Medieval Madness (Williams, 1997)

Medieval Madness

Pinside rating

This game received 1250 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 8.953 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks 1st in the game group "Medieval Madness". The group itself ranks #1 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game design: 9.144

Artwork: 8.832

Sounds/Music: 8.494

Other Aspects: 9.043

Rating comments

There are 704 rating comments for this game.

Pinside staff rating

This is how we, the very knowledgeable (wink wink) staff & moderators rate this game. 11 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 704 ratings (with comment) on this game

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19 days ago
I like this game. Castle toy is great and the shots are satisfying. Something is preventing me from liking it more. Maybe it is the bashing the castle over and over again to get a high score. Maybe the music. I have fun with this game but can't play too many games on it before I want to move on to something else.
41 days ago
I don't know why this game is #2, but I do enjoy it. Perfect entry level, beginner game. Not super deep, but fun toys and easy to grasp. This is the game that got my daughter into pinball, so for that I give it an A+.
50 days ago
Medieval Madness seriosuly catapults it out of the park. Love the modes, and strategy / gamble to stack up madness multiballs, and the feeling of accomplishment to here them all read out, and attempting Royal madness.

Humour is great, art both digital and on the table is fabulous, and the toys cannot be beat.
52 days ago
Yep, its up here for a reason.
53 days ago
MM is one of the all time greats. It is considered by many to be the best pinball machine ever made and competes with MB and AF. That said I can agree it is very fun to play. It has great flow and the call outs are hilarious. To me the trolls are frustrating because they impact the flow but they are funny and antagonize the player. I have owned this pin and it frustrated when it kicked the pin out from the swamp it did it with just enough power to drain SDTM. The artwork is amazing. Its a nearly perfect pinball machine in every way. The only negative is the rule set is somewhat simple but that what the limit of the software at the time. Its one of those games that holds its own year after year. The remake hurt its value a bit. I highly recommend this game.
71 days ago
The game that got me back into pinball. Perfect in every way. Belongs at the top.
77 days ago
No need to be redundant here. Probably the most fun game out there. Fantastic flow, great rules, great sound/callouts/music. #1 for good reason. Only negative is that it is more or less the same game as Attack from Mars in many respects.
80 days ago
Medieval Madness Pinball Review

Summary and First Impressions

About 5 years ago I caught the pinball bug after visiting the Pinball Museum and Hall of Fame in Las Vegas. When I got home I had to get my hands on more pinball and given my video game background, the first thing I delved into was Farsight Studio's Pinball Arcade on iPad. Eventually, I made my way to Pinball Arcade's version of Medieval Madness after seeing it on the top of many all-time pinball machine lists. I played the HECK outta it. Recently I had a chance to play the physical machine on location and it was even more fun in person!

Medieval Madness has everything I could want in a pinball machine. Great toys, fun shots, interesting rules and just the right amount of difficulty.

* Watching the castle explode is incredibly satisfying
* Easy to understand rules that offer some interesting risk-reward decision making: completing a shot a certain amount of times lights a "madness." Shooting the Merlin shot will trigger all the madnesses. The more madnesses you have lit the better the multiball that is triggered. Do you take your madness now or do you risk it and build a bigger madness? If it's the latter then you have to avoid hitting Merlin!
* Hilarious call outs are strewn throughout the game!

* Those damn trolls
* Occasionally the strategy can lead you to simply shooting the castle a bunch

+ Great layout, each shot is fun to shoot, comboing the ramps is great and the castle has just the right amount of Risk-Reward
- The troll risk-reward is off, they feel incredibly dangerous but don't feel like they reward enough as a trade-off

+ I really like the "madness" system; trying to score a royal madness leads to you attempting every non-castle shot on the table
- The scoring of the castles incentivizes them as goto strategy

+ The castle is the best toy in pinball. It's placed perfectly and it's "explosion" satisfies every time

+ Great overall art package
+ The castle multiball animation is a great highlight
+ All of the big scoring animations are great as well

Sound and Music
+ Lots of funny sayings by the castle "lords"
+ Great SFX, especially for the catapult and troll hits
+ Great callouts and reward sounds

+ Never takes itself seriously for a second, but still dripping in a medieval theme


Medieval Madness deserves every bit of praise it gets. It's got a great toy and easy to approach rules for the casual player PLUS great in-depth rules and rewards for the hardcore player. It's presentation and light show is among the best in the hobby. If you haven't played this game live, go find one and give it a chance!
3 months ago
Right up there with Attack from Mars. Obviously same game designer and two absolute classics: pick your poison theme (knights or aliens) and go for one or the other and you won’t be disapointed. MM is amazing and doesn’t get old.
3 months ago
A game that deserves a lot of praise! At the moment I'm having a hard time to find any relevant criticism!
4 months ago
Great theme... not my favorite. I know this game is super popular, but I have never seen a machine that fully worked in the wild... even the remake. Shooting the castle is fun, but when you can't destroy both trolls or get the moat down it ruins the fun. I'm also not a fan of not having an old fashioned plunger on the game. I really wanted to like this game, but every time I try it I like it less. Maybe someday, but for now I'm going to be contrarian on this one.
4 months 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.
4 months 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.
4 months 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 its 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.
5 months 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
5 months 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.
6 months 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.
6 months ago
A really solid game. Just don’t like it as much as I like AFM. Just too expensive.
7 months ago
This is #1 for a reason... it's really that awesome!
7 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.
7 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?
7 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.
8 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.
8 months ago
Love this game... could play it every day. Great shots all over the place. Great theme!
8 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.
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