Hollywood Heat

Pinside rating

This game received 49 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 6.776 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #320 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game Design: 7.002

Artwork: 6.266

Sounds/Music: 6.559

Other Aspects: 6.901

Pinside staff rating

This is how we, the very knowledgeable (wink wink) Pinside.com staff & moderators rate this game. 1 of us has rated this game.


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Found 34 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 34 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
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4 months ago
I owned this game for a while and I thought it was a lot of fun. The music was cool, had some interesting shots, I found it to be a pretty good game with solid gameplay, and if one popped up nearby at a good price I would be happy to own it again.
5 months ago
its a fun game. the backglass is lame for today i guess it was cool in the 80's, i ended up buying a custom one for mine. its a very simple game which is fine, the game rules couldn't be simpler! The music is also very catchy 80's action music. Obviously will be inferior to a lot of the game that are only slightly more expensive than it but thats why its a good starter or filler machine. Mine has some problems that i was working on and it looks like a lot of the ones for sale at this time also do. could be symptomatic of any older pinball machine.
7 months ago
I got this game because of it's 80's Miami Vice style theme and will likely keep it for the same reason. But as I've played it a lot now I've come to appreciate it as a game a well. The upper mini playfield area is actually a critical part of this game (as opposed to a tacked on useless part in some other games) so you are always trying to make it up there and there are a few ways to do it. The captive ball that bounces around is super interesting and unique and cool. I wish the flippers were more powerful they feel like an EM. It is probably a good first pin and any family would get a lot of fun out of it.
10 months ago
Honestly I didn’t expect much. I just thought it was a fun little Gottlieb with not much to it.
Boy was I wrong! Hollywood Heat has some very cool features that are seldom appreciated.
The captive “Heat bumper” is a great bonus mechanism. During multiball the “in-sync” inserts flash and the 3-bank drop targets become memory targets and will drop the corresponding target when hit!
Clever feature and smart programming by Gottlieb.

Can’t forget that the soundtrack is dynamite, it plays about 5 different tunes! Some of them are so seldom played they surprised me when I heard them!!
1 year ago
just a great layout with a fun multiball
2 years ago
Cheesy game that I could not get rid of fast enough. Not even remotely fun to play. Sorry but this game is terrible! Give me hardbody instead. Actually, I have had a hardbody for 2+ years now and it will never leave.
2 years ago
Despite the odd play field layout the game is easy to pick up and just have fun with. Its got a pretty shallow rule set, and while multiball is very easy to achieve its pretty easy to drain and doesn't last too long for a novice player. The cabinet art is unique but not very exciting, I can definitely see why a lot of people change the backglass to Miami Vice as the game is a pretty blatant homage to that TV show.
2 years ago
Had for over a week after looking for one for several months. Initial thought is it is a fairly fun game that has some flow to it. Drop the ball in the lanes, lock the balls and if you miss the ball drops down to the left flipper and loft it up again for another pass. Locking the multi-ball is harder than it sounds, it usually takes me a few tries to do so. The main ramp is fairly easy to get so if you like multiball.. here they come! Very challenging to keep all three going for any period of time. The right flipper seems fairly useless aside from passing to the left and the odd shot to the captured ball. Quite fun when you nail it and it rattles around by itself up there! All and all a decent game for a quick fix and you don't want to play for 15 minutes. The art bothers me not a bit, some typical 80's stuff going on.
2 years ago
Fantastic game! Super fun! Translite suits the machine but how it is lit up sucks. I don’t like the single fluorescent lamp. Sounds are great but I agree with others that some speech would be nice. Overall it’s a keeper for me!
3 years ago
Im one of those weird people who love this theme...Miami vice...GTA Vice city....Scarface... Easy Multiball

Updated...still fun and challenging, one of the better gottliebs of the 80s
3 years ago
You either like how cheesy this game is, or you hate it. I wasn't a big fan at first, because of the backglass/translite. Once I played it a few times, I enjoyed the cheesy theme. It's totally 80's and I grew up in the 80's and this kind of brings me back. While it's not my favorite pin by any means, I find myself playing it quite a bit, because I enjoy the gottlieb 80b games.
4 years ago
Average Gottlieb. Music is actually pretty good in my opinon. Way to easy to get multiball. Don't care for the theme but it doesn't bother me.
4 years ago
Simple rules.. multiball, bonus multiplier, heat bumper multiplier, increasing drop target values.. fairly standard. The artwork is polarizing, but Retro Cheese is much more popular today and this fits the bill. Classic gottlieb reliability problems , but luckily the previous owner fixed those. Had it for 2 weeks and playing 3 games a day. Great for non pinball types as its relatively easy to get multiball.. except for that ramp!
4 years ago
Here's one that by all reasonable standards I shouldn't like, but here I am.

There's no real flow, the sound is cheesy (La Cucaracha? Really?) the Premier displays are tiny, and yet I want one. I love the faux Miami Vice flavor and would love to retheme one. I don't even mind the translight that gets so much hate.
4 years ago
At first, I was tempted to just point and laugh at this Miami Vice ripoff that reminded me of Hardbody and mediocrity. However, once I started playing, I realized that Hollywood Heat is another one of those underrated games that shouldn't be judged by its spoofy, corny art and design. There are some great shots and excellent flow to this game - and the layout is unique enough that it doesn't get boring immediately. It isn't the best game in the world, but it is a hell of a lot better than it seems at first. The captive ball, the short ramp on the left, the wackiness along the left side, and the ramp on the right that seems adequately difficult to master all add up to make this table a perfect sleeper - shh... don't tell anyone and the price won't crack $1k.

I'd own one... the price is right and the cheesiness can be overcome. Play it - you'll like it.
5 years ago
The ball captures for multiball can be a challenge . Fun game and a definite daily player. A keeper for it's era.
5 years ago
Cab and PF Artwork isn't bad but the BG is horrendous. Someone needs to make a good alt translite. Gameplay is fun but simple. Ramps are harder to hit than I thought they should be and the left ramp is fun but dangerous. Light show isn't too bad for this era but the GI is dark. Sound isn't bad at all, unlike my Goldwings where I pulled the fuse almost as soon as I got the sound working. Had to knock it a couple for lack of speech in 1986. No animations so no rating there. I like the fact you have to drop all six drops to advance towards EB. Forces you to not focus on one area. I do wish MB start was with the captive ball instead of ramp. Would give you reason to hit it other than for some points.
5 years ago
Very Miami Vice, very eighties. Personally I feel the art is so cheesy that I borderline love it. Sound and music is excellent for the Era. Pastel colors are so bad they're good. Game flow is nice. Not as advanced as the Williams/ Bally of the same time but definitely fun to play. So fun that I've found myself owning this game again after sellers remorse. For the money it's worth, it's a keeper. The nostalgia and shock value from the cheesy theme alone is reason for keeping it in a collection.
6 years ago
I think this game is a little underrated.

The biggest, and unfortunately most visible, issue with this pin is that damn back glass. It's sooo cheesy. I hated these Premier/Gottleib-era photographed backglasses, and this one is pretty f-ugly. I mean, it fits the theme well and all, but yikes!

Other than that, this is a pretty decent pin. IMHO, bang for buck, it's way up there. Once you can get the flow going and nail the shots, it's a lot of fun.

I love the 80's theme, and the music fits perfectly.

It's a tad simple, but it's a good'un!
6 years ago
Game Design: A thoughtful playfield with plenty to shoot for. Off center, and asymmetric design allow it to stand out from the crowd. Rules are deep enough to keep players occupied, but not so deep they confuse others. Fun to play, and plenty of flashing lights to keep the novice player interested.

Artwork, Sounds, and Music: While the backglass is not something I particularly care for, it is perhaps the best use of Gottliebs photographic translights from the era. Cheesiness to the absolute extreme. Unlike Raven, where the artwork is just plain bad, Hollywood Heat's artwork is so bad, it's good. Obnoxious colors, obnoxious flamingos, hot pink, and a hideous dated car. You're immersed into the perfect archetype of a stereotypical 1980s Floridian dream. Sounds are good, diverse, and varied. The absence of speech on this title gives the game more room for sounds and music. In terms of quality, it has the typical "tinny" Gottlieb sound, an unfortunate circumstance that knocks a few marks off of the score.

Overall: Certainly a decent pinball machine to add to a collection. The unique playfield design, light shows, fun multiball, and horrendously good artwork allow it to stand out in a lineup of games. Definitely worth a few plays.
6 years ago
This game gets so little respect. As I write this it falls at #300.....boo. I LOVE this game!! Not a huge fan of the backglass but otherwise I love the game play, layout, and overall feel. This game is THE unerrated game. Pop a Miami Vice translite in and you are set!!
7 years ago
Hollywood Heat is a game that, upon first impression, seems terrible. It has one of the worst backglasses in existence, and the pastel colors are a little off-putting at first. The gameplay also seems fairly simplistic, with easy multi-ball locks and a bunch of drops and standups thrown all over the playfield. However, as with many pins, once one figures out what those targets do, the game opens itself up to being a very enjoyable experience.

While not the deepest game in existence, there are still a few rules that aren't obvious without reading the manual. For instance, the ultimate goal is to build your bonus multipliers that effect scoring within multi-ball (this goes up to 8X). After that, it's about cranking up multi-ball after multi-ball, hitting your standups and building your drop targets, all of which add to a cumulative "Multi-Ball Bonus" that calculates at the end of ball three. Extra scoring potential arises when you set the top rollovers to spot "Pin Ball" bonus letters, and when extra balls and specials are set to award points.

I find Hollywood Heat to be a very fun, addictive game. However, newcomers need to keep in mind that this is a game that requires serious control and smart decision making in order to get the most out of the game. Drop catches, bounce passes, post deflection transfers, flick-passes, etc.; these are all necessary to make your game last, and flailing on this machine will only land you in the drain.

I think Hollywood Heat is one of the best bangs for your buck out there, sitting somewhere in the $400 to $500 range. The music can get a little repetitive, but I still find it catchy in that sad-happy kind of way a lot of classic videogame music is that I grew up with. The sound effects also aren't that varied, but they at least get the job done. The gameplay can be repetitive after a while with controlled play, but despite that it still feels rewarding whenever that ramp is hit, or the drops and playfield multipliers are built up to the max. As a result I always have a "Just one more.." feeling whenever a game ends. All in all I recommend this one. Give it a try (or a buy) if you see it!
7 years ago
The left side playfield is boring and not really fun at all. Takes up way to much space. Didn't like he layout, but love the backglass.
7 years ago
Terrible game. Nuff said.
8 years ago
Great bang for your buck pinball machine, and fun for the whole family with one of the easier multiball setups in pinball. For the same price of a really old EM you can buy this game with four flippers, a mini playfield, a jump ramp, a captive ball pop bumper area, a 3 ball multiball started from a ramp shot and let's not forget amazing retro 80's music!

It's a cool game for it's age, and the art deco Miami Vice theme adds to the fun. To the novice player the game is simple, lock 2 balls in the upper playfield holes then hit the ramp to start multiball. To the advanced player there is some fun strategy in advancing your multiplier and working towards the extra ball and special awards. Stealing locked balls in multiplayer makes things more interesting as well.

Honestly, in a room filled with newer machines this pin gets played the least, but that does not mean it's a boring or dull game. It's like trying to keep a kid's interest in an original nintendo when there is a playstation 4 competing for their attention. The quality is there it's just a little more basic from a different era.
There are 34 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 2.

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