Pinside rating

This game received 137 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 7.250 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #222 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game Design: 7.593

Artwork: 6.772

Sounds/Music: 6.282

Other Aspects: 7.402

Pinside staff rating

This is how we, the very knowledgeable (wink wink) Pinside.com staff & moderators rate this game. 6 of us have rated this game.


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Found 65 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 65 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
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7 months ago
Another one in my collection, and one that definitely saw a LOT of play out on the circuit in its day. Not my favorite machine, and one I lack appreciation for because I didn't grow up with EM machines.

Friends who visit get excited when they see this in the line up, and tell endless stories of their youth pumping quarters in this pin as it was something unlike anything else in their local arcade.

If I had to let a pin go to make room for another, this is the first on my list in my current collection. Not because it's a bad pin, just that there's so many others I like better
7 months ago
I'll be honest, this one didn't immediately grab me like I thought it would! (The artwork is NOT to my taste!) I'm sure the fact that the machine I was playing was n't well maintained probably had a great deal to do with my "first impressions." That being said, after High Speed and some other Steve Ritchie designs that I loved came out and I realized that I REALLY like his "style" of pinball game, I revisited Flash and this time (thankfully) it seemed as if the machine was well-maintained and set up properly! The machine was better than I originally thought! (The artwork still suc... err... isn't to my tastes!) I wouldn't purchase one but I would definitely play one again!
9 months ago
A basic game, and certainly not the best from this era, but worth a couple quarters.
1 year ago
Flash...I know some hate the sound. I love the sound.
I kinda love the cabinet.
This has gotta be one of the ugliest back glasses in all of pinball.
The playfield isn't really an improvement.

It feels like a fast EM.

It isn't horrible but I wouldn't want it in limited lineup.
I do want to find a junker and pick it up cheap and fix it and play it more...just pimp it out and maybe it'll grow on me?
Probably a great first pin. Probably pretty easy to sell a running one to someone when you want to move up.
1 year ago
Fun but primitive Steve Richie game. Groundbreaking for it's time. Artwork is decent. Cool flash lamps and cross play field plunger shot. This game keeps you coming back for more.
1 year ago
What I think about when I think about pinball. Williams Flash
1 year ago
It amazes me that this machine came out in the 70s. I can't think of an earlier game that used the upper flipper properly like this game did. The layout is similar to eight ball deluxe, but the rule set on this title is much better.

Between the dynamic sounds, the speedy inlanes, the shot that can only be made by the upper flipper, and the fact that the pop bumpers aren't overly exposed on the top of the game. This game was ahead of it's time.

When this game came out, I don't think anything could compare. I think this game set the stage for the flow style of gameplay many people know and love now.

From an artwork standpoint. I don't think it get much worse. If the artwork or theme was better, I think this game would have a significantly higher score and be more sought after. As it stands it is one of the cheapest games you can buy that is actually quite decent to play.
1 year ago
Wow, this is a tough one to rate. A milestone game for innovation as the splash page notes.

Of the games I have owned, this is by far the most difficult to set up correctly, but when it is set up, look out!

Signs of a well set up flash, include being able to knock the drops easily, and repeat the loop with the third flipper multiple times, and powerful flippers.

The game has a great flow, and can be set up to be a good challenge for experienced players. It provides options to go for an extra ball, and multiple flashes for Super Flash. It also has the spinner loop that can be lit for big points, by getting the left side drop bank down (sometimes dangerous).

It has a skill shot, which can be made to either start the left drop bank, or go for the top rollovers for bonus, _OR_ pull all the way to loop to the third flipper.

With bright LEDs, this game is amazing, includign the ultra bright flash in the middle when you complete a drop bank.


The issues I have with this game, are more with regard to build quality and components. The System 4 flippers and drop targets require a lot of work to keep them at optimal performance, and to ensure they engage well.

The playfield is flimsier than most other machines I have worked on, and the interconnect between board can be problematic.

The art is definitely not for everyone, (including me), it's not that it is bad, just not my style. This allows me to deduct some score to rank it around where I think it should be when you factor the build quality.
1 year ago
A great classic layout by Steve Richie. Fun to rip the spinner and who doesn't love drop targets? Scoop shot on the right is fun although not worth shooting unless extra ball is lit. Overall a great game, and a milestone in pinball history.
1 year ago
Not a fan...dull and pretty boring..Lose interest fast!
2 years ago
A good pinball that should be rated higher considering the number of units produced love that spinner
2 years ago
This was my favorite pinball machine when I was in my 20s. It is primitive compared to modern machines but I remember it as being fun. I especially liked the lightning effect.
2 years ago
This game is great for its day. Drop targets and upper lanes need to be hit. The "Sound Effects," are cool, but do wear on you after a little while. Thankfully, you can turn off the active sound, if desired. When you get the drop targets to fall theres a cool blue lightning flash that happens on the playfield.

Not sure who this guy is on the back-glass (common joke about this game), but the coloring and lighting is beautiful on the game and attract mode are awesome to have in your house...

There is also a VERY gratifying spinner shot on the upper right portion of the field.
The game has REALLY thirsty out-lanes. But, to the positive, the lower playfield is WIDE open so you its a very LOW&SLOW game.
2 years ago
I brought back a flash from the grave and it was beautiful! But just did not like the game play and the naked dudes are just weird!
2 years ago
Just so simple but yet so addictive....
2 years ago
Flash has a fun layout and the staggered upper lanes make getting the 1-2-3-4 a little harder to hit for the 2X and 3X. The flow is pretty good, and the "flash" lighting is awesome. Yes, the artwork is a not as nice as some, but it lights up well from behind the BG and the theme from BG to PF to Cabinet is consistent. It's a pin that looks and feels like the late 70s.

The pin with the first dynamic background sound is a tonal scale, not music, that is both annoying and also tension building - you can tell when you have played a long ball when the tones rise up through the scale and return to the bottom and start over. It is annoying - and yet, while you can turn it off, I still have it on as it feels like an integral part of the Flash experience. As Pinside attests, with all its licensed versions, it may actually have outsold The Adams Family. Had to have it in my collection, and glad I do.
3 years ago
Owe this game and its a keeper - Classic SR design.
3 years ago
This was my first pin. It was fun to play and was a great learning experience. I like the artwork and backglass. The lightning shot was very satisfying. Very fun for a first pin.
3 years ago
I love the gameplay and the sound. But as everyone has said.. That backglass. How did that design make it into production? No one looked at it and said "dude wtf is up with the guy?" No one?!
3 years ago
This game has some of the worst artwork I’ve ever seen, but it is just an okay player. Ummmm....the flash you get in the center of the playfield for dropping a bank of targets is kinda cool? Lol...
4 years ago
I can't believe that this great machine is rated that poorly and that it ranks at #200.
Please everyone think twice. I understand that FLASH is 'just another old game' to anyone who got into pinball later, but you should think about the time when it came out.

Compare the fast and smooth Steve-Ritchie-playfield with the rather 'lame' Bally's of the same time. And of course listen to that crude Bally-sounds who remained unchanged since nearly a year.
If you weren't there in spring of 1979 you can't imagine how powerful the sound of FLASH was. People were lining up just to hear (and feel) that wonderful thunder.

It's sad that only a 'few' people regard FLASH as the milestone that it is. Everybody who respects 1977's Eight Ball, Black Knight, Addams Family, for example, should be aware that FLASH also belongs to this list of milestones.

Of course, the artwork by then 'brandnew' artist C. Mitchell is some kinda different, but here also it's very important to say that FLASH was the first machine since decades with a black cabinet. This was sensational and players loved it. Within a year all major manufacturers copied it. Nobody should forget that, and it was FLASH which started it.

Plus it was definitely FLASH who helped Wiliiams to get to #1 again. Without the massive success of FLASH there would probably no money to develope Firepower, Black Knight and even High Speed in 1985 when times were tough for Pinball.
Who knows where Pinball would be if Williams had not released High Speed in a great effort with a big risk. All of this can be lead back to FLASH because this game was the ignition that made Williams great again after years of Bally-dominance.
Also remember that, if you include the unknown production-run of some licensed foreign FLASH-versions, it's quite possible that this game is the most-produced machine ever, beating Addams Family and Eight Ball.

To me it's no question to rate it with an absolute 10. Of course you can't compare it with a T2, for example. But you must compare it to its competitors.
4 years ago
Flash is a wonderful game. The rules are easy to grasp and exciting to execute, as it takes a good mix of hitting the drop targets and ripping the spinner to get to the upper lanes and pops. Slowly but surely you watch the big circular bonus counter light up as you progress your bonus, racking up points and, hopefully, multipliers, so that you have a long, satisfying bonus countdown at the end. It's simple enough to easily get the hang of, but not so simple as to be immediately boring - you want to push the envelope of how much bonus you can accumulate, how many banks of targets you can drop, how many good spinner rips you can hit. Occasionally the plunge does not go to the upper lanes but instead hits the left bank of drop targets, which may be a leveling problem more than anything, but this is usually recoverable and does not detract from the experience. It's a fun game.

The artwork and sound, however, are not as enjoyable. The artwork feels awkward, where the male drawn on both backglass and playfield seems a bit anatomically off. His hand, somehow, does not seem to twist quite right, and there is little nuance to his figure, or to that of anything else in the artwork, for that matter. The bonus countdown sounds are nice and the thunderous sound that marks a drop target bank completion is pretty cool, but the sound design has one critical flaw: the "background" sound. When you accumulate your first level of bonus, the game emits a low tone. Each successive advancement of bonus raises the pitch of this tone, note by note, until the game is screeching almost painfully. At the point that you think either the playfield glass or your ears are going to shatter, the tone cycles to a ridiculously low tone and the process begins again. The meh artwork and the horrific tone are the two major downsides to what is quite an enjoyable game.
4 years ago
The flow on Flash is quite good. There's two loop orbit shots that are overlapping parabolas, asymmetric and which play different from right and left. But you can't just sit there making the shots; the big payoff is on a lit right spinner, which requires going down to the lower playfield. I think the bumpers are a bit superfluous to the overall scoring (simply rattling the ball around the top rollovers) but the overall gameplay is excellent. I'm not a huge fan of the theme and artwork, but it's not ugly and the 'flash' theme and strobe match the pinball idea pretty well. All in all I think among the better gems of the early SS era, and while clearly hearkening back to the late EM era for the point scoring design and not using chip scoring quite as much as later machines, there's a clean simplicity that does not fall off into tedium.
4 years ago
Flash was my first pin. Id call it a good intro pin because its affordable but still great fun to play. No, it does not have ramps, toys, or video effects but for its day it was something special. The outlanes seem a mile wide but when you have a good game its a very rewarding feeling. I also like the games where the score makes sense to me. . . trying to keep track of how many billions Ive scored is like trying to keep track of the national debt -- give me something that is more relateable (I hope to relate to hundreds of thousands someday!). The "Super Flash" is super rewarding when you can get it!
4 years ago
I liked this machine so much I purchased 2 times. It is a classic for the period, fun and challanging. Many targets and great flow and the playfield. I have detailed mine with LEDs, and makes the game even stronger with good lighting Just so much fun and will help build your skills, a go to game in my collection.
There are 65 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 3.

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