Defender

Pinside rating

This game received 26 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 7.418 /10

7.418

Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #177 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.


Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game design: 7.635

Artwork: 7.435

Sounds/Music: 6.049

Other Aspects: 7.462



Pinside staff rating

This is how we, the very knowledgeable (wink wink) Pinside.com staff & moderators rate this game. 3 of us have rated this game.

7.649

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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 8 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 8 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
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5.630/10
3 years ago
It's more a gimmick than a pinball machine.
8.815/10
4 years ago
Artwork is ok, fits the theme. No speech or music that I could hear so I cancelled them out in the ratings. Sounds were straight from the video game so they definitely fit the theme. Playfield was well thought out and had lots to shoot for. Ruleset, while not immediately apparent, was well thought out with lots to do and pretty unique. I played about 10 games at $1 each but was having a lot of fun. Why did Williams not make more of these? I am guessing this game is not easy to advance thru the stages and therefore wasn't fun for beginners.
7.368/10
4 years ago
Not a bad machine, personally I think the actual arcade game beats the pants off it and I don't really see the need for a pin with the same theme. Good fun though, play it if you see it.
1.750/10
4 years ago
Flipper below average, yet not to the levels of Bally Williams that soon would be produced
9.205/10
5 years ago
I got in my first 10 games of Defender. 10 quickly turned into 20.

* Asymmetry: excellent
* Backhands: very good. Not sweepable, but you can backhand both target banks AND other shots
* Ball Control/Hazards: Really neat to "sometimes" have a drop target in low to hit, otherwise on the "easy" side of ball control with a wide open playfield: (similar to Nine Ball, Pinbot)
* Ball Time: (I wasn't on a fast 6.5° leveled machine, so hard to know. Being an early Williams, I'd guess an average ball time)
* Drops (Sweepable): fair. I think I got a few 2-3 combos but certainly not ALL 5.
* Flow/Stop n Go: good. There are locks and releases for multi-ball of expected 1-2 second length.
* Fun/Lastability: Very good. I didn't understand the rules, and I was really enjoying the geometry of the PF.
* Inlane Flow: Good. Right inlane has a low ceiling making for less swoosh on this side.
* Lateral movement/Nudging: unknown. I didn't try much nudging. Not too much lateral (iirc) since there are drops on both sides, instead of standups.
* Multiball - entering: good. Not easy, not hard. I think I got into multiball every 3rd game or so.
* Multiball - enjoyment: Excellent. Open PF designs shine for multiball play. Good detain shots with the 1-2-3-4 lanes
* Orbit Shots: NONE. inner orbit TO pops, but otherwise no orbit shot
* Originality: Excellent - completely unique PF design and rules
* Outlanes: Fair: it's a modified Firepower format. kickback lane on left (ouch) and a difficult outlane on right, that sometimes blocks off like Space Shuttle.
* Pop bumpers: excellent. TWO top middle that can help AND hurt you
* Scoring Balance: unknown, no jackpots afaik, so I assume it's good point balance
* Skill shot: none. confined 1-2-3-4 lanes with lane change.
* Sound/Callouts/Voice: no voice ! great sounds from Defender vid. No background sound attempt at all.
* Spinners: none.
* ThemeArt/Lights: good. Didn't pay attention to know if it's great or not. Interesting big RED plastic in middle of PF with 4? flashers below it.
* Toys/Gimmicks: excellent. smart drops, smart bomb button that kills the drops, manual-ball-save, 3 drops that pop up in middle of PF and upper PF.

Pros: Innovative, captures the vid game very well.
Cons: Outlanes that are not fun/easy to nudge and save. Not enough made, no voice (this would have put the game over the top) -- but it's ok. WHY? Because the vid was VERY quiet as well other than the sounds in the game. One speaker middle of BG seems weird to me. Looks awesome though.

Early Williams top-3: Black Knight, Barracora then Defender.
8.876/10
7 years ago
Defender is a pinball game based on a video game's rules. It takes a bit of getting used to, but once you get it... this game absolutely sings.

The Pros: Lots ot shots on a seemingly wide open playfied. Inline Drops at the top of the PF with a narrow alley to shoot for. Drop targets AND inline standups ala Eight Ball Deluxe on both sides pf the PF. A true sharp shooter's game. Oursler tm outlanes to make sure you keep your game on point. The locklane is nicely hidden under the right PF plastic. The game gets faster and harder as you progress through the "waves" of enemies. Just like the video game, this game is one big countdown as the waves progress, before you know it... you will get your heart rate going. THAT IS THE TRUE SIGN OF A GREAT GAME!

The Cons:
The rules... What do you do? The game is not immediately obvious. Go for the blinking lights and figure it out from there. Take a hint from the video game's rules and consider your shots from there.

Takeaway:
There is a big IF playing defender. The Big IF is IF you can find one, that works. Then you get to figure out what to do with the game's shots and rules. When you do, get your game running and hang on. Wimpy pinballers need not apply. No Man-gynas allowed. Play on Playas!

Update#1:
After another solid session on this deck, I am starting to finally get the strategies to this game. The "Smart Bomb" (above the right flipper) makes a huge difference in how the game is played out. This deck has that fast twitch requirement to play this game well (see Solar Fire, Cosmic Gunfight and Jungle Lord) for the most similar feel to this game. Even though this game's PF is not cut in half, it still plays wicked fast! I really like this deck quite a bit.

Update#2:
Now that I figured out what was going on with my switch matrix, this game is playing as it should. I'm proud to say that this game is a true player and the more you get into the subtleties of the Smart Bomb and the 3 level warp target at the top of the pf... the more this game will grow on you. Save that 3 level warp for when you REALLY NEED IT! Smart Bobms are added every other wave. I have gotten to the point where the start of the game "resets" me to the shots on the PF and by the time I get to the higher waves, the game's features become more about quick reflexes and less about thinking. The shot is lit, hit it, what's next kind of a feel to this deck. Learning the reflective shots from the lower left target bank to the lock are key and while the upper left flipper really only has two shots to make, they are cruicial to gameplay and when combined with the upper left inline drop target lane, create a surprising amount of skillful shooting from a relatively safe place 2/3rds the way up the PF. I love the fact that the left outlane is never a gimme. Skill all around! Once the game starts moving at higher waves, you will have to make quick work of multiball. That drop target in front of the lock lane always seems to activate, just when you don't need it to.

Defender is my favorite single level Williams SS era game. Yes, even better than Warlok, Laser Cue and Barracora.
7.125/10
9 years ago
Unique ruleset mimics the arcade game well. A shooter's pin with drop targets galore.
7.629/10
9 years ago
Nice allround game. I love the rule set and the pop up targets. Sounds are also great. Makes a good competition game provided you take the time to read the rules.
There are 8 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 1.

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