Four Million B.C.


Four Million B.C.

Pinside Rating

This game received 45 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 7.851 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #123 in the Pinside EM Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game Design: 8.115

Artwork: 7.846

Sounds/Music: 2.863

Other Aspects: 7.743

Pinside staff rating

This is how we, the very knowledgeable (wink wink) staff & moderators rate this game. 1 of us has rated this game.


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Found 34 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 34 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
Currently showing results page 1 of 2.

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44 days ago
Classic Ted Zale action on this one. Constant excitement with zipper flippers, balls locking and unlocking for multiball, and a fun & unusual playfield. Charmingly awful artwork. Dinosaurs rule. Play this game any chance you can!
58 days ago
nice skill shot, EM multiball at that time something, bit boring, well built to last
1 year ago
One of the best EMs I’ve ever played with smaller flippers, and in this case, zipper flippers.

I generally don’t enjoy EMs, but Four Million BC has some great gimmicks that make it one to seek out if you want an EM for your line up. I’m a tournament player, so I like to have variety in my line up to practice, and I have been lacking an EM until now.

This EM has some features that are very ahead of their time.
There’s a ramp skill shot which is only accessible from the plunge; hit the pterodactyl to score 3000 as the ball goes back down the ramp. The ramp shot is also where you light your bumpers for 100 points each. Better to overshoot than undershoot because the ramp drops you off into the pops for some big points.

Two ball locking mechs, one is a saucer which activates a scanning score stop volcano feature when you release the ball by hitting the lit mushroom bumper, and the other is a locking feature similar to the one you see on Flight 2000, the ball locks and then as you hit the appropriate mushroom bumper, the ball steps down with each hit until the ball is released. You can achieve two or three ball multiball, but beware if you are draining as a ball re-locks, the game will count that as a drain. It will happen to you eventually. The zipper flippers activate when you hit the right mushroom bumpers, and this is very good for multiball since you need to hit that to release your ball from
the volcano lock. Center mushroom bumper takes the flippers back out.

Other features are a return gate that can open up and get your ball back in the shooter lane giving you access to more big points in the pops or you can go for the skill shot, and a kickback in the left outlane. Both these features are lit by the roll overs in the middle of the playfield.

I really like EMs like this, so many features over other EM games. The only drawback is there is no bonus to count down when you lose your ball. Go for the pops for your big scores and try to time your volcano ball lock release for max value.

Love the theming, art is a great on the backglass and playfield. The cabinet is good, but the plastics could have used some art on them. Still looks fantastic as a whole package though!

If you love EMs, I would highly recommend this game as a buy. Even if you don’t love them, Four Million BC offers modern features in an EM package.
1 year ago
My first foray into the zipper flipper world and what an abolute treat!

I think it's an utterly brilliant design especially for the era. What's not to like with a ramp skill shot, alternating gates, zipper flippers and multi-ball? Steal a trapped ball from another player? Yes, please!

A light mod behind the cavemen and the upper unlit plastic is worth the effort.

Like a few others have stated, originally I hated the look of burlap plastics. But they have grown on me and do fit the look of the game.

You can bury me in my 4MBC :)
2 years ago
Awesome game! Zipper flippers, multi-ball and dinosaurs. Lots of cool features for such an early game.
2 years ago
What can you not say about this incredible 1971 Bally pin! Well, it's the first ever multiball (from my research) and it's designed into the game play uniquely. A volcano ball capture, a tar pit ball capture and both can be released during simple but at time difficult game play. Remember folks, this is a 1971 difficulty... think back to how games played back then.

Zipper Flippers, 2 ball captures, a difficult and unique skill shot, left kicker ball save, return gate to the shooter lane. Add the awesome back glass art with two iconic dinosaurs fighting to their death and you have one of the best early 70's pin ever made.
3 years ago
My favorite Bally 4 player game. Love the ramp and zipper flippers. Also great Dinosaur theme! Awesome player!
3 years ago
Most fantastic EM game ever! First you have the skillshot and the tarpit. Once you entered the vulcano you van have up to three balls in game. I love it!
3 years ago
Great EM with movable zipper finger and Multiball.

The Mechs for the zipper finger are still working great even after 50years! That is quality.

Overall nice gameplay. Vulcano shot for higher scoring and the Mech of the ball lock is fantastic and has never created any problems.

Ball times can be short; hard game but challenging.

Nice and colorful theme. Since 20years in my collection.
3 years ago
I see Four Million B.C. gets some mixed reviews but I have to say this game is fantastic, a real gem of an EM that easily holds a spot in my top 5 list. This game had an immediate wow factor. It’s packed with many features well ahead of its time that begins right at the plunge. A plunge will send the ball in a figure eight fashion up the wooden bird ramp at the top of the playfield. There are four switches on the bird ramp, three of which light the corresponding pop bumper color for 100 points, and the last is the “pterodactyl”. A shot reaching the pterodactyl switch without going over the edge of the ramp rewards 3,000 points as it rolls back down to the center of the playfield. This is considered the skill shot and really is big points in this game. Plunging too hard will roll the ball over the edge of the ramp leading into the pop bumpers which will be lit for 100. Too soft of a plunge and you run the risk of not lighting the pops. There are three pop bumpers that are pretty aggressive and keep the game alive. The left side of the playfield has a saucer called the “volcano” that cycles through 1,000 to 5,000 point lights when holding a ball. Hitting the right mushroom bumper will collect the lit volcano value at the time and also “erupts” the volcano by kicking out the saucer ball. The other main feature of the game is the “tarpit” near the upper right playfield. Shooting the ball in the tarpit will hold the ball in a trough. Every shot to center mushroom bumper will advance the tarpit ball down its trough. Three hits will release the ball from the tarpit for multiball. Both multiball achievements (volcano and tarpit) can run simultaneously for a three ball multiball. The zipper flippers work well with this game despite being difficult to take good aim for a shot, but is still very doable. Dampening the sensitivity of the slings and loosening the tilt for nudging makes ball control for shots a little easier. Opening and closing of the flippers is controlled by two stand up targets and the two mushroom bumpers. There is also a left lane kickback that can be lit by rolling over two different buttons in the center of the playfield. There are three of these buttons; the center button will turn on the kicker and close the gate that leads back to the trough, and the left and right will turn off the kicker and open the gate. Getting the ball through the gate gives another chance to plunge a skill shot for another 3,000 points! Another nice use of this is to hold a ball in the shooter trough during multiball if one happens to pass through the gate, just leave it until you drain your other ball(s). Where the game lacks in rules is that there is no reward for shooting the tarpit when a ball is already locked in the trough. A standup target would have been a nice addition in the tarpit. The artwork and theme are paired perfectly. The backglass is excellent in my opinion, especially when including a LED strip behind the cavemen. There is no lighting under the top left playfield plastic which leaves for a dark game, however is greatly improved with a LED strip. 4MBC is a very underrated game that should be in the top ten in my humble opinion. Give it a few games to get familiar and I bet you will be hooked!
3 years ago
Zipper flippers and multi-ball!

This game has quickly become one of my favorite EMs, if not my most favorite.

The theme is great and the play field art joins up nicely with the back glass.

Still can't get over zipper flippers, probably a maintenance nightmare that I hope to experience one day, this game is on my wish list!
4 years ago
A great multiball EM. Has almost all of the features that Fireball does, is a better tournament game and comes a lot cheaper!
4 years ago
Three ball multi-ball in an EM from 1971! Also can’t go wrong with a dinosaur theme. Pretty fun game, found myself going back to it again and again.
6 years ago
Not the most exciting game out there, but I've always liked dinosaurs and I suppose that is some of the draw for me. Simple compared to modern machines but still a fun pin to play. I like the volcano and multi-ball feature for such an early game.
7 years ago
Four Million B.C. is one of my top ten EMs. It is difficult to describe because there aren't many EMs like it. The rules are a bit difficult to deduce at first, but once they are learned, FMBC is a challenging, intriguing game that continually offers a challenge to the player. Also, this is a great example of some of the earliest attempts at having a multi-ball feature, so the game is worth playing just for its status as an innovative EM alone.

I'd love to own one of these, and I recommend seeking one out to play for any fans of EM design and unique gameplay. The purchase price seems prohibitive for EMs, so look for one on location or at a convention just to have the experience of playing this gem.
7 years ago
Good theme, burlap sack plastics are different. Skill shot is good and lots of action for a 1971 pin. Very hard to score high on this one. Can do 2 or 3 ball multiball, has zipper flippers, switch matrix and ball return to the shoother lane. Good game overall.
8 years ago
Essentially, the game that "set the stage for the coming of Fireball".
At this point this game is becoming less known due to its age and the generations of pinball players, but all old collectors know the title very well.
This game is essentially Fireball (EM, 1972) as it uses nearly the same features (raised skill shot ramp, zipper flippers, multiball, rollover lane, etc. (minus the spinning wheel)), but actually does have better game play overall for locking balls in the top lane.
Fireball beats it out in quality of artwork, which is just not comparative.
Constant ball feeder as you rotate the ball locks to continue scoring, which gets rather repetitive.
Game play is solid, and rule set is logical.
No significant difference in terms of sounds, with its simple bells.
A fun title all around, especially for more than one player, and easily one of the better EM games of the 1970s era.
8 years ago
Zipper Flippers!
9 years ago
I love 1960 bally games but this one just leaves me going Mehhhh ! I am not a fan of the zipper flippers on any bally games and this one has a sparse playfield. the mushroom bumpers are always great and it is a multi ball game but not one I would add to my collection.
9 years ago
Great skill shot, awesome art package, fun to play. 3 ball multi-ball and zipper flippers.
9 years ago
4MBC has a pretty unique playfield with a diagonal plunger shot and even a ramp. But the ramp is just part of a skill shot scenario similar to TZ. You can lock balls for multiball but then there is nothing to go for. The eject hole on the lower left is an early lucky number device which I don't really appreciate. An interesting goal is to get the ball back at the plunger for another ramp/skill shot. Next to other tables 4MBC is usually the darkest. Overall very memorable but not really lasting fun.
10 years ago
Some people rave about this game.
Like Fireball it has a really challenging plunger shot, but the game is stale and boring.
It is highly un-attractive and unless your name is Ross Gheller you may not get too excited about this game.
I never like it in my teens and still think it's a poor game as I reach 52.
10 years ago
I'm not really big into EMs, but I really enjoyed this pin while owning it. It has a lot of unique features not commonly found on EMs such as a skill shot, multiball, zipper flippers, and a kick-return. The multiball feature is really unique as, in a multiplayer game, you can steal a locked ball from another player.

The skill shot is a fun feature early on, but for the rest of a ball it has no use and just takes up 4/5ths of the playfield.

The playfield artwork is really well done. Unfortunately, all the plastics used on the game has this thatch-work art, not sure what the reason was for that.

All in all, a really well made game for its time. I sold this pin pre-maturely in the hobby, but if I had another chance to pick one up, I definitely would.
10 years ago
I enjoyed this game! The skill shot rocks and the way the flippers move in and out is SUPER cool (why haven't more pins done this?)!! For an older game, I really enjoyed it. What a cool theme too.
11 years ago
This is my only multi-player game, so it gets played a lot when I have people over. That said, it's the last game in my collection I ever play when I'm alone.

I wish I liked it better, because the artwork is stunning (even the basketweave somehow works), and they really did show the courage to not copy what the other companies were building and do their own thing. I also admire the skillshot, the multiball, the tar pit, the zipper flippers, and all the other gimmicks this game has. On paper it is a masterpiece. In real life, not so much.

The trouble is, all those cool features never really come together to make a fun game. You can have fantastic balls, but you seldom have a fantastic game. Nothing builds, nothing advances, you don't accomplish anything--you start from scratch every ball. This game really needed a special feature.

I mean, the most satisfying shot on the playfield is probably shooting the ball into the tar pit. Trouble is, if there is already a ball in the pit, it just rolls back out. No points or anything, just a wasted shot. Really? They couldn't give you 1000 points (or ANYTHING) for that shot? Same with the Volcano. If there's already a ball sitting there, that whole side of the playfield is pretty dead as far as things to shoot for are concerned.

The game gets old pretty quickly--1. skill shot with the plunger, 2. load volcano, 3. load tar pit, 4. get multiball, repeat, repeat, repeat. Oh, and avoid the massive suck hole side lanes while you're at it.

Now, I knew all that going in, and I still hunted one for my collection. The artwork, the backglass, the sounds it makes, are all fantastic, and as a four player game it is still something people enjoy. I just don't think it's a masterpiece, and there was a better playing game waiting to be designed around that basic layout.
There are 34 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 2.

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