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Fireball II

Pinside rating

This game received 36 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 7.286 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #208 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game design: 7.214

Artwork: 8.124

Sounds/Music: 6.08

Other Aspects: 7.229

Pinside staff rating

This is how we, the very knowledgeable (wink wink) staff & moderators rate this game. 1 of us has 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 14 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 14 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
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2 years ago
This is such a fantastic game with so many things to love it's hard to even know where to start. The art package on this machine is probably some of the best I have ever seen. The back-glass is absolutely stunning in person and the cabinet art is great for the time this machine came out. The sounds and speech are fantastic and the use of a different background sound during multi-ball is something not often seen before this machine. The little demon post is a fun little strategic feature the helps balance the game when you have the in-lane/out-lane divider set up against you. The fireball bonus is great to watch and the complimentary animation on the displays are awesome.

As far as playing with friends. This is probably the only machine in my collection that sees more multiplayer games than single player. This is due to the fact that you can lock steal in this game and is a very effective strategy to go for. On top of that, when someone gets the multi-ball and the GI turns into a strobe light, everyone looking on as you play feels pretty great (especially in the dark)

Overall, this machine has so much going for it that I don't even know how it gets so overlooked in the community. A very affordable option for the kind of Bally quality that was coming out during 1981. A game that keeps me and others constantly coming back for more, this can easily be a budget centrepiece of a collection for those who are into early Solid State games.

Edit: Machine was great fun to play, but ended up being slightly repetitive, would own another one when I have more space, but it had to go for another machine. Will still definitely play one when I see one!
2 years ago
Early multiball example with fun call-outs. The play can be fast & fun. The rule set is fairly easy. The best part is stealing your opponents locked ball. It can be a little anticlimactic after multiball. I ended up selling it as it was the one game in the line-up that wasn't getting. My kids & I miss the the attract mode all-out " Fireball awaits you" with its sinister dialect.
2 years ago
A garbage sequel to one of the most amazing EM games of all time, you are better off buying either the original Fireball or Fireball Classic because this game is a STINKER!
2 years ago
Fireball II gets kind of overlooked for being the sequel to a game that it really has very little in common with. A shame, because it's a very nice game.

For starters, the game is just beautiful. The reds, yellows and blacks work really well together. The mirrored backglass is breathtaking. Coincidentally (?), the original Fireball was Dave 'Mad Dog' Christensen's first pinball artwork and Fireball II was his last.

The playfield is a classic 3 pop bumper setup, with some nice extra's: a third flipper, 11 drop targets and an interactive 'Little Demon' post in between the flippers.

The sounds can get really frantic. Fireball II screams for your attention at times. Especially when you can score the (timed) extra ball. Lighting effects are awesome for the time period, as the game plays with its general illumination and the 4 flashers below the playfield.

Rule-wise, it's simple, yet *very* addictive. Build bonus, collect bonus. And go for a nice multiball (2 or 3 balls) if that's your thing.

Fireball II might not be the best known member of Bally's Class of '81, but it's definitely one of the cool kids.
2 years ago
Fireball II surprised me. I should say that, as with many games, we tend to compare both within and across eras. Compared to some of the highpoints of Bally's output at this time - Fathom, Centaur, Flash Gordon all come to mind - FBII has been one of those more hidden games. This is also likely because anything named Fireball will inherently draw comparisons to the original 1972 classic of EM design and features. I still want an original for those reasons - multiball, zipper flippers, kickback, spinning wheel - it had it all.

FBII doesn't have it all. No spinner (booooooo), but plenty of drops, ball locks to steal, and a great art and sound package (well, for the time on the sound at least).

My experience with FBII is also biased because I had the chance to fully shop - top and bottom and friend's example and get it to playing as much like new as I can imagine one playing. I had the Little Demon striking forcefully enough to lock balls in the top saucer that is. In that condition, i.e. fully shopped/maintained, Fireball II can be a fast beast. It can play long if you get ahold of it so I can see why some might want to remove the one way gates or pull the outlane post rubbers - both somewhat reasonable but I think unnecessary modifications unless it's being used for tourney play with people that really know what they are doing. Then I'd remove the outlane rubbers most likely.

What I noticed about this game is that you can rarely get the ball cradled because of the lack of real return lanes and so it forces you to change up your playing style. That's a good thing. Find one, play it! Hopefully it will be in good shape as you'll want it that way for fast play.
4 years ago
End to end, my game was over in under a minute-- out of the chute, and SDTM on 2 of the 3 balls.

Just not a fun playing experience.
5 years ago
Let's get this out of the way: Fireball was a breakthrough game in 1972, and the sequel would have to be brilliant in its year to match up. FB2 is not a breakthrough deck. It is a good overall package.

Asymmetry: Good
Backhands: good. I can make the right saucer with a backhand on a live action shot.
Ball Control/Hazards: Good balance, lower playfield feels "just right"
Ball Time: short but the deck I was on was on the easier side
Flow/Stop n Go: Very good flow -- surprisingly so
Fun/Lastability: Too early to tell, felt good to me
Inlane Flow: Ok, there are posts that slow the ball down, then it has a tiny short inlane, like in Fathom/Embryon
Multiball Lock: Clearly marked, and both are challenging shots, the right side is a little tougher.
Multiball Play: Very good, there are objectives, and space, and you can re-lock balls during MB.
Nudging: Amazing. You nudge every outland ball drop. Required, lots of lateral motion, lots of dead ball passing
Originality: While it's a continuation of a theme, it's nice being very devil-like
Orbit/Spinner Speed: No orbits, no spinners
Pops: On the friendly side. They help score standups and A-B lanes
Scoring Balance: No jackpots, and too early to tell. Likely it's fine
Sound/Callouts: Fun callouts, with Zap, Pow, etc, when you use the moveable post between the flippers.
Taunting: a little, when you tilt, cackling laugh.
Theme/Art/Lights: Very good. I didn't stay long enough to watch the attract mode lights, but seemed average. Typical nice spread of colors from 1981 Bally.
Toys: Center post-flipper is a very cool toy
Voice: Yes - it's the classic 1981 Bally voice

Overall, it's a narrow version of Embryon. If you are on a budget, it's only 1 step down from a Centaur/Fathom for less than half the price. Rules-wise it's very simple -- like the Bally version of Stern Seawitch... Recommended.
5 years ago
For being a poor, red-headed step-sequel to one of the most interesting EM machines I've ever seen, I do think this is a good game. Finding points on it can be a nice challenge, deciding whether to go for multi-ball (the right kickout hole is very mean) or rack up a ton of fireball bonuses. I didn't think much of this table when I picked it up for cheap, but after I cleaned it up and serviced it I found a great (not amazing) old school SS game that I'm not selling any time soon. Great training table for newbies, too.
7 years ago
The shield of the god is really hard to master. The small PF animation is a cool toy.
Add to that an interesting PF design - nothing revolutionary though - and you get a very good game
7 years ago
Well, the Fireball II is a great pinball. Simple rules, three flippers and a little fourth in the middle, multiball, old school but hypnotic sounds and voice and a very addictive gameplay make this pinball one of those a would like to keep in my collection.
7 years ago
Fireball II is a pretty cool game. Considering it's older brother, it's not bad at all.

The Pros:
Lots of drops and a doodlebug PF animation. All 3 sets of drops and the upper stand ups are all shots that require good aim from their respective flippers. The upper saucer is a cool shot that most people don't know is even there until they land it for the first time. Good pop action from the upper PF and 3 targets from the upper flipper require control and skill in an area that does not allow you much. Stealing locked balls from the competition is always fun. Play it with a friend and see how many multiballs you can steal from your opponents. "Little Demon" is something not to be relied on, requires skill with the second right flipper button. The only other game this was seen on to my memory was the incredible Medusa. Oh yeah... it's a Christensen art package on the table, so you know the colors are brilliant and the game looks HOT!

The Cons:
The inlane/ outlane configuration can be too easy to play. The rules suffer from "Eternal Multiball Syndrome". Between this and the shield of the gods, ball times can be long. The pop-bumper garden has weird geometry/ bounces coming out of it. Multiball can be more luck than skill from the upper flipper. This may or may not be a bad thing in your book. I am on the edge on this call.

The Takeaway:
This game has to be physically altered (bastardized) to be a player. Take the one way gates off the inlanes or even remove rubbers off the outlane posts (that may be too harsh...) Set your rules to harder settings and get ready for a great playing skills game. Set up like this, I'd give it a 6 on play when set up nice and devil nasty. No matter what happens though, this deck will always be in the shadow of the orignal Ted Zale masterpiece. Gary Gayton only made a few cool games, other than Strikes and Spares, this is his strongest design. To go along with the awesome theme of this game, it's best played to heavy metal music. Just remember before you commit a sin by letting the ball pass between the flippers...

Satan's snot is made of hot lava.
8 years ago
3 fliipper and lots of drop targets plus multi ball feature makes this a very challenging game
9 years ago
I actually prefer the Fireball Classic to this version. Not a bad machine, but for some reason, not as fun. I don't like the center captive ball shaker as much as the rotating disk from the earlier version. This was the machine that kicked my butt because of a ball stuck on the playfield (took me a week to figure out the problem was just a stuck ball).
9 years ago
Fireball II beats it predecessor period...end of story. Anyone that has actually played both can attest to that. Fireball II is a player's game. In fact, it's a multiplayer player's game. Does your buddy lock a couple balls and then get a drainer? Guess what? It's yours to take! The artwork and flow of this game set the stage for games to come. Gorgeous. The rule set is fairly deep for it's time and the addition of the little demon post sets you up for some fantastic long game play. The ever increasing sci fi sound wave like Gorgar increases your anxiety as the score goes up and making multiball is a satisfying challenge. This does well in a collection.
There are 14 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 1.

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