Orbitor 1

Pinside rating

This game received 78 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 6.475 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #352 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game Design: 6.273

Artwork: 7.295

Sounds/Music: 5.245

Other Aspects: 6.475

Pinside staff rating

This is how we, the very knowledgeable (wink wink) Pinside.com staff & moderators rate this game. 3 of us have rated this game.


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Found 47 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 47 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
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3 months ago
Bought one for the novelty value, but turned out to be a jinxed machine for all sorts of reasons. I found it best to try and play it after about 10 pints, by which time it just seemed hilariously bad! Unfortunately it met its end when moving house one day and it was on a pintruck .. on the back of a tail lift lorry .. and rolled off due to a powerful gust of wind .. and fell 5ft onto my foot .. leaving me with 13 fractures and a pile of smashed parts which, if glued together again, would roughly resemble an Orbitor 1 ! Amazingly, someone from Germany bought the pile of bits for spares, and it cost more to crate and ship it than the sum agreed for the pile of bits. One other memory was from when I imported it to the UK from a collector in California, albeit 20 yrs ago. Basically customs investigated it due to a distinct odour coming out the crate and found to be emanating from under the playfield. After a thorough search, they decided that there was no longer any weed or coke or other mysterious recreational chemicals hidden in it, and allowed to continue its journey. Final oddity was that on arrival the pinball shooter had been replaced with some sort of handgun device to fire the balls. Weird ehh ?!?
3 months ago
I only owned this because i operatate a public arcade and i was sure everyone would get a kick out of it. "Oic it has magnets!" Its a very intriguing game but only fun a time or 2 as there is nothing here to keep people coming back to it. I love the retro scifi nature of it. If i had a large arcade i would keep it around but I knew when i got it, it wouldnt be around for a long time. One thing i would mention is they could have made this better with more intriguing speech vocabulary. The speech sounds cool but the actual words fall flat
6 months ago
A ridiculously underrated game by people who don’t know nor understand how to play it.
It requires a completely different set of skills to play and it’s almost as if relearning how to play pinball
10 months ago
I've always wanted to own this oddball since it's difficult to find to play out in the wild, and I did for a year or two. It's one of the strangest, most creative pinballs ever made, featuring a 3D playfield of hills and valleys, and motorized spinning bumpers that fling the ball away when it gets near them. The theremin-like electronic whistles, digitized voice, and 3D backboard bring it to the next level of weird. There's really nothing else like Orbitor 1 out there in pinball history, and it's not even close.

But is it fun to play? Well, depends on what you're looking for. A few games in a pinball museum are certainly well worth it, just to see what this is all about. But having had it at home for a good while, it doesn't get flipped on very often. The rules are on the shallow side, which is not as detrimental compared to how random Orbitor plays. You can kind of aim the ball, but those hills and valleys are going to pull you off your target. It feels like throwing darts after 10 beers. Traditional flipper skills aren't very useful, but Orbitor has its own tricks to learn, like raising the flippers when the ball is circling behind them, giving it a chance to come back through. You can also bat the ball backward in hopes of bringing it up around the outside of the flippers, but that one is tricky to pull off.

Also as an owner, I really suggest other owners/operators give this game a very flat pitch. This may go against your traditional pinball instincts as sometimes there won't be enough speed for the ball to come back to the flippers from the top, but this is what the spinning bumpers are for. The ball should orbit (ah!) those bumpers often, and then get spun out by them. If the ball is constantly speeding past those bumpers, it's missing the main point of the game. Also, too tall a pitch and the ball will spend too much time behind the flippers, and it's going to be drain city back there.
1 year ago
Wow, wow, wow! The craziest pinball machine you will ever play. Only game that you have to be ready for the ball to shoot around behind the outhole and back out onto a flipper. I have give credit to Stern for bringing this one to market--Orbitor 1 is way, way out there! Fun to play for awhile, much cooler just to look at--our better yet to watch someone else play and be totally baffled by it. If I had a large collection I'd look for one, just because.
1 year ago
i love it i dont sell my orbitor1 never its a HUO
2 years ago
I had the opportunity to play this game unexpectedly when picking up a backglass from someone's house. Never having seen or heard of one of these before I saw it, it's cool! In a poorly lit room, the effect of the lunar landscape below the plexiglass field is excellent. The backbox looks 3-d. I couldn't see the clear plastic on the playfield and the effect was really neat. The ball did all sorts of crazy things around the spinning bumpers, and the ball routinely went past the flippers but back up. It was a really neat and fun playing game. However, there just wasn't a lot to do except for go for multiball. If you see one of these, it is absolutely worth putting a few quarters in. However, I wouldn't recommend this machine in a small collection, but it is a real conversation piece at a show or in a larger collection. A fun game that plays differently than any other pin I've ever played and would be loads of fun... for a few hours about once a year.
2 years ago
Lot of hating goes on on this machine about how it's a mere novelty that wears off quickly. Maybe I'm shuffling to the beat of a different drummer cause I can play this machine all day. Gotta hand it to Stern for thinking THIS far out of the box. It would be nice if a few modern designers would take this many risks. It really is a fun game once you kind of get a handle on the ball movement. Modern collectors have taken to throwing in slow changing LED lights which add to the hallucinatory effect of playing this wack-a-doo creation. What I'd really like to see is someone throw this machine into a quarter finals round of some big pinball competition, you know throw a real wrench into those top players and their well honed strategies.... or better yet a qualifying round could knock out champions while letting relative novices advance. oh what fun!!!!!
2 years ago
Fascinating game to play whenever you find one. Not a lot of fun by itself but very interesting in context of other machines as a novelty. Great art.
2 years ago
What I love about this game: No exit outlanes. Spinning disc. Kinda of a straight shot to upper drop targets. Cool spinner to earn extra ball. It looks great in a dark room 2 fastball bumpers on open playfield. Simple but clean sound effects. Maybe more luck than skill required. But it is simple repetitive fun. It would probably bore most skilled pinball players.
3 years ago
Where's the ball gonna go??? Nobody knows........

Update....The novelty is over...
3 years ago
I first became aware of this pin after stumbling across it on YouTube. Instantly drawn in by the unique gameplay.
I straight away tried to find one for sale and after coming up blank did some proper research. Reasonably low production number made it pretty obvious I wasn’t going to find one in my neck of the woods and didn’t think anymore about it.
Fast forward around 6 months and one pops up for sale, close enough to buy but too far away to inspect in person. I was interested enough to have gamble on it.
Now after having it for a few months I think I can give it a reasonable rating.
I really enjoy playing it. It’s just so different to a standard playfield pinball. You almost have to forget everything you know about playing and start from scratch. Not a lot to do but the shots needed to hit are very hard. Shots that need to be hit on the right side but your aiming left are a highlight for me. Almost like putting in golf.
I don’t think you could have it as an only pin or even in a smaller collection. Definitely need other pins around to keep it fresh.
Now I have one it won’t be going anywhere in a hurry.
3 years ago
In Banning, during a three day, free play weekend with over 500 machines to choose from, I kept finding myself drawn back to this truly unique pin. The invisible, warped playfield, while initially frustrating, is a challenge begging to be mastered. The spinning bumpers are entirely unpredictable. If you get the chance, play a couple games just to watch how the ball moves; it's the next best thing to playing pinball on acid.
4 years ago
Weird machine. I dig weird.
4 years ago
I love this game, so different ...
4 years ago
After couple of games I thought I was on LSD...... What a trip to play this unique game!!
Must be a desperate attempt to beat the video games in the 80's. When I see one for a reasonable price maybe .....
4 years ago
A very unique piece of pinball history, if you do not know what it is when you start to play it then you will be shocked, lol. Not sure how much fun it was, I played three or four games just because I had never seen it before but it was mainly to make sure I was seeing what I thought I was.
4 years ago
shallow rules and super short uncontrollable ball times make this game a nice novelty.
4 years ago
I don't know why, but I love this game. the playfield is hella fun to me, though I understand that it's not traditional or to everyone's taste. I like the space theme, and the bowl of the playfield works with the gravitational play concept.
4 years ago
You gotta play it when you see it, I guess. It's an strange game that's fun to play in short bursts, but would be a bit too much of a one trick pony to own once the novelty wore off. It is kind of amazing to see what Stern had done mixing a pinball machine with a novelty game, and even more amazing when you get a look under the glass.
5 years ago
There is just no real way to score this game in a conventional pinball sense.
It was a marketing novelty experiment by Stern.
It failed.
Next to last game made before Stern initially closed.
Nothing really really disastrous in terms of artwork (if you can call what was on the playfield?), but you don't play art anyway.
Backglass is a redeeming feature with its 3D planets and plexiglass bubble.
This is of course contrary to all those opinions of pinball collectors who spend $600+ powder coating their games, and then say "Oh, shiny"!

I personally dislike the game because it is more random than even Fireball with its spinning disk.
That game at least takes skill, this one does not.
Its like wasting money watching a pinball fling around doing nothing.
In a home environment, what exactly are you going to master or play here?
You cannot aim for any shots due to the "moon crater" undulations on the playfield and and catapult speed "pop bumper" type sling wheels.

Interesting collectible from the standpoint of pinball history, but I would not want to try and find game specific parts for this title.
Unique designs don't make a game an "instant classic" folks...WTF x 10e6?
I never have ever seen that happen in any type of collecting.

Belongs in museums, or VERY LARGE collections.
If this is the only game you own, I feel REALLY bad.
Let me find you something better like a really good EM or inexpensive SS and expound your pinball experience.

If you think the game is the "coolest thing ever" you have not actually owned one.
6 years ago
Not really one of my favorites but certainly an interesting concept. A game you certainly have to play to believe it but the novelty wears off pretty quick. Too bad, I really wanted to like this game because it was truly innovative but it didn't keep my attention for very long.
6 years ago
Played this one last weekend at the Dutch Pinball Museum. What an unusual game! I absolutely loved it and would really like to own one sometime.
7 years ago
A game you'll remember for the rest of your life, even if you play it only once. That alone makes it an instant classic.

Stern gets a 10 for originality and for the balls it had to make this game, especially during this period in time. It's pinball re-invented.

Sure, the playfield seems a little barren. But, with 13 drop targets and a lot of other targets,, it's far from shabby.

People say that you can't control this game. 2 words: play better. This game is certainly controllable. It's just so different that you have to learn how. No matter how good you are at regular pinball, there's always a pretty steep learning curve to O1. Want to see how it's done? Check out my video 'Orbitor 1: How the Hell do you Play it?'. You'll find it here on Pinside in the video section of the game.
7 years ago
Only pin to have spinning bumpers and a wavy play field. Your guess is as good as mine as to where the ball will actually go when hit. Only one like it. How does this machine not get a higher rating simply because of its uniqueness.
There are 47 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 2.

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