Space Station

Pinside rating

This game received 148 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 7.737 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #111 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game design: 7.682

Artwork: 7.601

Sounds/Music: 7.53

Other Aspects: 7.894

Pinside staff rating

This is how we, the very knowledgeable (wink wink) staff & moderators rate this game. 4 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 72 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 72 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
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56 days 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:

- 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!)

- 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.
3 months 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.
4 months ago
I think it’s fun to play, but it’s not one that is super exciting. It’s not too deep, so it doesn’t make me want to keep exploring it. I love the backglass though.

The non standard slingshots give it a very unique feel, but i swear these slings are way more deadly than standard slings.
7 months 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 months 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 months 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 !
11 months 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.
1 year ago
Underrated game. Great music and well designed play field. Great effect when the play field turns green during multi ball.
1 year 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
1 year 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....
1 year 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…
1 year 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.
1 year 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.
1 year ago
A fun game indeed, but I managed to get the ball stuck several times, which can be quite annoying. I do like the playfield and the shots when the ball isn't getting stuck, at least. I may be a fan of well-recognized theme pins a lot, but original-themed games like this have more charm in certain ways.
1 year ago
Another system 11, that’s easy to play and understand. Ramp shot it’s fun, multiball is a blast. This is a bargain pinball for what you get. Easy rule set to understand.if you’ve played space shuttle and enjoyed it you’ll love space station.
2 years ago
Not a great sequel to the original but not a bad game for a larger collection. The absence of inlanes is a bit odd, but as has been said a million times here: green mode is awesome (esp given the era it was made). Fun but not a keeper for me.
2 years ago
This pin is currently in the top 100 and deserves to stay there. The music is excellent and the playfield artwork is really cool. The space station toy is also very cool! The lighting is also very, specially the strobing lights around the space station on the translite.
Gameplay is also very fun. Getting the "condition green" never gets old.
These are still relatively cheap, so it's up there for best bang for your buck!!
2 years ago
A seriously overlooked game. Great music, shots and a nice light show. It keeps you coming back. A bargain at today's prices.
2 years 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.
2 years ago
Game is fun, was my first pinball machine so i am a little bias but it is not played as often as other machines, but when it makes it back in the rotation and green mode starts, it makes me wish i played it more
2 years 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.
2 years ago
Nice game with a beautifull light show. Recommend tot install LED for the GI. The green modus is amazing!
3 years 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.
3 years ago
fun funky layout but really only one objective for entire game. lock stealing is a plus
3 years ago
Decent gameplay, like the sound and theme
There are 72 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 3.

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