Mystery Castle

Pinside rating

This game received 43 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 7.800 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #105 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game Design: 7.568

Artwork: 7.752

Sounds/Music: 7.751

Other Aspects: 7.87

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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Found 24 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 24 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
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6 months ago
Couldn't resist picking up this Haunted castle theme. I was very happy when I got to flip! All the sound effects and soundtrack are engaging and makes me want to play again and again. Even my coin door is Haunted as the lock works itself loose and the door would creeeeeeeak open lol. The shots are fun, lots of winding ramps everywhere. I even found a great topper for it. Highly reccomend if you aren't spoiled by new age pins
1 year ago
I just got mine in a few days ago and have been playing it pretty heavy. What a fantastic title! The package is amazing -- artwork, theme, sound, integration. It probably has bar none the best sound in pinball, not just the music, speech and effects integration, but the actual speaker and amplifier system beats even new games. That, coupled with the light show and animation, creates a uniquely immersive experience.

I think it is a really good shooter and all the shots feel nice. Rules wise, it isn't insanely deep, but each scavenger hunt item has its own mode or function (kind of like Addam's Family's mansion), the drop targets are the multiplier, trap lights the megamode, the knight targets light the catapult kickback, etc. It's very simple and straight forward, but deep enough to interest both a beginner or expert.

As a full package, I think this game offers everything you could want from a pinball machine. Like Whirlwind for me, it's just good, old fashioned, fun pinball. An immersive theme with great lighting and artwork, coupled with a really fun shooter with solid, but not overly complicated rules, that puts a smile on your face each time you press the start button.

It is a real shame that this game is so rare. I paid a lot for mine, maybe too much, but I'm extremely happy to have it in my lineup and think it will be a stalwart for years to come. Icing on the cake is having that machine all your pin buddies come in and gravitate towards because they've never seen or played it :)
3 years ago
Straight up, this is probably my favorite machine of all time. I would put this ahead of LOTR as at times that one can feel like a chore.

The cabinet is cheaply built. The translite is actually a big sticker on a piece of glass. The flippers mechanisms wear our too quickly and are near impossible to replace. Parts are a pain to get for it. It is worth all this headache and so much more.

The modes are shallow, but a few are challenging. The pf layout is brilliant. Theme integration is perfect. It is a lite take on a haunted house. It is limited to two ball multiball similar to creature. This is not some deep game where you study strategy for tournaments. This is the game you keep coming back to because its just a joy to run through. I am going to knock the game a point because the scoring is not strictly balanced, but of all the games I have had this is the one that both experienced pinheads and newbies both flock to, and keep playing after a game.
5 years ago
I swear, a company like Chicago Gaming Company should remake this game. It's too rare for its own good. I love it.

Sure, it doesn't have a lot of gimmicks like modern games, but it is a hell of a lot of fun. The light shows are absolutely incredible. The sounds aren't repetitive like Data East machines of the era. Practically the only thing I can complain about is the DMD animations. They just aren't that good. Plus a shot up the center ramp can drain you in an instant...but that's about it. Also, I've mentioned this about older Sterns - the music is FLAT. That kind of annoys me.

It's a damn shame this game is so rare--there are 15 modes to play and I just haven't played the machine enough to fully experience it.
6 years ago
A low production, rare AGC game, around 220 produced (give or take a couple of machines).
Think of it as a "chiller" haunted house "scavenger hunt" type theme.
Like most AGC machines, it's overall production suffered at adversarial hands of WMS.

Want to know how it was built?
Here you go:

It is a VERY FAST playing game, similar in some ways to JM or BSD, but has a wide open playfield.
Ramp shots are quick and come right back in your face.
Playfield, backglass, and cabinet artwork is very well integrated.
The base sound quality on this game, like most AGC machines, is completely superior to even most modern games.
Music quality is well above average.
DMD animations are better than other AGC games, but not remarkable.
Ruleset is understandable, but requires a bit of game play to really get into the depth of the game.
That is why it is better for home use than it ever possibly could have done in the operator environment.
If AGC had built this game today, it would have been successful based on changes of collectors.

Game technical design and maintenance requirements is below modern pinball standards, but perfectly fine in a home use situation. Protect those ramps and plastics you are not going to find replacements!!!
Flipper assemblies have hard to find parts are are prone to wearing out and EoS switches get pitted with sparking, but can be upgraded with BLY/WMS parts if you are in a pinch.
The left upper flipper shot is commonly reported as "impossible" based on design, but it just really need to be dialed in an adjusted with flipper angle and make sure the coil is at full power.

A unique, original theme game is a good change of pace to all modern machines.
Recognize if you have a chance to play one, this might be the only time you will be able to do so, so make the most of it.
The majority of machines are now starting to fall into AGC collectors hands (or have already exchanged hands back and forth several times) as the game becomes more popular.
That is is really the only reason it is commanding a price tag of over $4k.
Don't build this game up to something it is not, it has good depth, but it is far from a "keeper" unless you own a full stable of other games in your collection.
More than that, and you are really getting burned, unless the offer is some hidden NIB game in a time travel warehouse (which could still exist).
Overall, I would rate this as the third best AGC machine being in order of AGB, PtC, MC, AGSB, and PP, among the considered 13 machines that were either built, prototyped, or cancelled.

If you have AGC questions, feel free to PM me.
There are only a handful of AGC collectors, enthusiasts, and experts in the pinball collector world.
6 years ago
I love this game! The lights, the music, the speed, and the depth of secrets are endless. There are so many tricks and secrets I don't know where to begin. This is by far my favorite pin.
6 years ago
One of those rare gems that on first glance looks to be easy and basic, but once you dive in it's as challenging and fun as it comes. The theme itself is glorious, as I had a room I designed that looks like a castle, which also contains scary items, and Mystery Castle lends itself perfectly to it. The lighting, art and sound are top notch for such a low production machine. It just screams haunted house, and could quite possibly be the scariest game out there that doesn't have a license attached to it. I love the originality and the attempt at making something different, and Alvin G. deserves a big hi-five for making it happen. Only negative I would have would be that the DMD animations are a little weak. Not enough frames of animation, and some poor design choices, but not enough to hold my score back. Overall, it's just sad that theses are so hard to find as everyone needs to give it a game or two, but it's also awesome that they are so rare as it makes my collection that much more lovely, and gives people more of a reason to visit my Bloodshed Deathbath Arcade.
6 years ago
I really like Mystery Castle. It's a very good game. Unfortunately, it's not a $4000+ game and that's why I had to sell mine.

Like every good pinball, MC has great vibe. It's funny, quirky, and even a bit creepy. What a great theme. Like everyone else has said, it has a terrific sound package. The music and the callouts are incredibly original, and don't get old after play upon play. Additionally, the light package is 2nd to none. Wow, what a show!

As my man Caucasian mentioned, you can hit a shot straight up the middle into the pops, have it hit nothing, and then come screaming back down only to drain. Yep, that was a design flaw IMO. That said, most of the shots are really great! There's plenty of close shots, and plenty of far away ones. The shots from the upper left flipper are quite difficult to hit just right as the lanes are incredibly tight. Personally, I love this but it definitely adds a challenge to the casual player.

What's tough about MC is that it came out right around the time of Addams Family. It doesn't handle a candle to that game. It just doesn't have the excellence of design that that era of B/W did, and that's ultimately why Alvin G didn't last as a company: they just couldn't compete. The wizard mode isn't anything to write home about; kind of boring in fact. It's just shot any target and rack up a bunch of points. Really could have been a much cooler mode at the end. Honestly, if the game was still a $2,000 game, I'd still have it in my lineup. I just couldn't justify keeping it when it's worth so much but doesn't have quite the staying power of a $4k+ game (for me, those are few and far between).

Thinking about buying one? Let me give a few things to look out for:
-like 60% of the playing surface is that giant plastic ramp. Sadly, Alvin G cut costs on the plastics and used some pretty thin material. Make sure there's no serious cracks in the ramps. Cosmetic stuff is no biggie, but you don't want to have major issues that are going to cause the game to play poorly.
-the cabinets Alvin G used were again, pretty poor quality. The wood is somewhat brittle. Make sure your cab isn't in awful shape unless you like doing a lot of bondo work.
-The drop targets will probably need to be replaced if they're original. They develop hairline cracks at the base and become brittle. Just letting you know. Marco has them for sale if needed.
-Get the latest roms. Well worth the update.
-Make sure the flippers are nice and tight. If you have to replace anything on the flippers, you may need to do an entire rebuild using Williams parts as the Alvin G stuff isn't repro'ed.
-Make sure none of the plastics are cracked. Again, no repros.

Good luck!! You'll need it... ;)
7 years ago
This game makes me want to turn the lights out and light a candelabra. Very cool theme. Who doesn't like an old castle looking for cool items? Yes it's 1993 technology with no toys or gimmicks, (spinning bigfoot, gumball machine ect...) but....The sounds and music are top notch. IDK its like Pink Floyd crazy laughter, heartbeats, clocks ticking and effects. The English accent call outs are outstanding as well. Heavy breathing, backwards sounding door-bells, Mozart like piano music. Not sure what drugs were used during the recordings but I say that in a good way! The thunder combined with the 2 stage lighting when the ball drains is nicely done. This game has a real presence about it. It's Rarity only adds to it's mystique.
7 years ago
Certainly not a bad game. It is collectible and is unlikely to ever get the reproduction treatment . . . so an "investment" is as safe as in any other true collectible.
8 years ago
Fun and collectible
8 years ago
Pretty solid game, fun to play, nice layout and all...
8 years ago
Got to put some plays on one of these and was just amazed by the feel. Great overall experience, really neat and different theme. If you see one of these you must play
8 years ago
I FINALLY got the chance to play this deck and I have gotta say... it's a lot of fun.

The Pros:
A solid layout with some easy shots (left and right ramp and left orbit) and a few really tough shots (left VUK and the lane and ramp from the upper flipper). There are a few surprises as well (back to the shooter lane from the passageway through the drop targets. The animations are solid and I'm especially fond of the WARNING animation where the game points at you with the character on the DMD. 15 modes mean that there is lots and lots to do and getting to the crown is well worth the 100 million per lit shot during that mode. MegaMode = multiball. This game has character and wears it very well. The theatre of this game, both light and sound are way sweet. Better than almost every B/W game ever made. Yep... it's that good.

The Cons:
The ramp from the upper flipper is near frickin' impossible to hit all the way up the incline. The pop bumpers are rather useless and are accessed more by chance than by a directed shot. The game that I played was set to easy rules and it handed out extra balls like they were candy. Mongo like candy. The flippers have a different feel to them that take a bit to get used to. It's a relatively low production number table and collectors get kinda silly for it. Silly pinheads...

The Takeaway:
Since I have only had the chance to play this game once... I'm looking forward to encountering another copy and play the heck out of it. Hopefully it will be at a more difficult setting. I like this game. Is it an Addams Family quality design? No. Is it a heck of a lot of pinball fun? It sure is and I'm glad that after years for looking for this game... I got the chance to put a few games in on this deck.

It may not be the greatest player, but this is a great game.

Alright, I was lucky enough to visit the collector who had this game again and learned a few things that are important for gameplay. First, a few things I don't like. You can actually shoot the ball all the way up to the top of the PF, through the pops and have the ball come straight back down the middle, not hitting a single thing along the way. Not the best for PF design. The other thing I don't care for is the rules/modes really need multiple plays to start to catch on to the nuances of the deck. Extra balls (on the settings of the game I played) are a frickin' gimme. So on to the things I do like. I really enjoy the sound package of this game, it's spot on with the county fair midway spookshow tunnel of love ride. It's great! The tilt warning is the best! I also figured out that the change item standup on the lower-mid right hand side of the PF changes the shot to make to start the mode. This is CRUCIAL for strategic gameplay as the standup is close to the flippers, now it's not a deathshot, but it has its dangerous moments. Can you make the lit item shot for the next mode? Do you want to go for the inner loop/ramp instead? Decisions, decisions... This is a really solid game, Quite possibly Alvin G's best. What a shame that this company went under when they did.

Slight adjustments to the scores.
9 years ago
cant stop playing mi first Alvin G pinball machine ""BULLS EYE ""
9 years ago
What to tell ??!! MC is my 3. Alvin G. in my collection and it is the most intresting game of this manufacturer ! A dark gameroom, MC switched on ... after several minutes you are "in the pin" .. great atmosphare, great sound ... forget Scared Stiff , here you will be scared !
Have a look on the playfield art ... uupss .. a catapult, a castle ... maybe the Williams guys have had a game on MC before creating the MM. Maybe .. maybe not.
My favorite Alvin G. and a keeper. Most fun from all Alvin G.´s , great light, great sound, great art. I love this machine and most guest players do so.
Build 500 times according to the manufacturer in its day .. I do not believe !! We collected serials on the internet and figured out that there are all serials in a 300 game range.
In Europe very very hard to find. garageBand and PP show up sometimes but never a MC. I bought mine from an importer, it came with many missingparts: Coils, speeker grill, no pcb´s ... within 2 month I had all parts , clearcoated the very nice playfield and enjoy this game ! I have a prototype ... rarer than rare ;-)

Keeper !!
9 years ago
There were certain things I loved about this pin. Playing it in a dark room as great music and lightshows. Game is fun and plenty to do but not sure if it would keep me entertained in home use. Flippers felt a little clunky and parts are difficult to source. But it is very different to anything I have played and would like more time on it.
9 years ago
Fun game, dont see many, but lots of replay value.
10 years ago
Rare et correct
10 years ago
Great horror title. Nice flow and amazing sound. Light show is top notch. Only real complaint is the original flippers are a bit clunky and the wood the paint is flaky. This should rightfully be in the top 50.
10 years ago
If only the original 2 level game had ended up being produced! This was supposed to have a top playfield, which was turned into the dual upper ramp, which had the side effect of taking away the feed for the upper flipper. This does compromise the gameplay but the machine is very pretty and sounds incredible. Shooting for all the items is enjoyable, they all do something when collected, be it a mode or some timed scoring tweaks so there's more to do than it might seem at a glance.
10 years ago
I lucked out in finding this rare game. It has some of the best lighting in all of pinball the sound really fits the theme and draws you into the game. I wish Alvin G could have made it I think they were on the right track
11 years ago
Alvin G's crowning achievement. A really unique, fun and creepy game with some nice flow and plenty of ramp and orbit combo shots. The light shows, music and sounds are a top-notch and the game provides a great sense of atmosphere. There's a surprisingly deep mode based ruleset with plenty of stackable modes and multiballs, each with their own eerie tune and objectives. I've played or owned nearly every horror title manufactured and if you want a good horror game, this is one of the best! I originally played this game on location and knew I had to have one. I finally managed to get my hands on a MC in 2010 and it's still one of the most played games in my lineup.
13 years ago
A rare pin, but a top notch example of a now defunct pinball company! Light show and gameplay are of 'A' list quality, but cabinet decorations tend to not hold up well over time.
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