The Shadow (Bally, 1994)

The Shadow

Pinside rating

This game received 522 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 8.206 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #31 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game design: 8.688

Artwork: 7.375

Sounds/Music: 7.954

Other Aspects: 8.303

Rating comments

There are 261 rating comments for this game.

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 261 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 261 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
Currently showing results page 1 of 11.

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20 days ago
Very underrated and while I don't mind the original the Aurich translite is much nicer and removed the only negative a lot of people have with the title.
67 days ago
Very, VERY underrated game. TBH it is a bang for your buck. Tons of cool shots and modes. Shadow is blazingly fast and enjoyable. Don't try to play something slower like i.e IJ after that because IJ feels like playing chess, and Shadow is like car chase in Bullit. Beautifull cabinet artwork. Mediocre backglass but if you lit it well with leds - it is acceptable. Or exchange for Aurich's alt translite - that makes this pin really complete. And the diverters - GREAT feature.. I got used to them so much that after that i was looking for them in my other pins - but the buttons aren't there ;)
Sanctum magnet is one of the coolest features i have met on a pinball machine, Battlefield is fast and feels like a real battle!
Overall I don't get why it is priced so low as imho it has more replayability than many of the top ten. Once you get all the rules - you will get hooked like on crack ;) "YOU WILL PLAY THIS GAME AGAIN!!"

PS: I bought it only based on the ratings - i have never played if in the real time - only 3-4 time on the Virtual Pinball table. Risk taken - but I don't regret it.

Highly recomended.
89 days ago
It’s a hard game, but LOADS of fun! Aurich’s translite is a must! My current rating of 8.916 is with Aurich’s translite and speaker panel. Otherwise it drops to 8.541.

Tranquilize’s review is SPOT ON, so I’m not going to repeat it. If you don’t like this game, it’s because you either haven’t played it enough, or you suck at pinball. Period. Top 5 pins from the 90’s.
3 months ago
After playing this machine at an expo, I just had to find one to add to my collection, and it will be one of the last ones to leave. Out of all the pinball machines I’ve played, I would say that this pin is the most under-rated. It is in absolute bargain for what you get. All I can say is, “WOW” is this game ever challenging and fun!

— You want toys? Well this was the era of toys. The ramp diverters are astounding and fun.
— The upper playfield is very challenging and very fun.
— The ball lock at the sanctuary is a first and was/is epic.
— The upper loop is super hard, which is good.
— The eject hole for Khan/modes is super hard, which is good.
— The drop target at the entrance to the upper playfield is good design.


— Love the call-outs: “You are boring me!”.
— “Coward, Chicken, Sissy. C’mon. Play again.”
— I don’t know the comics or the film, but theme appears to be good.
— Lighting is good for the era. Lots of flashers. Cool inserts in upper pf.


— This game is a player’s pin, meaning it is difficult! It’s perfect for a collection of any size.
— This is one of the only pins that I didn’t have to toughen up the default rules.
— Skill shot is risky but with great value.
— It can have tremendous flow with the ramps and loops, but sudden death is common if you miss with velocity.
— There seems to be extra gravity on this pin. It wants to eat the balls!!!
— The lack of bumpers and scoop = fassssst gameplay, hence the short ball times.
— The mode shot is pretty tough, so finishing all the modes is a big challenge.
— Super jackpot during Kahn multiball is epic, epic, epic! Oh, man. Writing this makes me want to play the game!


— The left ramp is absolutely deadly if you miss it. It is very close to the flippers.
— It’s sometimes hard to get good flow because of how challenging the shots are.
— The backglass is gawd-awful. I rated based on the swap.
— You may need to adjust the switch for the left ramp.
— You must maintain the targets around the left ramp so that they face downward or it’s airball city.
— The game is too diffucult for newbs, hands down.
— Even for good players, it takes a bit to learn this machine as it has a feel all to its own.

In the end, The Shadow is pinball EXACTLY as I like it: hard, fast and dangerous. This game is endlessly rewarding due to its unique toys, flow and rule set. Honestly, this pin feels like no other. If you get a chance, session this game for as long as you can. It takes time, but once you “get” it, you’ll never get enough of it.
3 months ago
I have had the Shadow for several months. It is a nice game not a good game to my opinion.
3 months ago
This is a true player's game. Tough, and mostly fair. Through ball saves, the game gives you just enough rope to hang yourself with.

Gameplay and layout is brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. Fast playfield loaded with TONS of great feeling shots, with selectable flow. Lots of modes, and the game allows the player to determine different approaches and strategies to score well and advance through the rules. The battlefield is a mechanical version of breakout, and it's absolutely terrific.

My biggest gripes:

-The backglass artwork. Honestly, this is just a given.
-Horrendous airballs off of the yellow mongol targets adjacent to the left ramp. Missing the ramp, and hitting the targets is a one-way ticket to DrainTown, USA.
-When a ball to the left ramp is diverted to the right side, the switch is poorly placed, and doesn't always register skill shots or rings.
-The game is relentless. Sometimes it feels like a gruel to get to the final battle.

Honestly, replace the backglass with Aurich's art package, make sure the battlefield is in top working shape, and you've got a damn fine game. The gripes are minimal when it comes down to gameplay and strategy.
3 months ago
Let me start by saying that MM ans AFM are 2 of my favorite games. That said this is right up there with them on the A-list. True the BG art sucks, grab a Aurich Alt BG and throw some purple lighting in this thing and man its a good looking machine. The music and sounds flow perfect. The captive ball is the best in pinball. And its a hard damn game. Simple enough rules had my novice friends playing real pinball in minutes. All around the best bargain in pinball next to HS2.
3 months ago
Fun fun friendly and great play. Bought this game we loved it so much and don’t regret this purchase
4 months ago
For a long time, all I heard about was how amazing The Shadow was. I finally had the chance to pick one up and I was sad when I realized this wasn’t the game for me. I like games like BSD which are fast and brutal and the shadow does have that but the rest of the game just left me feeling like something was missing.

Vengeance, while a cool concept and makes use of the ramp diverters was “eh”. For me, it was like make these four shots. Great! Now make those same four shots again and again for super vengeance.

The modes were all unique and enjoyable enough to play but I just didn’t get excited playing them like I did on some other tables. Starting the modes was quite difficult as well and most games only resulted in a mode or two being played.

The battlefield was a great feature but it always took me at least three trips up there to beat it. Sometimes, my table showed a credit dot from the battlefield ramp exit not being activated in so long. lol.

Perhaps the stand out feature was the ball lock but beyond that I didn’t find much to come back for. Maybe my expectations were too high knowing this table was designed by the same guy who designed MM. whatsever the reason, I just didn’t see Shadow as a long term table and sold it after having it for a year.
5 months ago
The only way I was able to play this game before purchasing was on the virtual pin. It kinda sucked since the version they were using was buggy. I believe they finally released a VPX version finally and it plays much, much better for those interested.

The reason for my interest was due the designer. I figured since he made a few other top 10 titles this had to be good... right?
Finally found one and the price was right so I pulled the trigger. The game was meh at the very beginning, didn't really understand why it was liked as much as it has been. So I kept playing it on and off for a little while, now I finally see the light.

The game has definitely grown on me. Something about being about to shoot 5 or more different shots in a row while being able to change where the ball returns is very cool.
I'm not a huge fan of second playfields, but don't mind them at the same time. This one is very unique and can be difficult to master. The video mode is ok, but wasn't really expecting a whole lot since it's a pinball machine, still pretty difficult to finish.

The shots in the game I think are what set it apart from most other games for me. Most are difficult to get, but once you find them the game opens up another realm of possibilities. When you can shoot the innerloop 4 times in a row (if the ball returns correctly) there isn't much like it. Just a bunch of really nice satisfying shots in general.

I like mode based games, and this game did a great job at making it seem like your not doing the same thing every time for each mode. The hotel mode is impossible to beat since it's endless...I think. the other modes are fun, some are easier to beat then others. Think it's important to have difficult modes, the game would of gotten stale a while ago otherwise.

The wizard mode is actually pretty difficult, still a little confused on which targets your able to hit and what can be substituted for the upper playfield targets if any.

To sum, I like the game a lot and I plan to have it in my collection for a while. Don't think it'll stay forever, but if your an enthusiast it's a game that need to make an appearance in your collection at some point.
6 months ago
Probably the most under valued 90s game IMO.
6 months ago
Such a great Pin. Great shots, great rules, great music, callouts, toys. Truly an awesome pinball machine that is able to defy the odds and stand head and shoulders above its subject matter and bad movie theme.
6 months ago
big fan of the theme, playfield is a bit cluttered, but lots to do, maybe too fast for my liking...the mood needs to match more of the title, but i get it its a movie license, gotta pry the quarters out of the kids hands
7 months ago
a fun b/w game. great use of the upper playfield.
8 months ago
A couple of nice features in this game are (1) the lower left ramp diverter that the player can control to select the skill shot award, (2) the ball lock mechanism, and (3) the diverter that changes the output of the shot from the upper right flipper under the "battlefield" upper playfield. These features give the game some decent entertainment value for occasional play, like at competition or on location.

For me personally, the rest of what the game has to offer isn't very appealing for long-term interest or ownership, unless part of a very large collection allowing this one to be a once-in-a-while player instead of a primary game.
8 months ago
Owned this machine for about a year. Was an ok machine but it didnt stay in the collection very long.
9 months ago
Great game. Has lots of toys, difficult shots, DMD animations, magnet, 2nd playfield, just great game play, rules set and fast.
10 months ago
Have owned this several time and just cannot get into it...I am actually A huge fan of Baldwin but not one of this title...Boring and slow...
11 months ago
The upper Battlefield is an awesome Pong esque feel to it, which never gets old. Shots are fun and 3 flippers make it a great game to learn on. The extra buttons that swap the ramps, really make it more ramps than it seems. I love this game.
12 months ago
I had this game and was hoping it would be a keeper because of the theme. I really liked the ball lock and theme. Unfortunately a few issues with this game caused me to rush to sell it because I came to very much dislike it. The upper playfield is very annoying and doesn't feel very skill based, the ramps are steep and difficult to hit - they don't feel satisfying, and the biggest issue was the mode start - it is very difficult to start a mode on this game which makes achieving the wizard mode even harder. The backglass is awful and had to go. This was just a game not suited for me.
1 year ago
I'm not a big fan of the movie, but i love the pinball machine for a couple of reasons: the battlefiels, the sanctum and the switchable ramps. These festures make this pinball machine unique in a way that a lot of my friends say it's their favorite of my collection. This pinball machine is highly underrated!
1 year ago
Top notch game!
1 year ago
full mods and with the new translite, this is my favorite pinball, great choice if you have just 1 pinball at home.
this machine have all you need in a pinball.
1 year ago
WOW, one of my best pinball, very fun and dificult, awsome. sounds and lightshow are perfect.
1 year ago
A very good and challenging pin with a lot of shots and objectives to go for. The loop combos are so fun hit and the call outs and music are well done. This is definitely a challenging game! Really surprised it's not ranked higher than it is, and I'm sure the original translite art has something to do with that, but the alternate translites really make that a non-issue. The battlefield is a unique upper playfield that makes this game truly stand out.
There are 261 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 11.

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