Safe Cracker

Pinside rating

This game received 195 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 7.811 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #124 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game Design: 7.783

Artwork: 8.077

Sounds/Music: 7.357

Other Aspects: 7.675

Pinside staff rating

This is how we, the very knowledgeable (wink wink) staff & moderators rate this game. 8 of us have rated this game.


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Found 82 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 82 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
Currently showing results page 1 of 4.

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7 months ago
Overrated and overpriced machine. I can't stand the timed play idea so that doesn't help. Unique layout given the smaller size but not a machine I have any interest in owning.
1 year ago
In a game where basically the only goal is to break into the vault to win a token, the entire "board game" part of the game is pure luck. It's just...not really fun at all.
1 year ago
This game is more of a novelty than anything else. It's not fun to play. If it were a full size machine it could have been something special, but with it's reduced size it plays like a toy. The theme and artwork are fine, but the game play is boring and drab.
1 year ago
I thought this game was great, especially when you win a token. I would like to own this game myself.
2 years ago
Just restored a safecracker for a friend. Amazing game. Only played it on my iPhone and Xbox before working on this cool (heavy) pin. The tokens are an amazing addition to the game. (Friend had enough tokens to fill tubes about 1/3 of the way up). Using them to play assault on the bank is an epic multiball experience. Even if this this is your only pin in a collection, (fits anywhere due to its smaller size) you won’t want for another. Fast and amazing Pat Lawlor fun. A color led dmd goes a long way with this game as all pins of the dmd era. Wish I had the room for this pin but wife keeps me at only 4 pins. But maybe 1 more?’!?!?!
2 years ago
Safe cracker is a cool novelty table and I think everyone should give it a try, but it would never make it into my collection. The board game on the back box is completely random chance, and the play field and flippers are small. There isn’t too much to do other than got for the token in the safe. The timed games are also not my favorite. It’s more of a cool gimmicky table than an actual game.
2 years ago
You aren’t allowed to say anything bad about Pat Lawlor, apparently that’s an unwritten pinball law. There isn’t anything bad to say about the man anyway, but honestly, what was he thinking?
If I take this thing, put it out in the sun and water it occasionally, will it eventually grow to full size?
The rarity and the Lawlor name keep this in the top 100. The machine, if mass produced, would put in the mid 200’s at best.
That’s how popularity contests work.
So let’s kneel on the floor and play this thing.
It’s actually pretty fun. I wouldn’t call it just a pinball machine. It’s more of a hybrid between a gum ball pinball, a slot machine, a skee ball, and a prize machine.
What it’s got going for it is a good playfield, rewards, and addictive gameplay.
The size. Great for little kids but us big kids would lift it and cheat.
Seriously though, tiny is cute and this is cute and tiny, but it feels like it’s aimed at turning children into casino players, not pinball players. That may be reading too much into it, but WMS Industries was all about their casinos and slot machine business, and didn’t give two $h!t$ about Pinball. It probably got approved because it was a bit of a gateway gambling machine. Every time I played it, it was in a casino “family videogame room”, so there you go.
The art is passable at best. It doesn’t scream out “Hey, stupid! Play this new game from Pat Lawlor! Yowza! It’s awesome!!!” It sort of says “Um, bling.. bling? Yeah, I go bling!” Same with the sounds. It’s a step down from what pinball had been doing and not really exciting.
Ball timers???? I don’t even want to talk about it! It works, sort of, but why???
The irritating mini flippers. Somewhat accurate, somewhat frustrating, actually may be a positive thing now that I think about it.

Taking things in new directions is always good. Doing things nobody has done before is good. If Safe Cracker had come out about four years earlier, been tweaked and improved a little, then given to every arcade with prize redemption booths and Chuck E. Cheese restaurants, I think it would have become a huge hit and a string of these machines would have followed from every manufacturer. The concept and idea are fun, as is the gameplay. The problem is it’s just a novelty now, like the joust pinball Baby Pac-man and those wacky hexagon pinball sit down tables. Rarity and name recognition does not make one great, but it helps a lot.
2 years ago
I think that this machine plays and sounds great, but could have better artwork
3 years ago
One of my favorite pins, it has it all and you can win prizes! A one of a kind for sure!!
3 years ago
I have always felt that this game is FAR greater than the sum of its' parts. Maybe the most in all of pinball.

I'm not a huge fan of the artwork, sounds, or theme...but the game is just plain fun. It definitely has that one more game appeal. The chance to win a token is a right of passage that every pinballer should experience.
3 years ago
Why did I give this game a perfect score?
First off, Pat Lawlor.
Secondly, you need to realize just how different and innovative this game is.
It has unique tokens designed specifically for this game and this game alone which has a whole mech custom built to spit these tokens out at you to give you access to a special wizard mode. WOW!
The playfield is smaller than a standard body but packs everything and the kitchen sink for toys and shots.
Utilized backglass to include a freaking board game!
What some people might criticize would be the smaller flippers, smaller playfield, and timed balls (as opposed to the typical 3 ball) however I consider these things a positive change because it just shakes things up, and makes jumping back and forth between a standard sized pin and a safecracker feel so strange yet refreshing. So instead of bashing it for feeling alien, I LOVE it. Variety is the spice of life after all.
They are pretty rare, so if you find one you’ve got to try it out.
3 years ago
Wow what a game. What a novel idea and game! Incredible.

Could be very frustrating but it's so different and you have such a specific goal. Plus the reward with the token at the end!

If you have a chance, definitely stop and play this! So so so cool!
3 years ago
getting a coin never gets old
3 years ago
When Pat Lawlor's legacy is written, Safe Cracker deserves a prominent chapter. What an innovative, gutsy project this must have been. I suspect it was the mid-late 90s and pinball was feeling the decline in interest. The idea of a series of pins that were slightly smaller, but offered a challenging pinball game plus a video/board game in the backglass was very clever and inspired. I heard this was supposed to be the first of many "magic token" pins, that would award tokens which could be used to play other magic token pins. Except just over 1000 Safe Crackers were produced, and the game did not revolutionize pinball. Remember Baby PacMan? This pin is actually an exceptional realization of a pinball game hybrid, with a video/board game in the head. You try to enter the bank by disabling the alarm at one of three possible entry points (the basement, roof and main entrance). Once you enter the bank, you turn your attention to the backglass, where a video boardgame begins. You basically roll virtual dice to advance your position toward the bank vault. Along the way, guards can chase you, robot dogs can send you back to the pinball game, and you can earn money or more time. The game is also innovative because you are playing against the clock, with a certain amount of time to access the bank, and then enter the vault and win magic tokens. Great concept, very well designed. Didn't change the industry, but with just over 1000 examples, these are valuable, especially with all the tokens and cabinet wings. A memorable chapter in Pat Lawlor's distinguished career.
4 years ago
Too bad this game is so rare and expensive. It's a mini game with mini flippers but it doesnt feel too mini. It's a great little oddity and it doesnt take up a lot of real estate
4 years ago
The most unique game I have ever played. I love the board game and the fact that you get a token if you make it into the Vault.
4 years ago
The last Bally Williams I keep at home, after all the ones who were here in the past.
I love this game.
Hightly undervalued game just because it is rare and not so many people can assess it.
Will never leave my house.
Pat is the best !
5 years ago
Some people dont like differnt and walk up to this game with a closed mind. I did at first but once you get over it and aim to have fun its an amazing game
5 years ago
"Safe Cracker" is like "Who Dunnit?" without the charm, wit or smooth gameplay. The concept is really cool but it's all lost in translation and you get sick of "stop-n-go", especially when the "stop" doesn't make much sense: you crack a safe and basically stop a roulette-style safe wheel at a certain number. You'll get a bunch of cash, a token if you're lucky or you'll get a guard or some sort of robot dog that you have to "defeat". One of the things I really do like about this game is infinite number of "lives" you get. The object isn't to give you three chances to crack a safe, it's to give you a chance to crack the safe in a given amount of time, period. After you run out of time, you have ONE life -- that's it. If you lose it, you're arrested. The great thing is there's a lot to shoot at, despite the much smaller field and flippers. The bad thing is that it's pretty easy to hit ramps and targets and it feels, at times, like you're just going in circles until you finally get the shot you want. As for the art...meh. This isn't the prettiest thing to look at and it's mostly lights. Props for using the backglass, though. I'm a sucker for stuff like that. Still, this is disjointed and not really for me.
5 years ago
When I walked up to this machine and saw the size of the flippers, I thought, “I’m going to hate this game!” I was happy to be proved wrong! A very fun game.
6 years ago
SafeCracker is a fun unique game that is different than anything else available. Amazing design by Pat Lawlor. I like how you set yourself up on the board with different entraces on the playfield. Getting into the vault is cool and having a token roll down the glass never gets old. The assault the vault mode is a fun extra multiball with an excellent DMD intro. The lastability of this game is only soso. With extensive time on this game I found I did not like the smaller size playfield and flippers compared to a regular sized game. It just did not feel as good to shoot. And the stop and go with the board game gets tiring with consistent play. Great alternative game that fits well in a large collection.
6 years ago
This game IMO shouldn't be close to top 100
6 years ago
very funny game,you want to play again ans again,it's a verydifferent game of what i have and that's why childs and i love it
6 years ago
This game is crazy! I really liked that it's timed because every time I play it, the balls go strait down the middle and the flippers are super small. Pretty cool idea of breaking into the bank, being chased and rewarded. This machine is much smaller than a normal pin, but is still very cool. The best part is if you are able to get a reward token to shoot out.
6 years ago
A great gimmick game that manages to bring me back every time. Not only do I love going for that coin, but I like how the game attracts beginners and pros alike. It's a very unique game that doesn't sacrifice any fun for the gimmick. Too bad there aren't more of them out there...
There are 82 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 4.

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