Fish Tales (Williams, 1992)

Fish Tales

Pinside rating

This game received 651 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 8.041 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #43 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game design: 8.047

Artwork: 8.329

Sounds/Music: 7.388

Other Aspects: 8.148

Rating comments

There are 341 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

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Rating history

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Found 341 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 341 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
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31 days ago
Always loved Fish Tales, always will.
Not the greatest pin of all time, but certainly one of the most fun to play!
40 days ago
A totally different game with a totally different theme. It's enjoyable and thank God it has a ball save... Interesting Mini playfield and so satisfying to loop one side to the other with the ramps. Music is great, but it sticks in your head forever which makes it horrible... See it, play it but you'll need to play a bunch to not be mad at it...
62 days ago
Maybe not the most variety of shots etc, but sure is fun!
88 days ago
Super fun game, love the artwork although the cabinets all seem to fade. The video mode is cool, the ball lock in the casting reel is brilliant. And the fish topper is one of the best. Not big on the music tho
Gone fishin leave a message!
3 months ago
I’ve only played this game in average condition (including mine) but it’s still got my vote. Super fast, can be brutal but also very rewarding. Seems like I either bomb or get a decent game going. Score progression is really good. Love the art and the original theme so I’ll keep mine until I find a better one.
3 months ago
Fish Tales is definitely a Williams classic and generally a great game. They made a sh*t-ton of them, so it's not too difficult to find one to play in bigger cities, but to find one that plays well is often the challenge. My overall view of the game is that it's a great game to play on location, but I wouldn't make room for it in my house, unless Pinside's deflated price turned out to be real. 3k for a collector's quality Fish Tales? I'm SOLD!

— This is from the era of toys, but this one sorta lacks. You get the split ramp, captive ball and the reel.
— It does include a shaking fish topper, which is cool. This isn't a gameplay toy though.
— The double boat ramp is the best feature of the game, and it is awesome!


— I grew up fishing, but the theme is still meh to me.
— Even though it is a very specific theme, they did a good job of making it fun.
— The animations and sounds are good.
— Lighting is good for the era.


— I would argue that the game is a player's pin. It's tough for most.
— Rocking the boat ramp is sooo fun, and the sound effects make it intense!
— There's nothing in pinball like qualifying and nailing a MONSTER FISH!
— In all, for a game built to attract players in an arcade environment, the game is a winner.


— I find once you get the shots dialed, the game becomes relatively easy and repetitive.
— The game could use a lot more depth, but it is a 90's pin, designed strictly for routing.
— The game often has mechanical issues with the reel.

In the end, Fish Tales is a game I will never pass up playing when I see it out in the wild. Often I'm disappointed with the tuning of most copies I've found, but when I find a good one, I play it for an hour or two if I have the time. I would only own one if the price was right, and even then, I don't think it would last. It's just too shallow for my tastes.
4 months ago
Fish Tales is a great game to own in a larger collection. I've owned mine for about 2 years and love it. It is a tough game and game times can be very short but that is what I like about it. I personally love the theme. The music and art work fit the theme well. Fish Tales was produced when pinball machines were created by the designers imagination opposed to the modern day pins that seem to be based on movies, bands, or TV shows. FT has a simple rule set and is a Family friendly game that is tough to master by the best in the hobby. Williams produced a lot of these but they are tough to find in excellent condition. The art work is often faded and the playfield is often worn around the tackle box & fish on the center of the playfield. I recommend this game to anyone that enjoys a fast and furious game.
4 months ago
Fun game to play. With lightning flippers, makes this a tough one. If you don't hit the boat ramps right, it will cost you dearly. Side drains are wide and not forgiving. This is one game where timing your flippers is key or else you will be punished which makes you come back for more.
5 months 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.
7 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.
7 months ago
I own it but not my fav.
7 months ago
A fun game but a bit repetitive .
7 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.
7 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
8 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.
8 months ago
Must of played this game a thousand times and it still frustrates me,challenging and addictive game
8 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.
10 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!
10 months ago
What a fun game, I would love to have this game in my collection.
10 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
10 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.
11 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.
11 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.
11 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!
11 months ago
One of Williams worst design .
There are 341 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 14.

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