Hot Wheels

Pinside rating

This game received 186 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 7.950 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #95 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game Design: 7.777

Artwork: 8.1

Sounds/Music: 7.611

Other Aspects: 8.107

Pinside staff rating

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


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Found 92 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 92 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
Currently showing results page 1 of 4.

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23 days ago
Great flow, machine is very smooth shooting, unlike other titles from American (legends, you suck) the lighting is downright gorgeous, much like Halloween, the theme is well executed and it’s a machine you’ll want to keep. I don’t understand how it’s rated so low. Wish list machine for sure and I will have one someday.
31 days ago
I dig it. Yagov kickback, tight shots, fast and a theme that got my boys out to flip some pinball.
3 months ago
The ruleset is what makes this pin great. We all are familiar with a fan layout. Races require specific shots across the pf. Modes are like modes in any pin with varied shots/targets required. Red Line Mania is a lot of fun. I have played many games just going to repeated Red Line Mania. I have yet to complete 4th gear. Stacking multiballs, and knowledge of turbo-boost is A MUST for those high scores.
This is not the most complicated game, but it is a lot of fun. This pin is well suited for location play, although it could use better direction on how to play it for casual players.
This pin sits next to my other favorite from API: Houdini.
4 months ago
Every time I play this game I think there's something I don't understand. I hit some shots, and nothing much seems to ever happen. No matter where the ball goes it doesn't seem like I ever get many points or advance the game in any way, and eventually the ball drains. I walk away thinking, "what was the point of that?" Pinball is supposed to be fun, but this one does nothing for me.
4 months ago
Great car game
5 months ago
Great fan layout, shots are all smooth, no steep difficult ramps, fast enough to be punishing if you brick though.

Rules are straightforward and you can build up a score quick in a longer game. Easy to get multiballs and red line mania is a cool unexpected mode.
5 months ago
well, after 1 month home & 150 games on it, i can say that i'm still happy to have bought this pin without playing it before (only other pin i bought blind was TRON LE)... of course, had watch a lot of streams before (hi Karl DE), and i know it was something for me... ok than, 3rd pin made by AP, and to compare with Houdini & Oktoberfest (which i really enjoyed too), HW is more simple, in the design, in the rules/code, how it shoots, and honestly its not a bad thing at all... the pin is not only very fast (good point for a car theme), the timers in the code makes you to shoot well & quick, else no big score... i know we all have comparaison in mind when getting a new pin, i would say that to me HW feels as a mix from Iron Man (adrenaline) & Star Wars (flow, code/the PF multiplicator), not bad heh ;) ... animations on the screen are well in the theme (Hot Wheels City series), sounds/samples are good, and lightning efx are really top ! game is approchable for evbd, and in the same time, can become really challenging for hardcore players (who wanna go for big scores)... main line coding includes : 5 main modes, than another 5 secondary ones, a super cool RED LINE MANIA (timed multiball) which is to me the real gimmick of this pin, than 3 others classics multiball (tracks+loop+race), another 1 in the mystery (car chaos, which lets admit is not a mystery lol), and of course a final wizard mode (to all this add more then few small things here & there)... the code is actually full/complete, really mature, i see nothing bad here... some are talking about the screen not being in the center of the backbox, honestly i see no prob here & understand why they do like this (for the nice backglass)... to be complete, and depending of your game, it may needs 2 easy tweaks, to correct some rejects at the track scoop, and to avoid some stucked balls over the top rails... in conclusion : another pinball way underated, which deserve much more attention than some guys playing it 3 games on the wild to than give bad feedback (so sad they just see/understand quite nothing of it)... as said already : well done AP, Hot Wheels is very good & fun ;) *** [edited to tweak my... english ! lol]
6 months ago
Under rated. Very fun game.
7 months ago
Neat game and a good value but not for me. Feels clunky and I could never click with the theme.
9 months ago
This machine is so much fun. I'm newer to pinball and I traded in my TMNT for this and I have no regrets. There's so much to do! Red light mania is a blast as are the other modes you can start. The rules are easy to learn. Love that the machine isn't too easy as a lot of the shots are pretty tight to hit.

I could use some more toys/gimmicks, but even without them it works really well. My kids all love this game too.
9 months ago
The game has a fun theme but the shots are difficult for a 'fun' themed pin. Balcer learned from the Houdini disaster but the shots are still both angled non-ideally and have smaller than standard openings making the game a brick-fest. And when you do miss a shot, the penalty is harsh, often flying directly through the left outlane. In fact, the left outlane drains are remarkable because the opening isn't very wide and yet the ball is constantly flying through it (I wanted to see the % of drains that are to the left outlane but the game inexplicably doesn't track this(!). Another big oversight is the right ramp, which a short shot returns straight down the middle every time. This is caused by a poorly fixed ramp guard on the right side.

The rules are well thought out and make sense but the 10x boost thing is a cheat IMO and not implemented well. For something that can give an amateur player a billion points in the right mode, there's little fanfare when achieved and the 15 second countdown isn't prominent at all. Also, the ramps have optos near their entrances but don't use them to play a ramp entry sound like every other pin with switches at the entrance do. Weird.

During the couple of months I had the game I encountered countless software bugs due presumably to inadequate testing. Some of the bugs were catastrophic, such as when locking multiple balls in the track VUK during Red Line Mania. This effectively shuts the game down because it will do just 3 ball searches (which won't clear it) and then completely stop trying. I have never ever seen any machine waiting for balls to not perform a significant number of ball searches before stopping. Not a location worthy game for that reason. Additionally I encountered a bug where the magnet locks on permanently, and backend operator settings not quite working as intended. We usually never even think about this stuff because WMS and Stern do such a good job of testing and programming for all possibilities. But it was constantly coming up during my play.
10 months ago
You can't have a HOT WHEELS pin without a loop de loop. Very disappointing.
1 year ago
The theme and lack of a true "loop" shot made this is tough sell. Additionally, the shots are pretty tight and the rules are not intuitive, so it's not a game that's likely to win someone over on first play. It took me a lot of playing this in competition before I finally began to enjoy this game, and now I really like it! The rule set isn't very deep, and it's sort of like a BSD layout with an extra ramp level (though far more forgiving). Red line mania is an amazing mode, it's very risky to go for all out, but changes the game if you get it, especially on ball 1.

Pros: Really solid medium difficulty game. You very much get what you shoot, the mode-building is thoughtful, and while it's necessary to know the rules (and especially how it bonuses), those are pretty easy to get and once you have a strategy, it becomes a matter of making tight yet fair shots. I think it's a perfect competition game, and the animations are super fun. It plays like an updated 90s game more than a game with the newest features in a good way.

Cons: Long games start to feel repetitive, the battle modes are pretty simple in how they work, doesn't have the depth of most newer tables.
1 year ago
Very surprised by this game! Great value and fun fun fun!
1 year ago
A huge disappointment after Oktoberfest, which is a fun game. Shots are tight and not really satisfying to hit--if you can hit them. It was just not that fun to play and was almost always open at the last pinball show I was at--so it wasn't just me. Play this before you buy...
1 year ago
I am a hot wheels fan and collector, also a member of the exclusive Red line Hot wheels club.

I will approach this review from two perspectives.
The Hot Wheels collector, and a pinball enthusiast.

As a collector I feel they missed the mark.
Pinball machines are super expensive, adults with money are buying these fun boxes. They should have designed the hot wheels theme around the red line design for the hot wheels enthusiast.
Black and red would have been really nice.
The opportunity to offer super exclusive cars for the inside of the machine would have been really cool perk for the hot wheels collector.
As a consumer we are already spending a pretty penny to buy this, having exclusive treasure hunt cars or exclusive cars from the red line releases would have been amazing.
Also having some of those exclusive cars drag racing each other as the art for the cab would be icing on the cake.
Including speedometer, tachometer and turbo gages as back ground art behind the cars drag racing would be a nice touch.
As for the videos for the code I’m ok with American pinballs choice on this part.
Inside the cab going with a more upscaled look to match the red line theme by replacing the orange ramps that look like hot wheels track with orange anodized steel ramps would make it pop.
Really this is just the collector in me whining when I first approached the machine. (Collector review over)

As a pinball enthusiast this game is HOT!!
Fun, bright, oh look a hot wheel pinball machine! No way….cool!

The light show is on another level it’s mesmerizing.
Really one of the best for modern pinball machines and that’s saying a lot these days.
The game plays pretty nice, it’s a lot of fun but I feel like I’m playing a kids toy vs a high dollar pinball machine.
Also contradicting my first part of the review I feel the cars are just too small in scale. They should have gone with a larger scale and also more iconic cars from the hot wheels line.
Also since they chose the more kid oriented theme why not pull in some of the cool toys hot wheels has already designed for the play field? Chomping sharks or the Dino car crusher! Go big or go home! The opportunity to add some really cool toys to this machine could have taken this pinball machine to another level others could not achieve and it would have made since with the lore of hot wheels.
Gotta go fast…really fast they could have also aimed at trying to be the fastest playing pinball machine of all time. This would have been the theme to do it with.
And lastly real fire aggressively blowing out of the top of the pinball machine as a topper when your in multiball mode could have made this legendary.

Review over….starting to red line and the engine is getting too hot.
1 year ago
Everytime I play this I like it more and can expand on what and how I play.
I really dig the hot wheels theme, the game is based upon a YouTube hotwheels series, which I'm not a big fan of. But I do like the game play, lighting, and rules
1 year ago
Hot wheels is so far (until I get more time on Valhalla) the best American Pinball machine. While not perfect, and definitely not a top 10 game, it’s still a lot of fun to play.

Layout is incredibly unique, with interesting back hand-able loops.

Art is incredibly colorful and well defined, with some great animations.

Sound quality is excellent.

Code, while simple, is incredibly fun to play through.

Game feels excellently well made, using high quality materials.


The right ramp is not a shot I am a huge fan of due to being far too challenging and unsatisfying.

Sounds themselves are fine enough, just nothing amazing

Theme isn’t my cup of tea, though they did a great job with it.

Overall, just a great fun game from an up-and-comer. I hope American Pinball continues to succeed.
1 year ago
Beautiful light show. Lots of eye candy, but not enough fun shots.
Great theme, but I feel like a little more could have been done with it
1 year ago
I wanted to like this pin, I just couldn't. The art is really good as is the lighting and I like the theme. Playing it several times, it just didn't do it for me and got boring quick. Shots were repetitive and boring even with the cool gimmicks like the redline skill shot. Lots of loops and not much else. It really reminded me of No Fear which is another game I didn't care for.

Beautiful game from a visual aspect, plays fast but it gets reallyboring from a play ability aspect. Just my wooden nickel.
1 year ago
Fast game; I wasn't super thrilled with some of the shots but it was entertaining enough. Rules seem simple enough.
1 year ago
Just feels like going in circles, round and round, just not for me, but to each there own
1 year ago
Not a great theme but implemented really well. The game is super fun and makes you want to play it again and again. It's a hit so far with everyone I know who's played it.
1 year ago
I just bought this game from a friend because the price was fair and the market today is so crazy. He had owned the game since brand new in box, one of the first 500 machines. He had enjoyed it, but his family wanted another theme, which will cost twice as much.

So I took a chance and I bought this machine having only a few plays beforehand. This would give me a chance to play another title besides all of my Stern games which I really enjoy. I am a baby boomer with lots of kids and grandkids and the Hot Wheels theme is definitely familiar.

I consider myself an above average shooter and have played almost all of the top 300 games. So after several weeks of ownership and multiple games, I feel I can make a good assessment.

This game is definitely underrated and absolutely the best deal around. My game came with a Shaker motor, art blades, relatively polished code, and a very fun playfield layout. Artwork is great and the theme is well executed.

Initially the shots seem too tough and difficult to get the feel and flow. However, once dialed in, the fun begins and the rules exploration is fabulous. All the shots can be made rather consistently after practice and the flow is spot on. The animations are definitely different, but cool and well executed.

Art work? Great! It's the Hot Wheels theme through and through. Ok, not the detail of some other pins, but next to my line up of newer Sterns, fits right in

Sounds- stock speakers are good and the stereo sound effects are great, unless you hate garage and car noise.

Game play? Fabulous! My game sits next to a GZLE and I am playing both almost exclusively.

HW is not the #1 game, but it certainly is a top 30 title, and more interesting/fun than almost any 90s game. People crap on the theme and whatever else, but go try one out for yourself.

Like all great deals, this will not last long.

1 year ago
Oh my gosh, American titles play so well -- up until you hit the one thing that drives you crazy. So far on every American title this basically seems to come down to a need to tune the machine well so the machine's particular quirk is managed.

I have only gotten to play Hot Wheels twice for extended sessions, so haven't really gotten into the rules set very deeply, so take all this with that giant caveat. The reason I found this incredibly appealing is the playfield design.

Now let's be frank here and posit that the racing theme has been done to death over the years. There have been some good concepts and tricks thrown in, but cars going fast isn't exactly new ground. And I was a little lost on the modern Hot Wheels theme -- oldschool turbo charging and so forth I understand, but the plot of the animated show is lost on me. so I felt quite lost in figuring out what things were supposed to connect with what. This is always the blessing/curse of a licensed theme -- in order to feel how well the rules set matches the theme, you have to not only know the license pretty well, you have to like it. So I missed a lot of this part of the features of the game.

Even so, playing Hot Wheels for me recalled the absolute best of the classic Popadiuk off-set ovals design, a concept that really needs reviving in the Stern era of fan-designs (with a few prominent exceptions). The overlapping ovals, with the underrated slight rise ramps, also had the feel of the few good Gottlieb "Street Level" designs, notably Hoops. The shots aren't gimmes -- having some hard shots is one of the things I like about American titles -- but the instant flow this game has is unique among the American titles thus far with the possible exception of a couple of sequences of shots in Houdini. I really like the curved target banks that are becoming an American signature (the only other semi-recent example I can think of is WoZ) and there are lots of touches here that hearken back to some late 70s/early 80s designs, like the open post double right inlane with the cute little ball return down the side. It also has a bit of the feel of Heighway's Full Throttle (which I liked and, yes, had a racing theme with some interesting ovals, so I mean that in a good way.)

As others have noted, the use of toys in the design iss a little disappointing; the car spinning is a somewhat lesser version of Mario Andretti's spinning car and as an old school Hot Wheel guy I really wanted to see a turbo charger (I know Getaway used this, but they stole the idea from Hot Wheels!) The design is not toy-driven, though, so take that for what it's worth to you.

I also think the light show is particularly good here. Hot Wheels is all about bright primary and secondary colors, and while I don't have them memorized, the sequence of colors to a naive player appeared very obvious. Sound is excellent, but I grew up on terrible sound and I think pretty much all modern machines have excellent sound. I do believe American might consider investing in some more interesting music. Sound design is one thing, but having some really good original music really makes a game. (I have no idea whether this is license music from the cartoon, because i've never seen it and have no plans to.)

I'm still pondering whether American's tiny video screen is a good thing or not. I sort of like the offset location on Hot Wheels, though; for some reason I found it easier to read while playing, which I had to do to pick up the callouts.

So I foreshadowed my big disappointment with Hot Wheels, that was present in the first one I played and was glaringly more present with the one I played this past weekend (and I played it a lot, relatively) -- the tendency of balls his cleanly into an oval shot to then drain straight down the middle. I can't possibly believe this was intentional in design or play testing, so my conclusion is the leveling or pitch was slightly off on this game, or something, because *every* game I played on this, I'd have at least one ball where I was really into a nice flow of shots, getting the sequence I needed to move into a mode or multiball -- only to have a perfectly clean shot just woosh down the middle off the return. It wasn't consistent, in that making particular shots didn't *always* drain SDTM, but it wasn't because the shot or flow was flawed, and the aggravating thing is that there was no obvious way to adjust one's play.

So I'd like to try this on a home machine at some point and really give it a workout with somebody who has made the tuning adjustments and who might be willing to let me experiment a little.

Honestly, if the theme were a little more appealing to me, I'd even consider trying to pick one up, if I could resolve that particular SDTM issue, just because as ever American's just got some fantastic playfield design ideas working here that are better than most of what Stern produces. Spooky sort of does this, too, but the implementation is very erratic (and I also can't really get into their themes, although Ultraman may turn my head -- I digress).

The bottom line though was despite my frustration I did not get bored with this, and I'm left wanting to play more.
There are 92 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 4.

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