Creature from the Black Lagoon (Bally, 1992)

Creature from the Black Lagoon

Pinside rating

This game received 707 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 8.280 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #29 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game design: 8.086

Artwork: 8.823

Sounds/Music: 7.843

Other Aspects: 8.283

Rating comments

There are 355 rating comments for this game.

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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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 355 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 355 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
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3 days ago
I highly anticipated owning this machine and last weekend I could pick one up for a decent price. It smells like a cigarette factory but that will wear off in time I hope. The machine is a good base for restoration and this will be done once I decide it's a keeper.

So far I got the chance to play like 20 or so games and I must say it is fun. It's not as deep I would have liked it to be. Spell F-I-L-M, shoot 1 or 2 locks and play your multiball. Rinse and repeat. On the other hand, there are more than enough other shots you can play. Miss a ramp? You're screwed!

The artwork is sublime in my opinion, although I don't understand why the popbumpers aren't lit. I just love the backbox art, the playfield art and the somewhat movie reel-like ramp. The ramps are hiding a lot of the playfield, so an extra lightsource here and there will be added.

The music and callouts match the theme, I find the "move your car" sequence somewhat annoying and aggresive. Some humor is in it. Decent and good for it's purpose. Quality is okay.

This machine has a high mod-factor, installing LED's really lets this pinball pop! New clear ramps will open up the playfield somewhat. I added green leds around the playfield, green trough lighting, green flipper buttons, green flipper rubbers and green post sleeves, and boy did that clean up nice. For the big ramp and the swirl cup I will test with green / white or purple leds. The backbox is lit with green/red/blue/warm white and man oh man, that creature just looks like it's handing over the girl right to you.
17 days 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

* Great 50's style music a different song on each ball
* Easy to follow rules written on the playfield itself
* Beautiful piece of art this machine
* Fantastic theme tie in more about going to the drive in than a Universal Monster
* Move Your Car mode and video modes a highlight
* Nice smooth ramps great ramp shot exclusive to multiball

* The closeness of the playfield makes it tough
* Bit like chopping wood to spell film the 2nd time and after
* Not a deep ruleset
* Only a 2 ball multiball

Must Have Mods: (Note I will not include things like LED's, Color DMD, Invisiglass or Speaker Upgrades unless it's really badly needed)
* A hologram mod of some sort (MikeD had an awesome one but never see it for sale)
* Light up speaker panel
* Reed switch for the bowl
* Swinks Snack Bar mod

What To Look For When Buying
* The state of the existing hologram
* Cabinet art fading
41 days ago
Last the test of time can’t really go wrong with the universal monsters theme
52 days ago
Absolutely a classic for good reason , it’s a simple game but i love the little ways that you can increase scoring like maxing out the multiplyer before heading into multiball or getting kiss off the skill shot and intentionally draining to shoot for paid. I really think about strategy with this game. You have be very conscious of ball control. If you flip around flagrantly your game will be over in no time. There is simply no room for error and I really dig that. Creature will make you a better player...if you let it. That being said... the main theme song gets on my nerves a bit but... ITS CREATURE!!! Great shots, great layout, great gameplay!
67 days ago
Love this game, it is such a classic, this one knocks it out of the park for me, it has the whole package. Fun unique layout, great theme! A must play.
3 months ago
Players and collectors game Period
3 months ago
Total dud!!!
3 months ago
Owned it but after 6 months had enough. Looking back, it's definitely a keeper
3 months ago
I had Creature for a short while and really enjoyed my time with it. It's a stunningly beautiful game and the theme integration is phenomenal. The music is just perfect and the game oozes charm. It's got a good sense of humour too. The problem for me with the game is it's simplicity (this may be a positive for you!). Very little depth and really needs to be part of a larger collection. I'll always have a soft spot for this game, it just has so much character but not one I can really afford to own with how simple the ruleset is. I do dig the 2 ball multiball though, great risk reward game play.
4 months ago
Great game but tough. Some of the shots really make ya want to cry. Amazing theme amazing art. Very cool.
4 months ago
Simple but deep rule set and shots. Great ramps. Fun themes. Feels a little chauvinistic at time in this day and age, but sort of harmless. Love this game so much. Hearing the same three songs gets repetitive
4 months ago
Art and the theme are what is good about this game not much else, gets repetitive very quick as you can get to finding the creature on your first ball,the big ramp is one of the best ramps there is but you can only access it about 10% of the game which is such a shame would be great if they could recode this one it's just to shallow I sold it after 3 months
4 months ago
How, is this game is not in the top ten. I can’t see how this is below or not next to MB, MM, AFM or TZ. All time classic!
4 months ago
Love the whirlpool ramp and the hologram. Fun game with a decent rule set. Satisfying shots. The DMD animations are great and integrated well with the game. Love the horror movie drive in theme.
5 months ago
Good friend bought one so got finally to play a proper tuned and tweaked one. What a fun. This pins has really the one more game factor. It’s brutal and can be very frustrating with his multiball with no ball save. But feels OK and I think it’s a main reason for the one more game. Also the rules are understandable and good for enjoyment of the game.

And a Pinsound with the Wool mix is a real must. Upgraded the gameplay in an immens way.
5 months ago
My second and third pin. I was tempted by a high rating. Unfortunately, I am not satisfied. A tough game can terminate 3 balls in 1 minute. Ramps put the ball straight to the center. Maybe time will show if I'm going to love. MOVE YOUR CAR :-)
5 months ago
I used to own this game it has a great theme and artwork.the playfield feels cramped with the long ramps and it can be a drain monster. I moved it on because of the weak link being the hologram would devalue the machine if it faded away as no replacement was available then. I loved the drive in rock and roll theme.
6 months ago
CFTBL is a great pinball machine. It is classic in everyway. Most people have already described this game in depth so I won't go into game play. I want to make sure that if you are getting ready to buy this game you understand it is a very limited game. It is one of the most beautiful pins and the 3d Creature under the playfield is a great toy. The sounds, callouts, and art work are fabulous. However, the rules and game play are a little too simple for me. You spell FILM and hit the two outlane shots that are flashing and then look for the Creature. There are a few other modes but I don't recommend this game for people with a small collection. You will tire of it quickly because of its simplicity. Anyone with more than 5 or 6 pins it will make a great addition.
7 months ago
Just a fun game.
8 months ago
I've played a few examples of this classic on location several times. Sometimes it is running flawlessly, sometimes, not so much. But it is (generally) always fun. It can be a very fast game with quick ball times, but when you're "in the zone" it is super rewarding. The feeling of consistently nailing "MOVE YOUR CAR" along with the snack bar and ramp shots is something I compare to almost every other game of this period. The only real complaints I have about this game are that the playfield can be VERY dark. But hey, it's a theme about a monster movie, playing at a drive-in, at night. What am I supposed to expect? A true classic, ahead of it's time and one I'd love to be able to afford a quality example of.
9 months ago
I remember many, many moons ago I made the comment that CFTBL was "ok", being a very slow game that made me want to fall asleep. That was also when I had been into pinball for all of about 4 months, and I got a good number of "wake up before you speak" comments my way. I didn't understand why people stood up for this game so much. Fast forward to December 2017 - last day of the year nearly, and I finally had figured it out.

First impression are important, and holy cow, does the translite and playfield kill it in terms of artwork. Wow, what a beautiful presentation. Music is great, love hearing the "malt shop" music on each ball. Shots feel good. You basically have 3 ramps, one VUK, and 2 scoops. Nearly all of them feel natural and smooth; none of them seem "impossible" until you have to hit the Snack Bar for the jackpot. The big main ramp doesn't seem to really get in the way, and I love shooting it during multi-ball.

The theme is an awesome mish-mash of drive-in theater and CFTBL. Move your car is always a hoot, and with an external sub, it really rocks. Peeping Tom is a fun lil' video mode and hitting the flippers together gives you a nice lil' "Mortal Kombat" ending to the mode.

The one big toy in the game is the hologram, and it is cool for what it is - a unique gimmick that isn't interactive but adds a great "whoa - that's pretty cool!" factor to the game. Repros are available at $400 a pop, and the LCD upgrade is by far superior in every way imaginable. Very hard to find it now, and if you do, expect to pay silly money ($1000+). The other near unobtainium part are the motors for both the hologram and the mirror. You can use cross-reference a motor from Hurricane to substitute. Will take a tiny bit of modification, but it can be done, so don't let that possibility detour you from picking one up.

I would say the only real bummer to the game is how shallow it is. It's all about spelling "F-I-L-M", getting MB, find the Creature, rescue the girl, get the jackpot, or go for super jackpot, and that's it in a nutshell. That being said, there's a sense of "simple is better" and "less is more" with this game. I am so absolutely glad I was able to get one. At the time of this review, routed examples are starting to go for $5200+ regularly, so the days of this being a "$3000ish" game are over. Shame, it's really fun, and I love watching my girl enjoy it. Definitely a keeper - just waiting on the reproduction PFs. Once those happen, this game will skyrocket.
9 months ago
Lots of places where you lose site of where the ball is and how quick it is moving. I find that frustrating. Good feeling shots though.
10 months ago
Recently played this game at a retailer, while on vacation. Wasn’t dialed in and the creature wasn’t working! But in spite of this the game was amazing! It was everything I thought it would be and more! I could easily be classified as nostalgic but I don’t feel this had much to do with my rating of this machine! It is what it is——— AMAZING! Hope this helps! Mike
10 months ago
Creature is a true classic from an age of pinball we will never see again. When this game is maintained well, it is super fun to play! The theme of this machine is one of the best or THE best in all of pinball. The sounds and the music are absolutely astounding on this machine, so much so that I have used it as a jukebox in my garage.

— The game is designed well with some interesting shots and relatively easy ramps.
— There isn’t much for toys aside from creative lighting on the ramps and a hologram that rarely works.
— The bowl at the end of the ramp shot is neat, but it was probably more mind-blowing in the 90s.


— Lit ramps are super cool.
— Creature letter lighting in the back box is also a plus.
— Callouts and theme are perfect 50s 60s era
— Songs are memorable songs that don’t seem to get old, even after many plays.
— This game OOOZES style. It’s classic perfection of drive-in movie era pinball.


— I like the K-I-S-S shot. It’s satisfying to quickly progress through this.
— The upper pops and letters are cool and challenging
— I like the ramps. They feel fast and smooth.
— Snack bar targets are dangerous, which is nice compared to other shots in the game.


— This game definitely suffers from pretty shallow code.
— Spelling F-I-L-M can be challenging at first, but it becomes easy to master.
— There isn’t much to do aside from getting multi ball, finding the creature and saving the girl.
— I found that I could master this game quickly and had really long ball times.
— The hologram somewhat neat when working, but it wasn’t made to last.

In the end, Creature is one of those games that is full of style and has some good substance. I will always play it on location, but after fixing one for a friend and playing it for a week straight, I would never want to own one due to the shallow rule set and easy game play. If you haven’t experienced the game, get out there and play it. It’s super fun!
11 months ago
After I had a blast playing this game I looked up the designer and was pleasantly surprised to see it was John Trudeau. It suddenly made sense that he was involved considering how much I also like Ghostbusters. Great design, sound, and shots on this pin. I wish the creature hologram was more interesting considering how much space it takes up on the playfield. Also, if the ramps aren't perfectly clear, it gets hard to see what's going on in the upper playfield. I guess the price reflects the demand, I wish I could pick one up.
There are 355 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 15.

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