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The Simpsons

Pinside rating

This game received 122 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 7.335 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #198 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game design: 7.021

Artwork: 8.024

Sounds/Music: 6.94

Other Aspects: 7.38

Pinside staff rating

This is how we, the very knowledgeable (wink wink) staff & moderators rate this game. 6 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 54 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 54 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
Currently showing results page 1 of 3.

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37 days ago
The Simpsons was my second machine. I got addicted to it and really thought I wanted the game. As I am a big Simpsons fan, I thought that this was a natural for me to own.

Game artwork is from early seasons so if you watched from the beginning, you would get the pictures. Backglass is outstanding, cabinet artwork is good. Playfield is also good.

Sounds and music are the best. Bart taunting and music did it for me. Fan of the show, fan of the sounds here.

The ramp, as has been pointed out in other posts, is the key. I could never get mine adjusted right or the flippers to make it consistently. But since I have learned lots, so that could just be me or my ability.

Playfield wears horribly, so if you have a good one, clearcoat the heck out of it!
3 months ago
It is a fun game with a good theme, but I don't think it would last in a home collection. If you love the Simpsons, the simpsons pinball party is the way to go.
4 months ago
It is what it is. A 1990 pin that is fun. I feel what makes this game fun is the sound and theme. Hitting the drop targets and the bowling sounds always makes me smile. You can't compare this to the Simpson Party because its in a whole different type of game. Go play and have fun with it. Great newbie pin.
5 months ago
Decent game but gets old pretty quickly. You really just try to lock balls and hit the ramp. Scoring is a bit lopsided depending on when you hit the ramp. It's OK to play but owning one got boring very quickly due to the shallow rules. Theme is great of course.
8 months ago
Great novelty. Decent, straight forward game... shoot ramp, spell “millions” repeat, hit drop targets, lock ball, 2 ball multi. Lock 2 ball, 3 ball multi, get jackpot. it’s a 1990 data east... Is what it is. A keeper in my collection mostly because of the skateboard themed cab and backglass.
1 year ago
Just picked one of these up and love it. Have owned many Williams system 7-11s, and this one will be a keeper. My wife who is not a pin person loves this and actually will come to my game room and spend time.

Pros: call outs game play, multiball, drop targets, and the nostalgia of the Simpsons

Cons: almost every simpsons I’ve seen has planking on the cabinets and playfield wear.

Easy pin for new comers to to enjoy. My wife has already told me this is one that will not leave my game room.
1 year ago
A pin that is fun for a trip down memory lane to the early days of the Simpsons. Not a lot going on in terms of depth of play, but it was 1990 and that's just where pinball was at. Good first machine or if you want something fun and nostalgic for the kids.
1 year ago
Bought it back then for the kids and myself..... The theme, artwork and call out are fantastic. The gameplay however is a bit too repetative and gets boring after a few games. We had a lot of family fun and now good memories so it was good. Now the kids have moved have Bart and Homer.
1 year ago
Not sure why this game generates so much hate. I guess if you’re not a fan of the Simpsons you may not like the theme but the gameplay is really good this game is extremely frustrating and the ball lock features activated by knocking down the bowling drop targets is awesome. For 1990 Data East, I really like this game. It gets a lot more use in my collection than I expected.
2 years ago
I hear this game is form over function but I disagree here. It's a fun game with some tight shots.Set it to hard or extra hard and remove the post between the flippers and you'll have a tough ,quick little game.Simple fun all around.
2 years ago
People often compare this game to The Simpsons Pinball Party, which is a bad comparison considering TSPP is 13 years newer.

For the time period, I think The Simpsons is a good game. The theme is cool, and I think it's great that they incorporated so many characters into one game. The music is good - and includes the theme song and icon "The simpsoooonsssss" when starting the game. The concept of the game is fairly simple - Knock down the drop targets to open the 3 locks. Lock a ball, get a 2 ball multiball. Lock both of those, and get a 3 ball multiball. Then shoot for the ramp. I do wish that was a little more variety in the callouts, but a lot of data east games have repetitive callouts in my opinion. Regardless, the sound quality on this game is top notch, as with other DE machines.
2 years ago
One of the best themes out there. The art captures it nicely and so does the music. I do like the callouts however I can see some of them getting repetitive (like Shoot It). The game is just too hard. Beginners don't like it because the second they plunge, the ball is out of control and is probably going to go down the middle or the outline. I like the challenge, however there are many times that it is very frustrating because of all the uncontrollable drains. However, if you have a nice long game, you will find it to be very fun. Locking the 2 balls is a challenge and the music really helps create suspense. The multiball has some great rules, and I love the "no holding flipper without draining jackpot" rule. Also, something small but I really like how when you achieve the nuclear power value, it pulses one of the pop bumpers. Little things like that really make a game in my opinion. Cowabunga man!
2 years ago
We are huge Simpsons fans ever since the show first aired. I remembered playing this when I was little and it being hard. I thought maybe it was because I was 9. I assume I’m a little better now than I was then. Very excited when I found one to buy reasonable. Planned on it being a good one for the family. The theme is great, they did a great job for it being early in the show. Unfortunately, the pin is brutally unforgiving. We have 11 pins and would make the rounds to play them all but every time we played this one it was short and drained. Friends and family would play it one maybe two times and you could see the disappointment of the uncontrollable drains. Maybe i got a bad one but it was a great day when it left the house
2 years ago
Great game all,you need in a good pin.
2 years ago
This pin (especially when compared to the newer Simpsons title) just can't compare. It is not well designed and dull to play.
3 years ago
I had a Data East Simpsons for a short time, and found it quite fun but not memorable. It was ok for its era but would get boring as the only game in a collection. Nice white cabinet, nice topper, good sounds but otherwise standard DE clunky fare. a solid 6.5 out of 10 game
3 years ago
This is a good Looking pin. Bart is great and at the time it was a top pin! Love the backglass and art on it, it's like you're in the cartoon while plating it.

Maybe a bit simpel nowedays but a Classic never Goes out style
3 years ago
Some disclaimers on my rating for this game: (1) I'm a big fan of the show; (2) I owned this game for a few years in the early-to-mid 1990s, when it was fresh (and when the show was peaking); (3) I tried not to be to unfair to the game by comparing it to current technology and gameplay. I think this game has some fun gimmicks (like the ramp that goes around behind the back of the playfield) and very entertaining callouts. Although gameplay is simple, it is fun and can sustain a lot of entertainment. For its time, this machine was very well done.
3 years ago
The Simpsons quickly devolves into a one shot game (the millions ramp shot), but it is a game that does integrate its theme very, very well. The sounds and the art bring the player into a mini-Springfield that accurately represents the early episodes of the Simpsons series. The game seems to be missing that one signature playfield toy mechanism that would mask the fact that the game had a single dominating scoring strategy. This game, along with TMNT and Back to the Future, have become fodder for the hipster crowd who prefer style over substance.
3 years ago
I feel this game would rate much higher for a Simpsons fan, which I am, especially for the original seasons. The game is very fast, and somewhat difficult - maintaining a multiball on such a fast table and then being forced to hit a ramp shot is very challenging.

The artwork integration of the first season of The Simpsons all over the playfield is really well done. Many different areas of the playfield focus on a highlight of a specific first season episode. At the same time, Sideshow Bob is still Krusty's sidekick! The mirrored backglass is very pretty and an excellent example of on-model Simpsons characters.

The music is superb - *if* you like The Simpsons theme, which I do. It has a good main play theme that turns to a rock theme during multiball, and also uses Elfman's main theme motif during the Jackpot mode music. The music is fast paced which keep in line with the speed of the game.

The sound quality is... ok. My wife can't understand half of what Homer says, and also asked me if they used the original voice actors for the callouts.

I understand the complaints that it's a 'hit the left ramp' game, which is true - it is the main feature shot. Good god the size of the outlane that leads to the kickback. Also... watch for flying plastics as you airball off the bowling pins! But I still feel, if the game is well-maintained, that it is a challenging and entertaining game with a wonderful theme.
3 years ago
another great pinball game..very challenging
3 years ago
The artwork is what draws you in. The call-outs are cool. Bart tells you to “shot it” at the wrong time causing you to miss the ramp shot for the mystery shot. The way you have to lock the ball for multi-ball is a challenge. Back in 1990 it was a huge hit. Rule set is easy and becomes repetitive. The back glass is great as an art piece.
4 years ago
The ball goes down the out lanes so much this is the first pin I've ever sold because it wasn't playable for me. Great theme, music is fun, but can't keep any kind of flow when you loose the ball every ten seconds.
4 years ago
This is a great data east title. I remember when it first came out it was a top notch game. Of course pinball has evolved quite a bit and this game feels like it is lacking now compared to pretty much anything 1993 or newer. For the price you can pick one up though it could be a fun addition to a collection. This was the first pinball i owned and I learned a lot with it. The music is really fun as you gear up for multiballs. The sound effects with the explosions and such are really well done and times well too. If I could have 10+ machines in my place this might be a fun one to have on hand again. The problem with this pin is it is a bit repetitive. Hit bowling pins, lock ball, lock ball, shoot ramp. There isn't much else to do.
4 years ago
Typical data east ramp oriented game, fun for kids and beginners. Artwork is good for any simpsons fan, callouts are lacking as well as the music
There are 54 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 3.

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