Space Station (Williams, 1987)

Space Station

Pinside rating

This game received 121 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 7.742 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #91 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game design: 7.643

Artwork: 7.664

Sounds/Music: 7.473

Other Aspects: 7.926

Rating comments

There are 53 rating comments for this game.

Pinside staff rating

This is how we, the very knowledgeable (wink wink) staff & moderators rate this game. 3 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 53 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 53 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
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20 days ago
This is one of my favorite System 11 games. I love the light show and sound effects and this brings me back to the 1980s. The theme is fun, rules are understandable. I wish there were in lanes. Ball stealing is fun and frustrating (depending on if you do it or if it happens to you). I wish I owned one of these. Condition matters on these. If you find a good one, it makes a huge difference.
5 months ago
I've owned Space Station for almost a year now. I find that the shots and gameplay, like many classic System 11s, are simple yet extremely engaging. You want to play again and again. The pumping music really gives it a great space-like feeling.

I enjoy the shots, although if you miss your shot and ricochet into the top right VUK it just keeps going back into the top pf, and that gets a little old time and time again. Kind of sad that you pretty much just keep trying for multi-ball and that's it... but the simple joy of CONDITION GREEN keeps you coming back for more.

The light show for Extra Ball, Condition Green, and others is great on this pin. Definitely one of the best System 11s or indeed any older Solid State around.

I'll keep it until something better comes along, but I'm going to enjoy the ride while it lasts. I wouldn't recommend it in a small collection, but if you only wanted or had space for a single System 11 I'd recommend it.
9 months ago
Nice game with a beautifull light show. Recommend tot install LED for the GI. The green modus is amazing!
11 months ago
Space station is really fun, and there's something awesome about the 80's 8-bit background in the game. The station itself is a pretty cool toy for that day and age. One complaint I have is that it's hard to tell which lanes are lit and which aren't, and even with a transparent upper/mini playfield, there's a patch where it's hard to see the ball and I prefer visibility at all times. Great game though.
1 year ago
fun funky layout but really only one objective for entire game. lock stealing is a plus
1 year ago
Decent gameplay, like the sound and theme
1 year ago
Finally own one and spent alot of time on it.It was quite surprising at how fun it is.Quite a few shots,good jackpot shots,great light show and some pretty good sound.
All this and it has not been shopped,adjusted, and led'ed.
Once that is all complete it will only play better and faster and look better.Leds in my opinion will probably look great on this pin.
1 year ago
A very immersive game. The music, callouts, art and design work to convey the feeling of deep space. The alternate green GI lighting was a great feature, and something that should have been used again in other System 11 games. The shots on the playfield are a bit limited, while the top of the playfield is extremely cluttered which makes it hard to get a handle on what there is to shoot for up there. The game has just enough reference to it's predecessor Space Shuttle, without completely re-hashing the game. Even with all the System 11 frills, I think I'm still partial to Space Shuttle for gameplay...
1 year ago
Cannot believe I missed this game for so many years. I never thought it was that special until being exposed to it as the Southern Fried Gameroom Show.

This is a criminally overlooked System 11. I have owned just about all of the better System 11s and it is the only one I am choosing to keep at this point.

Very challenging game, unique layout, nice art and amazing music. Some of the best music of that era. Lighting can be made to be mind-blowing with the right use of LEDs in this pin. I am not a huge fan of LEDs in everything...but for whatever reason they work great in this game.

Doubt I will ever sell mine. The game is just too cool and never gets old due to the challenge of it and over the top nature of lighting and music.
1 year ago
I'm a sucker for space-related pinball games. Space Station is a real challenge. Condition Green multi-ball is amazing when you can lock the balls but it's really hard. There's a lot of open space in the main playfield. I love the backglass, artwork and everything about the aesthetic. I don't play it a lot due to the fact that it can get repetitive. Overall, I love it but it doesn't get used as much as some of the other pins.
1 year ago
I am new to pinball and just got this a few weeks ago. I also have No Good Gofers and Fishtales. While not as technologically advanced and sophisticated as those games, it really does have a nostalgic charm about it that makes it fun and a great addition to my small but steadily growing collection.

The music and sound effects really are pretty cool and nostalgic for the era in which the game was made . The cabinet and blackglass graphics are also really cool. The best thing about it though is the lightshow. Mine is all LED and it really is top notch and every bit as good if not better than my 90's Williams games in that department Even guests we had last weekend commented on how cool Space Station's light show, music, and cabinet are.

The gameplay and ruleset while basic in comparison to my other two games, is also a lot of fun so far. It is challenging while at the same time playable and enjoyable. While I'm still getting to know more about pinball, I can see why this is considered to be one of the top (maybe a bit of an underrated) system 11 games.
1 year ago
Ive owned this machine for a few years now. The only complaint i have with it is the lane diverter is notoriously buggy and can be a frustrating road block when you are 'in the zone' on your way to a high score.
2 years ago
I picked up a Space Station a while back, not for any good reason other than it was available. I thought I'd regret it.

Turns out, it's my favourite game I own. Someone commented on here that SS is slow! Really? Were they reviewing the right pin? It's so fast, you have to constantly nudge, (try to) drop catch, (try to) keep 3 balls in play - (yeah right). There aren't that many shots to go for - outside of the targets, but you've got to nail them, especially in multi-ball - which is fairly easy to get in and out of. Saw a PAPA vid where the commentators sort of slagged SS off for being a drain monster, but I don't think it is especially, you can nudge the outlanes pretty regularly though there's no post. Having no inlanes looks like a bad idea, but it isn't.

And....the light show is awesome, turn your lights off or down and the machine makes pretty patterns all over the walls - it's pretty intense, I wouldn't suggest someone with epilepsy to play this.
2 years ago
I find Space Station to be one of the best System 11 games out there. It is also better than some newer more modern games. The light and sound shows are awesome. The game is pretty simple but fun. This machine makes for a great family pin and is much more affordable compared to some of the outrageously priced newer games. Classic pinball in my opinion. "Green Mode" multiball is really cool. My game has LEDs so the light show is even more phenomenal. The only thing that I found unusual at first was the lack of "inlanes" next to the lower left and right sling shots. It makes game play a little more awkward at first but you eventually get used to it. I dont even think about that anymore.

I have bought and sold a bunch of non dmd era solid state pins, namely system 9, system 11, early WPC and data east because I get bored with them quickly but see this one staying in my collection for now. I recommend this game for anyone wishing for a cool machine that is not to expensive, not too gaudy and cheesy, cool space theme, good family game that would make a great addition to any game room...
2 years ago
Classic Williams game. Great looking, fun to play, and takes me back to simpler times. Keeper.
2 years ago
My god, what a great game. One of the best system 11's around, but painfully undiscovered still.

Great, original playfield layout with daring outlane configuration. Awesome music that builds up like a suspenseful sci-fi movie soundtrack. Perfectly synchronized lighting effects. Challenging ruleset. Really, what's not to love?

I'd buy one again in a heartbeat. If only just to see what you can make Condition Green look like with high intensity leds.

A highly recommended game.
2 years ago
What a huge surprise this game was for me! It is one of the most fascinating machines, with huge charm. I seriously love this game totally. The music is the BEST ever made for a pinball machine (together with Swords of Fury - both music by Brian Schmidt), it's pure magic. The light show is also terrific, together with the unique dual general illumination. Most importantly, the game play is fast and exciting, in typical System 11 style and it's a true blast. I am surprised how people keep overlooking those gems: as usual, it's needed to play a machine in good conditions and properly set up. I also started the hobby considering only '90 dmds machines, but now I understand that some late '80 machines are even better and better suited for adult players.
A VERY underrated, spectacular machine.
2 years ago
Flipper ugly, nothing to do with Bally and Williams 90s
3 years ago
This is a very approachable but challenging game. You can see the homage to Space Shuttle in its design, but what does carry over is amplified!

First, the lack of inlanes is going to force you to adapt: not only is there no feeder lane to catch the ball, but the slingshots' slope toward the flipper means that even when the ball does settle in without being slung away, it quickly gains momentum as it rolls toward the flipper - Cradling is very difficult, so you will be forced to work on control and nudging. Play is generally forgiving with a kickback and not too many STDM shots, but the right outlane is a gobbler.

There may not be too much "strategy" in this game, and "flow" seekers might look elsewhere, but in terms of racking up points this game hides a LOT of challenging shots. The layered Lane-Change spellouts are ingenious: with every plunge you can spell 1-2-3 and maybe get U-S-A beneath it, but you don't get much reaction time and even more devious, the lane-change on the lower lever gets out of sync for extra challenge! Space Shuttle's Stop&Score feature was easy... NOT SO here. The right ramp requires perfect control of aim and speed, and having to do it twice (while the countdown amps pressure) is a challenge. The three drops in the right VUK lane are a direct homage to Space Shuttle, but again aligned to be more difficult, with a sweep scoring accordingly. The SHUTTLE and STATION targets are a good blend of risk/easy/chance and their sounds and scoring keep gameplay interesting.

This game has an INCREDIBLE light show even by today's standards, let alone 1987! Not only is the "Condition Green" GI fade a standout among games (only now being rediscovered in modern tech) but its start is one of the most attention-grabbing and tension-building sequences in pinball. Multi-ball is frenetic as you try to line the active lock shot with an inability to cradle and keep balls from interfering. Reward for success is another thrilling sequence. Call-outs and vocals are authentically "spacey" and while not numerous, don't get stale. The MUSIC is a standout among games of this era... perfectly ambient, chill, and engrossing until "Condition Green" starts the panic. Sound effects themselves are many and nuances and blend well without becoming repetitive or distracting. There are several other award sequences and bonus spiffs that are unlike any other game from the era. The alpha-display animation might also be the best animation ever done with segments - it's truly effective for the theme and its execution holds well against DMDs even today.

Art-wise, a tastetfully demure cabinet frames a vivid "animated" backglass with translite cutouts. PF artwork is fantastic and well detailed; the central bonus grid is a little overwhelming at first but the galaxy whorls, apparatus details, astronauts, and sci-fi easter eggs are lovingly rendered and intricate. The PF layout is pleasingly complex with habitrails, flashers, and the mini-PF all aiding the theme. The only letdown is, ironically, the spinning space station itself, as it looks like a cheap drugstore playset afterthought. But you can paint it if you desire.

If you like space themes, ambient music, well-executed themes, unique features, or something that plays unlike any other pin, give Space Station a shot. It's truly an under-rated and under-appreciated gem.
3 years ago
Artwork is good, not ugly but nothing special. I just love the Pinbot background music. That is Pinball music to me. The Green mode lighting during MB seems ahead of its time. I am not sure if any other games of its era or before that did that. The right outlane is brutal on the one near me, the ball will routinely come out of the left side of the pops, down the left orbit and right across into the right outlane. Nothing but net. I think if the pitch were a little steeper, might fix that. The lack of inlanes makes drop catches a must. Unlike all the other no-inlane games I played, this does have about a 1.5" dead section between the flipper bat and the sling to help with ball control. I found it easier to lock the ball up top than to make that ramp on the fly. I thought the game fun, different and challenging with the lack of inlanes. EM challenge in a fast, SS game.
3 years ago
This was my first machine and I have had it for about a year. I love playing it, particularly in the green multiball mode. I have played most of the system 11 games and am not sure why this title doesn't make the list if "top five system 11 games" as I think it is as good as any one that I have played. I have bought more games since space station but would have trouble ever letting this one go. The only thing that I don't care for is the white plastic piece on the too right of the playfield as it looks kind of cheap to me.
3 years ago
Love the theme and the light show, but ultimately got boring after a few months.
3 years ago
Top SS game, lots of fun.
A bit strange without inlanes, takes a while to get used to.
Dock left then right, then do it again to get into green mode is a great feature.
Has lots of great light shows and fantastic 80's sound track.
Definitely a keeper.
3 years ago
I may be bias, but this game is awesome! Condition Green , nuff said. Seriously, the best light show on any game ever, kind of dark playfield, but the use of flashers and an "all green GI" mode makes this game the best in light show hands down. Had mine since 1993, first game for me, never will sell it.
3 years ago
Space Station feels like a solid game, even though some of the shots are a little awkward. I like the integration of the drop target in front of the ramp, as well as the ball lock / release system.

Overall, not a bad game, and I'd add one to my collection if I needed to fill a hole. Definitely worth the play on location.
There are 53 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 3.

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