
There’s a Cactus Canyon Continued in FlipOut in Croydon (just outside London). It shares a warehouse with several other pinball machines that it’s compared with, including Monster Bash, Medieval Madness and Attack from Mars.

I’ve played MB, MM and AFM on iPad, which may explain a slight bias, but I personally found CCC a bit ‘meh’. It had a couple of decent toys, including a bandit and a moving train. It also has a cute Western theme, but - speaking as a woman with kids - I found some of the animations a bit sexist and not entirely family friendly.

I’d definitely place it in a second tier of 90s Bally/Williams era pins and I suspect some of the people shelling out for the CGC remake are going to be very disappointed.
9 months ago
Seems to be an excellent game, but I don't care for the western theme personally.
10 months ago
This one fits right up there with White Water, Attack from Mars, Medieval Madness, and Monster Bash. Just a very fun table to play!
11 months ago
I usually don’t rate games I’ve played on only one occasion and never ones I have only played on digital pinball simulators.
Furthermore, if you rate a “Holy Grail game” too low, certain butthurt users will flag your comments because you dared to be honest.
Everyone has a theory why WMS (no longer called Williams, even then) stopped making pinball. The bottom line is that the powers that be wanted out of the pinball business for years before Pin2000, the pinball division was losing money. Slot machines were the cash cow.
The 1990’s pinball explosion left locations owners and vendors with a mountain of great money making games to choose from that never needed replacing with anything new.
Those are just a few contributing factors (certainly not the whole story!!!) to the pinball implosion of the late 1990’s.
My personal opinion as a player back then was that I was happy playing Addams Family and a handful of other classic pinball machines that I loved. The newer machines appeared to be trying too hard to stick out like a sore thumb and weren’t nearly as addictive.
Also they were slapping any movie or TV license they could on most of them, without regard to if the product was any good. Non licensed product games were still being made, but no longer as attractive to operators or the general public. This eventually led to all your modern pinball releases. It’s all rare machine/nostalgia remakes or popular licensed products.
I think it’s important to point out that pinball manufacturers never learned what videogames figured out, sequels and upgrades sell! You can sell a Street Fighter alpha 3 machine because SFA2 is obsolete in the players eyes. Same with the Mortal Kombat series and so many others. Sequels sell and everyone wants to play the newest familiar installment.
When the rare pinball sequels were made, they usually didn’t take the original concept to the next level of entertainment and gameplay. Good games like Firepower, Black Knight, and High speed, for example, received sequels but those sequels didn’t always a big hit. Stern does sequels today, sort of, with a new Marvel or Star Wars game just about every year or two it seems.
While many video game machines of the 1990’s had swappable software to upgrade existing cabinets, Pinball had nothing of the sort. Pinball2000 was an attempt at making modular interchangeable playfields and artwork, with it’s easy upgrade system. But by then it was too little, too late with nothing to swap except for the two games that came out in their own cabinets. The concept was good, but it was never practical.
Finally, pinball machines that weren’t designed well, incomplete, or buggy left the factory floor “as-is” with little or no post sale support or upgrades.

I know, I need to review Cactus Canyon, so why “the history of pinball” lecture? Because it’s place in the best pinball lists is entirely based on that history, and it’s value in the marketplace solely on the number produced.
Cactus Canyon checked a lot of negative boxes.
It was buggy and incomplete.
It didn’t have a movie or TV license, but somewhat pretended to. (Not a bad thing, but in a time when everything was getting a licensed character, it would be overlooked by the general public.)
Although it brings nostalgic feelings for old western classic pinballs, like Gun Smoke among others, nobody (TV movies etc.) was doing anything successful in the western genre at that time.
It’s rare, didn’t sell well, and was largely ignored and forgotten in its time.
It was “the end of pinball”. (Present day renaissance excluded)
It eventually received an unofficially official upgrade to fix the problems and make it good, which brings up the argument of preservation versus playability, which I won’t touch with a ten foot pole!
And finally, It’s getting the remake treatment like Medieval madness, Fathom, and Attack from Mars.
This is one of those few times where the remake may be better than the original, only time will tell.
In all honesty I wanted to love Cactus Canyon, and wondered why I never saw another one. It wasn’t until the internet became better organized that most of us found out why the game simply didn’t exist anywhere. Thanks to the IPDB we learned that there were less than 1,000 units made… Ugh!
Until recently, the only place to play this game was at shows, museums, or digitally on the now defunct pinball arcade season 2 pack. How shortsighted was Farsight studios not to lock down those licensing rights?
I am not a big fan of digital pinball emulation, but it helps draw in new and old fans to the hobby, so I can’t complain.
In the end, Cactus Canyon was a good game that needed time to be finished. In both the concept and artistic sense it is a great machine. As a player… it needs the unofficially official upgrade.
As it was released, not looking at the rarity or it’s place in history, it was okay at best. Not the worst game of the era, but it certainly wouldn’t earn its place in the top 100 without the rarity or the history.
That’s fine though. These lists aren’t about the bestest great playing addictive games, they are simply popularity contests and about driving the prices up.
That’s not a complaint either, all of pinball gets a boost in popularity and value. You’ll never hear me say ranking lists and competition is not good! It’s for fun and entertainment. Also, thank you Casey Kasem and the American top 40 for making popularity lists important back in the day!
If these lists were just about quality and gameplay and not the licensing deal or the rarity, the top 20 wouldn’t be packed with all the newest remakes, Rock bands, and Mandalorians.
So Cactus Canyon… I want to love it, it makes me smile and the potential for best game ever is there. As it was, it was a sad, incomplete, broken end to a great era.
Flag me if you like, but thankfully we all don’t have to love the same thing, and that’s what makes the diversity of pinball over nearly a whole century so great, so many games, so many different styles, all of them are good, most are great, and few are true Holy Grails. I really can’t wait to try the Cactus Canyon remake so I can (hopefully) love it!
1 year ago
Very nice game
1 year ago
This game is fun and not hassle, the ramps connect well, the cowboy theme is great.
For an evening with friends this flipp is great.
My favorite pinball machine from the 90s
1 year ago
Can't wait for the CGC re-make which I understand is coming soon. A classic game only in need of more code, which I assume it will be getting.
1 year ago
If it’s not Continued it’s not worth it.
1 year ago
Under-rated classic. Love the train ramp, and the “bad guys” that pop up. Great layout and fun theme. One of my favorites of the older generation.
2 years ago
I picked up CC over a month ago added continued and wow it funny, challenging and lots of fun. I am enjoying it immensely and highly recommend. I feel this pin would be rated higher in the ratings category.
2 years ago
I have only had the opportunity to play this game on 2 different occasions but both were very nice specimens & I really dig it because its so different some entertaining callouts & nice shots , very much looking forward to see what the remake that is rumored to be coming out will be like
2 years ago
This is a great game.Always fun to play and very pleasant to look at.Shot the bad guy is great,but how cool is "High Noon"Would have to agree it's not quite finished but still awesome.Thats on CC I've never played CCC
2 years ago
The rules are easy and the game is a bit hard it can go down the middle easy
2 years ago
I am surprised this game is not ranked much higher. It is a classic with great humor and game play like Monster Bash, Medieval Madness and Scared Stiff. It is in my collection and one I will never tire of or relinquish.

Addendum 10/2021: when the new one comes out by CGC, I will buy one and add it to my collection. Then, perhaps, I will release my HUO relic. It is one of the greatest, under recognized games ever made. Right up there with Championship Pub, Scared Stiff, No good gofers, Judge Dredd and Dracula. Revenge from Mars is also incredibly entertaining - just not a traditional pinball.
2 years ago
I've tried and tried to get into this one and it just doesn't grab me. Life is not fair because I know many people are going nuts wanting to play this, and there's one in an arcade not far from me. (I can't believe the owner lets it sit there like that, but on the other hand I thank him because people get to play it. With that said, I don't think I've ever seen a stranger on it.)

Ok this is a lame review but that's all I've got. I'll give it a few more quarters next time I'm there. The theme is cute, nothing wrong there.

*Wife approval* She may have played this once during one of our early trips to the arcade, but I haven't seen her on it since.
3 years ago
Very fun and unique game. These are tons of fun to play, but you better be prepared to shell out the bucks if you want one in your gameroom. You rarely see the for sale, either. Great shots, fantastic callouts, awesome gimmicks/toys.

If you have a chance to play it, do it. If you have an opportunity to buy it, don't hesitate.
3 years ago
Outstanding game! I bought an original CC, I havent installed continued yer! But I am sure my rating will be ome higher!!! This is my Holy Grill
3 years ago
Owned a CC for a while: super fun game to play occasionally, friends and family love it each time they put their hands on it.
unfortunately, code is incomplete and pretty shortly, you finish the game and its wizard mode.
...and the more often you play CC, the more often you will get to achieve "High Noon" and on and on.
it is an "easy" game to finish, but very fun to play and the toys are really cool (Gold Mine, train, Bart etc.).
I would say am not the biggest fan of the artwork/color scheme and so not sure it can stay super long in a small collection.
Anyway: a classic game, rare, and very, very fun to shoot.
3 years ago
CCC reviewed, since original roms/rules are bad and anyone with CC still running old code is silly
3 years ago
Ruleset a little bit flat but a good machine for beginners and makes a lot of fun to play.
There are 206 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 9.

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