Fish Tales (Williams, 1992)

Fish Tales

Pinside rating

This game received 647 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 8.033 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #40 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game design: 8.039

Artwork: 8.295

Sounds/Music: 7.359

Other Aspects: 8.137

Rating comments

There are 333 rating comments for this game.

Pinside staff rating

This is how we, the very knowledgeable (wink wink) staff & moderators rate this game. 7 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 333 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 333 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
Currently showing results page 1 of 14.

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58 days ago
My favorite game. I hate the theme, but the squeezed out everything they could about fishing. Creative, addictive, fun, lots of ways to score. Easy game to flip, but it will not leave my home.
3 months ago
Fun fishing theme. Great floppy fish topper! Good artwork on the backglass and playfield. I like the boat design on the playfield. The fishing rod ball lock is cool. Just a really funny, quirky Williams game that, to me, epitomizes that early 1990's era. Games weren't all licensed then, and being unique and taking chances seemed more common. Only negatives are the lighting is often dark on location (nice LED upgrades tho for this pin) and the playfield design means somewhat limited places to shoot for, it feels harder than it should be? Maybe I'm just an average player and it's me. I enjoy the theme and the feel of those criss-cross boat ramps! Fun shooter gimmick too.
3 months ago
I own it but not my fav.
3 months ago
A fun game but a bit repetitive .
3 months ago
Fish Tales is fine. The boat makes the middle playfield too symmetrical for my tastes. The rules are great. There are multiple ways to score points depending on what you need whether it's monster fish,video mode, or super jackpots. Not my favorite to play for fun and not many shots on the playfield, but it is tough and exciting tournament game.
3 months ago
I unfairly hated this game for the longest time due in part to never playing one that was dialed in just right. After owning the machine close to a year I have to say it is one of my all time favorites. I love the shots. I love the humor. I love the fact that just like whirlwind it kicks my butt, I get mad, and instantly hit the start button again. If nothing else fish tales has taught me to not cast judgement on a game too quickly. This one is a keeper
4 months ago
Great quirky game, love the switch back ramps - so much fun to hit in a rhythm. One of the best toppers ever. A repetitive game but a very fun one. Better in a larger line up. As a stand alone pin or small collection this would get old fast.
4 months ago
Must of played this game a thousand times and it still frustrates me,challenging and addictive game
4 months ago
Good looking fun game. Really “hooks” you in. An excellent shooter. Could get stale but I feel it will always be fun hitting the satisfying shots. Call outs could get annoying though.
6 months ago
I will start out with the disclaimer that Fish Tales is a sentimental favorite for me because it was the machine I won my first (and thus far only) major title on in a finals, back in the whacky 90's when this was brand new. (I completely owned the Fish Finder that game).

It may tie with "Creature from the Black Lagoon" for the title of "best machine with a completely over the top busy playfield" award, which I just made up. It makes the pace of the game a bit more frenetic -- in addition to all the cool crossing over (perhaps a Ritchie family trait?) the ball makes, because the player has so little time visually to track balls coming down from the upper playfield, it's almost like playing in "Tommy" (blind) mode sometimes. It's an acquired taste, and I'm glad not every game is like this, but it can make for some excellent challenges. Multiball locking may be a touch too easy here, but the scoring is pretty balanced and you can either work one part of the machine or another for points or try to work on progressive goals, so there's some very good lastability here.

As far as the flopping fish? It's awesome. I'd never turn mine off, even in attract mode, if I had one, at the risk of literally wearing it out. My only regret is the fish doesn't say stuff to you, like Billy Bass, its obvious inspiration. And as far as the theme -- it's not exactly classic pinball theming, but it's pretty funny, and one of the things I liked about the non-licensed themes of the 80s and 90s Williams machines was their creativity and charm. The machine was its own theme!
6 months ago
What a fun game, I would love to have this game in my collection.
6 months ago
Fun game with a fun theme. Not too much to shoot at but a good ruleset and rewarding ramps keep it fun. Good pin for a smaller collection as it doesn’t get old quickly
6 months ago
This is a very pretty game. Sound at first wierd but after a few plays it hooks you in. The simple ramp shots are fun and rewarding. Monster fish get you a little panic to make the shot. All in all a fun gam. Very nice open playfield with little hidden ball areas.
6 months ago
One of the most fun games I’ve played. Love the boat shots to catch the monster fish. The theme and artwork is bright and eye catching. I’m not into fishing at all but it’s such a fun game it really doesn’t matter. Multiball isn’t always the easiest to get. Video mode is really funny! Eventually I’d love to own one someday.
7 months ago
Fish tales is a fast game that shoots pretty well. The rules are pretty shallow as you basically just have monster fish and multiball to play for. Collecting fish is not the most fun thing but stretching the truth is cool. Overall a cool theme that shoots well but it doesn’t have enough to do for me.
7 months ago
A great all around game. Don't let the fishing theme scare you off. This is an amazing table with all kinds of shots. Rule set is not super difficult but enough for hours and hours of entertainment. I can be playing competitive games with my friends one minute and then turn around and play with my daughter and have just as much fun. I would have to rate this in my top 7 golden era pins (1992-1997). I finally was able to pick one up after searching hard for a nice collector machine. I am looking forward to telling many fish tales in the future!
7 months ago
One of Williams worst design .
9 months ago
a 90s classic
9 months ago
Surprisingly a pretty fun game.
9 months ago
Probably my top 5 favorites. Original theme. A bit repetitive but fun nothe the less. Funny and addictive gameplay! Tell no lies!!!
12 months ago
It is a fun game and very entertaining.
1 year ago
"Fish Tales" isn't a game I'd play over and over with the intent on conquering it like I do other games. It's basically a series of ramps which give you combos. The other targets catch you "fish" which add to your score. The game is fine in terms of theme, I supposed. It's cutesy and revolves around rednecks fishing if you hadn't guessed. There's just not much to it and I feel like all I did was hit ramps and lock up balls for multiball. The audio is hit and miss with a GREAT banjo bluegrass tune which sounds beautiful (and seamlessly goes into an ending strum upon ball drain) but the call-outs and other audio remind me of "Creature From the Black Lagoon": garbled as hell. All in all, a nice piece to have in a collection but, really, it's only for completion purposes and nothing more.
1 year ago
Fun family friendly theme. The topper really draws people over especially when it gets going. I think this game could have been a little more wise with playfield layout, some heavy wasted space where the boat is. This game is also very tough to get a high score on. It is a nice game to get to improve your skill while not turning off the non-pinball playing people because for whatever reason difficulty will not stop the general audience from playing several games and getting their butt kicked.
1 year ago
This is a great game and a favorite of my family. The game's humor from the funny call outs (Gone fishin, leave a message , look Bob,, waterskiers, etc ) , water/jet skier season video mode, to the flopping fish topper make this a family friendly classic.

The game play is a lot of fun once you get a good understanding of the rules which are deep enough to keep it fun while not so deep the game bogs down in minutiae. Plays very fast in Ritchie form.

I've read that some don't like the repetitive banjo type music and loud fish topper. To me, they just add to the game's personality and fit the theme well. Most of these I've seen have a lot of fade on the orange cabinet but I found one that had been in a home for 20+ years that still has the original bright orange color. The artwork on this pin from the cabinet to the backglass is top notch.

I think this game would actually be rated a bit higher if not for the fact it is fairly common with over 10k originally produced.
1 year ago
I love this game but also suck at it. Have played it around 15 times and cannot get anything above 4M. It's extremely challenging. The theme, artwork and play field are so cool but I cannot get it up the boat ramp. This would be a great machine to practice on to get good. Going back to Level Up in Raleigh to give it another shot.
There are 333 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 14.

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