Frontier (Bally, 1980)


Pinside rating

This game received 54 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 7.573 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #136 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game design: 7.891

Artwork: 7.377

Sounds/Music: 6.288

Other Aspects: 7.766

Rating comments

There are 18 rating comments for this game.

Pinside staff rating

This is how we, the very knowledgeable (wink wink) staff & moderators rate this game. 2 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 18 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 18 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
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34 days ago
I've owned many of the Ballys from this era and aside from Fathom, this is best of that era. Great precision shots, two different bonus collects, nudging a must...this game has it all! I agree that the cricket sounds are a little annoying, but disagree with many that the artwork is bad. I love the theme and look of this game from the detailed playfield, to the backglass, and to the awesome stenciled side art. A tough pin to find, but one that shouldn't be passed up.
3 months ago
What to say about Frontier? If you see one, play it! If you know someone that has one, play it! It's simple but deceptively fun! The crickets background noise are a nice touch to the Frontier theme. Collecting predators, and scoring the Predator saucer is always challenging and a blast. Inline drops are tighter to shoot on this game than others of the same era but still fun to play. The center target is a trap! The artwork good, not my favorite, but it doesn't look bad. Won't be leaving my collection any time soon!
3 months ago
I agree the game has a good layout and rules, but I can’t stand to even watch this game, due to the crickets. If I owned one I would turn the audio off.
1 year ago
Theme is important to me and I tend to like games that have outdoor themes. This games theme is all about that complete with trees, animals, campfires. The backglass is ok and I'm sure some are not crazy about the guy on it but the wolves and moon lit over the trees looks cool. Love these older Bally's and this one is a keeper for me. Symmetry of playfield is great and the game will test your nudging skills. Love the quirky sounds !
1 year ago
My first pinball. Really love it!
2 years ago
Finally have found one of these on location. This game is a forgotten Bally Gem. The artwork if fantastic all around and I love the Bob Seger as Jeremiah Johnson Theme. Nice layout and a blast to play. Simple but difficult rules to complete as the bonuses, extra balls, and specials are reset between balls. Wonderful pin, I love all the details on this one. Great drop target placement, both a 3-bank and a 4 in line . Pops give a ton of action, and the spinner up to upper lanes is greatly satisfying.
2 years ago
This is the pinball that I grew up on. Love this game ever since I played it.
2 years ago
How can you not love a game with such a beautiful layout and nicely comlpemented rule set!
Simple yet perfect in so many ways.

Hard game to find and even harder to find in good conditon to be able to judge it right.
2 years ago
If you are a fan of the early SS pins and you have a chance to play Frontier, do yourself a favor and get a handful of games on it. A great layout for an interesting themed pin. Sure the backglass art has something to be desired....but it is a good player. A sometimes brutal game that will award your good shot with drains, but that frustration just makes you come back for more to get more predators.

Crickets, my friends, crickets ;)
2 years ago
I love this machine, it's a skill game and very funny Pinball. For me is the best pinball , and I got it !!!
3 years ago
Fun game with a great layout with lots of shots. You will either love the chirping or it will drive you nuts. Outstanding playfield artwork. Backglass is well drawn but I think it would have been better without the giant Kenny Rogers face.
3 years ago
Fun with some surprising depth
3 years ago
I still have separation anxiety from selling this fun, fast, challenging & perfectly laid out game

Found one and jumped on it as life just wasn't complete without it
4 years ago
Doesn't look like much from a distance, the backglass is awful...old dude with facial hair....not all that appealing. However the game is a winner. Collecting the animals makes for fun gameplay. Reminds me of an reversed black pyramid but with better rules and fun.
6 years ago
Frontier is a game that sneaks up on you. Then it eats you alive like the dude with a knife taking on a griz.

The Pros:
George Christian is known for two games: Eight Ball and Eight Ball Deluxe. This is the third game he should be known for. A simple PF and bonus ladder with a shot that has to bounce into the saucer gate from the bumper or shot through the spinner and nudged into the open gate from the top. Why have we not seen this from other designers before (did I miss something)? Inline Drops, a great spinner shot and an interesting dual bonus system makes the gameplay come together. Some of the most intricate PF artwork. A fantastic package from the wonderful talent of Freres, O'Connor and Hudson! Nothing sounds like this pinball game... nothing.

The Cons:
Not enough of them made... pf's get trashed in the bonus count area like most high traffic Bally games do. Luck bounces from the Pop garden to the Bonus Collect saucer make a huge difference in the scores of this game. This deck can be absolutely brutal. Not quite Flash Gordon brutal, but a different more quiet vampiric bleeding out kind of death that happens faster than you think it would.

The Takeaway:
A great game that most people don't even know about. Find it, play it... be pin-challenged and happy. Chiiirp... Chiiirp...

The slow chiirp increases in speed and the intensity of the game ramps up. Kinda like an 80's horror movie. (watch the first Friday the 13th with the sound turned off to understand how the character of sound plays in a game like this). The spinner is a harder shot than you would initially think it would be, but when you find the sweet spot... its a beautiful thing. Do you shoot for the inline drops? Nudging skills to get the ball to drop on the bonus saucer from the top arch are in demand! That first target lights the spinner for 1k, but it also opens the bonus collect gate. Are you going to make your points on ripping the spinner? Or collecting the bonus? Decisions, decisions...

This rating is Coast to Coast approved!

Update V2:
The more I play this game, the more I like it. I have tried to buy even a beater game for crazy dollars and can't seem to land this deck. The indirect bonus collect shot is calling me from the upper arch. More nudging skills required!

Update v3:
On the want list. We shall see what happens in the future for a possible acquisition. Big ups to Kevin Carroll at Lyons Classic Pinball for introducing me to this righteous table. Simple, but never easy. Considering the vintage, it is one of the best single ball pinball games of it's (or any) era. A true player and a friendly reminder that Kenny Rogers was a bear chested, bowie knife wielding, grizzly grappling, man's man of a manly man... man.
6 years ago
Pros: Nice table layout and in-line drop targets
Fast table with challenging shots.

Cons: Very difficult pinball (mean drainer)
Sound (crickets) drives me nuts
7 years ago
I never could really get into this one. I'm not big into the western theme or hunting but the game didn't really sell it for me. While the shot layout was nice, it felt like just hitting random things. All shots just happened to have animals on them. The sound just wears on you as well. Those annoying, screeching noises which I assume are birds.
There are 18 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 1.

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