North Star

Pinside rating

This game received 18 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 8.106 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #46 in the Pinside EM Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game design: 8.263

Artwork: 8.092

Sounds/Music: 2.181

Other Aspects: 8.026

Pinside staff rating

This is how we, the very knowledgeable (wink wink) staff & moderators rate this game. 1 of us has 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 13 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 13 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
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3 months ago
A Gottlieb masterpiece!

The gameplay is top notch. So many ways to hit, yet you walk away so many times determined to try again. The tease is fantastic. The action of this game is so smooth and sure. 5 rock solid pop bumpers that interact like they are in concert and choreographed. The slingshot placement can disrupt your flow or save your life.

The post between the flippers did not thrill me when I first played the game, and then you start having those snap reactions of a unpredictable rebound! A surprising backhand or a flipper combo into the heart of the pop-bumper array. Lighting all the specials is SPECIAL. The playfield artwork is pure art and the lighting is well placed. The backglass looks great , but the woman and her angry igloo companion have no pants on...all while being serenaded by a floating guitar player and singing walrus. Kokoo kachoo! This game is a must for EM collectors. Brilliant!
1 year ago
After owning and playing a handful of good solid ems, I decided to go out and get a North Star. I’ve read and looked at videos of the game play on it, and knew that I had to have 1. Finally, after some time fixing some steppers, relays and cleaning/waxing the! Like many others have mentioned, she’s a fun game..lots of rollovers, and I really like the challenge of keeping the ball in play w the 2” flippers. Shes a real ‘nudgers’ game-if that made sense. The art is real neat..I can see why this game is enjoyed and highly rated..
1 year ago
If you like EMs, this one has tons of charm. All the bells and whistles that make you feel like you are in the 60s, and a good game play pace that keeps you wanting "just one more game."
2 years ago
Get the rollover special lit between the pops and listen to the knocker working overtime! A favorite of mine.
4 years ago
This was my first two-inch flipper game in my collection. I'm not sure if this rating is skewed because of it. It is my belief that these Gottlieb two-inchers make you a better pinball player. Especially on this game. It is almost a requirement to think ahead to where the ball is going to travel as to set up your next shot. The center post comes into play big time. The mini flippers only allow you a split second to put the ball out of harms way...and cradling is a near impossible chore considering the outlanes right next to the flippers. The kickers give some great side to side action and really randomize the play around the flippers. Beautiful art...but I need not say that, GTB art from this era was on-point in pretty much every case. Hearing the specials rattle off when the ball is bouncing around inside of the pop bumper circle is pretty satisfying. Specials-abound, as more can be collected at the saucers when all left and right rollovers are completed (a daunting task when the playfield pitch is increased). Great game, and I'm glad to have it in my collection.
5 years ago
Here is another great Gottlieb single player EM wedgehead i remember playing at my local candy store which was just 50 ft from my home on Summer Ave in Newark NJ back in the late 1960's. I can close my eyes and flash back and see myself trying to beat this beautiful looking and wonderful player for replays like it was yesterday. This was a game that there was always a waiting line to play.
The game is challenging and fun when competing to light Specials or beat it by score for replays and if ever lucky enough to get the All Rollovers Special lit makes this game one of the best around for sure to play back then and now. This game when you do beat it real good is a knocking sensation(pop,pop,pop,pop)if you are a top EM player and can reach the highest level of skill this game has to offer.The game must be shopped out by an EM expert tech and playing like factory new in order to appreciate the game play.

I can not believe this game has not made it into my collection of 24 wedgeheads somehow, but luckly i have had the pleasure of restoring one in my workshop for a close friend and got a chance to played it so much while it was there for a few months. One day i was determined to get the All Rollover Special lit if it took me all night and it almost did, but when I did make the All Rollover Special it gave me a rewarding appreciation of what the Gottlieb EM's are all about and how Gottlieb design engineers knew what us true EM players wanted in a game.

The pop bumper arrangement on this wedgehead is one of the best from Gottlieb's long line of early 1960's pins.It's design of having the Star Special rollover button placed in the center the pop bumper arrangement was a easy way for a player to win some replays and what lured them into putting another dime or quarter into the coin slot.

The two side kick out holes located in the middle of the playfield are amazing the way they throw the ball out directly to the right and left flippers when set up perfectly by a passionate restoration tech with steady hands and a keen eye for tweeking EM games. This kind of ball action leaving the kickout hole gives the player a possible skilled flipper shot to flip back into the kickout hole again which is the key to getting a high score depending on the kickout hole score value,but is not so easy to do.

The left and right green/yellow lower rollover side lanes when also set up perfectly will allow the ball to land on each flipper therfore giving the player again a good solid skilled flip during play.Also having the top leftand right green/yellow side rollovers set up perfectly will give the game a full smooth fast flow for a player.

Enough can't be said on how important it is to set up and fine tune these EM games to perfection when shopping out and restoring them.The quality of the workmenship shows up in game play and makes for the best enjoyment to a player for sure and gives a feel of like factory new.

I guess after writing this rating about the North Star i feel as though my collection could be incomplete with out one, but then again I could say that about many other other wedgeheads i do not have in my collection. Just goes to show you how many fantastic wedgeheads there are out of the 100 plus that Gottlieb manufactured.It's just impossible with limited space to have them all and even harder to let any go from your collection.

UPDATE:I finally added a decent North Star with a beautiful conditon playfield to my collection in 2012 and it plays sensational after i have put my personal touch into the game and my collection of wedgeheads seem more well rounded now. The only bad part of adding this must have game was i had to sell my 4 Square to fit it in my line up.
5 years ago
5 rollovers lanes and the same amount of bumpers. No orbit or gate to get to the rollovers again. Most important are 2 eject holes that cannot be shot directly. With some bumper luck you may get some points. Without luck watch the ball in the drain. Overall I fail to see any special attraction in this table. Playing guitar on an icefield for a girl is original.
6 years ago
This game will leave you coming back for more. You light up the pop bumpers with each roll over. You light up the specials on the kick out holes for some serious points. In order to do so you need to collect the green rollovers for one of the special and the yellow rollvers for the other special. The kickout hole by itself on either side is worth 100 points. With each special it goes up to 200 and then 300 points. Get every single roll over and you light main "Special" (extremely hard to do) The best special is the special in the middle of the 5 pop bumpers. for each phase of rollovers the special in the center lights up more often. (top roll overs, green roll overs, yellow rollovers specials...etc)

The game iteself is very hard to locate for some reason. I really don't think very many of these survived the past 50 years and the ones that have stay in collections for decades. I think the game itself is slightly over rated. The game is a great game and very fun to play. I would give it a solid B+ This would make a great game for a collection that has 6 or more pins. I wouldn't recommend getting this game for a small collection like I have. The only reason I picked this game out over others I wanted was due to its scarcity and the fact that I may not ever be able to find a copy of this game to own.
6 years ago
An open Playfield and five pop bumpers makes this an enjoyable game with relatively simple rules.
The artwork is poor, in fact very poor and the colour scheming and theme is just not right.
I have played three different versions of this game. All left me mildly luke warm about the game.
7 years ago
North Star is a game that I have been looking to play for a long time. I have heard many good things about this table, and fortunately, they're true.

The Pros:
This game looks the way that it plays, fun! Ball times are relatively short. Lighting the pops from the top lanes is lots of fun. A surprisingly open PF with 5 pops means this game has great action and the ball travels across the deck quickly in all directions. Surprisingly good action from the slings on the sides keep the ball moving back towards the flippers and into play. The random special in the middle of the pops is a nice feature that will keep you keepin' that ball in the middle of the action packed PF. Lighting the lanes makes the saucers light up for specials as well. You'd think with all these opportunities to get a special, that this game would be easy... NO! Wayne Neyes set up the perfect skill/luck/frustration/reward balance on this table.

The Cons:
This game is not always easy to find. However, it is worth the search. The rubbers and slings on this game better be fresh and bouncy, or this game can be frustratingly drainy. Only one bell? Is this a Bally?

The Takeaway:
A great playing game from Gottlieb with a layout that is challenging and surprisingly fast. Expect your game times to be under 45 seconds for a 3 ball game and just over a minute for a 5 ball game. Wayne sure did know how to make a game that would make lots of $$$ on location and keep people coming back for more. Find one if you can and play away!
7 years ago
I may be biased as I literally grew up with this game (and still own it). It falls on the "more difficult" and "less skillful" side of EMs of this era... more of a run-and-gun and just-try-not-to-drain than skillfully setting up and making shots type of table. But to me at least, this is a beautiful representation of a very classic playfield layout.
7 years ago
I've owned the machine since 1969 and it'll never leave as I still enjoy playing it to this day. My favorite feature on the game are the kickout holes that propel the ball directly to the opposite flipper. Game takes a touch of nudging to do well since there are no inlanes and no way to really catch the ball on the flippers.
7 years ago
This machine is tough to find, but it is a great pin from the 60s. It's a well built machine with great play field artwork. Fun and challenging to play. It only has one bell for scoring sounds, but as your playing, it seems to work just fine. If you run across on, give it a try!
There are 13 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 1.

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