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Hardbody

Pinside rating

This game received 38 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 5.783 /10

5.783

Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #344 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.


Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game design: 6.594

Artwork: 4.479

Sounds/Music: 5.223

Other Aspects: 5.892



Pinside staff rating

None of the Pinside.com staff have rated this game. Sorry, no rating from us.

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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 24 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 24 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
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3.111/10
3 months ago
This game has almost no redeemable qualities. It's slow, clunky and ugly.
7.922/10
5 months ago
I always wanted to own this game even though ratings on it said I shouldn't. Also theme & artwork do matter to me, but the layout & amount of shots & gimmicks I thought might outweigh that, also add in the relatively cheap price. So far I believe that to be the case. I'd suggest making sure all switches are activated by the ball. Those star rollovers can miss or get dirty. I dialed this game in to play fast & like new.
Also installed new rubber, new flipper parts, & LED's. The game suddenly looks so much better on the playfield. The backglass is still the backglass. I thought about getting an alternate but I'm fine with it, it's representative of its time & I don't look at it while playing.

Some people knock the sounds & music. I think its fine & retro sounding. Does the trick. Lack of speech doesn't bother me these days since it's just no longer a novel thing & part of so many games. It isn't needed. The objectives are pretty clear but definitely enough depth to make you have to think about what you want to do for next. & there are several ways to get scores. I'm often not a fan of early SS 2 tiered games because you don't really get much extra game as the main PF gets halved. That is what makes this game so unique is that one of the goals is to complete objectives to light the "ramps up" shot, then hit it, then you get a whole new shot & dimension added to the game with the long, satisfying orbit shot.

Always something available to shoot for that matters & helps to progress regardless of what flipper your ball is near. For a game in the bally cost cutting era, I'm surprised at how loaded it is. Money saved on cabinet & backbox art & lamps perhaps actually went to good use. 2 drop target banks. I'd even argue that the orange 3 bank isn't even that needed. Could have been removed & game wouldn't be much different. However, drops are way more fun than standups so I'm glad they are there. The inline drops are fantastic I always love those. & it is possible to hit them from each flipper, although I find it the most difficult shot in the game from either upper flipper.
Then you have the flex saves. Sometimes they are flashing for automatic save, but otherwise you have to be on your toes to make these work for you. On my game which plays fast, gotta be quick. This adds another dimension to the game where you can't get lazy & need to keep focus.
With the amount of shots, speed, & flex save... I really don't miss having a multiball here. There is no down time, no ball locks, no kickouts or saucers, that sucker is always in play.
Overall really impressed. For me, led technology has made it look good enough that I'm not bothered by the art & I can focus on the game. While not an A title, I've had as much fun with this as I have had with games that cost a lot more. One of the ratings for games should be "bang for your buck". This one would score high.
7.336/10
1 year ago
Perhaps the cost cutting cabinetry and non-themed backglass turn so many away, but Hardbody is a very underrated game. I raised the one I have from the dead, with water damage, no ramps, no displays, and no CPU on the cheap and wasn't really expecting anything great. When I finally got the project completed, I was amazed at how good this pinball was.

Its actually a workout trying to manage the 2 extra sidebuttons, which is what is eluded to in the brochure. Two playfields, 2 extra sidebuttons for the outlane "flex save," and a perfectly designed ruleset do not disappoint. Build your muscles at each station to increase bonus and circuit, with many other scoring options to distract one away from this main goal.

The upper playfield plays nice and slow, and one can take their time with ball control. The lower playfield is much faster and trickier, and one has to be careful with traps and holds, the main goal pretty much just trying to get the ball back to the upper playfield, which isn't an easy shot by any means.

I enjoy this game more than even the best of the newer games, and recommend this as great value if you can find one!
7.498/10
2 years ago
First I want to admit straight off that I am biased, Hardbody to me was a must own pin, because of its theme. It's an FBB theme and I just love female bodybuilders. While I do think Mclish is a bit skinny, she is foxy and she is pumped and pretty on the backglass, and I just love the whole 80s glam vibe. Also the whole theme of the pin is like gym locker room, working out, getting sweaty and then showering off, and I think the game does a fine job with the theme. The different stations and all the targets you have to hit. I think the rules make sense, and I like the flex save, its a bit different having to learn to use them, and it makes for an interesting change of pace over a regular pin. It has two playfields, and both have unique and fun shots. I really like the loop at the top and if you can hit it many times in a row it can lead to big points and an extra ball... Extra balls are a bit hard to get really in the game, but straightforward to accomplish. I like how the bonus multiplying works and again if you can hit that lane 4 times you will get an extra ball. Easier said than done as the game plays super fast and very violent as the ball just really explodes right off the flippers. I think because of the shortened playfields there isn't much room for an errant shot as one bad bounce and your ball will drain. The lower playfield plays just as fast as the upper and has a lot of rewarding shots. The main goal is to complete a circuit and then get your powershot which opens up the ramps. Then you want to do shot the loop and that nets big points as well. All in all not a complex rule set, but fun enough to offer a variety of shots. The artwork I really do like. Its not crowded but rather spread out, and I think gives you just the right amount of decoration. Again the shots are of sculpted male and female bodyparts... I do think they shouldn't have had any male parts on the playfield or plastics and kept it all shots of women. That is one of my gripes about the game. Another gripe is the sound quality... It's not very good, yes the game has moaning and heavy breathing and also some clinking of weights... But, the quality of the recording isn't the best and the moaning and heavy breathing could have been a bit sexier... Still its not bad and it does fit the cheeky 80s gym tone. So while not the best, I do still enjoy it. But, it does also get a bit repetitious so I wish there was more variety and I wish even like a voice saying lets get pumped up or something silly or even just something like Hardbody. I also enjoyed the music and the other sound effects you get when you complete a circuit and that sets off a nice light show. The lights in my pin are LED and they really make the game pop. I really enjoy all the lighting in it and I think its as good as any pin from its era in terms of the lights and flashes. Another one of my gripes is there is not a skill shot in this game. in fact I think the plunger is useless. Really doesn't matter how hard or soft you hit it, so long as it makes it up to the upper playfield. I really wish they would have let you aim for something with the plunger... But, nope....One last negative about it, I wish that it had real ramps... It has two, but they're small and just used to get up and down the playfield. All the shots in this game really are just short fast shots, and so I really never get the feeling of flow when I get to sink a ramp shot like 6-8 time in a row. Like in Elvira and the Party monsters or scared stiff... Just really fun when you get into a groove, and you can get into a groove on this table, but it plays fast and is very unpredictable. But, overall its really fun and rewarding. While I would love to inflate my score, being honest its a flawed, but unique and fun game. Not the best pin out there, but I think its a good one and people should look past the lovely but intimidating Rachel Mclish and give this game a shot.
8.712/10
2 years ago
When I saw this game > I didn't think I would like it very much. The artwork and theme are so "cheesy" 1980's. But after playing this multiple times on several occasions I have to say THIS IS ONE OF THE BEST PINS I HAVE EVER PLAYED !!! Play is REALLY fast and fun ! It is a challenging and some times frustrating. Tons of drop targets and stand up targets grouped in "work out stations". Idea is to hit all the targets in each area to complete that station. After completing all stations you can get the ramp to go up and shoot under the upper level playfield. One of the cool (although sometimes frustrating features is the Flex Save > gates in the lane next to flippers that some times activate automatically (to save the ball from draining) or you can manually activate with buttons on cabinet under the flipper buttons. COOL but a little challenging to get the hang of. The lighting is awesome ! Lots of lights and strobes. The only down side for me is the cheesy 1980's artwork ... and super cheesy "panting" sound the girl makes. If you can get past that and just enjoy the game >> it is an AWESOME pin. Highly addictive !!!
9.940/10
2 years ago
very underrated game.. had this game for a while now needed lots of work when I got it all good now...shes insane! very fun fast game.. the raising ramps are cool and i love the brights (strobes)
5.154/10
2 years ago
I will never understand the fascination with the "split the pf up into 2 separate levels" design approach. Obviously, I'm no Black Knight fan. That said, I think this game is much better than Black Knight.

PROS:
-The corny factor is so ridiculously high that you actually have to like this one.
-The outlanes saves are really cool. While I wasn't a huge fan of it on D&D, I really like Pemberton's use of them on this game. They add a layer to playing here that is needed with this design.
-The top left shot is really hard. Similar to D&D, it's an almost impossible shot to hit with intention, but when you do, it's very satisfying.
-The game is actually quite fun. I would love to buy a beater of this game one day to retheme.

CONS:
-Do I even need to say the artwork? The artwork.
-The sounds are so freaking bad. That sound chip that Bally used in this era is the cheapest of possible options for the time period. NOTHING sounds good on it. Not even the female heavy breathing that starts off the game.
-Dual-level design = 2 really short playfields. Some people love this design, and I get that; I just don't.
-It's so obvious how bad Bally was trying hurting at this period. Even the cabinet design and build quality (MDF) reeks of corporate cost-cutting. Hope you don't find one that's gotten wet.

Takeaway: a game that actually plays better than the scores will indicate. If you see one of the wild, drop a quarter.
6.794/10
3 years ago
Fun because it's cheesy... and the woman on the backglass isn't hard to look at. The heavy breathing sounds when you start each ball are hilarious. But other than that... it's kind of a joke pin. If you have room for one, go for it.
3.063/10
3 years ago
If I had never played a pinball machine before and this was the first and only one I played, it might be fun. But playing it alongside a bunch of other ones (even mediocre ones) makes you realize how boring it is. it's too divided between lower and upper playfield. The ball seems to drain too quickly when it shoots back down to the lower playfield. And I really dislike the flex save buttons - it's too hard to get used to using them.
6.130/10
3 years ago
Even though the Translite art is not appealing to a wide audience and some of the playfield art work for the "workout" them isn't the best, overall gameplay is good. I mean it has 4 flippers, an upper and lower playfield, ramps that raise to reveal a point multiplier loop and "flex-save" features, it has a pretty intense feel!
5.103/10
4 years ago
When I owned this machine I had to get me the alternate translite, I missed a multiball, I liked the lower loop shot and the upper playfield is good fun to play. Next to other machines it won´t be played often
7.996/10
4 years ago
Strangely erotic
6.803/10
4 years ago
As cheesy as this game appears, it's still a blast to play. And it will kick your butt! It lends itself well to color matched LED inserts for each "station". The heavy breathing woman is pretty funny as is the bodybuilding chick backglass. Is she what teen boys aspired to back in the 1980's? really? She could snap you in half! The pop up ramps are a great feature as is the double score target. It's usually found for sale for not a lot of money. I'd recommend buying one if you see it. Fill it with color matched LEDs and play the heck out of it. But be warned, it's a ball drainer!
10.000/10
4 years ago
Can't understand all the art snobbery. A pinball machine is either a good play or a bad play. This one is a good play and very unique. Still working on all the shots. Have purchased this game and like the flow. No multiball which is a little strange for the era, but you don't need it. The ball is always near the flippers. I wasn't sure about the flex save feature(which I have never seen on a pin before)...this feature makes game play very quick, and you have to be on your toes at all times. If you like to play pinball and appreciate fun fast play then you will enjoy this pin.
7.387/10
5 years ago
"Let's get physical, physical." Okay...so Hardbody is the pinball incarnation of an Olivia Newton-John song. Because of that many won't give the machine a shot, but those that do will be rewarded. The basic gameplay involves shooting four sets of targets, aka Stations. Completing all four Stations once or one Station three times will complete a Circuit. Four Circuits completes a Tournament..."Muscle Beach", "North Shore", and "Hardbody". In addition to progressing through the Tournaments completing a Circuit will light a center shot to raise the ramps, exposing the Power Reps loop. This shot progresses from 50K, 100K, 200K, 400k, and Extra Ball. The upper playfield is among the best I've ever played. In addition to the two Stations it features an inline drop targets and a Blaster Loop. The loop progresses the value of Station #1 from 20K, 35K, 50K, 65K, 80K, 100K, and Extra Ball. The game also has an outlane save features which diverts the ball back to the flippers called "Flex-Save". These diverters are often automated, but can also be controlled by the player by pressing buttons below each flipper button. Having the music tempo change when it is no longer automated is a nice touch. While, I really enjoy the game it rarely get's played by my non-pinball friends and family. Oh well, their loss.
7.377/10
6 years ago
Best music ever! I wish I owned one :(
8.919/10
6 years ago
Can't understand all the hate on this one. Just picked one up and it's a blast! Also very heavy...

If you are. "Flow" person then this is it for you...ball NEVER stops. Also has the "flex save" feature which is a cool and challenging gimmick. Never saw it on another machine, makes you feel so good when you save a ball yourself.

Achieving Extra Ball is damn near impossible. I have done it, but not often.

Upper playfield is on of the best utilized upper playfields ever, many shots, targets, loops.

Cabinet artwork is awful, just the bally logo. The backglass is sweet, totally 80's and a hot chick. The playfield artwork is very timely, but they could have done some more weight lifting themes in here.

Sound is ok, must consider this is 1986.

Tough to score on, you get some quick balls with this one. Quite the challenge.

Lacks a multiball, but plays fast enough that you don't need it, would have been nice though.

Add to your collection, it's cheap and has a great replay value.
5.872/10
7 years ago
Fun to play, if you can get over the 80's bodybuilder on the backglass.
3.546/10
7 years ago
The backglass might be the best part of the game!
6.533/10
7 years ago
Hardbody is the younger sibling of BMX. Every ball starts with a session of heavy breathing, too funny... but don't be tricked into not taking this game seriously. This game is a player.

The Pros:
An improved design on the earlier BMX game... The raising ramps add another aspect to the gameplay. Inline drops are always welcome. No Pops means that this game is all about making or not making your shots. Scoring is more balanced than on BMX. Shots require complete accuracy. Even a bad shot to the red drops on the PF will shoot back down between both sets of flippers as it bounces down the PF's. Hitting the center roll lane raises the ramps and makes the big orbit available for BIG POINTS! The Double PF scoring standup strategically placed right next to the single PF scoring standup requires ninja like skills to set up and and execute. The minimal surface of the flipper lanes before the reflex lanes require mastering ball control and flipper skills. The upper loop surrounding the drop targets with drops behind them... is way rad! A much more playable game than BMX. Removal of the drops from the lower PF make the small lower PF on this game even faster than it's predecessor.

The Cons:
The same reflex save inlane/outlane system is not reliable and was not reliable on D&D for that matter. Not a fan of the theme, at least the woman on the BG still looks like a woman. Since when did Bally go the way of Data East photo comps for graphics? The audio is strange and not that engaging. Greg Freres' worst art package, ever. 1987 was a tough year for Bally. For some reason, the flippers on bally games of this vintage feel strange and the standard issue cheaper cabs make me sad...

The Takeaway:
Keep your eye on the ball with this table, the graphics will make sure that you won't be staring at the art package. A great playing game if you can find one that is properly maintined. Ward Pemberton's best game other than the absolutely brilliant Fathom. I think I may have to get one. Yeah the artwork and sound are awful. But play the game and then make your decision about it. This table is the pinball equivalent of green eggs and ham. Try it, you just might like it.

Update:
This game requires you to drop each bank 3 times to build bonus. This also lights the center loop to raise the ramps. If you can get the double scoring lit and it the lower loop consecutively, (50k, 100k, 200k...) this game can REALLY score high. When the flippers are nice and snappy, you can shoot the ramps and make the upper loop behind the drops, sweet! Getting that extra ball behind the inline drops is never easy. Building your bonus requires lots of shots to the red, green, blue and yellow targets. I really enjoy playing this game with the reflex outlanes and the flipper arrangement means that drop catches are an absolute must. If that ball rolls up the lane, you'd better be ready to use the reflex save. All 4 flipper buttons must be ready to activate at any time! The game is not that complex, but there is quite a bit to shoot for and the game is FUN when properly maintained (imagine that!).
10.000/10
8 years ago
MMMMM there's nothing better than the beautiful curves of a womans body. Especially when those curves are HUGE BI's, DEFINED QUADS, BODACIOUS PECS and BULGING TRAPS!!! This pin has the hottest ladies in all of pinball!!! I know roids are frowned upon in some circles but these ladies need them to become HULKING SEXUAL BEASTS READY TO RIP A MAN APART AND DEVOUR HIS INSIDES!!! I know, I know, there are some side effects to deal with in the pursuit of perfection, but once you look past the unusual hair growth, deepening voice and enlarged Adam's apple there's a sensitive flower beneath... Oh this pinball machine is a real POS though. I mean the gameplay and music are horrible. If it wasn't for the ladies I would probably give it a negative rating, I mean seriously, its that bad... Is it possible to give a pin a negative rating?......

Just look at those hot babes though!!!!......... 10/10
1.221/10
9 years ago
Why would any pinball collector in their right mind buy this machine? It's hard enough staring at an image of it.
4.905/10
9 years ago
This was (in my opinion) one of Bally's worst pinballs in the modern era prior to the merge with Williams. I remember the first time I saw this machine, I was initially impressed with the overall look (very simple and clean) and one of Bally's first Photo Real Translite backglasses. However, once I pushed the start button, everyone arround me (including me) just kind of looked at each other with questioning looks... "What was that?" The game starts with what I can only guess is the sound of the girl trying to lift a large barbell (or something). It makes something like a panting grunting sound and then enters game play. Overall, the game is simple in it's layout and clean (not cluttery). But, it's overly simple. No real pizzaz and nothing that is very striking. The artwork is drab (unless you're really taken by the Lady Body Builder) and the sounds are less than impressive. The theme is overly simplified and you won't keep coming back for more.
2.518/10
9 years ago
Do they get any uglier?
There are 24 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 1.

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