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Laser War

Pinside rating

This game received 47 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 7.396 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #187 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game design: 7.643

Artwork: 6.392

Sounds/Music: 7.328

Other Aspects: 7.667

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 26 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 26 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
Currently showing results page 1 of 2.

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6 months ago
My seventh DE pin; Game play generally good and as others have said ruthless at times. Red cannon release can get you a SDTM drain if you are not on your toes and even then its iffy. The lightshow particularly with leds really is first rate and must have been something in 1987 when the game first came out. With leds its is pretty wild!

Most of the sound effects are fine but frankly the voice call outs sound like they were done by random office staff and the background music only so-so compared to other DE titles. Cabinet art is fine and as others have pointed out the translight is period cheese. Enjoyed the gameplay and the light show! Laser War is worthy of a place in the lineup.
8 months ago
I am partial to this era of data east games so naturally I like playing it , great 80's sounds that are cheesy but I like them , fun to shoot , love ripping the spinners on this one ,basic simple rules but the blue team lock shot can be challenging
1 year ago
There really isn't anything memorable for me to really say about this game, and I think that says enough.
1 year ago
Fantastic machine! This machine has an amazing layout with lots to do! Yes the backglass is cheesy and it looks like the laser guy is taking a dump but come on its the 80's and this machine captures the 80's perfectly! After hearing the music for over a year now I think it goes perfect with the machine and call outs are great! My kids often quote the call outs and music! Ball locks and multiball are wicked! Great ramp! Very satisfying and love how it returns to flipper! Ion cannon is a thumbs up! Light show if one of the best! This should be in everyones line up! "Dang im hit"!!!
2 years ago
This is a very, very simplistic game. First, I'll talk about what I like about it. I like the simple rule set. Its a nice layout with simple goals. The goal is quite simple you have 3 bases, a yellow, red, and blue base. There are three targets for each that need to be hit or lit... Every time you dock in base you light one of the unlit lights for that bases targets. When all three are lit, you can dock and it locks the ball. Then you plunge and multiball begins. The goal is to make it into another base during mutliball. And then I think you want to hit the ramp. That scores big points. I did get the jackpot once on this machine and it was a rewarding sound and light show.
Why I like this game personally is it forces me to nudge as there are certain ways the ball will drain if you don't nudge the machine.
I also love the translite. Its cheesy, but I love it. Lasers and babes in tight 80s spandex. So cheesy, so amazing. Cab art is okay... Playfield art really isn't very good. Its like a bad comic book and its sparse. I'm not saying playfield art is horrible... It is passable, but not enough of it. And I think the game has nice lighting. As I said the playfield is sparse, but I think the way the lights are used and work, really make up for that fact. Not the best light show, but its good enough.
Now, what I don't like about the game. There is no skill shot. I hate games without skill shots. There are no toys. There is a laser tank on the ramp... But, that is all, and it really doesn't do much of anything. The music, callouts, and sfx are okay, nothing great. Not horrible. Just enough to keep you interested.
With all that being said... If one day I get more space to host pinball machines, I wouldn't mind this machine in my house. Its simple, but its challenging, and its fun.
2 years ago
A pretty good game for being DE’s first game. Art on pf is decent but cheesy on backglass and boring on the cabinet. Call outs are limited but music is pretty good. Decent layout. If you find one cheap, id pick it up for a little bit. Seems a little repetitive and easy though.
3 years ago
Am I the only one that thinks the dude in the picture is Charlie Sheen.
Game play and callouts are repetitive but fun. Soundtrack is simple but flows nicely with game play.
Its a pretty simple game. Knock down 3 targets go for the ramp/drop for each color. How to get the wizard is simple to understand but hard to accomplish.

All in all its a simple fun, ultra addictive pin. One of these days my buddy is gonna come home to a space where LW was......
3 years ago
I really love this game! It can be frustrating because there is no ball save & if you drain the ball right away, you get no re-do. Also the ball loves to drain straight down the center A LOT. It's pretty ruthless. This game really teaches one the benefits of 'nudging' the machine to keep the ball in play.

The lighting is AMAZING for the time period especially when you get the jackpot. The entire machine lights up as though you just saved the world from destruction. It's extremely satisfying.

Speaking of the jackpot, I love the design of the game. You are required to hit specific targets to open a ball lock. Hitting the ball lock opens a 2 ball multiball. During the 2 ball multiball, You need to lock both balls within a certain time without losing one of your balls to open a 3 ball multiball. During the 3 ball multiball, it's all about shooting the ramp! This is the big payout to increase your score. I like that it's a process to get here and that the whole game is not just about shooting the ramp, shooting the ramp, and then shooting the ramp some more. There isn't a whole lot of depth in the gameplay compared to newer games but you are required to shoot for different spots on the playfield at different times in order to advance the game.

This game has a totally cheesy '80s laser tag theme (which is actually pretty freakin' awesome)! If you don't like cheesy '80s, that will be a downside but the game has tremendous replayability. I definitely recommend picking one of these up if you see it for sale.
4 years ago
Very nice game for being an early Data East. I like the work in the craftsmanship of the game including the designs on the apron and the extra shiny side rails. Although I do find the game kind of cheesy, particularly the Translite. Very rewarding to destroy the ion cannon. It's just a lot of fun to play
4 years ago
I thought this game was boring as hell. I did well enough to earned a free credit on my first game (not from a match) and yet I don't feel like I was having fun. Ugly BG and the rest of the art is so, so. I just don't see why others like it. Oh, well.
4 years ago
Super fun game where my overall score won't reflect how enjoyable it is. It's just dated now (art and sound), but a truly great starting point for the company!
4 years ago
Simple, yet timeless theme for us 80's kids, who didn't like laser tag? Simple rules, just light 3 of one color, lock a ball, then lock another ball before the timer counts down, nail the ramp for jackpot. But the challenge lies in completing those steps, getting the multi ball and actually hitting the jackpot more than once. Keeps me coming back for more, excellent first game by Data East.
5 years ago
Great game!!!
5 years ago
I absolutely love this game. This was my second pin I had purchased and it does not grow old. The translite is super cheesy but the playfield artwork and fluidity of the game more than makes up for it. I truly enjoy playing this pin over and over. The sound is excellent for the era and the game is super fast and is rather challenging. I have no plans on ever selling this one. The LEDs when put in really show off the light show. Definitely worth purchasing if you want a super fun pin at an affordable price. UPDATE April 2016 (1 year after above review) I've now owned several pins including brand new top titles and this one is still my favorite. Artwork has grown on me over the year. Superb play and speed. Gets adrenaline rushing. Amazing game for the money.
6 years ago
I love this game. And like it's been mentioned before, it has one of the best light shows ever. The backglass is so bad it's good, a product of it's time. The flow feels good and keeps me coming back for one more game. A solid effort from Data East.
6 years ago
Rarely found pin. Highly enjoyable - one of the best light shows for a game of that time. Not a deep game and not difficult to master. But love the cheesy 80s theme and the flow of the game. If you can find one it should be very affordable and very dependable.
6 years ago
Lots of fun, would've been great at launch with the stereo sound etc first.

Looks awesome with leds fitted, great looking pin.
6 years ago
Laster War is a game that Data East started out with. And they started out with a BANG! This game is a player and collectors are starting to seek it out.

The Pros:
A great layout with 14 shots between standups, ramps, spinners and lanes. I really like the fact that the ramp sends the ball to the flipper instead of the lane. Great angles on the standups mean that to qualify for multiball and the JP, you have to make a number of dangerous shots, and survive! When tuned this game is FAST! The stereo sound system sounds great and the whole package screams cheesy big hair 80's silliness (the BG is so bad, it's good!). Lights are great on this deck too. Make sure to keep hitting the ramp to feed that hungry left outlane kicker lit, otherwise your ball will end right quick. Gitcher' 2 ball multiball and then earn our 3 ball multiball to light the million point jackpot.

The Cons:
This game is not that easy to find... or at least it has only been in the past year that I have seen and played it.

The Takeaway:
Considering the start that this company had... I wish they had kept the gameplay quality up. The rules are not the deepest, but this deck has that awesome "just... one more game" quality to it that speaks of the balance of difficulty and satisfaction in gameplay that is (for me at least) the sign of a great design. We really won't see solid games that play this well and require you to really make strategic decisions for your shots from DE again until R&B, JP, TFtC and Tommy. And that's all I have to say about DE, the one shot (over and over) pinball-wonder company.
7 years ago
The theme scares people off. That translite is one of the worst in all of pinball, but it has grown on me.

Playfield layout is very fun and friendly. Good multiplayer/party game because avg game is < 3 mins and rules are simple. It is a fairly easy game, but balls do drain easily to balance that out. Playfield art is decent for the time, done by Mary Hudson. Art is disjointed, cab, bg, and pf art are in their own isolated world.

Gameplay - Simple and Addictive. You've got to hit each "team" 3 times by lock shot or stand-up targets. Then lock a ball, lock a 2nd ball in time to achieve 3 ball multiball and a chance to "shoot the Ion Cannon!" ramp for jackpot and one of the best light shows in pinball.

First Pinball with Stereo Sound, 2.1. Voice sounds are cheesy, but fit the theme. The music is decent but the main theme is repetitive.

Lighting is incredible on this pin, and LEDs work well in it. TNT amusements has a youtube video of it in action that I based my LED lighting off of. One of the best light shows of any machine in that era, or any machine for that matter. No exaggeration.

In the end, an under-rated game due to theme, with a low enough production number to keep people from having the opportunity to play it.
7 years ago
A very enjoyable game that after playing at a show for a couple of days i now really want to add to my collection.
Backglass is terribley dated, but that just adds to its charm.
7 years ago
I have shopped and repaired this game for a friend and I now have over 100 plays on it. I was really surprised by how fun this pin was and how beautiful the light show was as well. I wasn't expecting a lot going in given I have never heard much about it, but I was pleasantly surprised at the gameplay.

Pros: Great layout with good flow and with strong flippers plays REALLY fast. What is nice is that it isn't just a 'SHOOT THE RAMP' kind of game. Yes you have to shoot the ramp to get the jackpot but it takes some work to get to that point. The ball locks can be tricky to hit with some narrow openings and some shallow saucers. As soon as you get two ball multiball (which is easy) you have to lock both of those balls into 2 of the 3 locks within a few seconds of each other. This is a lot harder than it sounds. Once you have three ball it is time to shoot the 'Ion Cannon' ramp for the jackpot. Once you hit the jackpot (which has a varied value depending on some other rules) you are treated to what I feel is one of the best light shows in all of pinball. The lighting and lighting programing on this game is top notch and wouldn't feel out of place on a modern machine. A beautiful thing to behold. While the rules set is not overly complex it doesn't feel too shallow either. It is a good pre-DMD rules set and I have yet to tire of playing the game. I am going to mis it when my buddy takes it back home.

Cons: The first thing people notice is how tacky the translite its.....well....I agree, it is pretty awful, but awesomely tacky at the same time. If you lived through the 80's you can at least appreciate it I think. They really could have done some bad ass artwork given the theme. Maybe something like an interplanetary laser war with some epic Ion Cannon blasting capital ships out of the sky or something, but they went with Laser Tag instead. Oh well ;) The other con and the only real gripe I have about the gameplay is the way the ball comes off of the pop bumpers after plunging results in a house ball about 30% of the time and about 50-75% of the time for inexperienced pinball players. I think they could have designed a little better release to at least divert the ball a little bit. A center post between the flippers may have helped this some as well. We will never know. It is pretty frustrating to have 2 really good play sequences ruined by a house ball, but those are the breaks and this pin isn't the only one with that issue.

All in all, I think it is a great pin and well worth what the asking price usually is. My buddy picked this up for a couple hundred with the intentions of flipping it, but after playing it he has decided to keep it.
7 years ago
Really like laser war. It has a good rule set and playfield is set up nice. It has a good flow in my opinion, some shots are a little harder and some are easier. The light show is awesome.sounds are pretty good. The kids love this one. The back glass screams the 80's. Overall I really enjoy this game and I'm surprised it is rated so low on the list.
8 years ago
Excellent machine. Reminiscent of High Speed. Easy to acquire multiball makes it a great game for beginners and beginners do seem to like this one a lot at my local arcade. Sound effects are awesome, backglass and theme are terrible. Overall I'd like to buy this for a personal collection someday.
9 years ago
Some nice shots to hit and good challenge getting multi-ball but just didn't really enjoy playing it.
9 years ago
This is my first pinball machine in my collection. I was worried about buying it, but I got it for a steal. The game is addicting to play. It is difficult at first to learn the rule set, but once you learn it, it becomes fun. The muti-ball feature can get really fun. This game keeps me coming back to try and beat my last game. First game in my collection, and will never sell.
There are 26 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 2.

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