Creature from the Black Lagoon

Pinside rating

This game received 819 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 8.257 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #45 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game Design: 8.081

Artwork: 8.758

Sounds/Music: 7.83

Other Aspects: 8.269

Pinside staff rating

This is how we, the very knowledgeable (wink wink) staff & moderators rate this game. 10 of us have rated this game.


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Found 405 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 405 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
Currently showing results page 4 of 17.

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2 years 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 :-)
edit: a badly set game has shown great difficulty. I play a lot now and it is a GREAT GAME. Right now my biggest fun .. LOVE IT
3 years 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.
3 years 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 when it comes to the ruleset. 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.
3 years ago
Just a fun game.
3 years 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.
3 years 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.
3 years 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.
3 years 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
3 years 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!
3 years 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.
3 years ago
This is one of my all time favorite pins. I love the gameplay, the theme/artwork, and the DMD animations. I think its brilliant that its set at a drive in, and just love all the modes and stuff attached to that. Getting to spell K I S S is really fun, and who can forget MOVE YOUR CAR! Also, hitting the left ramp in this game is really rewarding. You want to hit that multiple times to bank a lot of points and then you cash that in by going up the lane(the move your car lane). I like this game as its spaced out and I think really rewards a player who can be consistent and accurate with his shots. Just love the artwork and the backglass is both scary and sexy. It's beautiful to look at and amazing to play. My one beef with this game is that there are certain parts of tha playfield that are really dark.
3 years ago
Without a doubt one of the most fun machines I’ve ever played! I love the theme. The title is a little misleading since it’s not all about the creature, that’s about half of it. Most of the game is all about 1950’s drive in culture. The artwork is great! Lots of cool ramps and shots. I’m sure a color dmd would really enhance the experience for a nice mod. I tend to favor the simpler rule set games like system 11 machines and this is somewhat complex, but it’s not swimming in deep rules. I’m amazed this is ranked so low, far better than attack from mars in my opinion!
3 years ago
I sold this game some time ago and miss it. I love the art package, the theme is great and very fun game.
3 years ago
One of the best games ever made.
3 years ago
I enjoy pins with lots of smooth shots and places to put the ball. Games like GB which has like 10 distinct shots, not counting the stand-ups and other targets. I like a lot of spinners, ramps, scoops, VUKs and variety. CBL is too limited. There are only 6 main shots. 2 ramps, which are nice and long, but they wrap around directly above the playfield and obstruct your view of the ball. The artwork and theme are good. I like the rules and goals. I just don't enjoy playing this game. The repetitive music can grow tiresome too. If you like the Creature, play Monster Bash instead.
3 years ago
This is my Grail... I have lots of great memories with this game, it plays fast and can be challenging. The theme is just beautiful. One of my all time favorites!
3 years ago
I think this game is underrated. I would imagine that is due to the simplicity of the game. The theme on this one completely sells it. The classic 50s drive-in movie theme hooked me. Frustrations with this one include the lack of use of the Creature ramp, except when you start the movie. It is a large part of the playfield, and doesn't get the use. I would also say that the other ramp shots have very little value, which surprised me. On the positive side, the programmers paid attention to smaller details, such as the Snack Bar shot. If you aren't familiar, and have a chance to play it, click the flipper buttons if you get stuck with something useless like popcorn. The animated effect is priceless. The game is a must-own if you like one that has replay value, and the sounds don't ever seem to get old.
3 years ago
This game jumped off the page after I added the miked mod and a color dmd. The animation is perfect for the theme, and the music and flashers seem to go hand in hand...the only disappointment I have is the absence of a replaceable translite which I assume is due to universal studios being stubborn with the rights.. my favorite overall game of all time, took me several years to find a nice one and I will have it till I die!!!
3 years ago
I believe this game is/was the pinnacle of game design and theme integration, I love the varied ways to score, and the hard work that is put in for the biggest jackpots. The art and layout are phenomenal.
3 years ago
Theme is great, but there's only one real strategy with this game. Not for me. Sound quality is also awful, and the right ramp placement isn't great. Also the GI seems to always be too dark.
3 years ago
Creature is a pretty fun game but the rules aren’t quite deep enough for me to totally love it. The theme is awesome and the shots all feel nice. The game is quite challenging to and managing the multiball to get the jackpot and super jackpot is pretty difficult. It’s a fun classic but I feel it would get boring after prolonged play.
3 years ago
Played this pin a ton growing up. My grandpa used to have one up at his cabin. Overall, it is not a bad game I suppose. But man, I felt the game was brutal and entirely unforgiving.

Well built games should be easy to learn, but difficult to master. I felt this game was both difficult to learn and master. I can’t help but attribute that to poor design. The flow of the game I felt was very poor — so much so that I preferred all of his games over this one, including Popeye. :)

The gimmick with the playfield screen was cool back in the day, but it is entirely outdated now.

Maybe it requires a skill level far better than mine, but I never saw this as an overly fun pinball game.

High quality build overall, but this is not a game I would want to own based on my personal experience with it.
3 years ago
Shocking, Startling, and Amazing!! This game is very addictive. Takes a few games to figure out the rules. Simple game rules. You’re in a drive in movie and some guy starts creeping in on you and your hot date, so go out and beat him up. The “Move your Car” bit is classic. Of course you have to kiss your date to progress to multi-ball. Challenging to keep your ball in play. Unique skill shot, very challenging. Call outs and humor are top of the line.
3 years ago
Creature is a great game it has a great theme, good artwork, and good sounds. The hologram Never gets old such a cool feature.
3 years ago
Very Nice game an realy original theme. A lot of Nice shots and ramps. Beatifil Creature hologram. Love iT. :] very collectble pin word every penny
There are 405 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 4 of 17.

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