Pinside rating

This game received 69 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 7.794 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #111 in the Pinside EM Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game design: 7.857

Artwork: 8.058

Sounds/Music: 1.97

Other Aspects: 7.699

Pinside staff rating

This is how we, the very knowledgeable (wink wink) staff & moderators rate this game. 3 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 37 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 37 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
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69 days ago
I've only played Fireball a couple times, but I dig the unique layout and skill shot.
88 days ago
Probably the most well-known and iconic EM. Kind of like how Galaga seems to be for arcade video games, if you ask a random person to name an EM there's a good shot this would be it (if they could name one of course). Prices on these are accordingly reflective of that - justifiably so.

There's a reason for this. Several reasons actually. Lots of EMs, including ones I like more, have great artwork, but I can't name any that just stun you like this one does. The playfield is just as good as the backglass, if not better with how well that spinner is integrated.

The skill shot is fantastic and so is the multiball - just outstanding how they did that. Zipper flippers are always fun of course.

That spinner.

I could wax poetic but I'll just stop and say the game is too random.

*Wife approval* "Wow! O_O This is cool!" She likes it more than I do and I can't even really say I disagree.
7 months ago
I would love to say this game is the ultimate EM game as it has a lot of really cool things going for it. Love the spinner disc, 3 ball mb, zipper flippers, and a cool skill shot. However, the spinner disc shoots the ball all over the place and loves to shot it out the outlanes. Because the game is zipper flippers combined with the unpredictability of spinner disc makes it really hard to gain control of the ball. As for the MB... I like it. Can have 2 ball or 3 ball and that is a rarity for EM. And I think the skill shot is one of the best ones for an em. Simple rule set, but it works. The idea of this game is better than the execution and gameplay. Machine looks great(art package is superb).. .But, I don't think it plays great. Its just too wild and unpredictable. With that said... I enjoy it, even if it kicks my butt. Always good for a few plays.
7 months ago
Its just a classic game. when things are all running it can be really fun game to play. but some times it slow. The open close of the flippers if great and the turntable in the middle I just love. EM machine I love it
2 years ago
Fireball EM: the only EM I own. I absolutely adore this game, and I wasn't even born in the 70s!

-SOOOOOOOO ahead of its time. Crazy cool features that were either "firsts" for the industry or incredibly advanced for the time. Just a few to list: outlane kickback, spinner in the middle (a la Whirlwind), 3 ball multi-ball, an incredible skill shot, and zipper flippers!
-Some truly fantastic shots. You so desperately wanna lock 2 balls, release, and then hit the blue mushroom to close that wide flipper gap!
-the artwork is truly magnificent. Such a beautiful piece of history
-Making this game sing with the chimes is a treat.
-Did I mention the skill shot? It's one of my favs, and is absolutely critical to scoring high points. If you don't get it, 2 of your 3 pop bumpers are only worth 10/each.

-the flipper gap can make the game a bit more luck than skill at times.
-not a full chime unit, but simply 1 bell for the 10s, and another for the 100s. This isn't a big deal, but worth mentioning
-good luck finding one cheap, and even better luck finding one in good shape

This game is my favorite EM hands down. Why isn't it higher??
2 years ago
One of the icon pinball games, this one has a very tricky skill shot to make when plunging which is quite a bit different from modern skill shots! The spinning disc in the middle is unique and makes the game more unpredictable then many others and it is hard to argue against EM multi-ball. Not one of my favorite tables but one I don't mind playing when I see it.
3 years ago
The randomness of the spinner makes this game a lottery. :)
3 years ago
A friend of ours has this one and it is a blast to this day. Shots are great Love the EM sound.
3 years ago
Amazing they packed all this game can do into an EM, multiball, a proper skillshot. This game has a lot of stuff that would not become standard for many years. If you see it - play it!
4 years ago
I first played this game in the summer of 1974. I remember because we were on a family vacation up in Maine and this table was at an arcade by the lake where we were camping. I was only 9 and had been playing pinball for a few years at the local Boy’s Club in my hometown, but this was the first multi-ball game I’d ever seen. What I remember most is how quickly the balls drained, and all these years later that aspect of the game has not changed!

I had the opportunity to get a fully shopped Fireball last year for a great price and quickly added it to my collection which includes a Williams Mission Space and a Stern Metallica Pro. It lacks specials, extra ball, etc, but what it lacks in typical features it makes up for through its early-1970’s innovations. Sure, zip-flippers basically tanked as a long-term feature, but it’s still cool that back then Bally put out such an innovative table. Arcade owners must have loved it because the games could be over quickly between the small flippers and the drains on each side. It was a money-maker. It’s also a pleasure to look at. The art work was fantastic and the theme is enduring. It’s also not a very loud table in regards to bells and chimes--and that's fine with me.

It is one of the few games I’ve ever played that I can’t win a game on score as easily as I do on most tables. When you get a free game at 5200 you really feel like you worked for it.

It’s just a cool table to own and a definite keeper. I know it's not going to be for everyone, but we love playing this pin.
4 years ago
A timeless classic from a bygone era, and a father of many of the features of modern pinball.
"A wonder from the electro mechanical pinball age".
In fact, it is STILL better than many modern machines to this day.
Every pinball enthusiast needs to play this machine at least once in their lifetime.
If you really like this game buy a CPR reproduction backglass just for the memories.

The artwork from Dave Christensen is absolutely unmistakeable and stands out in the crowd from backglass to playfield, to cabinet.
It was completely identifiable in arcades of the time.
There was an enormous amount of thought that went into the playfield design with skill shot, captive ball, saucers, spinning wheel, return gate, and "zipper flippers".
Not much else you could possibly ask for in a game of this age.
Yes, other games used its features, but only a couple were able to "pull it all together" into a tight package.
4 Million BC comes to mind.

You know you have something special when you plunge the ball into play immediately, when you go "what"? with the skillshot, as many are not aware the playfield was heat warped into proper shape. This starting ball skill shot just never seems to get old, even after you master it, and you get your 3 bells, 3000 points, and most likely the zipper flippers closing from the mushroom bumper shot. There is strategy in this game...

What makes this game so significant to me is its SILENCE.
Modern machines are very vehement and boisterous.
This game needs none of that, and stands on its own charms from simple bells.

A game that seriously needs to be remade PROPERLY to allow so many people to understand the history of pinball.

Any other Fireball version than the original EM game is complete a$$, as it is not the same experience in regards to game play, scoring, or sounds.
You are not getting the same experience.
This is not another "crappy EM", novices.

So few are left now, and even less so in superb+ condition as they reside in pinball museums and the tight hands of serious collectors. In 10 years, probably less than 500.
Good fortune if you find one without a beat to hell, wood cracked, and peeling paint playfield.
The positive news is the "tuff coat" lacquer playfield coating has held up well.

Not everything pinball machine needs a fancy DMD and lots of flashing lights and sounds...
People that rate this game poorly, probably do not know how to play the machine or have never played it at all.
4 years ago
It's near the top of the charts for a reason, Fireball is one fancy EM. The bent wood skillshot feels so good even shooting repeatedly over and over. The zipper flippers are 100% key to the experience. Fireball Classic just doesn't do it for me. Multiball is a cool feature, but it lacks a little bit in EMs since the rules don't change and you have much less ball control. Flailing about tends to lead to very fast drains.
4 years ago
One of the most fun games out there. With the disc and moving flippers, this is a great game with friends.
4 years ago
Updated better review;

IMO, this is the premier collectible pinball machine from the EM era. It's got a lot of great features, and looks cool as hell as well.

Here is how it works:

Starting off, it's got a very important skill shot. If you want to be competitive in multiplayer, you'll need to master this shot. Not only can you score 3000 points, you'll light the pop bumpers for 100 points, rather than 10.

Adding a huge amount of randomization to the game is the large rubber disk in the center of the playfield that relentlessly spins. The ball will hang on this disk and stutter, before being shot off in an unpredictable direction. FIREBALL!

There are rollover targets surrounding the disk. Most score 10 points, but the top center rollover activates a kickback on the left out lane. Unfortunately, two of the other rollovers turn the kickback off. One of them happens to be right in the path of the left out lane, which means odds are good that the ball will disable the kickback while heading toward the out lane.

There are two ball locks representing the fire gods. Odin on the left, and Wotan on the right. Putting a ball in either saucer puts a new ball in the shooter lane.

Locking the ball in the Odin saucer starts a chasing sequence of 5 insert lights below the saucer. These lights are labeled 1000-5000 points, and change quickly. To release this ball, you need to hit the mushroom target on the left side of the table. When the ball is released, you score the point total reflected by the currently lit insert light. Timing is key. Releasing Odin for 5k points is a blast.

The Wotan lock on the right sits behind a gate, with three insert lamps in front of it. These inserts will illuminate as you collect hits on the three Mushroom targets, one lamp for each target. After locking a ball in Wotan, you can release it by hitting the mushroom target on the left. The ball will roll down a lane with three switches in it. The switches will score 1000 points each, corresponding to the number of mushroom targets that were hit before the lock and release (up to 3000 points).

You can also release one or both of the locked balls by a solid shot to the captive ball. If you release by captive ball, the Wotan ball will not return to play, but instead will be dropped back into the shooter lane, allowing you to plunge again to try for a bonus skill shot.

The last feature are the zipper flippers, which are activated by the mushroom target at the top of the playfield. Zipper flippers are a mechanism that move the flippers together in order to minimize the likelihood of a center drain. The flippers will remain zipped until either of the outer mushroom targets are hit.

I love this game.

The EM that plays like a Solid State.

It's the most fun you can have without a computer! ;)
4 years ago
I was introduced to Fireball by a dedicated pinball historian and fan (story about the experience forthcoming). Without his explanations of the game and history, I might have rated it lower. However, I had a great time playing, even though I was terrible at it.

Building the jackpot for the saucer on the left was fun, as was slamming into the captive ball. But, the spinner in the center of the PF is of course what makes this game a challenge to play as well as a unique experience. It wins good points on theme and fun for me.

I'd recommend playing this if you get the chance, and I would have one in my future collection if I got a decent deal on it.
4 years ago
Phaeno, Wolfsburg, Germany. Ausgeflippt exhibition in cooperation with the Pacific Pinball Museum. 1st Play.
4 years ago
The most accessible EM to non EM people. Such an awesome game. I will own one to go along with capersville which I love for different reasons and is also ahead of its time but the spinning disc is just the best thing I've ever had the pleasure of avoiding on an EM.
5 years ago
The game is visually striking and insanely hard to master if that's even possible. It's an A-list game for sure that anyone would be proud to have in their collection. It could be a very rare bird, a game that is beautiful, frustrating, and yet so rewarding. I still can't get my mind around the design and artwork
5 years ago
Maybe the most known EM. I didn't like it that much because the spinning disc sent my ball to the outlanes. Multiball wasn't hip but I liked the idea of getting more balls for the buck. Artwork is iconic and superb and inspired many other tables.
5 years ago
I played this unique machine at the Pinball Expo Sydney in Nov 2014 because I had so much about it. Ahead of its time in some ways with the zany zipper flippers and spinning wheel (not advisable to play after a few drinks) but I though fairly mediocre on general gameplay with overall appearance fairly average.
5 years ago
neat game but I can't see myself playing it over and over. It has a lot of 'tricks' for the era and probably the most advanced EM out there, but it lacks something for me.
5 years ago
Fireball was my first EM, and I sought it out after falling in love with it at PAPA in Pittsburgh. When I got it home, my friend pointed out that I was truly blessed to be able to make "Release Fire Gods" a part of my everyday vocabulary.

The spinning disk adds the most excitement to the game. Getting a good twirl around and around and a launch in a random direction is enough to get a whole crowd of people cheering - if you've got an enthusiastic group.

In terms of scoring, the plunger skill shot dominates everything. My most pathetic games have gone in under 3,000 points on five balls, but you can beat that score with a single skill shot before even touching a flipper. The importance of multiball is not so much about racking up points with two balls on the playfield, but in locking balls to provide you more chances for plunger skill shots.

The art is unrivaled. There's a reason the backglass is pictured opposite the first page of text in Roger Sharpe's "Pinball". Blinking bulbs behind the backglass are a necessity.

The night I got the game (at the Ohio Pinball Show), it was late when I got it home and set it up. I was headed back to the show early in the morning, but couldn't stop playing until I got a kickback. The buttons to turn kickback off are exactly between the spinning wheel and the outlanes, so it often turns off immediately after turning on. It's frustrating, it's random, it's exiting when it happens - it's perfect pinball!
5 years ago
Good for EM
5 years ago
I hate this game, maybe because I can't beat it ? It is no fun to me, I have played this title over 1000 time and seldom enjoy it. I will always play it, but would never own it. Art work is Great, it was ahead of its time. but I still hate it.
6 years ago
Spinner can ruin alot of good shots. Challenging game that presents some fun for a few games. Lots of fun shots for an EM.
There are 37 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 2.

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