The Shadow

Pinside rating

This game received 621 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 8.296 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #49 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game Design: 8.78

Artwork: 7.477

Sounds/Music: 7.913

Other Aspects: 8.412

Pinside staff rating

This is how we, the very knowledgeable (wink wink) staff & moderators rate this game. 9 of us have rated this game.


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Found 338 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 338 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
Currently showing results page 1 of 14.

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53 days ago
lightning fast game.. good game
68 days ago
Lots of fun, only played a few games, complicated but awesome light and sound. Love the unique upper playfield. Gun shaped ball plunger makes a huge crack sound when fired. Easy to get on blind and got multiball the first try. Love to have one at some point.
3 months ago
I have owned this for almost a month. This game to me has the greatest ramps ever put in pinball. Also the greatest ball lock. Theme is so subjective. I liked the movie and am ok with the back glass.the orbits and inner loop are as smooth as you could hope to find in a pin. Upper playfield is so unique as I have never seen anything like it since. Rules are simple enough to pick up and not tire of, especially when most have short time limits. I want to mod the hell out of this game because I don,t see this game going anywhere.
5 months ago
Outside of a few issues with mediocre artwork, and that ugly standard translite, the game is a blast. That sanctum shot is just magical when you first get it. The battlefield feels a bit wonky and always looked and felt fragile. But the game has two large buttery smooth ramp shots, and the various locks and features are all fun to hit. The music is extremely repetitive though, one of the biggest gripes I have on the otherwise solid pin
6 months ago
Brian Eddy's masterpiece for sure and one of the best the 90s has to offer. He gets a lot of well-deserved recognition for Attack from Mars and Medieval Madness but I believe Shadow is his strongest game. The various modes, multiballs and the game design makes it a tough game that keeps you coming back for more. A lot of risk/reward. If you screw up the opening shot off the right flipper it can be an insta-drain. Likewise if you choke on the battlefield entrance shot or the shadow loop shot, you're toast. The Shadow loop feels great when you hit it but has a decent learning curve to make the shot correctly from the upper right flipper. From a shotmaking perspective, the player controlled ramp diverters are probably one of the coolest features implemented in pinball. The magnetic sanctum ball lock is one of the best ball lock sequences in pinball. The battlefield is a super cool upper playfield gimmick even though it can be a bitch to fix.

The art-deco vibes on the playfield artwork are great - Alec "Trigger Happy" Baldwin on the backglass gets a lot of grief but really is not terrible, Penelope Ann Miller and John Lone are on there too - and Aurich makes a great art package to switch it up. Cabinet art is very nice IMO and not overly busy like all the new games coming out.

Sounds and music, the DCS sound really sets things off right and the sound design is very well done. The mode where Tim Curry shit talks you is one of the funniest/coolest modes in pinball. I really liked the Shadow movie as a kid and listen to the old radio shows with my kids. The theme really captures the old radio show vibes nicely. I owned a mint copy, sold it, regretted it, then bought a dilapidated copy and am almost done restoring it. It's not going to leave my game room anytime soon.
6 months ago
Very impressed with this pin. Love the lighting and overall feel of it. The magnets are crazy cool. The backless illustrated version is my favorite. Would own one if I could!
6 months ago
One of the best layouts in pinball. I actually like the theme a lot, but if it were a bit better this game would easily be in a lot of top 10 lists.
6 months ago
Very hard game if the rules are set hard. Needs to adjust it a little bit with timers etc. so that it actually gives you a chance. Damn fine game. The diverters for the rams that is controlled by seperate buttons. The skillshot up the very close to the flippers ramp., the battlefield, and my favourite: the Sanctum magnet. This stops the ball and hold it, release it a little bit and then sends it the opposite direction again so that it dissapears behind the Sanctum. The swooosh sound when it happens is perfect. Lovely beautiful game. Improves with a different translite in my opinion.
7 months ago
I am a big fan of the Shadow, even the movie, so the theme is great for me. The sound and music draws you into a pulpy world of mystery and action, and I love every minute of it.

The upper playfield is fun as heck, as are the phurba diverters which make you think. I know a lot of people are not a big fan of the backglass, bit I love the "as inevitable as your guilty conscience quote" which is straight from the radio serials. Definitely not the best in a one pin collection but those custom backglasses looks phenomenal and definitely take it to the next level.

Overall a definite classic, and it is definitely worth pulling that 1911 trigger and teaching those crooks that the weed of crime bears bitter fruit!
7 months ago
Great layout from Brian Eddy that is very challenging and punishes you very fast for playing out of control. Ball control and accurate shots are critical for The Shadow. Simple to understand and hard to master type gameplay in my opinion the best 90s pin out there. This game shows me that some modern games like Deadpool and Godzilla that have a lot of on the fly shots and not as punishing for misses can teach you some bad habits. It is fun to go to the other direction and play controlled. Excellent game.
9 months ago
This is an awesome game. The layout is great, as is the art deco style they used. People hate the backglass, but I didn't even know who it was prior to reading it, as they went with drawn art rather than actual photo. Great call. The game has complexity, though it is easy enough to understand. Mr. Eddy only designed 3 games in the 90s, so it has great company. An underrated pin, highly recommend.
10 months ago
Theme is ok and it is not a bad game
11 months ago
I owned this machine for many years. I love how you can divert the balls into the different ramps. When you beat the machine it's really cool - I won't spoil it for you. Not necessarily the best artwork or backglass, but the game is challenging and fun!
1 year ago
Interesting game. I like the diverter ability on two of the ramps. You can pick your skill shot by using that option. The theme sucks. This movie was awful. There is an pretty cool upper playfield with the drop targets and the moving bar/wedge. Kinda like playing as a soccer or hockey goalie. Keep the ball in the playfield and score.
1 year ago
After only playing underwhelming (broken as hell) Shadows on location in the past I wasn't too sure about this game. Liked the concepts but when the game doesn't work you can't quite tell how high the fun ceiling is.

Fast forward to finding a very good deal on a broken one with a pretty nice playfield, rebuilding all the mechs, replacing playfield parts that were in multiple pieces, cleaning and shopping out til it plays fast and smooth... Now I know I never want to get rid of it! The upper playfield is super unique and challenging (especially the 2nd 3rd etc time), the video mode is simple enough but very fun! The divertors add another layer of complexity and ball control. A few hundred games in and it hasn't gotten boring or particularly easy. Great game overall.

I don't see why everyone hates the theme so much, yeah the movie is pretty bad but its also incredibly fun and entertaining. Great material for some cringe bingo! To each their own I guess. To me, Shadow :)
1 year ago
I’m going to be completely honest, I think The Shadow may be the greatest Bally/Williams game of all time. Yes, better then AFM, better then MM, better then TAF, and certainly better then TZ.

This game has one of the greatest playfield layouts of all time. All the shots are just great and have a nice flow. Even the Battlefield shot is satisfying!

The rules, while simple, are tough. The final battle in particular is insanely difficult to complete.

The Phurba’s may be the best pinball toys. They are interactive, don’t get in the way, and are a massive aspect of playing this game strategically.

Cabinet art is rather nice looking! I think that aspect looks solid.

Soundtrack and overall sound is way ahead of its time due to DCS, but the soundtrack itself is great! It totally fits the game and doesn’t overly rely on the film for inspiration.

Loop/side loop combo is so good to pull off.

Animations are smooth and well done.

Backglass art is pretty meh. I don’t hate it like some do, but I won’t say it’s very good. The playfield art is bland, and the illustration of the shadow in the middle of it looks somewhat dodgy.

Overall, a fantastic game. A true classic in my eye, even if it is not always honored as one.
1 year ago
I have an HUO Shadow with the Aurich backglass and color dmd. The Baldwin backglass is too much for me. Cabinet and playfield artwork are really nicely art deco. I do wish there were a little more visibility around the battlefield area, so that you can time your orbit to third flipper shot better. It can be very fast!
The scenes are fun, but a couple of them are pretty similar target-wise. Phurba video mode is challenging and fun. I'd say I have a really good game every third or fourth time. It can be a ball drain sometimes, as it really can get fast. All in all, I love it!
1 year ago
I wasn’t expecting too much from this game, but I really liked it. Some unique diverters on the ramps, the upper playfield that felt like something other than a small bad pinball machine good flow and shots all made for a good experience. I am going to try to get deeper into it soon.
1 year ago
A keeper for sure. Movie not so great so the pin is outlasting that for sure. Great flow and having to move the diverters is fun. Dark for the lighting so that was improved. Hard to get non-pinball players to play but once they do they comment that it is fast and different.
1 year ago
I would own this for a good price.
1 year ago
Played at FlipOut in London. The Shadow was in mint condition with an alternate (much better) translite and colorDMD.

This is a fun and enjoyable-to-shoot pin. Easy to see what’s going on and the mini-upper-playfield with ‘pong/block breaker’ game was a particular highlight.

I didn’t know anything about the theme when I played and, have to say, it did spark an interest as it seemed absolutely crazy. I was, at one point, dodging sentient knives in what appeared to be an Art Deco hotel - the mind boggles.

The pin I played had a full restoration and seemed ageless. It was only later when I Googled that I discovered that The Shadow was produced in 1994. It is pretty timeless.

UPDATE: Played a few more times and downgraded my rating. It's not one of my 'to-go' pins when I go to a pinball club, although it is still an excellent title.
1 year ago
I always try my very best to wait quite a while before I rank a pin, because they all have that new car smell early on. But, I am so happy that I listened to some good pinball buddies who vehemently believe this is one of the best pins of all time, and I agree. I had heard from many that this is eddy’s best game, even better than MM and AFM, which I’ve spent a lot of time with. I think that could be correct.
The Shadow is simply incredible once you learn the rules and how to attack the game. Additionally, it’s not an easy game, which has that one more game feeling. Simply replace the original translite with the aurich kit and you are set.
For a guy that has owned many many pins, I would argue that the Shadow is a top 15 pin of all time.
I highly recommend it!
2 years ago
This is a really fun and fast mode based Bally game. The flow and shots are all good, and the battlefield is a fun idea, even though it can be pretty clunky to play. The wizard mode is cool, and a bit of a challenge to reach since you need to complete multiple tasks to reach it. It's a great game.
2 years ago
absolutely one of the best W/B machines ever made
2 years ago
I finally found an affordable example of this game so after 90 days of bringing it back to life I may be a little biased in my opinion. This is currently my favorite game in my collection. You always look for a game that pulls you back in, makes you hit start one more time. This is that game for me. Perfect level of difficulty and reward. There is enough depth in the code to keep you fighting towards that final battlle. The game does not hold your hand. Loops are wickedly fast and will drain right down the middle if you aren’t watching. Same goes for the battlefield and wall drop targets. The upper playfield is very entertaining and something that is fun to keep returning to as it’s difficult to master.

The unpopular theme and back glass really hold this game at a lower level than it deserves. I’m happy you can still find one for 4-5k, but it is worth just as much as it’s 7-8k siblings. Definitely a keeper for me.
There are 338 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 14.

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