Medieval Madness (Williams, 1997)

Medieval Madness

Pinside rating

This game received 1247 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 8.968 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks 2nd in the game group "Medieval Madness". The group itself ranks #2 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game design: 9.151

Artwork: 8.848

Sounds/Music: 8.504

Other Aspects: 9.056

Rating comments

There are 697 rating comments for this game.

Pinside staff rating

This is how we, the very knowledgeable (wink wink) staff & moderators rate this game. 10 of us have rated this game.


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This game is part of a group

Note! There are multiple versions of this game!
This is "Medieval Madness".
The other versions are: Medieval Madness (Remake - LE), Medieval Madness (Remake - Standard)

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 697 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 697 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
Currently showing results page 1 of 28.

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22 days ago
A great pin! This is a one more time pin...a big deal for me for a keeper. I love the theme, the sounds/speech, the toys...all a blast. In home, I think this would last a long time. Don’t see getting tired of it. I’ve played the remake as well, but prefer the original...just felt better playing.
24 days ago
Only 1 tough shot on the playfield. Very repetitive and got bored in a few days playing it. Theme is great and toys are amazing on it. Wish the rules set was a little deeper on it. But definetly a great pin. Just not my favorite pin ever.
34 days ago
So when you peel away all the hype surrounding this title, what do you have ? Basically, you have a absolutely brilliant pinball game which pretty much deserves the hype it receives. For starters, Medieval Madness, together with it’s older sibling AFM, pretty much set the template or gold standard for future pinball layouts – orbits on the far right and left – inside of them ramps returning the ball to the same side of the playfield (means unobstructed view of the main playfield surface – although on MM the left ramp winds around the castle and goes across the playfield), pops in the upper right corner, some bash targets and other targets in the middle and some targets or scoops to the right and left of the orbits. Appearance-wise MM is an absolute stunner – especially the castle and it’s lighting, the flashers and the green moat. The whole playfield including the integration of the castle is so wonderfully balanced – the castle is meant to be there. The castle somehow gives the impression of being very large – as if it just keeps going to the right and left and the rear. The open playfield space in front of the castle is enormous – few pins have so much free space for the ball to fly around.
Rulewise MM is very clever. You are either bashing the castle all day – perhaps monotonous, but somehow shooting the ball through the open gate is always a blast – or you are going for madnesses by hitting the other targets (ramps, orbits, catapult, trolls) multiple times while trying to avoid Merlin. The rule with the madnesses is very well thought out – having to avoid a target (Merlin) brings in a new challenge. I also like the relationship between Multiball Madness and Royal Madness – interesting modes which seamlessly happen from your play progression and are affected by your previous play and affect your future play. And then there’s the trolls (clever use of those extra two flippertronics coils) which are somehow used enough, but not too much – when they’re active it’s a whole new game. Regarding the playfield inserts - I like the fact that almost all the information you need to know about your status is on the playfield (number of trolls hit is one exception that comes to mind) – the inserts tell you pretty much everything – you don’t actually need the display except to see your score. Castle Multiball is also well done – it has three clearly different successive phases, rather than just bashing away at the lit jackpots so it is mode in itself.
The goofy call outs always seem to put smile on my face. They are a nice addition. The music is pretty decent, kind of epic and stately – fits well to the game.
37 days ago
The best game still after all these years, Brian Eddy absolutely smashed it, along with Lyman on code. Wide appeal from newcomers to experienced players. The king of earners, on location, probably due to it appealing to almost everyone. What’s not to love. Will never leave our collection
57 days ago
I've only played two different MM machines. They both had an issue with the left flipper so the ball bobbled just before rolling on to your flipper. Annoying. I didn't play enough to get a genuine appreaciation for the rules but I felt like the only way to score big was to keep bashing the castle. The multiball jackpots were insignificant. It seems like a good game but I don't see how it's #1.
71 days ago
Great game, really enjoy opening the draw bridge and shooting the castle. I could play this game for hours. Hope to have it in the collection one day.
72 days ago
A really solid game. Just don’t like it as much as I like AFM. Just too expensive.
3 months ago
This is #1 for a reason... it's really that awesome!
3 months ago
Hands down the best pinball of it's era, and it's era was the best era for pinball. I remember seeing this game for the first time and my jaw dropped in amazement at how cool it was.
3 months ago
I have played MM quite a few times but held off rating it until I finally owned it and played it enough to fully understand all the rules.
Wow what a blast,I think it totally lives up to its reputation.
Great call outs, great toys and great fun and great rule set.
Whats not to like?
4 months ago
Time to finally rate this game, after 718 Pinsiders preceded me. So I'm sure this will be the make or break comment to finally make a critical consensus on this game.

This is a moderately timely review in its way though, because I'm writing this up the day after it was announced Brian Eddy has been hired by Stern. I'm ambivalent in a sense; as much as I have loved the open playfields of MM and AFM, the plodding lack of creativity in Stern machines with the fan-out of shots and the toy up the middle almost certainly owes its existence to the success of MM and AFM. I'd certainly rather play the originals than any of the less humorous and dully-licensed spawn of the last 20 years.

When this game first hit the slopes, as it were, I played it constantly, and other than perhaps High Speed there's no game I feel like I've had greater mastery on. So obvs, I like it; but where does it stand in the pantheon?

I'll note a few things that may seem like criticisms, but they're mainly meant as observations.

First, this is basically Attack from Mars. It's got the same spray-chart set of shots with shot-four-of ramps and orbits lighting a multiball opportunity, pop-up toys (trolls a variation on wiggling martians), a whack-it-till-it-opens progressive center shot with a SDTM drain danger, and an off-center to the left multiball lock. Yes, it adds stacked multiballs and has a few little variations, but, it is basically the same machine. The massive scoring inflation was endemic around this era of machine as well, Not a Feature IMHO.

Which leaves us with toys, themes, and callouts as the main differentiators. The wiggling castle is still amusing after all these years, and as far as functioning toys, its malfunctions aren't nearly as annoying as, say, a broken trunk on Theatre of Magic. The misalignment of the drawbridge, though, and problems with the gate can make this machine a pain to play in a way that Attack from Mars' saucer really hasn't been a problem; but there's a lot more hilarity in sending a ball scurrying into a castle than hitting plastic stand up targets in AFM.

The callouts are still pretty funny with only moderate sexism (akin to AFM's). The first time I saw this machine in the wild, the guy I was playing with and I both said to one another, "oh, it's a Monty Python machine, but they couldn't get the license fee." It only occurred to me later there's a little bit of pinball self-parody, with reference to Black Knight, as well, but it's the Pythonesque humor (right down to silly fake French accents) that's dominant. As with the tongue in cheek AFM retro callouts and angry aliens, just some goofy fun with an hommage, not quite a licensed theme, to a genre.

Excluding the CGC remake issues -- which have different cosmetic and aesthetic considerations from the originals -- I am left with the question, between MM and AFM, if I had to pick one to own or play, which would I pick? I'd end up picking AFM, because the wizard mode has some sort of logic to it -- conquering the world, defeating aliens, etc. -- and I prefer the space theme. Just a personal preference.
4 months ago
Great game. The humor, callouts, and music is phenomenal. The castles are fun to destroy. Ball times aren't too long. Very fun to play on one of the few that prolly wouldn't own in the home.
4 months ago
Love this game... could play it every day. Great shots all over the place. Great theme!
5 months ago
Great game with a great theme and a lot of humor. A lot of fun to stack the multiballs. Flippers always seem a little week for the ramps, but most played were at shows or arcades.
Maybe it would get a little old in the long run with the repetitive castle shot, but would be excellent in a collection. But it's way up there in terms of the pricing.
5 months ago
If you hate the Blackhawks, the Yankees, Ford and any and all other mainstream successful entities, you will hate this game. You just hate a winner.

Yes I own it. I loved it for long before I did purchase it, because of my love of it. Of course I would own what I feel is one of, if not THE, best pinballs ever. The sense of humor, the shots, the art, the theme, the fun of playing it and its general universal #1 favorite status of people that come to our house and have access to my decent sized collection says it all.

The only people I know that hate this game are usually feel they are "above" loving such common and universally loved games.
It is en vogue to deride the "commoners" subject of affection. Those that "hate" this game are tired of its success, jealous of its near universal loved status, or just bitter contrarians. If it isn't your favorite, it should be within spitting distance, and if you claim to "hate" it, then you hate pinball.
5 months ago
Always love playing this game any time I see it. While some people find it campy and cliche, the constant puns and monty-python ish references keep me laughing. The back and forth between the trolls and the funny things the rioting villagers say are my personal favorites. Can’t think of any other call outs from pins that get me laughing like this one does, maybe when the T-rex eats the ball in Jurassic Park, but that’s about it. Music is a bit repetitive and the castle scoring is overblown, but I have just as much fun rescuing damsels and blasting the trolls as I do destroying the castle, though not recommended to get a high score. Tons of shots. This game will never get old for me. Will always have a place in my top ten.
5 months ago
This is truly the 1 game of all time. Adults and kids are always draw to it. It is the game that is played most in my collection.
6 months ago
Best game I’ve ever owned. Easy for non-pinballers to play and understand the rules. During parties it’s the game everyone is drawn too. Everyone loves the call outs and bashing the castle. I’ll never let it go.
7 months ago
Fantastic fun game to play.I have put 350 games on mm now,and i love it.Good rules,and easey to understand.
7 months ago
MM is, overall, a fun and decent game that most assuredly deserves a place in the top 100 games of all time. But, a top 10 pin this is not.

This game benefits greatly from the nostalgia factor, an issue that is only enhanced by the fact it was one of the last pins made by the old Williams company in the so-called “golden age of pinball.” While the playfield layout is stellar, the game is, overall, less than so.

The problem? Scoring is largely a one trick pony. Bash the castle to lower the drawbridge and get a really rewarding shot to destroy it. Yes, there are other things to shoot for in the game, but scoring is so imbalanced that all other objectives become secondary.

Coupled with the fact that the sounds, music, and animations are cute but outdated (and the fact the cabinet/playfield art was always pretty tacky), the overall game is great, but not stellar. Twenty years ago, this game was the bee’s knees, but even then it was overrated.

Like others, we have a lot of respect for this game largely because we grew up playing it. But, unfortunately, we tend to view things from our youth a little more favorably in our memories than they actually deserve.
8 months ago
Medival madness is a cool game the castle is awesome looking and it has good rules and artwork.
8 months ago
One of the funniest pins ever! A few beers and some friends and this pin is a riot! The ramp play and the Destroying the Castle make this game a complete blast! Top 5 no question.
8 months ago
9 months ago
I own the original and it will have to pried from my cold dead hands..Love the the the the trolls..Great flow to the game...Good rule set that is not to complex..Never gets boring.
9 months ago
What can I add that other haven't already. Super fun game that I'd love to have in my collection some day. It's easy to understand of for newbies to learn. The castle toy is one of the best in pinball. I love the build up to multiball. Minor annoyance is how packed the playfield is with inserts.
There are 697 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 28.

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