Firepower

Pinside rating

This game received 252 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 7.849 /10

7.849

Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #97 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.



Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game Design: 7.963

Artwork: 7.613

Sounds/Music: 7.101

Other Aspects: 8.018


Pinside staff rating

This is how we, the very knowledgeable (wink wink) Pinside.com staff & moderators rate this game. 5 of us have rated this game.

7.29

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Found 145 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 145 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
Currently showing results page 1 of 6.

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6.541/10
13 days ago
Picked up Firepower thinking it would be like Blackout but with multiball... I just don't see the attraction and sold it in 2 weeks. Sounds great, the art falls between gawd-awful Flash and fairly cool Blackout but the gameplay just left me out in the cold. Countdown animation is cool. Maybe rated high due to nostalgia? I never played it in the arcades so have no attachment there.
8.286/10
57 days ago
“Firepower!!!” The voice says! Is it me or does he sound like he had diarrhea and is holding back a pants explosion to finish recording his lines?
It’s nothing to be ashamed of, we’ve all been there.
My wife, aka Wifebot, loves this game and Gorgar. It might be just the silly voices or maybe because I like to make fun of the speech while she plays. Gorgar is obviously more fun because you can add additional thoughts to his caveman speech. Me Gorgar… me went with Firepower to Mexican restaurant in Laredo Texas… was big mistake. Me hurt.”
My first memories of Firepower come from a roller skating rink when I was a kid. While Mata Hari was teaching me everything I know about pinball; It was beautiful, seductive, addictive! It would smack your balls around for a little bit, then take your money and make you come back for more.
Wait, it taught me everything I know about women… anyway, three or four games down from Mata Hari, some teenagers were swearing at a new Firepower. The only real goal is to get multiball which is nearly impossible in an arcade setting. You will be broke long before then, especially if you were a kid at the time.
By the time that roller skating rink closed, the firepower machine was the most beat up and dented game in the entire arcade. Intense frustration does that to people.
I only played it once. It lasted only a few seconds and I walked away disappointed. Which is exactly how the Wifebot describes our first date.
I didn’t really get the opportunity to play one again until I was in my late teens. I still didn’t understand the appeal.
Once I played one on freeplay years later, I finally got it.
I never did get multiball, but I had a good time trying.
There is no argument from me that the Ritchie brothers were the kings of ‘80’s pinball. Although I have, (and always will), prefer Barry Oursler and Python Anghelo games, both of the Ritchie’s had a way of making their games fun, attractive, and painful.
If there was one thing I’d change it would be to make the multiball a less rare occurrence, or at least add a ball saver timer so it lasts longer. I have watched the Wifebot play for over an hour to get multiball, only to lose it a few seconds afterwards. She swears for a good long while, yells, shakes her little fist, waves at it with one finger, sometimes two, and finally says “oh well.. start over!”
Even though getting multiball is basically the wizard mode for this game, the reward for doing it (a longer playtime) should be better. It’s one of the rules of good pinball, “Don’t take away something the player has earned.”
That’s my only complaint. I’ve never done it, but I’m sure I wouldn’t enjoy it. Which is ironically something I frequently hear from the Wifebot late at night.
Firepower is a classic! Plain and simple. It punishes you as much as it rewards you and leaves you wishing you had just done that last shot differently after every ball.
That’s the sign of a good game.
8.843/10
61 days ago
What a killer game!!
Amazing back in the day and standing the test of time, I love this classic!
Back in 80-81, there would be a crowd around this game at the arcade and you would be judged harshly for bad play.
Great sounds and fast yet very controllable shooter, but still can be brutal and multi ball is earned.
I love the right flipper lane control and how the ball comes off the very close stand ups back to a flipper almost every time, just be ready!
Not as easy to find anymore, especially with a good playfield.
I've bought and sold a lot of pins, but I will never sell Firepower!!
9.280/10
3 months ago
Classic simple Ritchie game that kicks your butt, but you keep coming back.
3.368/10
4 months ago
It's so hard to compare a game from 1980 to a new game made today, but that's what we have to do. The worst game from the last 10 years is still head and shoulders above Firepower or any other pre-System 11 game. I'm sure at the time this was good, but compared to the System 11 games just a few years after this, this is a total dud. It's slow and boring. I get it that there is a ton of nostalgia associated with this game, but that doesn't make it fun to play if you didn't grow up in this era.
10.000/10
5 months ago
Ahead of it's time
7.537/10
6 months ago
Great game.
7.159/10
8 months ago
Firepower is the classic I remember playing when it was first released.
I can remember how it played 40 years ago.
10.000/10
8 months ago
One of the best pins of all time. First multiball, first playfield animation, and first game with lane change. I love the backglass and cabinet art. The playfield is well designed and accommodates the rules well. Should be in the top ten. Sounds during the game are typical williams sounds (think robotron, defender). If you see one buy it, so worth it. I'll never sell mine.
8.515/10
9 months ago
This machine is ultra common but dont let that stop you it plays well. Fast and fun

Artwork is average but the play makes up for it. Common so grab one if you like to play
7.000/10
10 months ago
A game that has stood the test of time. Fast machine. Side drains can be brutal. You need to earn that multiball. For an old machine, still want to play it again and again.
8.147/10
1 year ago
COOl game for it's time. If I am correct I think this was the 1st Multi-ball Pin. The sound does get loud and fast which makes you get into the game. The multi-ball starts flying all over the place.

I played this back in the day along with Gorgar which was right next to it in the arcades. Love them both!
7.660/10
1 year ago
I like this game.
And I know some people might rate this game low in the terms of gimmicks and toys... But, I didn't for one reason. This is the first or one of the first games where you control the lane change and also I like the 3 physical ball locks.

Its a simple game with very simple rules.
And it doesn't have anything fancy. Which is both good and bad. I love the simple rules. yes, they are rinse and repeat. I also think it can be frustrating as this game can be a drain monster.

But, I've had games which I put up a good score and that feels amazing. Its a good layout, and yes the middle shots are dangerous, but that's the point. I do like the rules as I stated. I won't go over them, but they're intuitive and make sense.
Also a lot of fun to rip the spinner.

Speaking of ripping the spinner. This game has no music. But, it does have some speech. Fire Power mostly, but it does say other things. But, while no real music, the games sound effects are amazing. I think this is what pinball should sound like. Lots of zaps and explosions and all that stuff, and the FirePOWER call out fits.

The theme is simple, but again thanks to the artwork and the amazing sound effects its a perfectly themed game. I also like how the playfield and backglass are very similar, but altered just slightly enough. Gives it a sense of cohesion and also a feeling of action and energy. The playfield artwork has the laser blasts from the fighters lining up with the stand up targets. Which are probably the most important shots in the game. As you need to hit all of those to qualify or light the locks.

Just a simple, but I think very effective way to both look cool, and also focus the players attention on the important areas.

Not much going on with the lighting. Its fine and it serves its purpose. But, where I think this game shines is that its a pure shooter.

I love playing this game, and while I do get my fill after about 10-15 minutes of playing. I also like to go back to it and grind for higher scores. Its a game I could have fun playing for long hours on from time to time, but its also just a fun pick up and play game. My fun does correlate to how well I am playing though. If I'm bricking everything that day, then I don't enjoy it as much, or if I get a lot of bad bounces that lead to early drains.

Regardless, its a fun game. And I really enjoy playing it.
8.926/10
1 year ago
I’ve had this great game for over a month, and feel that it’s time for a review. What can you say..this early ss is loads of fun. Not a complicated rule set, it’s fairly easy to understand. I really like the speed, the spinner when lit, and of course the challenge of locking all 3 balls for multi ball! I find that it’s a shooters game, and it’ll improve your overall skills. I’m real happy to have this beauty in my collection!
9.402/10
1 year ago
It's simply the best of the early 80's SS machines. First out of the gate with lane change and a mission based multi-ball. A Ritchie classic.
8.926/10
1 year ago
Where do I even begin on this one? It's like critiquing the Mona Lisa. This game changed everything.First SS Multiball, first with lane change, early example of speech and background sounds, just incredible when it hit the floor in 1980. The first time I saw it was in the arcade at our nearest mall in 1980 or 81 and it kicked my ass quickly. 12 year old me deemed it a drain monster and walked away to find a nice predictable pac-man to put my quarters into, oblivious that I would own one someday.
So at 50 I see Firepower in a different light. No more the intimidating state of the art quarter thief she once was, now she's a good challenge and sometimes reminds me of that first brush as a kid. But when it's good, it's great. This game surely is what crowned Steve Ritchie "the King of Flow" ( If you don't understand"flow" I can't really explain it, but when you see it, you'll know) Not much feels better that ripping a multiple Multiball game off on Firepower and seeing the bonus count into the stratosphere. The pace is quick and the center targets that are necessary for lighting the locks are merciless if you don't hit them from the correct flipper. SDTM also gets dished out from the space between the target banks as the ball slows from the pop bumpers and lazily drains off the backside of the target bank. Fortunately, the flippers are close enough that a slap save can sometimes save the day. The primary goal , Multiball, is easy to grasp and hard to reach. And when you do, it can drain so fast it makes you wonder why you did all that work. But the countdown alone is worth it. The sounds are amazing for 1980, Williams was really setting the pace in the sound department until Bally's "Squawk n Talk" came out and evened the score. Black, Red and Yellow abound with contrast provided by the large white planet/starbase thing that takes up the lower playfield. Overall, Firepower is the whole package, though I'd maybe swap the scary alien dudes on the plastics for some sexy little space nymphs, but now I'm nitpicking. It should be easy enough to find one with 18000 manufactured, but finding one that someone would part with may be another matter. Mine's bolted to the floor.
7.289/10
1 year ago
Entertaining game for the era, with multi ball, simple rules, and nice artwork. Playfield seems to have a lot of open space that could have been used to make it more interesting.
8.795/10
1 year ago
One of the greatest shooting games of all time! Biggest complaints are the six digit displays and the lack of a playfield multiplier during multiball. Art package is far from my favorite but works for the theme and era.
8.288/10
1 year ago
Love the Muti Ball play!
8.000/10
1 year ago
Loved playing on it in the 80s
9.659/10
1 year ago
I'm new at owning pinball machines but I already know this one is a keeper! My wife and kid feel the same way! It's challenging enough to keep the wife and I interested and entertaining and easy enough to play for my kid. It's a win win.
8.227/10
1 year ago
I've owned a couple Firepowers. The sound effects intensify as the game progresses, which is cool for it's vintage. The overall theme just screams classic 80s arcade. Has a nostalgic feel to it. Hard to find with both a good backglass and playfield. My current one has a bit of flaking, but it was priced right. Overall, not a highly complicated game. Plays well, and looks great!
9.036/10
1 year ago
I love this game. Very fast yet not complicated. Great multi ball and can be very challenging at times. I always come back to this pin. I will always have one in my collection.
7.305/10
1 year ago
A dynamic pinball from Steve Ritchie's early days.
Agile, fast and addictive.
Interesting gameplay, medium difficulty.
Multiball, first machine with Lane Change, voice synthesizer.
Difficult to surpass the million points.
A classic from the 80s.
7.540/10
1 year ago
I own a fully restored Firepower and it's a great Pin. It can be a drain monster until you learn the lanes and shots you need to make.

The rules are simple, and honestly...trying to compare this to a modern pinball machine would be silly. It's not even remotely comparable as far as the depth of the rules. I know some people like to compare things to the latest and greatest...I'm not doing that. I will say I also didn't grow up with this pin. 90-00s is what I grew up on so I don't have nostalgia tinted goggles here.

This pin is fast, easy to learn, but hard to master. To post a good score you really have to put some games into this machine. If I haven't played it in awhile...sometimes It takes 10+ games to get a multi-ball. Once I remember the shots and feel them out it becomes easier, but this is not an easy pin.

It's fast, and I mean fast. I always keep it clean and waxed, and mine currently rocks a playfield protector.
There are shots I've hit where I literally could not move my head fast enough to see the ball. I was 6" behind the ball's trail. The pops are like machine guns launching the ball in any number of directions and when bounced properly...will put it back at the flippers in a hurry. The 2 most dangerous things on this pin are the slings and the 6 center targets. The slings will cause you to drain...a lot. The targets in the middle aren't hard when you learn how to hit them...but if you just walk up and start batting shots at them...then will send that ball straight down the middle.

Over all this is a great machine, and I think it should be higher rated...but modern pins have really taken the spotlight on the top 100 here. That's fine, they have more depth and pinheads love that. It really helps the lastability of it.

You can't go wrong with this machine though. If it's setup properly and in top shape...you will have fun. Just be aware..it will frustrate you until you really get a feel for the machine. I really like that about it. It forces you to learn how to play it...or you will suffer constant drains. I've had entire 3 balls games last less than 40 seconds because of the draining.
There are 145 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 6.

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