Ripley's Believe It or Not! (Stern, 2004)

Ripley's Believe It or Not!

Pinside rating

This game received 340 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 7.934 /10

7.934

Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #57 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.


Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game design: 8.166

Artwork: 7.588

Sounds/Music: 7.396

Other Aspects: 8.074



Rating comments

There are 162 rating comments for this game.


Pinside staff rating

This is how we, the very knowledgeable (wink wink) Pinside.com staff & moderators rate this game. 5 of us have rated this game.

7.53

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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 162 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 162 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
Currently showing results page 1 of 7.

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8.596/10
6 months 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!!
6.087/10
6 months ago
Pretty cool pin, takes awhile to get into it. I like that its low scoring.
6.593/10
7 months 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.
8.456/10
7 months 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.
7.776/10
8 months 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.
7.568/10
11 months 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.
9.276/10
1 year 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!
4.430/10
1 year ago
Lame..What can I say ... Seems cool..I just couldn't get into it. To many roller skating Penquins.. LoL The ModFather
8.008/10
1 year 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.
8.404/10
1 year ago
Trying to find Atlantis isn't easy!
8.832/10
1 year ago
Just got this machine and so far I'm stuck on it! The ramps are cool but not easy to hit and the orbit shots are really fun too. The game is pretty deep with rules but that's the way I like my pins. It has a tic tac toe game that you play with the left ramp that makes hitting it more interesting. The sounds are not that great but not that bad. Overall I'm liking the feel of this game.
8.684/10
1 year ago
Not a bad game from stern
7.869/10
1 year ago
The closest a Stern game came to being an original Lawlor theme, and overall it's pretty good. The playfield layout has Lawlor written all over it, but with enough variety such as the vari-target and tic-tac-toe ramp to set it apart from the crowd. The rules are relatively simple to understand, but there's plenty for seasoned players to work with as Atlantis and Frog Frenzy are not easy to reach. The audio and music is quirky, almost annoying but passable. The art isn't as great as Youssi's previous efforts but still looks okay and at least it's handdrawn! Overall I've spent alot of time on Ripley's and whilst I wouldn't own it I still think it's a tonne of fun :)
7.530/10
1 year ago
Just like Road Show, this game is problematic in its depictions of people of color. It is a really fun game, however, and could benefit from a little 2.0 adjustment...
6.880/10
1 year ago
Cool layout, great rules. But, lacks excitment which hurts fun factor and in turn makes the game a bit of a grind.
7.017/10
1 year ago
RBION is a game I keep wanting to come back and play.
I don't own one, but a few locals do, and I always think about wanting to buy one I like it so much.

I'm a huge Ripley's fan, so the pin appeals to me aesthetically as well as for a fun pin to play.
Would pick one up in a heartbeat if I could.
8.222/10
1 year ago
Is this the ugliest great game, or the greatest ugly game? I love it! So much to do. It's so ugly it makes my eyes hurt.
8.554/10
1 year ago
Ripley's is a very good and underrated game.

Pros:
Really fun gameplay!
The playfield is packed but doesn't feel claustrophobic
Lots of shots from all 3 flippers
Mode based gameplay with balanced scoring forces you to play different areas of the playfield
Good but not great theme integration, artwork, dots, and sound
Difficult skill shot


Cons:
Tic-tac-toe board is essential to gameplay but a boring as the central artwork feature. In general the artwork fits the theme but could have been better.
The sound and dots could use more variety
Both sets of pop bumpers underutilized
Awkward left exit from upper pops
Vari-target doesn't do much. It resets immediately so it ends up functioning just like a standard mode hole
7.540/10
2 years ago
I can't stand that fake rasta sounding voice, it totally ruins the game for me, along with that stupid crap in the upper left corner that's way too big.
8.897/10
2 years ago
I have only played this title a few times it was a little confusing at first due to its deep rules . But the shots felt good and played well. It also didn't feel as cheaply made as some other sterns. The think the game is under rated.
I'll be adding this to my collection soon I think this machine is a good value as "A" list and new pinball prices rise to unobtainable levels. I'll revisit this ratting after I put some more time on it.thanks.
6.997/10
2 years ago
I never liked this pinball game. I gave it numerous times, but I just couldn't get into it. I didn't like the rule set that much, and it wasn't very exciting. I got bored very quickly. I will never drop another quarter in this game.
7.408/10
2 years ago
It's a very interesting pin. The theme is travelling around the world. Didn't quite click with me but I can see how it could be interesting.
9.895/10
2 years ago
For the family one of the best all around games. The kids love it because it's fun and the lights and calls are fantastic. For more experienced players there is a deeper rule set that is challenging.
7.022/10
2 years ago
Ugly pin, regrettable theme, but a blast to play. Deep and satisfying ruleset, it is probably Lawlor's best Stern pin.
8.246/10
2 years ago
I love the looks and the theme. That's the best part of this machine. The layout is great too. It was the first pinball machine that really got my attention. It's fun for beginners, but lacks the challenge beyond that imo. The sounds got annoying for me, and the music was lacking. It went from a machine I really wanted to play to the machine I avoided over and over again. I did like the lighting. I also had a lot of fun with the ramp and number lottery. That's fun to me for some reason.
There are 162 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 7.

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