Harlem Globetrotters On Tour

Pinside rating

This game received 109 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 7.589 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #171 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game Design: 7.646

Artwork: 7.716

Sounds/Music: 5.481

Other Aspects: 7.795

Pinside staff rating

This is how we, the very knowledgeable (wink wink) Pinside.com staff & moderators rate this game. 3 of us have rated this game.


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Found 51 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 51 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
Currently showing results page 1 of 3.

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14 days ago
An excellent, challenging tournament game. Good scoring/rules and fun scissor flippers.
5 months ago
Harlem is a nice Bally solid state game with three spinners, some crucial inline drops, and a nice single target that can open up the right outlane save gate. It's got the double stacked flippers on the left side that allows the unassuming player to lose the ball between the two should they try and trap the ball.

Gameplay is simple, and is mostly centered around hitting the inline drops to increase your bonus, and then keeping the ball in play to build that bonus that you just worked to multiply. It's a fun and sometimes very difficult game, but it includes some nice solid state sound effects and a midi version of the Globetrotters iconic theme song. Greg Freres did a nice and playful art package, and I particularly enjoy the cabinet stencil with the cartoon sneakers.

Stock game is too easy to roll once you find the drop target shot, but you can mod it to add an extra digit.
7 months ago
Quite simple rules even for its era. One of the better shooters of it's day. If you like spinners and non competitive basketball this is the game for you.
9 months ago
The more I play this, the more I like it. I love the three spinners, there's a lot of useful shots (especially for the era), and once you know what to go for, it becomes a fun and challenging game.

Pros: Risk/Reward! The inline drops are the most valuable available shot, but miss them or hit them too squarely and you're very likely to drain. There are tough angle shots to light, the logic of how to progress makes sense, the fairness is pretty good for an early solid state. Upon recent play I see how the scissor flippers allow for a less risky shot to the drops, very cool!

Cons: Scissor flipper drains will always be frustrating, and you can get houseballed, but most of the potential cons on this table are either true of all the other era Bally's or balanced with adding challenge
10 months ago
My first pin. Had a handful of features like spinners, drop targets, saucer that you want in a late 70s pin. Played this one a lot but was able to master it pretty quickly. That is my big complaint, it gets repetitive fast. Nice theme and playfield and back glass are colorful - it's a piece of art that looked good in my collection. If you can find one in good condition at a good price, snap it up. Even if it's in bad condition, grab it, as you can get a playfield, plastics, glass, etc. It's in the upper end of late 70s Bally pins.
1 year ago
One off the best bally ss games.
Challenging and a blast to play ,Even off you dont like basketball.
In company its even more fun than modern games.
1 year ago
Awesome Game!!! I Own One!!
1 year ago
The double flippers on the left are a challenge and a frustration at the same time. Slam Dunk shot is probably the hardest area on the game for me. The classic Harlem Globetrotters theme song fires off when you start a game, keeps me humming the tune all through the game.
1 year ago
Globetrotters is fantastic. I really appreciate games that can have different scoring strategies and this is one of them. Best spinners of all time?
1 year ago
Like the theme, backglass and cabinet. The kick out hole at the top of the playfield with the pop bumper just below it makes for fun bumps and nudges. Lots to shoot for and always love a spinner. Not a fan of the scissors/double flipper on the left, makes for awkward shots from the lower left flipper. Not a big fan of this game. Doesn’t make me want to play again, which is the bottom line of a good to great game.
1 year ago
Fast, challenging and fun. If you're a fan of inline drop targets and spinners, this game has you covered. The rules are simple, but the double left flippers and playfield geometry can be brutal—even to seasoned players. Hitting the drops to max out the multiplier and repeatedly ripping the top left spinner for 2,000 a spin is super satisfying and the key to earning a high score. In my opinion, this is the definition of a "one more game" machine!
1 year ago
One of the better early, early solid state Ballys.

Like EK, the Globetrotter theme does not necessarily tie into the game (unless you consider the kickout a basket), but the artwork/visuals and chimes of "Sweet Georgia Brown" upon pushing the credit button are enough for me.

While I find some early Ballys a bit boring that is not the case for the Globetrotters. Inline drops, three spinners, and double flippers on the left are enough to keep a player focused. The outlane gate is also a challenging feature to hit and rewarding if you can make the shot.

While it may not be Paragon as others have said this game has its own appeal and I was pleasantly surprised when I was recently able to spend some time on a well tuned example. I enjoy both titles and would make a place for each in my collection if the opportunity presented.
1 year ago
First pin and still own today. It’s stupid to attempt and compare this (or any SS) to anything of dmd era onward! So I’m not doing that. My rating and review reflects the game as measured up against other machines of the era and style. Having said that this one has an indescribable draw that even in our pinball arcade with all the newest LEs and basically every Bally/WMS dmd you could want, I still will walk over, past the AFM MM and Godzilla LE, and play a few games of Globetrotters… my top 3 go tos of early Bally SS
2 years ago
UPDATE: Increased the rating on this. It’s the absolute definition of ‘simple but hard to master’. A true joy to walk up and play everytime.

I’ve played Harlem Globetrotters a few times at Flip Out in London, including at a league meet.

It’s a great fun 1970s pin with inline shots, spinners and scissor flippers. Although I don’t fully understand the rules, I enjoy the smooth play and the challenge it poses.

Just a great game.
2 years ago
Fun game which plays well.
2 years ago
An original back in the 70's at the bowling alley.
2 years ago
This game has a good theme. The game play is lacking as always with these bally titles.
2 years ago
Great fun, nice playfield design, easy to understand rules - one of the better early SS games
2 years ago
Classic from classics
Bueautiful art
3 years ago
What a fun and hard game that just keeps you coming back. Flippers give ita special challenge that make it so much more interesting. Must play again and again.
3 years ago
I'm not big on the theme or the pin. It's ok. For the price, I would just get a paragon.
3 years ago
The greatest of the early solid state games for reasons it's a little hard to put my finger on, but the reality is I have played this for 40+ years now and still enjoy it as much, if not more, as I did when it first came out. It doesn't make any sense in some ways because there's nothing 100% original here and the combinations may not seem that unique, either, but somehow the total is greater than the sum of the parts. I'll try to tease out the main reasons.

* Theme.

On the one hand, there's virtually no actual theme integration here, since there's no basketball-ish shots, and no "tricky ball handling" which is, you know, the Trotters trademark. There's no jokes in the artwork. But hell, it's the Globetrotters! They were a huge bridge in cultural history and they reached a cultural peak in the 70's just before this machine came out. One bar of the primitive sound chip playing "Sweet George Brown" and your whole brain just activates the FUN receptors. The Trotters were sort of a cheesy Dad joke ("I got your nose!" level, too) on top of a long cultural heritage of the outsider in America, and the fact they were proud, unashamed of repeating the same schtick over and over, and that they MADE IT TO A PINBALL MACHINE still makes me happy.

* There are no safe shots.

Really, there aren't. You can go repeatedly for a few low-scoring things at relatively low risk, but there's no way to "lay up" on this game. With the scissor flippers, for the most part you can't trap and aim, so much as you have to cajole the flippers into setting the ball up for you for the shots. And yeah, there are house balls waiting for you, so you will get paranoid about almost every ball from the get go. The same reason half the players out there stalk away from this machine saying "I HATE GLOBETROTTERS" is the reason it's great -- and when you put up a monster score it's among the most satisfying accomplishments in pinball. Because you really earned it, and you had to have gotten just a bit lucky, too.

* It's got both short and long strategies.

This is why it has become a terrific tournament game -- you can play the game's risks against what your opponents are up to. Sure, you can left orbit up top all day and take your chances with the saucer and return, but at some point if somebody's running up a total on you you're going to have to get the standups, the multipliers, and the spinners. The nudges are vital but the bonus is often so critical to doing well you have to weigh every decision to make a tap carefully. A really well-tuned Trotters puts those short vs. long risk-reward decisions on their edge almost every ball.
4 years ago
One of the better examples where a good playfield design actually can stand the test of time and be both fun and appealing even though it lacks modern sound, ramps and advanced bash toys. Harlem is a really cool and entertaining pinball that shows you some serious challenge.

Gameplay is not fast, but still intense and with variety to the playfield. Already the fact that you can rip three different spinners AND shoot at a tempting setup of 4 in-line-drops makes this a winner in my book. Playfield and backglass art isnt really something to write home about, rather lame with modern standards actually, but then again, this is a 1979 machine.
On the other hand I find the cabinet graphics pretty neat, and dont think they could have done that part better on a old school game with a basketball theme.
Sound is simplistic, but still quite OK for this generation of games. Scoring seems balanced and I would picture this pin to be a
great game for tournaments.

Summary: a cool and entertaining old school solid state pinball with both attitude and allure.

Edit: and just when you're about to launch a good ball return - you get tricked and drained by those sneaky double flippers...
4 years ago
A true classic. Great first pinball. Lots of family fun. Nostalgia at its best. Not to hard to find a used one, usually found at a fair price.
4 years ago
Played this pin for so much in the early 80's, I can not count how many hrs played. Played it many time for over 24hrs straight on 1 quarter. that machine went months without making any money :)
There are 51 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 3.

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