Solar Fire

Pinside rating

This game received 31 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 7.561 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #167 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game Design: 7.935

Artwork: 7.214

Sounds/Music: 5.688

Other Aspects: 7.823

Pinside staff rating

This is how we, the very knowledgeable (wink wink) staff & moderators rate this game. 2 of us have rated this game.


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Found 13 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 13 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
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9 months ago
This is one of the first machines in my collection. My wife has laid claim to this one and I don't blame her. For its era, this is a really great game. The art work and play field work for us. This is one of the set of four from Williams, and the rarest of them. I did not know this when I bought it but soon found out. The upper playfield was new for that era and is a challenge and fun. The magna save is also a great feature. This one will never leave the house! If you can find one, don't hesitate.
1 year ago
This is a very fun game with LOTS going for it. Theme, artwork, ramps, drops, upper PF, etc. I only assume it isn't higher rated because they made so few of them...many people simply haven't played it.
2 years ago
Something about this playfield just clicks. Of all the multi level tables (i.e. black knight, elektra, flash gordon, pharoah.) this one feels like all of the shots are lined up properly. I find that in spite of the quite frankly terrible art on the playfield and back glass I can play this machine endlessly and it is easy my favorite of the run of two level pins that came out of this era.
6 years ago
Sometimes these classic Williams split-playfield designs get a bad rap for not making the best real-estate use of that design gimmick, but this game has a TON going on! 4 flippers, 13 drops, a captive ball, 3 locks, 2 ramps, multiball, magna-save... almost everything but speech!

Unlike some games, the upper-pf is a fun challenge and it's possible to keep the ball in play for quite a while, but the shots never seem too easy and the ball is always at risk for rocketing down that steep ramp. On the lower side you've got a couple more locks strafing a narrow target shot, and another entry ramp with a spinner. Oh and more drop banks. Lots of tight, satisfying shots on this one!

The sounds are are-typical Williams and blend well... start multiball for a blackout and score-display show before the mode starts, which was pretty slick for the day. The art is only so-so and the color would do well for selling Doritos, but it's refreshing to play a game that outshines its art package.

I found myself playing this one a lot more than I expected to and would gladly seek one out. Unfortunately there's not too many of 'em out there...
6 years ago
Basically a much more boring Grand Lizard.
7 years ago
Very close to black knight, layout wise.
I think the lower play field layout has more rewarding shots than black knight.
Sound is generic 80's Williams.
7 years ago
I've owned this game for a couple of months. I actually regret selling it but the guy I sold it to said if he ever sells it, he'll give me first chance at buying it back...I think I'll take him up on it.

Basically, this is a player's keep coming back to it to see if you can do better. The rules are not overly complicated but with the split playfield, you determine how you want to play. I really enjoyed taking may chances for big points on the lower playfield.

Again, great classic game that really commands you bring you "A" game.
7 years ago
Love it, I would change nothing. I keep playing it over and over. I rather play this then the new 2014 mustang siting next to it.
8 years ago
Can't get a licence for Star Wars or Heavy Metal? Just subtly steal their space themed art! That's what Solar Fire did. Part of the Fantastic Four of two level games, its basically a complete ripoff of Black Knight's layout. In itself, it would be the basis for Oursler's Grand Lizard a few years later. A game so nice they remade it thrice, I suppose. This game has the usual bag of sounds used on Williams games of the era, leaving a lot to be desired. The bright orange cabinet makes the game really stand out. Mitchell's artwork is passable, but is a bit of a convoluted muddy mess in its execution (a mishmash of Star Wars and Heavy Metal imagery). Game needs to be in tip top playing condition to be a gamer, and even then it ain't much fun. Solar Fire came out in the dark dying days of 1980s pinball...which partly explains why the game is a cop-out and a bit of a dog.
8 years ago
For me this is easily the best of the four multi-level games from Williams. The theme is great, gives you one magna save and hit the targets for more. The solar gun is a neat feature. Collecting the letters for Solar fire is a challenge.
9 years ago
Solar fire was the last of the fantastic/fabulous/whatever f-word you want to use four from williams. I got lucky and found one with a great pf and a flaky bg...

The Pros:
Great shots and a variety of risk vs. reward considerations. For a real challenge, set up double scoring from the fire timer, start multi ball with 3 balls and hit the upper bank of targets at 100k x 2 x3 for 600k! It's not a jackpot in a traditional sense, it's much harder. I have had this game for years and done it twice! Go for the mystery ramp in m'ball to make the most of your PF x as well. Keep your balls on the upper pf and is 2-3x when hit. The special is a "Special" shot that is best collected in m'ball as well. As a player's game you must think hard about every shot you make. It could easily be your last, from anywhere on the pf. This game does not reward flailing. It punishes it. Great shots from the lower left flipper using backhand shots for the Solar Ramp as well as the center lock. I rarely say "Whoo-hoo! Connie Mitchell!", but this art pax meets my stamp of pin-approval with flying colors.

The Cons:
The lower left pf can be a trap! but you have to get those locks for mb and the solar shot for big scores. Most players never get the game into the millions digit. Can be downright demeaning to be treated like this by a pin. Multiball takes a while to set up and rarely lasts more than 20 seconds. For some reason... this game feels like it needs a spinner or two.

The Takeaway:
This game is not for sissies. This game is for real players only! A man's man's pinhead man's of a man's man's pinball game. I have owned this game for a while and have only gotten to 3 million on my best game yet! Now I can understand why the game might not have done well on location. It's completely, utterly, unrepentently vicious. Imagine a little kid in 1981 playing this game for 45 seconds and then wondering: "How can I make my $.50 last longer... I've only got 2 bucks in my wallet!" Could this be Williams doing what they can to reduce playtimes and make the ops happier? Who knows. But as a collector, I love playing this game. The trouble with this game is... I go to this table when I want a quick game, which quickly turns into a few dozen more. Wax the PF, rebuild your flippers, Set this game up steep and work it! This table still plays with deadly speed. Only real pinball players need apply. Eventually, I got the new BG in... CPR did a bang up job. Well done guys.
10 years ago
Not a bad game, but not great either... probably the worst of the 4 'quadrilogy' of games Williams put out at the time, but the most desireable due to the rarity... Much prefer Black Knight and Pahroh... Don't know what pinball Letter K is talking about below me, because this is not a wide-body game.
12 years ago
A great wide-body. It feels open but full of shots. I even tried to buy this one from under a guy that had already paid for it.
There are 13 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 1.

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