Genesis (Gottlieb, 1986)


Pinside rating

This game received 60 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 7.111 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #229 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game design: 7.467

Artwork: 6.046

Sounds/Music: 6.926

Other Aspects: 7.287

Rating comments

There are 31 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 31 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 31 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
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87 days ago
This pin is in my personal top ten, all generations of game considered.
In the eighties I used to play it on location, and today magic still goes on.
Forget the ugly translite and give this machine a chance.
Great lay out and rules, amazing soundtrack and challenging toy
6 months ago
Challenging. The center reveal is fun, and the strobe like effects are fantastic. The cabinet is as bad as they come, and the general theme is meh.
6 months ago
A surprisingly fun game to play. Yes the backglass is cheesy, but once you get past the looks, you'll discover a tough fun game that has kept me coming back for "just one more" game.
10 months ago
Genesis is one of those games that hooked me right from the start. It became a "quest" to complete the robot. Now almost a year since owning the machine, I still enjoy the machine as much as I did on day one. The robot reveal never gets old - and the alongside music and lighting effect is cool!

The concept is fairly simple - Complete the robot by completing ARMS, BRAIN, BODY and LEGS. Arms and Legs are obtained by going the left and right ramps respectively. Brain is obtained by going up the left or right orbit. Body is a little tougher, and requires rolling over the ABC lanes above the pop bumpers. You can also complete body parts by hitting down the 3 drop targets in order, or hitting the vari-target all the way back. Rolling through an in-lane will flash a light on the vari target that will light a letter in all 4 body parts if you hit the target while the light flashes (about 10 seconds). On the flip side, hitting the target at the right speed will send your ball right down the middle. Once you complete all 4 body parts, you have to hit the vari-target all the way back to activate the lifeforce (robot).

This game definitely benefits well with a nice LED setup. The music is catchy and fits the theme well. Cabinet is the typical "generic" Gottlieb/Premier style for that era, but that doesn't bother me at all. The backglass is cheesy, but hey it was the 80's afterall! There are alternate translites available, but I chose to keep the original.
12 months ago
I wish that I hadn't overlooked this title for years. It gets tons of plays. Set it up to be brutal, and work, work, work. Hoping to re-theme the BG and cabinet, because like some, the cheese is too much for me.
1 year ago
Genesis is one of the rare SYSTEM 80B that I appreciated. This generation marked a turning point with the replacement of backglass by horrible translites. This one is Strange, but not the worse !
Fortunately, the game is fun and building the robot is a challenge not so simple to achieve. But what happiness when it comes to life.
1 year ago
Another rare Gottlieb Jewel lost in the Bally-Williams world of that decade. An entertaining, beautiful and affordable nice surprise, I love it!
1 year ago
A very close runner-up to the similarly-designed Raven for a contender for worst pinball machine ever. Everything about the build is cheesy and cheap-feeling, and on a well-maintained machine it's highly unpredictable whether "made" shots will actually make it up around the ramps or slots or what have you. Throw in a photographed translite "theme" that seems like it should be from some obscure British science fiction TV show, but in fact is nothing (a knock off of Strange Science, Bride of Pinbot, or whatever by some theories, but my theory is it was a random photo of odd people somebody threw up as 'inspiration' on the design board that accidentally got put into the final game).
1 year ago
It's a great early ramp game that gets very little respect. Is it the ugly translite? Possibly, but the game a a whole should be viewed as so much more. I wish they would have used the graphic style of the play field on the translite but oh well. The gameplay makes up for the rest. Awesome music too!! It can be repetitive but as you reach goals the music change is very rewarding. the toy is only a non interactive robot on a rotisserie reveal in the playfield the reveal is great along with the music and strobes but hard to appreciate as the ball keeps playing during the reveal. this game looks so much better with clear ramps and a new color lighting scheme with LEDs it gets a ton of attention in my lineup!
2 years ago
Addictive to a point, but not a really great game. Basically you'll be shooting 5 shots a prescribed number of times to reach your objective (and the game's only toy), the robot reveal. None of these shots are smooth, and the ramps are clunky and slow even when you hit them perfectly. Tons of pops, but you'll get plenty of straight down the middles off the vari-target and pops exit. Depending on how you shot the ramps, you'll be awarded 2 ball multiball occasionally, but since it's not clear how to capitalize on those, you'll need to repeat the robot reveal several times for a good game. It's not difficult by any means, and once you've seen it, there isn't much wow left to the game. The playfield looks good and the light show is surprisingly decent. Though there's no speech, the music is fun and catchy. Translite and cab suck, as everyone knows.

Good: Cool theme, playfield and lights look great, robot reveal is neat (the first couple times)
Bad: Repetitive and limited gameplay, cabinet and translite art
2 years ago
With simple rules and a decent layout, this game is somewhat better than the disaster you would think it is looking at the backglass. It has the "pop bumper dribble down" where balls slowly and dangerously exit the pop bumper area, which a pet peev of mine that I hate but I'm more willing to forgive brutality in older games I guess. An OK game, nothing too special.
2 years ago
A great underrated game. Building the robot is super fun.
2 years ago
I have disliked this game ever since it was first built in 1986.
I have repeated played it over 30 years, giving it a chance, and still walk away with the game still running.
I give the free games to kids.

It basically was an earlier attempt at Bride of Pinbot (BoP) under the same concept with minimal success.
BoP got it right, this game did not.
Hell, Strange Science has this game beat hands down.
If it was an arm wresting contest, the game would not even in the same room, let alone the table.

Gameplay was average, but did have shot flow and decent speed.
Strategy is minimal, just keep blasting the bank of three drop targets to add body parts, or the targets completely break.
Ramps got DESTROYED on this game due to weak design and no protection.
People do seem to remember the "purple ramps" (being broken, hence REPRODUCED).
Once you master the six shots, not much left to do on the machine.

Music is unremarkable, but non grating.
How is this amazing?
It is like a NES rendition of Castlevania.

Compare this to games like BK2K or Swords of Fury soundtracks of the same era.

BK2K -
SoF -

What the goddamn $#!# are people smoking?

Sounds were unremarkable.
Ruleset was very basic with no depth (I really do not know WTF people are talking about in terms here).
Artwork was below average because the rest of lighting does not fit.
Cabinet was unremarkable.
Translite was outright scary hideous, no wonder they are still readily available NOS for sale.
Light show on the back panel was pretty good.
Yes, it is "cheap fun" but so is a lady for "5 dollar to make you holler".

Multiball was anti-climatic and sometimes you really did not know when it was going to start.
Vari target was a nice touch, rarely used at that time and there after.

Redeeming feature was the "regenerator" was was not really that remarkable either for a gimmick, as it was just a panel, plastic chrome painted doll, and light show, and is not interactive in any way.

Contrary to to popular belief, the doll does lose its charm after the first time, that is the reason people do not play it a second time on locations, and it collects more dust than other games in collections.
The reason some collectors like it is they can installed "super bright LEDs" in the playfield window and let themselves be "blinded with science".
Personally, I have to use a modified welding mask in these cases.

Most likely the same people listen to this video while they play to be lulled into state of pinball trance and avoid disappointment:

Maybe Gottlieb should have drilled a hole in the coin door for "personal use"?
Protection dispenser for extra coins and profit?
Vacuum device installed?

Go get a Bride of Pinbot (BoP), skip this game.
Seriously, skip this game unless you find it in a "bargain bin" (ie barn) and then sell it after you hopefully fix it.
Some dry turds never seem to completely dry, and get remoistened with every pinball generation.
This is just one of those games.
Three generations worth now, going on a fourth.
An alternate translite is not going to fix this one either.
2 years ago
This game is fun as hell. Great rules, has a lot of good replay value that doesn't loose its charm after completing the Metropolis robot. Say what you will about the Backglass, but I find it hilarious and awesome. Lack of speech is no issue for me in this game, as the music kicks some serious ass. This is one of those best bang for your buck kinda games solely because it isn't easy on the eyes.
2 years ago
I wanted this to be my first pin so baaaaad but as these things tend to go in life...

Maybe the fastest one of the 80b lot or at the least i one i played was, dual ramp layout plays great, four pops speed up the ball something crazy and there's this one target that reacts differently depending how hard it's hit.

Two ball multiball and a below playfield reveal, it's simple enough and fits my instant fun notion.

Another meh cabinet like most of these, i like the photo translite it's funny and different.

Playfield art on this game is like something out of a hardcover comic book, like old 2000ad stuff very appropriate.

As with most of these the soundtrack is killer, like a chiptune horrorgame affair, maybe the most minimal of the bunch but it does it all so well.

I still want it.
3 years ago
Edit: After playing the game for the better part of a year now I updated my rating a bit. The lastability on this game is there, I play this game every single day. I recently upgraded to LED's and it made a huge difference in the over all look and feel of the game. It really brightened things up and made it even more of a beauty to look at. It's one of those games that people just want to play, while it is brutal if you brick a shot everyone just keeps pushing the play button because they were "so close" to building the robot.

I think this is a great game, I like it enough I stripped the PF touched it up and clear coated it. Unlike others I like the Backglass and put in a NOS original. This game is just a blast to play the music is some of the best ever, sounds are good and you build a frickin robot chick! My biggest complaint is that the center drop targets take one hell of a beating and if you play it enough you will break things due to the drop target location.

My rating on this game is based off of other games in this era, sure newer games have more to offer but from the Mid 80's this is a good game.
3 years ago
The original translite is terrible. There is no side art. those are the only things about this game that are bad.
I found an alternate translite which is modeled after the "metropolis" theme and is great! ( I will upload a picture soon)
The gameplay and the rule set is fun and straight forward.
Great targets, ramps and just plain fun to play.

This is probably the best Premier game I have played.
4 years ago
Often overlooked, I enjoy this game as it really is a good player. My son calls it the poor man's bride of pinbot, the backglass is an acquired taste. Give it a try the music is great too.
5 years ago
Wow. I know some people really like this game, but in all hoesty I have no idea why. The backglass looks like a mix of an akward family photos and a cast off of county fair carnies standing side by side. the shots are somewhat diverse but in no way clear what the progression should be, and the scoreboard looks like it could easily be mistaken for a solar powered calculator. I would rather have the sega version of the genesis than this rubbish from gottlieb, and Im a nintendo guy!
5 years ago
One word "shocker"........tough game though but a real "shocker" and what's up with the purple ramps bahahaha.
5 years ago
I had a lot of fun playing this one. Quirky theme...

The pop bumpers can give you some serious points, seems you can be up there forever if you hit the sweet spot. Flippers are barley strong enough to get up ramps which make them a challenge. Nice purple color on the ramps is inviting.

Major complaint is scoring display... very small and I am sure it is hard to read for many people.

Nice ruleset as well and pretty fun to play, I've played it on several different occasions now and still enjoy it.
5 years ago
I probably have this game overrated but I think it is an awesome and much overlooked game. The Metropolis theme is great. The rule set is simple and easy to follow. The music sticks in your head (could be good could be bad). Bringing the robot to life will NEVER get old!!!!!
5 years ago
Premier pinball games, Genesis in particular gets a bad rap. In this case, I don't think it's warranted.

The Pros:
A solid layout with great shots including a vari-target 3/4ths the way up the playfield. The rebounding targets just about the slings mean that you ball control skills better be on point. While the ramps do not have the usual feed to the inlanes, since they dump the ball back into the orbits, all ramp shots put the ball in play in a way that will make sure your attention is kept on the ball. The artwork on the PF is great and despite the criticisms of it, the BG is in line with the theme of the game. The sounds and music are spot on for the sci-fi theme. The Metropolis robot in the bottom of the game is great! Revealing the robot is always fun and I think Fritz Lang would have liked this game.

The Cons:
The girl on the BG looks like her head is half the size of the guys sitting next to her. When the bride of frankenstein was created was that what was going through their minds? Great body... tiny head? Too funny. Has anyone made an alternate translite for this deck? I don't know why, but I wish the ramps were clear or metal instead of lollipop purple... Tiny blue numbers make me squint.

The Takeaway:
This table plays quite simply and quite well. 1986 was a good year for Trudeau creations with the possible exception of Gold Wings. 4/5 of solid games produced in a single year by the same designer! Sooooo, wax it up, open the lanes, nastify the rules, freshen the slings and set it with a steep enough angle to make sure you need to hit solid shots for the ramps... In, summary, you have a relatively simple and very fun pinball game that requires skills. If you can find one cheap, take a chance on this deck. Spell the letters and the window under the PF lights up. Sound familiar?

The more I play this deck, the more it grows on me. I really enjoy playing this table. The cornball "B" silly-horror theme. The catchy early synth spooky music and most importantly, the gameplay. Many games from this Era from Gottlieb are, well... boring. This game is not the deepest, but the rules make the most of the playfield design. Between the lit lanes constantly alternating from the pops to the playfield multiplier, this game requires more thought than one would initially suspect. The Vari-target is super valuable as it will spot a letter in all of the body parts at once. It's a dangerous shot that can throw the ball SDTM... but it's worth it when you have 2 or more words with just one letter to go. Spotting words increases your PF multiplier, so keep working on those words. All major ramps as well as the right orbit feed to the pops and the exit can be dangerous (Think TWD outta the pops, but a bit more subtle). A much better game than most would take it for. When properly maintained, it has that "One more game" quality down solid. Since people have slept on this deck for decades, you can still probably find one relatively inexpensively if it hasn't been swept up by another collector already. Look at what happened to TX-Sector...

This table is a true player.
6 years ago
This is a great cheap pin. It should have been called "The Bride of Frankenstein". The game theme is good. You need to hit targets, ramps, throughways to build body of a female and then start the re-generator to reveal the life-force under the playfield. Gottlieb did not want to pay out royalties to help keep costs low for the operator to purchase. Music is great for this pin in the early 80's. Ya I played better pins, however, they also cost 2x, 3x, 4x, 5x more. This is a awesome pin for what there worth.
6 years ago
Played this one with my teenage daughter at the local pinball shop. She really liked it and remarked its just so weird its cool can we get it for my room END OF STORY and it didn't cost a arm and a leg it was a no brainer
There are 31 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 2.

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