Earthshaker (Williams, 1989)


Pinside rating

This game received 275 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 7.790 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #84 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game design: 7.888

Artwork: 7.805

Sounds/Music: 7.034

Other Aspects: 7.994

Rating comments

There are 127 rating comments for this game.

Pinside staff rating

This is how we, the very knowledgeable (wink wink) staff & moderators rate this game. 8 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 127 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 127 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
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26 days ago
This was my first game with a shaker and is definitely a favorite of friends and family for that reason.
Plenty of variety when it comes to what to shoot for -- ramps, drop targets, spinner. . . it was hard to walk away for the first couple days. The left ramp is easy enough to master -- I'm an average player and was able to keep hitting the loop repeatedly. A great mostly family friendly theme (depends on how you handle "Bi**hing!") that is a go-to/favorite in our house.
61 days ago
This game gets the most attention when people are over. The shaker motor is a lot of fun. This game is challenging enough that it keeps me coming back for more. Would love to find a CQ example of this one for sure.
73 days ago
Earthshakeeeeeer! This is it, Sys11 at its best! Big fun is guaranteed while playing.
4 months ago
I fitted the prototype “falling building” to mine, so my animation scores and a couple of others are based on this being present... like they should have been!
These gams feel a little less polished than those that came ten and twenty years after, but of its period it’s really very good.
4 months ago
Middle of the road System 11 game. I wish it had a tad more flow but a packed playfield with a lot to shoot at.
5 months ago
I don't like the art in this game. The artists style just weirds me out. The also bad thing is the left ramp is easy to hit. And once you get use to the game you'll be able to hit it over and over... I haven't hit it 99 times in a row, but I've seen videos where people have. I have hit it about 7-10 times in a row and then done so again in the game a few more times. Its a fun game and I think it was one of the first if not first use of a shaker motor in pinball. So its a breakthrough game in that regard. Also I think it works the theming out very well. Nice fault lock toy. Decent rules. A nice jackpot that is challenging at first to get, but attainable. And I think nice music and great callouts. Love the whole Bitchin and Give me shelter... Also love the whole EARTHSHAKER!!! Callout when you lock a ball. Would I own one of these games... Maybe if I had a 50-100 pin collection. That is mainly due to me just not caring for the theme too much, and the art package. But, it plays good and its fun. And it has nice replay to it... But, I find myself only playing it for about 15 minutes at a time.
6 months ago
This along with Whirlwind are great Pat Lawler games that are a precursor to one the best pinball machines of all time Adam's Family. I love the call outs, art, and music. However, For me the fun factor isn't as good as Whirlwind. The playfield is a little to busy. I love to play this game once in while but in a smaller collection (under 10 pins) its loses its fun factor quickly. I've owned it twice but both of mine were players pins. I'd buy it again if I could find a collector quality one for a fair price.
10 months ago
Not a good pin for a smaller collection. Got it to pair with my whirlwind but it’s just way too repetitive. It does have a good jackpot shot with multiball but doesnt play much into high scores. It’s hard to play it again after hitting the center ramp for 99 miles.
10 months ago
I've played this game two days for hours on end. It's a game that needs precisely aimed shots and punishes missed ones. At first I really liked the challenge, but after the second day of playing I was a lot less excited. There is just not enough variety, and the lack of flow also started to bother me. Still, the challenge of the game is what makes you want to try again, and that is a good thing.

The artwork is nice, as I really like the 80's style graphics. The cabinet is a real missed opportunity though, as it's kind of bland.
10 months ago
One of my favorite System 11 games. This was the first pin I fell in love with back in the day. First to have a shaker motor, It is always satisfying to hit the upper flipper shot to lock the ball. EARTHSHAKER!! The music has variety and the call outs are lighthearted and fun. A Pat Lawlor classic. A simple game to play, but it just keeps sucking you in. Great fun!
10 months ago
Owned this machine for several months. It is fun but not a keeper.
11 months ago
There is enough variety to make this a fun game to play. Lots of ramps and places for the ball to go. The Music was OK, not outstanding. The sound effects ok. There is a playfield animation of California breaking away from US which is unique. The notable feature of this game is the “Earthquake” that occurs during the Multiball. The artwork I think captures the “flavor” of Southern California pretty well, but the middle of the playfield is empty to me. Racking up miles up the ramp is a pretty good skill shot, with the final goal of getting to the end of the road. Overall a good game.
1 year ago
Excellent system 11 game. Playfield layout is excellent. Art is also really good. Hope to get my hands on one.
1 year ago
I really wanted this game to match my Whirlwind with the cool Lawlor disaster duo. It really is an amazing system 11 that is super fast and has some great call outs. I have the sinking building mod and it is pretty cool but not necessary as it really down't effect the game play. The original back glass is classic and the artwork is fantastic. The shaker motor is the perfect addition to the earthquake theme and integrated very well/ Works best in a larger collection as the variation gets redundant after a while but a classic nonetheless.
1 year ago
Fun game. The first with the shaker motor. Some interesting features that keep you coming back.
1 year ago
Love this game. One of the best System 11. Very similar to the twin game Whirlwind. Simple rules but fun nonetheless.
Make sure you live in a house when owning this, because it's a earthshaker when that shaker motor starts.

Beautiful backglass art.
1 year ago
Earthshaker is one of my favorite games. It really makes you want to keep playing. The shaker inside of it is awesome and when it yells out Earthshaker! Some people don't care for the side art, but I love it! Awesome game!
1 year ago
Not much to accomplish besides getting the multiball, but still a very fun game to play.
1 year ago
Has a couple of rules shortfalls, otherwise a great game.
1 year ago
Earthshaker isn't ever going to be a maven's game because of a couple of scoring faults -- you can basically run up the score by hitting the center ramp shot over and over again, one which can be made from either flipper. So from that perspective, despite loop shots, quick multiball and a nice three-ball multiball, and the gimmicks (a tower going up and down, a map of California and Nevada splitting, the first real shaker motor), it may not rank terribly high.

But as a pure Fun Quotient game, this is great. For the era, it's got a few funny sound effects, and the theme of the earthquake -- complete with shaker motor -- combined with the ubiquitous Pat Lawlor / Williams obsession with highways, entrance ramps, and getting around by car in general -- is original, unusual, and cute. More to the general point, kids love it right away, and it's not so complicated as to be inaccessible. A great bridge between eras, and a very good game room machine.
1 year ago
This machine stands the test of time. It is my all-time favorite pin, and the skills shots are awesome. Max out the miles to max out your score! If you see it, play! You will love it!
1 year ago
This goes in the category of fun because of difficulty. It keeps me coming back, and keeps me frustrated with its strange shots. I always look forward to this one in tournament play.
1 year ago
Driving around to get some spare parts for my first owned flipper I get the chance to play many different machines. Just fell in love with that piece!!! So much fun to play, definitely the next one for my beginners collection :)
2 years ago
So I'm a bit biased, but ES is my favorite pin from BITD. I looked for one for many years, and finally managed to snag one.

Sure, there's not a TON of depth, but what there is makes up for that -- it's fast, it's fun, you can literally play it all day and not get bored. There's something magical about the cabinet shaking and the callout, "EARTHSHAKER!!!". Makes me happy.

I was lucky enough to get one with a sinking institute (just like the one I remember playing on), so that definitely adds another dimension to it aesthetically. If you can't find one of those early 200, then get a sinking kit. Either way, it's great fun.

Just about the best back glass in pinball, I'm sorry, it's awesome.

I'll agree with others that there are a few deeper and more "powerful" sys11 games out there (this one's cousin Whirlwind comes to mind), but for my money ES is still the best.
2 years ago
Earthshaker is surprisingly agile considering its crowded playfield and numerous loops and ramps. The skill shot is fun (like PIN*BOT), but it might take up too much room. The VUK is a nice touch to change momentum and, of course, the shaker motor fires up for multiball, which adds to the thrill of the game. If it weren't for some of those little touches, the game would fall flat and be a run-of-the-mill late SS, but there's enough going on to keep me wanting to shoot a few more balls. Not addictive, but not repulsive.
There are 127 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 6.

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