Future Spa

Pinside rating

This game received 60 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 7.074 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #252 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game design: 7.107

Artwork: 7.518

Sounds/Music: 5.203

Other Aspects: 7.054

Pinside staff rating

This is how we, the very knowledgeable (wink wink) Pinside.com 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 28 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 28 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
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31 days ago
Future spa!! I mean if you are into the 70s cheese... That's the ticket... You have to love the disco effect on the backglass... The right side drain we call it the heart breaker, makes this game... The whole kitchy layout is not for everyone of course, but it's clean and fun to play... Somehow keeps pulling me back in
6 months ago
Another Pinball Machine/Theme I am not sure what to think of.
The theme/art likely has a lot to do with the era it was made -- but I grew up in the 70s and still don't connect with it.

Inline Drop Targets, Spinners, Kickout Saucer, Cool Inlane/Outlane Gate. . . all things I like. For some reason this game does feel wider than the average wide body with more space for the ball to roll around -- slowly at that. Some tweaks to playfield slope and a layer of clearcoat may have helped the machines I've been able to play. I have hit the ball to the upper playfield and had time to take a couple swigs of beer plus see what the players of other games along side of me are doing before the ball gets back down to the flippers.

Typical late 70s/early 80s sounds which I like and approve of.

The artwork. I suppose I can say it is an interesting vision of what the future looked like to the designers several decades back. I think my favorite is the Cabinet over the playfield and backglass. I am both fascinated and confused as to how the woman's upper garment drapes down and liquifies only to be caught by the much smaller woman in the pool below on the backglass (between score displays one and three). I never have been one to understand/appreciate some artist's visions though -- perhaps I need to ingest more chemicals.

In the end its a pinball machine and of course I'd play it again. Don't think I have the desire to own this title even though I'm a Classic Bally fan. . . but you never know.
8 months ago
Ok, so who wants to own one of the most off tempo games ever? Imagine this, you have your pinball collection all lit up, some colleagues come over after work on a Friday to play pinball and you fire this this thing up. All you need to say now is “Anyone want a Harvey Wallbanger to drink?” Seriously, what the heck is this thing? Everyone is in tip top shape except for the dude on the back glass who they forgot to give a neck. Why is his head like way into his collar bone? Nothing like chasing a scantily clad lady around at the gym, am I right? In 2019, that would make the news. 1970s, naw, just make it a pinball. Throw in some muscle dudes and chicks making weird non workout poses and you have a pinball! This thing plays like a bowl of soup. Ever sit on the floor of a 1970 Toronado? It’s like that. You roll around because there is a ton of space, but you can’t go anywhere. I always feel like the ball wants to jump into the game next to it and get out of the future. Drop targets can be a challenge, but it has to be waxed to perfection. No pun intended. This thing is not a game I would want in my collection. I have tried it more times than I care to admit, but this thing is a bloated cow of 70s sappy body building. Who green lighted this? Hit that guy with a tack hammer. Topper for this game should be a big bottle of ‘Brut’, a bag of chest hair and bottle of East German steroids. Creepy.
9 months ago
Played it once, turgid comes to mind. The backglass animation is one of the coolest ever done on a pin, but aside from that it bored me to tears. It lumbers..
1 year ago
Best art ever!
1 year ago
I love holding onto this wide body! Feels BIG. Like the backglass, especially the strobing FUTURE SPA. Lots of action in the upper playfield. Lots to aim for in the lower playfield. The in line drops are a challenge. Didn't like them at first, but have gotten good at hitting them and it's a good feeling to rack up the bonus multiplier, even get the extra ball and SPECIAL. This is my go to game in my collection when I just want to play a game or two. This is the game my friends prefer also when they come over and want to play a little pinball. Cool sounds.
2 years ago
Played it a few times at a recent tournament. Afterwards, choose to wait for F-14 (a game I'm not in love with) rather than try this one again. Theme, playability, art... just not my thing.
2 years ago
When I bought it as a project I wasn't expecting to like it as much as I do. If you weren't playing these Bally's as a kid in the 70's you probably won't get it but to me this was pinball at its best. The electronic sounds reminds me of 'Lost in Space' the TV show especially the sounds at the end of the game. I'm sure David Christensen had a thing for Joanna Lumley when he did the playfield as the blonde on the lower left looks just like her (she still looks good today, btw). The right spinner is really hard to hit from the left flipper but other shots just take time to get right. The layout looks a bit thrown together but somehow it works a treat. My favourite of the wide bodies.
3 years ago
It's the Spa from the future!!
3 years ago
I am not a fan of the wide body machines, I have played several and owned 2. This machine I did not care for, found to be very slow. Did have a neat kick out on the left of the machine, but a whole lot of realestate and not a lot of targets. It was one of the 2 wide body machines I had, I much prefered Star race. I found it to be a cooler game to look at then play.
4 years ago
My first pinball so of course I'm biased. Did a lot of research and watched some PAPA competition video on Future Spa and fell in love with the quirky 70's chic theme. It has a good balance of challenging shots, strategy, great artwork, and the price was within budget. I really like the asymmetrical design of the lower playfield; each side plays quite differently. And it's a great game to nudge your way out of trouble.

Overall, I'm very happy with the machine.
4 years ago
Future Spa is THE game I turn on when I have 5 minutes to kill and want to play some pinball.

Future Spa is one cool super widebody game, probably my favorite. Drop the inline drop targets, rip the spinners, spell FUTURE SPA, collect a huge bonus. Fun and unique layout, I prefer it to Paragon which it's often compared to. Hitting the drops feels great. The worst shot on the game is the right orbit which is super duper clunky. The left orbit has a nice curve to it, the right orbit leads straight into bare wood and kills the ball's momentum! The best shots are from the right flipper and on top of that there is no right slingshot, so this is probably the best game ever to practice tap passing on.

The kickback on the far left seems generous. Since there's a slanted metal ball guide, the ball frequently gets sucked down there to be saved and on top of that spots a letter. This is particularly important because the ball gets going side-to-side a lot on this enormous table, which will put it into the left outlane area. Opening the gate via the skill shot is meaningful though since it turns the left inlanes from 2/4 death to 1/4 death. The pop bumper and hole on the right inlane is awesome for nudging too.

Great cabinet and backglass art. The sparkly Future Spa letters on the backglass are very eye catching. The playfield art is flat though and obviously a different artist. Although still... girls on waterslides and dudes flexing. So awesome. The audio is a nightmare but it's 1979, so you can't expect much.

This game would might play better as a standard widebody, especially if they fixed the right orbit, but as-is it's still one of my favorite classic Ballys and favorite games of the era in general. I have a fully restored Paragon and for sure that will be leaving my collection before Future Spa does.
4 years ago
I picked one of these games up recently, not expecting too much going from the memories of playing it 35 years ago, but I am pleasantly surprised how good this game actually is! Echos of HGT and Paragon with the in-line drops and strange outlane arrangements: 5 pop bumpers, but just one powered sling (the other sling just relies on the bounce of the rubber to work). Excellent Bally artwork as was normal in the late seventies. A Bally Superwide game, so plays accordingly, but the layout does play a lot better than on a Space Invaders! Playing the game, it pays to knock down a drop target first then rip the spinners for 1000 points a spin. The Fountain of Youth stand-up target is best avoided during play as it is a dangerous shot. This game can be quite unforgiving at times!
4 years ago
Future Spa is a nice early SS widebody that integrates some interesting features on the PF. But the main reason I rated it as highly as I did is because it is really a beautiful piece of art. A little silly, sure, but great to look at.

The various rollovers in the left out / in lanes are neat, as well as the far left ball save.

The stacked progressive drop targets on the left are dangerous but thrilling to shoot.

The skill shot is average and the saucer in the upper-left PF is mostly a luck shot, at least for me.

Great over all game - I'd recommend it to anyone for some great, lasting fun.
4 years ago
A truly massive pinball machine. A Supersize Bally is always a handful to play.

Awesome retro playfield theme with classic 70s art. The back glass is by a different artist so just does not match the game. The cabinet art is terrible and based on a white background which is always the wrong colour for a pinball in my opinion

Game is slow and brutal if you miss a shot. Interesting outlanes. Ball seems to travel for ever before actually hitting anything

A game of its time, but much better Bally Supersize tables exist.
5 years ago
WIDE BODY! Plays pretty fast considering the size. Easy to pick up rules but damn I sucked at this...don't know if its that hard or not but I played about ten games on it and it ate me alive. Fun game.

Great art, a crazy theme, can't imagine where the idea came from but it is as original as it gets.
5 years ago
Future spa is not bad but is a pale copy of paragon. Worse theme, worse artwork, worse gameplay. I cannot find a single gameplay element for which I would prefer future spa. it has everything people tend to dislike about wide bodies.
I like the inline drop targets (I like them too on Paragon). Game score is bonus heavy as for many Ballys from the same period. The left outlane door is cool.
5 years ago
Fun with a nice wide-body layout. Challenging without a sense of panic, relatively long ball times. Compared to Paragon there are less satisfaction shots and more of an all-over necessity to play the whole game.
5 years ago
Future Spa is a very good game, similar to Paragon. Early widebody at it's best. A really unique inlane/outlane configuration with an important gate on the left. This game is every bit as good as Paragon. It just doesn't get as much love due to the theme.
5 years ago
When I first saw this machine I flashed back to this movie I saw once...

Anyway, now on to the game itself! I love the advancing targets and the upper right corner loop and of course I love anything with ONE spinner, so how much more do I love a machine with TWO! Get it cleaned and fixed up right and go to town!!
6 years ago
I spent a lot of time rehabbing a Future Spa for a customer. In that time, I got the game running the way it should run, cleaning and waxing it, and rebuilding the drop target assembly.

I had to spend time testing it, and found that after I put three-inch leg levelers on the rear legs, jacked all the way up, and put shorter than normal legs on the front, the game got more interesting!

I'm not a fan of widebody pins. I find them to be slower and more plodding games. Future Spa was no exception. It has some nice aspects to the game. I like the in-line drop targets, and how you have to be more and more accurate to hit the targets in the rear of the assembly. The flippers, thumpers, and one slingshot are nice and strong, but there's just so much open space on this playfield...

Not bad, but not a winner...
7 years ago
The backglass is the highlight of this game. Every time I see it with a friend I have to ask when are we going to hit the gym and do some laser curls. My biggest complaint about the FS playfield is the location of the spinners. Its freaking hard to get a good shot at those spinners because they are so far to the left and right on the playfield. Collect future spa letters for bonus and crank the inline drops. Decent game but nothing special
7 years ago
Not a bad pin from that early SS era, Future Spa is a fun and campy pin. It's not a perfect pin by any means, but when I see one on route, I'd play it.
7 years ago
Future Spa is a game that I had played only a few times before and it felt slow and boring. I noticed it recently after tiltwarning put a video up of it. Flipper McGill's in Idaho Springs (R.I.P.) had one on site and I sat down with it (just had my left knee rebuilt) for an afternoon.

The Pros:
A different layout with two of my favorite artists Mr. Christensen and Mr. Faris doing the honors. Different artistic styles, but I never really noticed the discrepancy until it was pointed out to me. I always thought it was another Faris package. When I had an idea of what to do... this game is alright. It plays much better than I remembered. Upper rollovers to open the gate are your skill shot and once the spinners are lit, you have to go for them. The sparkle vision BG is a nice touch. I don't remember seeing it on any other games. Inline drops are always a plus.

The Cons:
This game must be fresh, waxy and steep or it will feel deader than a Osama Bin Ladin's bodyguards. Pop Bumpers on the lower right must be active. Standard issue deathshot standup target is in full effect. Do not shoot for it. ever! The rollover and saucer on the upper right only score a few points. These are really cool shots (esp. the u-turn rollover shot) but because their value is so low in the big picture of this game, it makes the whole middle of the PF rather worthless.

The Takeaway:
Boy this game feels wider than it is longer. I mean, it's got a buh-donk-a-donk. Your shots are the inline drops and the spinners once you get this game up and running. To make this shots you are shooting all the way across the PF. If you miss... the ball starts bouncing back and forth toward the sides. Now every shot you make can be a real risk. This game is all about the inline drops to multiply your bonus. Once you build your bonus, it carries over. In this sense it has a semi-paragon strategy to it. Ball 1 is crucial to score the 18k/36k bonus and keep it for every ball. The outer left lane is incredibly important to building bonus and makes any ball in that area of the PF a risk/reward consideration. Very different and the only game I can think of with a lane like this one. An interesting game that plays better than expected IF properly maintained.
7 years ago
Had this one in the collection some years back.Not bad for a Bally wide body,but no Paragon.

Has a whacky theme and some good shot variety.Shooting the inline drop targets can lead to certain drains.
There are 28 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 2.

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