Pinside rating

This game received 17 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 7.827 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #77 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game design: 8.004

Artwork: 7.96

Sounds/Music: 6.082

Other Aspects: 8.102

Rating comments

There are 10 rating comments for this game.

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 10 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 10 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
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20 days ago
Cheetah has always been one of my very favorite pins. I love the wide-body, open play flow of the game with long, accurate shots and plenty of ways to score. Lots of drop targets, a well-placed spinner and pop bumpers. I think the artwork is great and that backglass of the gypsy jungle chick will always be emblazoned in the heads of most (though it all makes little sense). This table is on my wish list, but they're very hard to find with probably less than 500 out in the wild. It would compliment my Jungle Lord perfectly, as the two games couldn't be more different!

I would like to say that the sound on this game is TERRIBLE, and it's what drove down my rating score. I'm sorry, but laser blasts on the savanna just don't work for me. So that also means the theme doesn't make any sense and is extra weird. But if you can forgive that, Cheetah remains one of the best early SS tables.
34 days ago
I like spinners and I like drop targets. . . so naturally I like Cheetah.
There is a lot of space on the playfield and this game plays different than a lot of other pins I own -- more precision is needed for some of the shots to be successful. I can understand why some may not like the open layout but it is a welcome addition of variety in my collection. The bonus multiplier drops are basically a chance hit off the pop bumpers -- all you can do is watch (maybe nudge) and hope for the ball to pop your way. I like how the other sets of drop targets each have their own reward; I get caught up in the game and forget which one I should be shooting for.

I like the art all the way around. The cabinet is the standard 80s stenciled three colored goodness of big cats on the prowl. The backglass and playfield are what really appeals to me though -- they have an Art Deco vibe that I am a fan of.

Sounds are definitely typical of the early 80s solid states. Some of the spinner shots hold a deep bass tone that I really like -- I will have to work on my accuracy to get a good rip on them!

Overall a great game in my opinion -- glad to have finally found one.
9 months ago
Cheetah is a beautiful game that gets your heart beating, and keeps you coming back with deceptive complexity and... HISTORY/Mystery.

First the gameplay: Very fun game, stuffed with 80s sound effects you'll love (if you are into that). A difficult to hit collect bonus (that apparently is easy on some models, such that a custom ROM is available to tweak the collection per ball), and
4 banks of drop targets. The largest bank of 5, will lead you through a natural progression of cheetah, which leads to a fairly simple extra ball via a lit toggle inlane. You've got one shot at this per game. Pretty straightforward.

Some of the longest and hardest shots in pinball, there is a shot from the right flipper all the way to the top to hit the top multiplier drops (end to end), and the best strafe target shot of any (probably a 1 in 50 shot, but knocking the 5 targets down in sequence from the third flipper in one go is phenomenal.)

After this tho, the magic is this game also has 2 more different locations for Extra Balls, at the top, by hitting the three sequence timed targets to match three amber starts (skillful play allows you to trap the ball, and hit these with perfect shot timing), which will light the horseshoe spinner extra ball, and another extra ball by progressing through the right drop target bank (very difficult, as this is a risky shot), to light an extra ball by the pop-bumpers.

Meanwhile, you'll always be working toward increasing your bonus, and specifically, the bonus multiplier which you will build up throughout the game.

Now for history and mystery:

I was very curious when I read who designed this... Harry Williams. But it's by Stern. I still have not found out who approved this, as I understand, at this time, Williams had and was continuing to submit game concepts, some of which were put into production. The next part is a total mystery, and in the emulated version, and apparently the production ROM, you will hear a high pitched and quite different sound package than another version which is apparently a prototype package. IMO, this makes all the difference, and even with the great gameplay, I could not imagine playing this game as much with the production roms. Do yourself a favour, and find a version with the prototype (deep bass) rom package. It takes the sound rating from a 1 to a 6 to use pinside ranking. This game would also be such a great partner with 'Big Game', where Cheetah is more of an open layout, and Big Game is more strategy and bingo, and thus more closed. Very similar sounds.
10 months ago
Cheetah, black or blue, is a fast and fun widebody. The game is a wonderful array of drop targets and spinners, with a kicker to the right and a sometimes-hard-to-hit but satisfying bonus collect shot to the left. No matter where you go, there's something satisfying to hit.

There are four banks of drop targets spread throughout the game - the "main" five bank above the upper flipper, the bonus multiplier bank above the pops, a three-bank in front of the horseshoe shot, and a bank next to the kicker. Of these, the horseshoe bank may prove the most intriguing due to the awards given for getting three-in-a-row in the grid below, as this is how the spinners are lit; alas, this grid is frequently not completely functional.

The gameplay is fast as it is varied. For a widebody, especially, the ball flies around the table, bouncing off the many drop targets and tearing through the spinners. Chasing a high score on Cheetah is quite the rush.
1 year ago
Great backglass and interesting shots. Have to like tons of drops and spinners. Widebody that plays like a standard body.
1 year ago
A widebody classic, one of the better machines of the widebody genre, with decent flow and a wide variety of shots. The shots aren't all well-tuned - the return and fail points are fairly obvious, and there's too many STDM drains on plunges -- but there are a big number of them and at least four different playfield zones. That plus the secret sauce shot -- the Keith Elwin special -- of lifting the lower left flipper and shoot back up the outlane, if you dare, as many times as you can, make it a fun play.

I'm not sure the upper flipper works, in that there aren't any shots that *require* the upper flipper, none of them are better made from it than from a controlled lower flipper shot, and it's not lined up for a natural set of loops. It's interesting to see this in the evolution of pinball, though, in that you can see forward to the great looping games with upper flippers -- classic Steve Ritchie and Pat Lawlor playfields -- in the spinner loop off the upper flipper here. It's just misaligned by an inch, or you'd have that frantic repeating high-speed tight orbit shot of later games.

I'm not exactly sure what's going on in the theme but the artwork isn't over busy. Cheetah-like or not, there's some slink and a few fast gallops in the machine, so, fine. Not a great theme but the decade wasn't really known for having a lot of well-thought-out themes.
4 years ago
Beautiful wide body with some cool drop target shots that require skilful aim and timing.
6 years ago
Cheetah is a game that has some unusual shots and for a widebody game, does not seem to play like one.

The Pros:
An interesting layout designed by the great Harry Williams. Some of the shots have an EM feel to them, but not the Gottleib EM feel. 3 spinners is always a good thing. The art package looks lush and vivid.

The Cons:
The shots are unusual, but do not always work as they should. The uppermost horseshoe spinner is in a strange spot and is not condusive to... well spinning. The top 123 drop targets are luck shots off the top bumper.

The Takeaway:
A relatively rare game with some cool shots. Is it a great game, no. Is it a good game, if well maintained. Otherwise it's just OK.

Another game I got to do for Pinburgh 2013. I like this game a bit more now that I have an idea of what to do. So what do you do? Well, you do what you always do on early Stern pinball games. Drops and spinners. For this game, I would focus on spinners. All 3 spinners are more than 2/3rds away from the flippers and even the lowest one is partially obscured by the upper left flipper. Knocking down the 1-2-3-4-5 drops as lit with the yellow numbered inserts requires solid aim. 4 banks of drops, 3 spinners and some interesting shots, make this game more of a player than I originally thought. There is 1 exception. Balls seem to jump the inlane guides a bit on this deck. There has to be a "riser" of sorts to take care of this characteristic. S'not cool... man.

Update v.2:
Got a chance to play a museum piece quality copy of this game. After a bit of play it came down to building the bonus x and collecting the bonus from the lane behind the upper left flipper. While this is a Harry Williams game, the PF sports some strange dead spots and active pops are a must if you want to collect bonus X from the top drops. Ripping the spinner is satisfying, but the tuning on the game has to be spot on if it is going to be worth the effort. I have a deep appreciation for the 1-5 drop target sequence and while some of the awards are good... bonus collect is where it is at! Set it up (may take a bit, but it is worth it), rinse and repeat! A good game, but I am of the opinion that Big Game is the best big ol' booty Stern (v.1) game from Master Williams.
7 years ago
Beautiful game and plays well... love the long left shot to the upper area (for some strange reason).
8 years ago
A nice single ball game but seems to waste space on the play-field as it is to open for my taste. Big Game is better I think.
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