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Rescue 911

Pinside rating

This game received 67 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 6.553 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #325 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game design: 6.771

Artwork: 6.36

Sounds/Music: 6.439

Other Aspects: 6.451

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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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 30 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 30 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
Currently showing results page 1 of 2.

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1 year ago
Huge fan of the TV series so it was a must for me. Not the most in depth game with rules and there is some more odd shots but that is part of the quirkiness of the game. Alot of the Gottliebes at that time were like that. The helicopter is cool and fits the them nicely. Love the life force mode, it really gets you into it as the game beats like heartbeat. Artwork looks cartoony but is in line with the game I feel. Don't plan on selling mine
1 year ago
It behooves me to think of the meeting that must have taken place to decide that a property like the television show Rescue 911 would make for an excellent game. A show constructed around discarded news footage and re-enactments of medical, fire, and safety accidents..... Yet Beetlejuice never got a pinball? Th game play is pretty ho-hum on this machine. Not terrible but not terribly intriguing. Gottlieb was really struggling at this point. I have found that lots of police, firefighters, and ambulance drivers like to collect this as the one pin they own.
1 year ago
Needs to have the Helicopter working to be fun. Most of the shots are fairly easy. Besides scoring points you are also trying to save lives. Has 2 ball and 3 Ball Multiball. Good entry level Dot Matrix pin that will not break the bank. Get to life force mode and the game goes black with a heart beat. Rule set is easy to understand. Shots light up when in rescue modes. The Ball Drops on the playfield from the plunger in the beginning and the one habitrail/ramp. This can damage the playfield in those spots so you might need to fix these areas.
2 years ago
Thought I would hate it more than I do. Helicopter is cool and music really gets you hyped up to play it. Playfield layout isn’t that good. Sounds would get annoying. Art is ok. Would play if on location but I think it would get stale.
2 years ago
The helicopter is the main feature of the game, and when it's working, it's a really cool mechanism to see.

However, there are several things that can go wrong with this mechanism, so it can be tough to get working right. But, I wrote up a repair guide on pinwiki, which should help:

Otherwise, the rest of the game is fairly lackluster. The rules/modes aren't terribly complicated, and have fairly easy shots to complete.

For new players, it can be a lot of fun, and at shows when it's all LEDed up, it can be quite an attractive game.
3 years ago
A really excellent theme -- various emergency responses -- and an outstanding gimmick - a flying helicopter that lifts your ball up and allows you to drop it along an arc or into a rescue pen -- are marred by a horribly unbalanced playfield layout. The modes could have been fairly awesome (I'm thinking more favorably of the contemporaneous Big Hurt from Gottlieb, which made good use of different baseball themes in the modes and had relatively balanced scoring among them) but the lack of reasonable shots makes the play heavy. On the lower half, there's a hook to a saucer that blocks off all other left side shots. There's a long lane up to bumpers that you almost can't miss with a reasonable aim. There's a long shot up to a single drop target on the top with a saucer (no VUK, where it might be expected), and a very boring and relatively hard right ramp that goes straight back. The different colored balls in the captive ball area are cute: like emergency vehicle lights.

So the net effect is lots of potentially bright and shiny shticks lost under a sea of strange shots. There's no flow and most shots are there and back and returned via just a couple of paths. It really is a bit disappointing. That said, for an initial play or two, kids will like this one, if you can show them how to make the left side shot. And then they will be bored.
3 years ago
The whole idea of this theme sounds kind of lame but the helicopter is fun as hell.
4 years ago
What a fun game! Great fun for the family. The ramps and helicopter are great! The saved lives adds a extra dynamic to the game, not just the score. The perfect game for cops or fireman.
4 years ago
i love my rescue911, The helicopter is one of the coolest toys in all of pinball. The modes where you rescue people are really fun and well done. It's not an easy machine to conquer for the average player. This era of gottlieb games has a sort of fun cartoonish character that is endearing and a joy to play.
4 years ago
Man, this game gets dogged! It's a really fun game and a great player! Fine by me...keeps the price low for when I actually want to buy one!

People complain about the helicopter slows the game down, but man I love it! Sooo stinking cool. The music is fantastic, and while the artwork is pretty bad, it fits the theme well. There's some great shots on this game, and the rules aren't bad either. I love grabbing the bonus drop from the helicopter into a hole on one of the plastics. Very creative thought went into this one.

I really enjoyed this game, way more than I thought I would. Let the haters hate...I'm digging Rescue 911!
5 years ago
Just ok game. Not much going on, slow. Would not go out of my way to play it.
5 years ago
Never played this a lot until recently. A clean example with strong flippers is a great deal of fun. Ramp shots are tough but you are not penalized if you miss. Upper flipper takes some skill but pays off. The theme is very cool, I really like the translite. The helicopter is a very nice feature, however the sound can get a little annoying and activating is really too easy. Overall though, this is a very fun game and one that I wouldn't mind putting in my lineup. A real nice Gottlieb.
5 years ago
I originally bought this game to fix it up and sell it. Turned out to be a game the family really enjoyed playing so I'll keep it around until I finish restoring The Flintstones and Creature from the Black Lagoon.

Changing some of the settings such as setting the early ball drain to Medium, makes this game a little more forgiving for the beginners. People who come over really like that feature and some of the groans turn into jubilation when they realize they can shoot again.

I really like the variety of shots and find that there are a lot of shots that appear simple until you try to repeat them. It's nice that the game changes every 30 seconds or until you reset the mode by calling 911 and having the helicopter drop the ball in the designated drop zone. The helicopter is the only part that I don't always like as it slows down game play. Other than that, I think this game should get a higher rating as it's just some good, clean, fun.
5 years ago
This was one of my favorite pins that I had to sell to make room. The helicopter toy really adds to the game along with the flashing light above the backglass. The game play is fun and exciting. I miss it.
6 years ago
I had never played this pin before. Picked it up cheap. I enjoy the game more than I thought I would. The helicopter is a great toy. No issues with it. It is in my shop waiting for a restore but I can't keep my friends from playing it !
It's a fun game, not the deepest rule set, but that ok. Kids love it. Great sound effects. Just good basic fun.
6 years ago
Gets a bad rap. I broke the helicopter down when I bought it, oiled the moving parts with lithium grease, and it works like an absolute champ. I love the game, and it gets a ton of traffic from my guests. The helicopter never gets old, and the shots are challenging enough to keep you coming back. Pretty solid, well made machine that has given me very little trouble. I'll keep her.
6 years ago
My kids and the kids from the neighborhood LOVE this game. It's fun to play and the Helicopter picking up the pinball doesn't get old. Very easy game to beat for good pinball players though. The rules aren't the clearest, but once you figure it out, you and beat the game constantly.
6 years ago
It is a shame many people on here seem to rate machines according to how much they like the theme... I am not a fan of Star Trek, nothing personal, I just couldn't get into it, but I am not going to trash the Star Trek pinballs just because I don't like Star Trek... I will rate them on the gameplay...

That being said, I am also not an overly big fan of the Rescue 911 theme, but none of the 16 individual ratings ask if I like the theme, so I did not rate as if it did... The game has some real qualities that make you take notice, such as the red spinner on the top, the melodic attract music, and bright flashers all over the playfield... It makes you take a look, and when you see the helicopter, you absolutely have to give it a try, because you must find out what it does. I must say that it is a cool little gimmick that is also functional, as many gimmicks were not... This one picks up the ball and you control where it drops. Thats a winner for me as far as the gimmick catagory goes, I don't just put my elbows on the glass and wait for it to be over because I get to have some control.

The game does lack a bit in flow at the beginning, until you get used to it and know where to land the ball on the flippers to hit the shots, and there are quite a few shots to hit for a more modestly priced dmd... It actually has a decent flow to it, and can be quite challenging to get really high scores as well as rack up the lives saved. Adding up the lives saved is probably tougher than scoring high points.

The sound is very well suited for the game with lots of EMT, 911 Caller, and Police call outs. The animations are also quite well done and expresses the theme perfectly, as well as the art package on the cabinet and backglass.

As far as the lastability and fun factor, For me it does. When you get a look at the game and begin to play it, it seems as though it is a very simple layout... It will almost get you frustrated it looks so simple, and you cant score off the charts. If nothing else that will keep you coming back again and again.

Overall, this game is well worth the modest amount of coin it will cost to get one... Its not an Addams Family, Indiana Jones, or Circus Voltaire, but it is a very well rounded machine that is family friendly, and anyone can play it and trigger the gimmicks... But racking up the points and lives takes some skill and persistence! Good luck and happy BALLING!
6 years ago
When I first saw this game, I thought: WOW! This is great! Having played it consistently for a couple of years, my opinion of it has decreased a whole lot. The one thing that keeps going through my mind when I play this is: "me and my buddies could have built this in our basement"...
7 years ago
Not impressed after waiting a while to finally play this game as I generally like other gottlieb dmds. Zero flow, the helicopter holds up play far too long and its far to easy to drop the ball in the correct place, the ramp on the right goes nowhere and the upper flipper is useless, probably my least fave gottlieb 90s.
7 years ago
Bad ass! Alweays fun to play. PF is great and music is great. sitting right next to my Addams Family.
7 years ago
Not a bad bang for your buck. R911 has some great shots and the helicopter is a great toy (when it is working). Bad art package all around, but one, if not the best, from the late Gottlieb era.
7 years ago
We had this machine in our break room at work for a little over 2 years. We played this thing hundreds of times and after taking a break for a little while went back to it and continued to play.

Although the theme isn't the best I found the playfield layout pretty good; I especially like the upper playfield area by the upper flipper on the right. Hitting the ER (Emergency Room) shot is pretty fun.

This machine is vastly overlooked and if you can get past the theme (artwork/sounds) it is a fairly fun one to play
8 years ago
I have no idea why this game is rated so low. I found this game to be a very fun game to play. My family loves playing tournaments on this machine. I love how it has the helicopter that picks up the ball, its a rare addition to the game that makes it unique.
8 years ago
After owning for a while, I have grown to appreciate this game. Yes the helicopter breaks the flow of the game play up and can be sort of repetitive, but I still find myself coming back for more. The real fun starts with the life line mode and all you hear is a heartbeat. It is pretty intense.
There are 30 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 2.

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