Pinside rating

This game received 50 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 7.452 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #193 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game Design: 7.449

Artwork: 8.055

Sounds/Music: 6.467

Other Aspects: 7.417

Pinside staff rating

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


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Found 18 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 18 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
Currently showing results page 1 of 1.

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72 days ago
Really neat use of magna saves and a cool separation between the upper and lower playfields. The upper flippers feel pretty terrible, but slapping around and eventually making progress feels good when you find the lane you’re reaching for. Separation of playfields has been done better since but this one was an important one for its time; it’s fun to play even if ball time seems pretty short. Wide flipper separation makes things go by quick at the bottom but it’s tough and fun regardless.
80 days ago
I think this game is more fun than Black Knight. Upper playfield is used nicely and I like the amount of drop targets on this game. The magna saves are tough to master but man it's satisfying! I wish I picked up the Pharaoh that was offered to me years ago before!
80 days ago
This game was at my local arcade, Two levels, speech with great sounds
I put a lot of coins into it
80 days ago
A respectable entry into the Black Knight clone family along with Jungle Lord
3 years ago
Williams classic and one of the more interesting upper PF layouts.

Controlled magna saves are a ton of fun to master. Theme works well, BG/PF flashers are a nice touch, and call outs / sounds I’ll get caught saying to myself after gameplay. Art package looks great w/ more to be desired for BG.

Overall good ruleset for ERA with left flipper backhand getting a bit repetitive in placing ball to upper PF. Regardless, always a pleasure to play.
3 years ago
Not a huge fan of the theme. Some of the artwork is well drawn though. So I can appreciate that. Overall the artwork is acceptable & I can get past it to focus on the gameplay.

Magna Saves, are excellent. I have a bias for games that use some sort of variation of that mechanic.

I am not used to the mini flipper on the upper PF & I have difficulty with the right-hand side the the PF. I can appreciate the challenge the table poses.

I will update this review/rating as I play this game more.
3 years ago
I had fun playing it. Its from 1981 and plays better than most games from that era.
3 years ago
The artwork is great! The gameplay is fun but very it would go well in a lot of collections. I think it is underrated.
3 years ago
The game is very under rated. Gameplay in upper playfield is best I have ever experienced. Access to upperplayfeild is unique with three options to drive ball up. Best integration design of upper/lower I have played. It is llike two games on one table.
4 years ago
Interesting playfield.
7 years ago
I really loved Pharaoh! It stayed in my collection for quite a while and I played it a ton.
I didn't really want to sell it, but I had more pins coming in than going out; so...

The artwork on this game is really good. I always found it fun to point out the suggestive stuff in the backglass.
The gameplay rocked! It is a upper playfield heavy game, but the shots to get up there are satisfying. It's critical that the upper drops work correctly, or the game isn't worth playing.
Getting multi-ball gets easier over time, but keeping it alive and up is a challenge. I think the most satisfying is getting the extra ball. The target light to hit moves back and forth from upper and lower, so timing and accuracy is key.
I miss having it around.... But, some pinsider in IL is happy playing it now.
7 years ago
Great game for the early 80's. Love the 2 playfields. Magna save is cool.
Artwork on playfield and back glass is great
7 years ago
I played a modified version of Pharaoh at Zapcon 4 (2016) that was set up with no legs and odd controls. Still, it was fun and of the four Williams in the series, I like Pharaoh the best (then Solar Fire, then BK, then Jungle Lord, if you're curious).

The raised playfield is fun, but almost takes up too much space on this particular table. It's neat to watch the ball go off and explore on its own (where you can't see it), but I really need a little more room to shoot. Besides the cramped feel, I also think the raised pf shots are too hard or lack the capacity to allow the player to make a variety of shots. Still, the theme is great, the art is very detailed and eye-catching, and the overall game play is still fun.

I'd like to own a Pharaoh one day, so it's on my list. I recommend playing it several times with special attention to getting that raised pf shot to go through (you'll know the one when you play it).
8 years ago
Fun game, with great art. The shots have a good curve of difficulty. Good sound for its age as well. Rules are a little strange though.
9 years ago
One of my favorites. Love the color schemeing. And the design of pharaoh himself. I don't care for split level games but this one gets a free pass on that.
11 years ago
Some people really love Pharaoh. My opinion is out of the fabulous 4, this is the weakest of the brothers.

The Pros:
An interesting PF design. Artwork that will keep you looking at the game for months and still finding new and interesting things in it. 3 sets of targets, a trapped ball and 2 lanes on the top. Lots to do! Shots from the kicker on the left are timed. Magna saves are always sweet.

The Cons:
The game turns into a trap/backhand game with the shot to the upper p/f from the lower left flipper being your moneymaker. Lower PF is a non-factor. Play is, well, it's boring.

The Takeaway:
I'm happy to get a real tour from someone who knows this game in and out... but I'm just not getting a good feeling from this deck and the more I play this game, the less I like it. Not a good sign at all. Out of the Fab 4, this is the runt of the litter by a longshot. Jungle Lord has new respect in my eyes, even with the random bagatelle. BK is a great game, and Solar Fire is the best playing of these 4 tables.

There are some interesting strategies on the upper PF, but the lower PF is not where you want to be. Trap, post pass (if ya gotta) and put the ball in the hidden tomb for the safe shot and feed to the left flipper on the upper PF. This game may be a candidate for a few PF mods:

1) Small flippers on both sides of the upper PF.
2) A rubber band across the entrance of the Hidden tomb.

This may make this game more challenging. Or it may make it just downright un-playable. I'm curious to know if someone is willing to do this to their deck. Any willing test subjects out there?
12 years ago
Good looking machine with rather limited ruleset. Somewhat unbalanced layout, as the purpose of the lower - and very narrow - playfield is limited to rack up MagnaSave(tm) units. For the main feature you need to keep the ball on the upper playfield, multiball is a rather "useless" - playfield scores double - and the memorizing capabilities of the SS technology are completely wasted, as no achievement/value is held over to the next ball. The only "pros" beside the great artwork are the MagnaSave(tm) feature and the Bonus-Ball feature for two or more player games, IMHO.
12 years ago
I always play this game when I see it. The fact that it has a small lower play-field makes it tough for a novice. It looks great but it seems pretty shallow to me.
There are 18 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 1.

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