Flash Gordon

Pinside rating

This game received 205 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 7.925 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #85 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game Design: 7.975

Artwork: 8.222

Sounds/Music: 6.762

Other Aspects: 8.106

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.


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Found 103 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 103 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
Currently showing results page 1 of 5.

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78 days ago
O man... Flash Gordon is a great game for so many reasons. First of all, even though the actual art on the machine is just okay, the overall package makes it colorful and bright and ever so slightly garish, which fits in with the theme perfectly. I never knew the lettering in Flash in the backbox as shown above lit individually until I brought mine home and got it working 100%. Same with the ridiculously bright strobe in the backbox. As to the game itself, it is very challenging and fun. As a general rule, going for the in line standup targets to the extra ball is where my shots go when the ball is on the left flipper. When it is on the right it goes to hit the drop targets on the left, and then the spinner once lit. When the ball is on the upper playfield I try for the drops, but it is hit or miss. The sound on this though limited, is great. Overall this is an excellent pin with an excellent presentation. Pairs great with other games as it is fast and brutal. You can get a full game in on this in 5 minutes while LOTR and other games are great, but not good in short bursts.

For those of you who have not seen it, here are the backbox lighting effects you can't see in photos. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzV7kPmTF4c

Note the strobe is much brighter than it appears on video. I'd equate it to a disposable camera flash.
80 days ago
Fast and I do mean fast.
This game will make you cross.
I'm really falling hard for these early Bally titles.
No Multi ball?(don't care it's a blast to flip)
3 months ago
A wonderful Bally pin with a huge variety of targets packed onto the playfield, including inline, side drop targets and a challenging upper playfield.

The bumpers on the lower playfield, and the placement of the saucer above them, is a work of genius, adding lots of interest and challenge. Likewise, the bumper on the upper playfield and the drop targets add lots of interest and challenge - more so than the superficially-similar Black Knight.

Fully restored, this is also a stunningly beautiful pin with a colourful playfield and mirrored backglass. I also love the movie music (not intrinsic to the pin, but can now be purchased as a separate Squawk and Talk board),
4 months ago
The movie was great and the soundtrack was even better - I still listen to it even now 40 years later - the pinball not so much the back glass and cabinet are very nice, but I just did not find it that enjoyable to play.
6 months ago
Great theme from a great, cheesy movie in 1980. I always want to play this pin when going to the Pacific Pinball Museum....totally fun and brings back great memories.
6 months ago
Hard as nails and very addictive. Cult theme and classic backglass. Quite the looker.

Flash Gordon is a bad machine to play for money (as in it sucks it right out of your pockets) but a great machine to play against each other on with a few beers.

Ball times are very short. The feeling of accomplishment when scoring well is very high.
8 months ago
Very punishing. Not for the new to pinball. Found this very frustrating and had some fast games. Because I was playing this in closed venue I couldn't nudge or anything... so fast games. I can't see owning this even though I wanted one very badly.
9 months ago
The ball seems to avoid the upper flipper in a weird and frustrating way. Not much fun.

This machine’s theme holds a lot of nostalgia with many people, if this is you, seek it out, otherwise nothing special here.
10 months ago
I. Loved. This. Movie! The pinball is on my “wish” list!
10 months ago
Some view this as a rip off of Black Knight. Google Steve Ritchie's story on it. Played them both. While they have some similarities, this machine is much harder. Fits the theme well. Not much flow. Can be a drain monster at time. And frustrating too. But always want to play it if there is one around.
11 months ago
Dum dum dum dum dum dum dum dum
Ahh ahhhh!!!
Okay, nostalgia for a cheesy 80’s movie with Queen music makes people take notice of the pinball machine.
Would you believe there was a time when Flash Gordon was a big failure?
Thanks to repeated showings on cable (blame Ted Turner) the film became a cult classic.
The pinball had a slightly more favorable reception. I remember the teenagers at the roller rink talking this machine up. “The movie was bad but the pinball is cool!”
8 year old me immediately tried it and it took my quarter in less than a minute.
That’s not fun!!!
Although it was a permanent machine in the roller rink until the day it closed, I never tried it again.
It became more interesting in my mid twenties. A local arcade had one, staring me down and laughing at me. I fed it money many times until I got mediocre at it.
Besides, we were halfway through the 1990’s by then and new games were demanding that I play them.
I recently played it again and it beat me up and took my lunch money, as usual.
Enough about me, Let’s talk the finer points.
FLASH!!! Ahh ahhhh! Sorry. This is how a film based pinball should look. It is the movie poster and imagery you expect. The only downside is Flash himself on the backglass. Does he need to poop? Does he have a toothache? Is he worried about the state of affairs in the Falkland Islands? Who can say. Should have used the “Yeah!” Jump from the end of the movie.
Playfield design:
Pop. Bumpers. In. The. Middle. Of. The. Playfield.
What genius thought “Amazing! They will never cause the ball to always instantly constantly fly at Mach 3 downwards towards the drain.” Yeah it’s a love hate playfield, and probably one of the hardest and accuracy demanding ones ever designed. The best way to play is to shove two crushed pop cans under the front legs. (Kidding! Nobody ever did that back in the day, wink wink.)
Great for 1980 standards. Repetitive, even then though. I like to use what I call the Sinistar scale. Sinistar said like five things but it was done in such a way that it was taunting and even a bit scary. Anyway Gorgar speaks, The-Black-Knight-Challenges-Thee and Flash… shut up Ming! It tries and in many ways succeeds but it feels like maybe they should have a cheap squeak style board instead. Maybe I’m being too picky but I never liked the sound.
Gameplay and fun factor:
It will chew you up and spit you out and you will like it and beg for more. I can’t say this is a game for everyone. More like a game to train someone to be a better player. The fun factor suffers because of this, until you get your first successful score out of it. I would give it a better score, but there are many people who want to play a game for fun, even if they generally suck at pinball. That’s the fun factor this game lacks to those not interested in precision or discipline. An eight year old will have a blast shooting the ball around on Attack from Mars, Gold Wings, Comet, or Night Rider (just to name a few). Put them in front of Flash Gordon and they will probably instantly hate pinball. People that want that extra challenge will seek it out when the feel they are in top form and ready for a good fight. There’s the fun factor but it doesn’t have a balance between both casual and serious play.
But it is in the top 100 on here, and on other top pinball lists. The reason is because you want to like it, you want to be challenged you want to master it, learn from it and, most importantly, you want to beat it.
That’s what a good game is all about.
11 months ago
I got flush gordon to make me a more controlled player, and it did that. It is challenging, but that is what keeps me coming back for more.
1 year ago
I went and saw Flash Gordon in the theater back in 1980 when it came out. I have always been a fan. I have always had the game on my want list.
When the chance to buy it came up i jumped on it.
This game packs so much punch. For a game from the early 80s.... it keeps you hitting that start button as much as a 90s WPC or a modern stern.
Pound for Pound one of the funnest and brutal games out there.
This one will be in my collection for a long time.
1 year ago
Flash Gordon is an awesome pin so many ways! Its one of those games that keeps you wanting to play again and again! Its fast and challenging with so many shots to take. Spinners, drop targets, roll overs, ramps and plus the upper level playfield. Although its a fast game, it also gives the skilled player a lot of options increasing your score. Hitting the right side drop targets is a great strategy and also very challenging to hit... The backglass is iconic and looks really cool! The audio sounds when you start the game is also cool... Overall, Flash Gordon is pretty awesome! Super challenging and super fun to play! I highly recommend this pin! Five Stars!!!!
1 year ago
I love my Flash Gordon. One of the best pins ever made!
1 year ago
Great Art Work, Upper PF, super fast and super hard - what else do you want from a Pinball? Too bad the movie hasn't held up as well as the pin has over the years. If you only had one early Bally SS in your collection - this is a top contender. If you want to be reminded your pinball skills are not as good as you think - this is the game to play!
1 year ago
A difficult and challenging game to succeed on (at least for me), but one that I kept going back to in a room of over 30 machines. Nice artwork, and nice early use if voices.
1 year ago
This is one of the best Bally early SS games. It is very challenging and will punish you for a poor shot. PF is a work of art and it has a ton of shots.
1 year ago
I was a HUGE fan of this film when I was a kid.

Not so much the pin. It seems to be a theme of this age pin. The upper playfield thing.

This game kind of sucked. Even after I got into it and tried to stick with it. Nah... It's not Black Knight bad... but it's close.
1 year ago
My favorite solid state game from this era. Excellent theme, art and sounds. Plays fast and has that one more game feel. This is one of those games that really needs to be leveled properly to play right.
1 year ago
One of the most frustrating games ever made but it's hard to turn it off. I enjoy the sounds, speech, and difficult shots that challenge me.
1 year ago
For it's time, this is a decent game of pinball. Very fast split-level play. But so difficult that frustration can easily leave you feeling unsatisfied with the experience. Flash Gordon is an epic theme worthy of a remake but seems unlikely to happen. Flash Gordon without the Queen soundtrack? Not possible with the primitive tech they had back in the early 80s. So stick your Walkman on while your play. Flash-Ah-Ah! I would own this pin for sure, if I had the room.
1 year ago
One of my favorite games from that era. If it had multi-ball, it may have been the best game from the early SS games. The speech is excellent for the time-period and goes well with the game. I still get a chuckle at the end of a game and Ming says, "Try again, earthling." Plenty of variation with different possible strategies with the in-line drop targets, the upper playfield, and the other drop targets. The single "sentry" target is a unique concept. The game can be brutal but it keeps you coming back with plenty of shots. The 15-Second 2X, 3X, or 5X playfield scoring is neat along with the speech that goes with. Some people get annoyed with the strobe light but I like it and it doesn't bother me at all.
1 year ago
Love it!

The flow from the upper playfield with the two ramps, the tight right inlane target shot, the goofy middle saucer and unpredictable pops in the middle of the lower playfield. Always want to play another game.

Such a unique layout that would never be produced in today's era of safe ramps and cluster pops tucked in the back.
1 year ago
I enjoy this game. Very challenging, I find myself coming back to it, even in a gameroom full of DMDs. So it must be doing something right.

Not a huge fan of the artwork though.

I will adjust this rating as I play this game more. Right now I think I have it listed a bit too low.
There are 103 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 5.

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