Space Station

Pinside rating

This game received 168 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 7.691 /10

7.691

Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #143 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.



Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game Design: 7.615

Artwork: 7.621

Sounds/Music: 7.372

Other Aspects: 7.844


Pinside staff rating

This is how we, the very knowledgeable (wink wink) Pinside.com staff & moderators rate this game. 4 of us have rated this game.

7.14

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Found 86 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 86 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
Currently showing results page 1 of 4.

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9.280/10
56 days ago
I bought a Space Station about 3 weeks ago and am thoroughly enjoying it. It is a very well done machine as far as the sum of the pieces coming together to make a very fun pinball machine. The music is great and doesn't get old. The music is so well done that it is somewhere in my top 3 for favorite music (right there with Black Knight 2000 and Swords of Fury).

The lighting for the game is very well done. The use of flashers, flashing playfield inserts, and back glass are all coordinated wonderfully. When you do something good the machine definitely rewards you with a great light show and great music to go along with it. Condition Green is very fun and really neat once you switch the Green General Illumination bulbs over to frosted green LEDs. It really is cool how something as simple as green general illumination during a multi-ball can enhance the fun.

The alphanumeric score displays have the best animation and programming I've ever observed. The way the score displays show animations is outstanding. The match sequence, end of game, and high score display work is very well done and really neat.

The game play is fine. The shots can be difficult to hit sometimes, but it is mostly because of the lack of in-lanes feeding the flippers. Like others have said, the goal is to get multi-ball by locking balls using a cool space station mechanism. The ramp can assist in ball locking and provides the jackpot during multi-ball (where the goal is to keep multi-ball going and redock balls into the locking mechanisms). That's it. It doesn't get old and both veteran pinball players and novices really enjoy it. My non-pinball playing 59 year old sister played Space Station the other day and it was easy enough for her to get multi-ball and experience Condition Green (at which point she blurted out, "That was cool!").

For the money it offers a great amount of fun. This machine is on the lower end of the price scale for System 11 pinball machines, so I highly encourage you to pick one up while you still can.
8.876/10
3 months ago
Wow, this is just a really, really fun game overall. I don’t think my score is actually reflective of how much I really like this game (I don’t like it quite as much as the score suggests), but it really just is a blast.

Pro’s:
Freaking incredible soundtrack and sound quality for the time. Love the building up of the main theme the more locks you have. Sound effects are cheesy and old school system 11 goodness.

Art is pretty good too: not Elliot’s best work (that goes to Transporter IMO), but still very well done. Just excellent theme integration on the playfield. Alphanumeric animations are excellent in how well animated they are: some of the best in a System 11.

Layout is very creative: the right ramp and the space station mech definitely make the game. Lack of in lanes is very creative, and adds a whole new level to how the game is played.

Truly fantastic lighting, whether it be “Condition Green” or the use of flashers.

Con’s:

One note rule set of “go for multiball all day”, but the nature of the layout makes this not really a bad thing.

Quite a lot of scoops/stop and go do make this game kind of clunky. I can excuse it, though.

Overall, just a really fun game. Definitely one of the better system 11’s.
8.564/10
5 months ago
I played this game for the first time yesterday with a friend. We both loved it. I had bought a machine the day before but knew a space station in great condition was for sale locally. After playing it I had to have it. I really had to go out on a financial limb and was not planning on another purchase for quite some time, but I had to have it. I have 6 machines including a CFTBL. I love Creature but I didn't love it as much on my first plays as I did Space Station on first plays. Can't wait for it to be delivered. Pretty sure it's going to be my new favourite. This machine has something undefinable from the great sounds and lights to its awesome flow and great art. Deserves a much higher rating in my book. It's a keeper. Well done Williams. Wow.
9.251/10
6 months ago
Played at Pinfest 2023.

I’ve played this to death virtually on Pinball Arcade, so was biased towards my real-life play on location at Pinfest, but I absolutely LOVED my play of Space Station. The lack of inlanes made the game much easier (for me) than modern pins and I was able to get someway into the game. The multiball is a complete moment in pinball with excellent flashing lights, and the unusual shot geometry feels free and exciting - but comprehensible at the same time. This is a total fav. Wish I’d had the opportunity to play more!

WAY better than Space Shuttle - don’t get them confused!!
8.379/10
1 year ago
A very engaging game. Excellent lighting, especially in condition green. Brian Schmidts audio work really brings this game alive. I have a subwoofer hooked up to mine, and the sound is excellent in both range and fidelity. Achieving end of game high score rewards you with quite the show of lights and sound. Good work Williams.
8.580/10
1 year ago
The type of game where you really need to nail your shots. Fun and challenging.
9.280/10
1 year ago
Love this game. It is very hard and with no inlanes it forces you to learn ball control. Awesome light shows, cool animations and challenging, but not too challenging, gameplay which keeps you coming back again and again.
8.216/10
1 year ago
Love this game, the rules are a bit shallow compared to later games, but there's enough to have fun. Code green is awesome and with LEDs, the light show in this game is pretty much unrivaled even by today's standards. Music is incredible with solid callouts, and the space theme is really done well, especially with the artwork which includes a 2001 easter egg under the space station. If you see one, play it!
9.134/10
1 year ago
WHAT A FANTASTIC GAME! I got to play this game at PHOF and I love this game, the music the art the light show all amazing. The gameplay is so unique with smooth quick shots, getting the multiball is so satisfying, and the jackpot light show will get your heart pumping. A+ From me.
9.020/10
2 years ago
Why do I find the music so enchanting on this pin?!?!?

Seriously, I can't get enough of it.

Yes, the layout is cool, from the launching of the ball, and the space station diverting the ball locks, a well positioned ramp, no inlanes (which works surprisingly well), and of course....condition green. Great replay factor, too. I always say "just one more game". Had I encountered this one as a kid, I would have spent everything I had playing it.

There's so much to shoot for on this pin and multiple ways to go about it. The theme is executed very well, and the artwork blends nicely with it (although it would be tough to mess up a space theme)

Still, it's the music....I seriously find myself humming that bass line all the time....
9.360/10
2 years ago
Wonderful System 11 classic. I can’t stop playing this one. Lights, music, art, theme, and that amazing curving ramp shot… I can’t believe how underrated this game is in the reviews and rankings. Yes, it’s fairly simple but hitting your shots is extremely rewarding. The ultimate rewards are Condition Green mode and one of the best high score light/music shows of all time. My jaw dropped when I entered my initials for the first time. This game must be played with good LEDs. Playing the Condition Green multiball without the full effect of the green LEDs is to not experience the full power of this game.
7.788/10
2 years ago
Classic Williams System 11 with excellent music and light shows!
6.752/10
2 years ago
Space Station is very similar to Space Shuttle. It does play a bit better though. Cool 80's space theme.
2.673/10
2 years ago
Wow, I bought one of these because I could get a cheap one. At first I liked the theme, looks, feel etc. But after a couple of weeks i got bored to the bone. I really hate the fact that this machine has no return lanes. There are 2 positive things about this machine I can mention:
1. The soundtrack, this is what cought me I guess. It has that deep bass and has something special
2. The fact it left my gameroom. Bye bye, till never again.

This machine has a strange atmosphere IMO, I don't know what but I really dislike it.

If I must review it without my personal aversion I got for it it would be something like this:

Pros:
- great soundtrack
- condition green is well integrated, I added led lighting so that was extra green and a nice to reach goal
- shots are tight but doable and therefor satisfying
- if you can enter your initials you are treated with a very nice lightshow in the backbox and wonderfull soundtrack (for that era!)

Cons:
- no returnlanes which make it feel like a very odd machine
- very shallow ruleset
- boring

So, I don't dislike owning it, I love system-11 machine, but this is one of the worst sys11 machines I owned and played. The only time it made me happy is when someone else picked it up.

#####
That someone else who picked it up though is a close friend. He wanted it and the machine had a huge surprise for me. I am a pin repair guy and I always provide warranty on my sold machines and for sure I did for my friend. The moment it got into my friends house the machine started acting up. Blown fuses, coils burning, transistors burning, condition green GI not functioning, switches broke.
I HATE that machine. My friend had it for more than a year and I must have made repairs on more than a dozen occasions. After a year it was stable and the machine was sold. My friend sold it to an acquaintance of me and he sold it to one of my customers. My customer sold it because he wanted a new machine and now it's out of my sight fortunately. I hope I never see it again.
9.116/10
3 years ago
I fell in love with this machine in 2019. I can only imagine how awesome it must have been in 1987. The artwork is exceptional (LOVE the backglass) and the music is fantastic, even compared to modern machines. It was born for LED conversion. The high score light show makes me feel like a rock star and I don't even know where to begin about condition green. Admittedly, the rules are basic compared to the deep gameplay of its modern successors, but the gameplay is so satisfying I keep coming back again and again and again.
7.428/10
3 years ago
This is the only non-DMD I’ve owned. I keep thinking about selling it, but then I realize that my wife and I play it a ton and really enjoy the changeup from the other pins.

Pros: fast games, unique Playfield layout, condition green, light shows, and fun, simple, & intense.

Cons: difficulty, bland cabinet artwork.
8.760/10
3 years ago
When comparing this game to others, you have to remember the era it was made in. I think this is one of the best system 11 games out there and for sure an underrated game. The secondary green GI lighting (condition green) has a wow effect that never gets old. The light show when scoring a jackpot is pretty amazing and satisfying also. Even though it only has alpha numeric display, it does some pretty cool animations. This game also has some of the best High Score music and seeing your name dance around on the display to the music is also very satisfying.
8.976/10
3 years ago
I got introduced to Space Station at Putt Putt Golf and games in the late 80's in my hometown. It seemed like such a modern game : excellent voice package, great toys, and an overall excellent theme. It was light years ahead of the early 80's games and of course the rotating station changing the balls route was mind blowing for the time.

This past fall I found one in the wild and not only did it take me back, it reminded me why this was such a fun game :

1. The methodical way the ball travels the play field creates a feeling of space ( nice methaphor, right?).
2. The light show was WAY ahead of the curve for the 80's.
3. The bonus ball with the "wind down " clock is so amazing , especially when it runs out and the power literally cuts off.
4. Very logical scoring package and rule set. This game set up the early 90's Golden Era.

I have no idea why you can still buy this game for under $2K. If you do , buy it !
9.780/10
3 years ago
A terrific game from my favorite pinball maker: Williams. I wish they still made machines, but at least they are licensing them out to the companies that do want to make them.

I loved Space Shuttle, and this game takes Space Shuttle and expands on it nicely. I am sometimes puzzled by how the machine locks balls for multi-ball (it just doesn't seem to be consistent), but when it happens, it's quite fun - and frustrating!! I think the "green mode" is really a cool feature, especially for the time period (1987) of this machine.

UPDATE: It turns out the space station motor was turning both directions instead of only counter-clockwise. A new motor changed everything, and now multi-ball is applied consistently.

The retailer I bought this from should have caught this issue. Actually they did as there was black electrical tape at the top of the ramp. At first I thought the ramp was damaged and this was the only repair available. Nope. The tape was to keep the ball from getting stuck when the station spun the wrong way. Kind of disappointing as I paid a premium for this machine to be in restored condition.
8.440/10
4 years ago
Underrated game. Great music and well designed play field. Great effect when the play field turns green during multi ball.
8.340/10
4 years ago
the first time I saw this game (at a show) I thought it looked cheap & uninspired because the space station toy reminded me of an upside down pie plate , but then I played it holy mother what a change in opinion after just a few games , condition green & mission accomplished simple easy to follow rules with great light show & sound reward , it instantly became one of my Favorite system 11's & I searched for one found one & fixed her up , one of my go to games for a quick fun game
9.080/10
4 years ago
The newest of my six games..venturing out of old school fun. It is quite different than my previous games as was bought because of the topic. We bought for our place in Florida on the Space Coast. It was this or Space Shuttle...decided on Space Station and glad we did. Had all kind of issues with it when I bought it..Very misrepresented...took a ton of work to make it function.
Hours of fun and entertainment.....Has not gotten boring or repetitive yet.........don't think it will....
8.956/10
4 years ago
I had this game on my wishlist for a few years now and finally picked one up… glad I did. The bang for your buck on this game is fantastic! I'm a bit biased with this review though... I admire most of the System 11 charm, simplicity, and the retro 80s feel.

Space Station has a super cool/chill vibe with the slow groove synth bass that builds as balls get locked, the killer light show (this game makes you feel like a full blown hero when you get a high score), and the spacey Tim Elliot art package. All elements of this game are very cohesive to the theme… even the display segment animations are incredibly well thought out. As far as gameplay goes, it’s not a white-knuckle flow monster but there’s definitely a lot of thought required when choosing your shots. The lack of inlanes really forces a player to concentrate on controlling the ball and planning your next shots well in advance so this really isn’t an easy game simply because it’s a bit more stop and go with an easy to understand rule set. If your ball gets caught in a sling volley, chances are the outlanes will be happy to take it away. And misplaced shots for stop and score or getting caught off guard with a ball popping out of the docks often leads to a SDTM.

Like most System 11 Barry games, there’s so many different ways to score points. The most fun way is to go for multiball to earn rescue jackpot. I’ve never heard so many oooohs and aaaaahs when the GI dramatically switches over to “condition green”. Barry did an amazing job on making sure the scoring was balanced too. The diverter is a very cool addition to the game and is very satisfying to watch it send the ball through the different habitrails. I see Space Station almost as more of a sequel or companion to Pinbot rather than the sequel to Space Shuttle (both Barry games). There’s a lot of similarities between the two. I think this would hold up very well in a smaller collection, especially next to something that is very fast paced (does great next to Mousin Around). This one’s a keeper…

EDIT - Pyche! Wasn't a keeper after all. It's a killer game but after a few years I realized I fell in love with the lights/music more than the gameplay. Too much spelling (but that's aprt of the rules... I get it) and really there's only 3 main shots (not counting stationary/drop targets). The lack of inlanes was novel at first but then just became frustrating for most players. If you want the lights and music, just play virtually... Wasn't easy to let this one go though.
7.640/10
4 years ago
One of the standouts from the solid state pre-DMD era. A great example of an older style of play. It's slower than later games from the 90's and since, leaving the player with time to plan shots and methodically progress through the rules. Firmly in my list of top 10 or 15 games.
7.712/10
4 years ago
Great system 11 game with an awesome theme and fn gameplay. They all seem to have super worn play field's, however. Sone of that is due to age, some of it is due to being a really fun pin with that "one more game" appeal.
There are 86 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 4.

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