Ripley's Believe It or Not!

Pinside rating

This game received 352 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 7.978 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #63 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game design: 8.235

Artwork: 7.639

Sounds/Music: 7.353

Other Aspects: 8.127

Pinside staff rating

This is how we, the very knowledgeable (wink wink) staff & moderators rate this game. 7 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 180 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 180 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
Currently showing results page 1 of 8.

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48 days ago
Very rare machine in the UK. Plenty of stuff to hit, and shots are different to any other pin. I really like it and its nothing like any of my other pins!
3 months ago
Way over rated.

A lot like funhouse. Clunky. Zero smoothness. Clunky. Clunky.

Was expecting more. Got very little.
4 months ago
Fantastic machine!! One of the few machines that ropped me in immediately! Very deep with tough shots. Got BM 66 two weeks before I got this. Have barely touched BM 66 since.
6 months ago
This pin has a lot of people who believe that it is one of PLD's best, I'm not one of them. Compared to his other work this pin is just not at the level of his other designs. It seems too compact and tight, over-stuffed. Possibly if it was a wide body the layout would be better/more spacious. The modes are not that interesting and the game audio is just too repetitive.

This game has somewhat of a strong support base from many of pinball players...I tried, its just not for me
6 months ago
I've had this game for a few months now and enjoy playing the game a lot. I think it offers a lot of bang for the buck as this game can be picked up for less than 4k. The theme is obviously bizarre but the sounds and callouts are paired quite well with the theme. It's a cool game and a family friendly machine. Fits well in any size collection from a single pin to larger collections.
8 months ago
I finally got to play Ripley’s at Pinfest 2019 in Newcastle, NSW and it didn’t disappoint. The machine has shots all over the table and the rules tie in beautifully with the theme. I’d love to spend some more time with this one to gain a deeper appreciation for its true depth.
8 months ago
I guess the nicest thing I can say about this game is how much it reminds me of other Lawlor games. Whirlwind: skill shot, upper right flipper shot, lower outhole. The TAF reference: "it's not plugged in yet mon." The mode-select shot reminiscent of the mirror in Funhouse. The one innovation I like is where the magnet grabs the ball, lets go long enough to let the ball drift downward. Then pulses again to fling it back up to start the monkey mode or whatever that is up there. On the downside, it feels like those old Stern and Gottlieb games always seemed *way* too forgiving. I put in a couple of quarters and 12 replays later I had had enough.
8 months ago
Great game. Fun shooter. The close up scoop shot is difficult for me. Thank goodness there is the vari-target.
9 months ago
Fun game with some challenging shots. Keeps a good pace and has diverse objectives.
9 months ago
I like this game, I don't love it. It reminds me a lot of games like "Twilight Zone" and Williams' version of "Indiana Jones". The ruleset is nice and deep and the game plays well enough with rewarding shots and a ramp which leads to an upper playfield. The issue is that it feels a bit crowded. There's not much to do on the left side because so much room is taken up by ramps and bumpers and an upper playfield "temple". The audio has some dude (I assume it's Ripley) who just says random things like "You're spelling my name" or "Boy...Africa is really weird..." while the rest of the audio is somebody trying to say things in a Jamaican accent that's so bad, you can tell they're not really Jamaican. Neat game with a wonderful light show but the game doesn't really do much for me.
11 months ago
This pin has it all!
1 year ago
This game is decent, but I feel like I should be playing Twilight Zone instead whenever I give it a go. It is fun but it's not a theme that draws me in; at least Twilight Zone has a cool vintage vibe to it. All of that said, it's definitely a game worth trying if you haven't - theme matters more to me than a lot of players it seems, and this game is still fun despite it not matching up to TZ.
1 year ago
Great underrated game (even though it’s in the top 100). Pretty straight fwd rules. Great multiball animation.
1 year ago
A must have! I believe RBION will continue to appreciate in value.
1 year ago
My son and I love this game, when you can find one that is working of course, love the variety although a bit confusing at first, love the callouts. It is a game that I would consider buying if in excellent condition for a good price, a pin that will have lots of lastability I'm sure. One of Stern's best alongside LOTR.
1 year ago
I bought this game new in the box in 2005. I played it a lot the first couple years, then fadded away. I started playing it again about 16 months ago and have a whole new appriciation for the game. I really enjoy this games play, theme, sounds, lighting, and quotes. I did update the playfield lighting to LED's which really helped the game to Pop in terms of lighting affects. Lots of fun shots and long game play possible with some lucky ball bounces, overall a keeper for many years to come.
1 year ago
What a fun extremely underrated game! Lots of last ability in a smaller collection.
1 year ago
I really love this game. An incredibly deep rule set complements a classic Lawlor playfied. A lot of strategy with overlapping modes, both continent and temple. The game starts slow but eventually has so much going on you may have a hard time focusing on your goal. Definitely a great, tough, players game. With multiple wizard/mini wizard modes that may take you a lifetime to accomplish, the lastability is off the charts!! Yes, the rasta shrunken head voice is a little annoying, and borderline problematic, but strangely enough it kind of grew on me. My biggest complaint is the poor placement/design of the upper right pop bumpers. This should feed to the right side flippers but most of the time kicks the ball to the left and and sometimes sdtm. However, this is one minor issue and an otherwise brilliant game!!
2 years ago
Pretty cool pin, takes awhile to get into it. I like that its low scoring.
2 years ago
I've played this machine the last couple of days on location. It had not been serviced in a long time, so the two right flippers were too weak to make most shots. Even with this handicap I really enjoyed playing it, so that says something about the gameplay on this machine.

I liked the flow of the shots and the fact that the game is a real challenge, with all the modes to complete. There are not very many toys and gimmicks, but most will agree that the gameplay is solid. It's a shame the artwork is so bad! It's perhaps the ugliest cabinet I've ever seen, and the playfield is no better. It just looks very cheap and doesn't fit the world-traveling theme. The designer seems to have just given up and threw together some graphics and called it a day.

The theme is kind of a mixed bag for me. Because of the nature of the theme, it's kind of all over the place. On the one hand you've got the fake rasta voice going on about idols etc, and next thing you know the game is talking about roller skating pinguins. These kind of jokes don't really work for me, and the whole 'fun facts' theme seems likely to get old very fast.

All in all, I do recommend this game, if only for the solid gameplay.
2 years ago
This is just a great Pat Lawlor game with basically all the classic Lawlor shots and features. Some people describe this pin as TZ lite, and that's a fair description. However, I personally enjoyed this pin more than TZ. I know that's heresy to some people, but they really are very similar in many ways, with TZ getting the nod for innovation, theme and rules, while the layout and more modern feel to Ripley's is better. I feel it shoots better. The humor and weirdness of Ripley's is fun. This game is simply packed with ramps, magnets, scoops, trapdoor shots, and an upper playfield. Definitely feels like a Pat Lawlor game. I personally find this one to be one of his best ever games, and for the current price for a clean HUO? Incredible, underrated bargain. I wish I had discovered it sooner. I would own one by now.*
*Update. I finally found an excellent HUO, clean and nearly mint RBION. This game has ALOT to offer in terms of gameplay. Smooth shots, ramps and great flow. Excellent design and layout. Some shots are very similar to Dialed In. And like Dialed In, this game suffers from a goofy theme, music and callouts. I love playing both games despite their themes. If only the theme was a bit more realized or appealing. Still a fantastic, underrated shooter. Pretty deep game too. It’s odd, but that’s one reason I traded for it. Overall, this is one of my favorite games in my collection.
2 years ago
Lots of different shots, unique theme. I only played a couple of games but I get the feeling that this is an underrated stern pin.
2 years ago
This game has a pretty cool layout and a surprisingly deep rule set. It plays a lot like dialed in with the modes being the main focus and completing them is how you make it to the final wizard mode. There are plenty of modes and things to do but unfortunately the art is pretty bad on this game. Other than the art I think this is quite a good game from stern.
2 years ago
Playfield is packed - rare to see a Stern game with this many goodies. Code is very deep almost to the point of being unbeatable. Has the feel of a Williams/Bally game. Quality of build is very good!
2 years ago
RBION may be one of those love it or hate it machines, but it's all Lawlor at its heart, and this is a champion's game among the early Y2K era Stern.

The playfield doesn't break a lot of new ground, but you'll instantly see self-quotation from Twilight Zone, Addams Family, and the 80's classic Lawlor machines such as Earthshaker. Among the familiar features: a between the bumper shot to the left (although relatively inconsequential for scoring in RBION), two tight up the middle shots and a close standup bank almost dead center set against a scoop, multiple top flipper orbit shots, and low side features. It has a second plunger lane, albeit an autofire one for locked balls, another Lawlor standard feature. There's even a talking giant head (the shrunken head), although thanks to the vintage and manufacturer it's not an actual moving head ala Red, Ted, Rudy, et alia.

The final product is a maven's variety of shots - fore and backhand options for almost every shot are available, none of them too easy (although the right ramp is pretty low difficulty), and while there's a little start and stop with some of the scoops, in general the action is pretty free flowing and can get fast. It's extremely easy to get a multiball of some sort (half the modes are multiballs) but the "main" multiball of three balls takes a reasonable sequence of shots, and the wizard mode is hellaciously difficult to get to, requiring successful completion of all the modes. There's a sort of bonus multiball, the slyly named RIPOFF mode, that's independent of the modes or the main multiball.

What sets RBION apart, though, is the layering. Modes can be stacked, and using the tic-tac-toe gimmick temple up the center ramp to time things like the 2X playfield in combination with one of the multiballs - or if you're truly amazing, the Atlantis mode - can lead to amazing point totals for rounds that normally feel like chicken feed. Because there's a set of several progressive goals, while it doesn't have the extremely deep rules set of some more recent vintage machines, it makes for a variety of game play and goals.

The Stern engineering is a blessing and a curse: game control is relatively easy, and outlane drains are boring (none of the panic of the left outlane of TZ), but flipper touch isn't as elegant as the classic Lawlor Williams machines. There aren't as many playfield toys -- a Bigfoot or a Rollerskating Penguin, or an actual Idol instead of an illustrated one, wouldn't have added more than a few bucks of cost and would have added to the fun factor.

Now, as to the theme (and artwork). This is where the love-it or hate-it aspect comes in. Ripley's itself is an old school throw back to a pre-internet time when a lot of weirdness in the world that was real, some that was fake, and whether any of it was significant or not was hard to evaluate. The Sunday RBION columns and the even older newsreels and traveling super-side-shows, only a few steps away from a carnival freak show, weren't exactly textbook anthropology or natural history, nor were they culturally sensitive by modern standards, but they did pique interest in people about things outside their sphere of experience. Fun, yes, even if you were left wondering whether it was all BS.

This is where I think it's a great Lawlor theme. Even though it's licensed, there's quite a bit of Lawlor whimsy built in that pokes gentle fun at the theme (not taking Ripley seriously, having him as a pseudo Indiana Jones figure as he painted himself in the 20s and 30s, the occasional self-deprecating joke such as "Ripoff" Multiball) while incorporating the essence of the old Ripley's books and strips (the Odditorium, with its one-line weird facts) and incorporating a sort of 1930's travel the world feeling. So it's supposed to be sort of dark, dusty, and leathery, like one of those local museums you stumble upon that hasn't been updated in sixty years. I can fully see why this might not appeal to some people, but if you're in the right mindset, it can be lots of fun to go along with the theme. My kids have enjoyed talking along with the Shrunken Head and reading the "facts" and looking for jokes and easter eggs. It's strange. And very unlike a lot of playfields in that regard. An acquired taste, yes, perhaps.

So, calling it "Stern's Twilight Zone" or "The Poor Man's Twilight Zone" are both fairly apt descriptions - it's not quite the equal of TZ or TAF but it's a very playable machine with its own rewards, and a celebration of odd and funky like the best of Lawlor with his fascination alternating between disaster zones and freakish characters.
There are 180 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 8.

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