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Alice Cooper's Nightmare Castle

Pinside rating

This game received 139 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 8.276 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #41 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game design: 7.907

Artwork: 8.931

Sounds/Music: 8.322

Other Aspects: 8.038

Pinside staff rating

This is how we, the very knowledgeable (wink wink) staff & moderators rate this game. 5 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 56 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 56 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
Currently showing results page 1 of 3.

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34 days ago
You don’t have to be an Alice Cooper fan to enjoy this machine. Unique layout especially the upper playfield. Half a dozen shots on the upper playfield alone. Really like the way you have to earn your extra ball on this machine. Getting the EB lit in the first place is one thing but hitting that super late standup shot on the upper playfield is challenging. Getting to the upper playfield in itself is challenging.

Co-Op mode makes it fun to play with someone who possesses a different skill level. Instead of one person feeling like they are losing every time, they can feel a sense of accomplishment by just locking a ball or hitting a ramp or two for the next player.

The downside for me is some of the call outs get used back to back..not sure if the code is meant to randomize them but it doesn’t seem to work that way. This game also produces a lot of airballs. Maybe it’s the post sleeve setup they chose but a) the posts get hit a lot b) even with the flipper strength turned down to where the ramps are barely make able the ball flies up off the posts 90% of the time.

Easy rule set to learn, select monster with the stand ups, lock it in with an orbit shot. Navigate through the castle to reach a monster. Each monster battle is very unique, especially the one where you have to “hide” the ball.

Wouldn’t consider this for an only pin but adds diversity to a collection of 5+. Spooky machines have their own distinct feel and are pretty simple to work on. Not a bunch of clutter and crazy wires under the playfield like a JJP.
3 months ago
Great Art, butter cabinet and toys. New code is good. Game difficult to shoot. Takes a lot of practice. The game bricks a lot. It is not a smooth shooting game. I still like Alice Cooper that’s for sure.
5 months ago
This game is seriously fun. It’s an amazingly well integrated theme and one of, if not the best, art and sound packages I’ve seen in pinball.
The game has relatively short ball times due to some tough shots which I like because its challenging but fun, the game packs so much fun into every ball I don’t feel like I would change a thing. Shots can be hard to hit but when you do the payoff is so good you will want to keep coming back for more. It’s all tied together so well. Perfect for the home environment if you want a game your not going to reach wizard in two days and then get bored of, ACNC will keep me coming back for a long time.
6 months ago
Wow, did not fully appreciate until owning for a while. First game on it at TPF I knew I had to aquire one. The general lighting could be a bit better and Alice would have been much better if he just relaxed and really put more creepy effort into using his voice for call outs but then again it's alice!
7 months ago
I first played this game with my wife when Bowen asked us to play with him at Pintastic. We loved the game so much that we had to add it to our wish list immediately. It took almost a year, but we purchased this game NIB just a week ago.

The Good:
-- Amazing sounds. I love the creepy noises and the screaming/moaning during certain shots. The gunshots and insects and all of the sound effects are probably the best in any game I've ever played.
-- Alice Cooper's music is intertwined perfectly.
-- FRANKENSTEIN! He pops out of the back of the game when you lock the second ball. The music and sound effects with it are AWESOME! One of my favorites in any game all time.
-- Nice variety of modes. I maintain that you need at least 8 randomized modes in order to make the game playable over the long run, and this game has 9 plus MDB.
-- Great multiball modes.
-- Great upper playfield. I love hitting that guillotine shot, but there's so much to do up there too (lock a ball, target, extra ball, and 3 passages).
-- The artwork is top notch. Some of the best I've ever seen.

The Bad:
-- The colors are great and the RGB lights are fantastic, but the GI isn't bright enough. I have to use a pinstadium to light it up perfectly. Spooky routinely doesn't use good lighting on their playfields. R&M will be a game-changer though.
-- The shots are tight. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but if you're trying to play a good game and you keep bricking a shot at really no fault of your own, it gets annoying. It's similar to Houdini with slightly less aggravation.
-- It could use some side-missions. You have your modes and multiballs, but I feel like it's really missing that extra element. It has rooms but the rooms don't do anything. If they had a special shot per room that you could do something as you walk your way to the next monster, that would help raise this game to a new level.
-- Alice Cooper's voice doesn't seem to fit the game properly. You can tell he's talking into a microphone, and I can visually see it every time he says something. Kind of distracting at times.


If the shots were not as tight, the code was a little deeper, and the GI a little brighter, I think this would be one of the best pins ever made. It misses the mark to be considered best of the best, but it holds it's own quite well. I love the game and hope to keep it in my collection for a long time.
7 months ago
Such a great/unique game!

It oozes personality. The theme integration is amazing. The music and callouts and sound quality are A+. The artwork and animations are as good as it gets. The guillotine is a great feature.

It's a hard game, and definitely a great fit for the home and advanced players. There are a crazy amount of shots in the game. It has one of the best mini playfields of all time in my opinion. So many shots do multiple things.

I love the ruleset...battling the monsters and exploring the castle are a blast.
7 months ago
So I’ve waited 6 weeks from getting this game to give it a fair and post-honeymoon rating. It’s really good. It’s also a legit ball buster, so if you’re looking for a flow monster, 40 minute game machine look elsewhere. I have all the original rubbers and haven’t messed with the power settings on the slings etc. that supposedly tame this game a bit. At the moment it’s very bouncy and has tons of side to side action which we all know is trouble. I want to keep it that way. The artwork is up there with some of my favorites. It’s absolutely stunning in person. The lighting is wonderful and captures the nightmare castle theme perfectly. The sound....well I’ve said before that this game is louder than a Who concert (I currently have it on 3 and it’s REALLY loud). The screams and moans and rattling chains are top notch creepy AF. I like Alice Cooper’s music well enough but the way it’s implemented in the game is really sweetl. Animations are cool (comic book illustrations). I really like the modes, they’re not your cookie cutter shoot the blinking light blah blah blah. I love this game because it’s so unlike every other game in my collection. I usually pass on games with an upper playfield but this is so different than all others I’ve played it feels fresh. I think it’s because the upper playfield is so well implemented with some of the modes and it’s fairly tough to get the ball up there in the first place. Fit and finish amazing, the playfield is the nicest in my collection. Well done Spooky!
7 months ago
Alice Coopers Nightmare Castle is a stunning world under glass. The guillotine shot is absolutely awesome and is precisely what we need more of in pinball! Bowen Kerins has done a fantastic job with the rule set thus far and I look forward to seeing what the final product is! The artwork is some of the best in pinball for sure. While the layout is fun, some of the shots are a bit too tight but if you put the time into learning the layout, it truly does shine. I maybe wish instead of posts everywhere, maybe they would’ve put some stand up targets so we could feel as if we were progressing something rather than just a brick shot. Personally, I enjoy the combo system and always enjoy the challenge of seeing how many I can put together. The Alice Cooper songs that were picked for this game do justice for the ambiance of it all. It’s not just your typical music pin, but rather a journey through a haunted house with some fun music that fits the theme. Well done Spooky pinball, this game is an absolute blast. That said, this game won’t be for everybody as it’s very much stop and go rather than a flow monster.
7 months ago
I've been adding horror themed pins to the collection, and my recent NIB purchase choice came down to this and Monster Bash. I ended up going with ACNC for several reasons. First, the world under glass is off the charts. Where else are you going to find a pin with all these sculpts in it? Look at BKSOR or the new's not even close. Next is the upper playfield, with 2 targets, 1 flipper, 2 flipper ramps to hit (Frank and Guillotine) and 2 exit ramps (on flipper misses) plus a drop into the crypt. It's probably the best upper playfield ever made. The artwork is superb, from the cabinet to the playfield, and the comic book animations are just awesome.

I'm not a huge AC music fan, but I like (most of) the songs that Spooky and Alice chose for the game. Unlike some of the "band pins" where the music is constantly going, I like that the original soundtrack plays until you battle a monster, which unlocks an Alice song. That is brilliant. The callouts are he doesn't growl or scream...that's not his thing. Cold indifference, almost like a creepy and uncaring ringmaster, has always been Alice's style. The background sounds added by Scott Danesi are awesome, from screams and moans to rattling chains and doors closing, there's a lot of little things that you don't notice in the heat of playing but when you are watching someone else you hear a lot of detail.

Game play? I can't stop playing it. I love the monster battles and the idea of moving through the castle. The rules are imaginative, such as hiding the ball during Pit Monster or loading bullets and then firing to wound the werewolf. I love that you can play a co-op mode just like TNA. As for the shots, I find the orbits and secret passage fairly easy to make. The only criticism I have here is that I find the ramps harder to hit, resulting in not enough time spent on the upper playfield, and there is a lot of bouncing around that can be annoying when you just want the ball to return to the flippers. However these are minor complaints and accuracy will improve with more plays, while Titans can be used to reduce the bouncing and the slings can be set to a less sensitive or lower power setting.

This leads to my most important point - difficulty. I see some people bagging on the game. Different strokes I guess. For me, going into a home collection, I want a game I can enjoy for a long time. Games that are difficult and challenge me have more staying power. I have The Hobbit (super deep rules), Dracula, which is brutally unfair, and now ACNC. Hitting shots are so satisfying on's nowhere near as bad as BSD or Houdini. Outlane drains are rare and the default ball save is generous. The higher difficulty means there's a lot I still haven't seen and done. Considering the rules are still be worked on, the game's only going to get better. There are no playfield pooling/chipping issues, very little dimpling if any, and to top it off Spooky's support is the best in the business.

If you just want to slap a ball around, this game isn't for you. If you want to be challenged, this is the game. I used to think White Water or The Hobbit would be the one game I'd bolt to the floor, but now that I have ACNC, it's never leaving...they'll have to pry it from my cold, dead hands...perfectly matching the spirit of the game!
7 months ago
Something about this game caught my attention from the very first ball. The artwork is one of the best in pinball and draws you to the
game. Even though the game is a fan layout, it is unconventional, and not a cut and paste game. It is mode based and challenging with some of the better animations found in modern pinball. I am a casual fan of Alice Cooper's Music and was pleasantly surprised how it integrates into the game. Some of the shots are tight and clunky but gameplay is fresh and challenging. If you are looking for a game with character, you might enjoy it as much as I did. It left such an impression I decided to purchase the game. An added bonus is the ease of interaction with the Staff at Spooky and the great support that is present for the game including regular code updates that continue to improve the experience in the game.
7 months ago
The upper playfield is the most underrated upper playfield in pinball. The game looks, sounds, and plays amazing. I haven't had any quality issues after 1000+ plays. Pinstadiums make the artwork and playfield molds really pop. This was my 2nd game and first NIB and will stay in my possession until I die. Spooky's customer service is 2nd to none. Love this company and love this pinball machine!
7 months ago
Meh. Not a bad machine but a bit repetitive. Very dark too.
8 months ago
Very cool and addictive game that is very fast. Upper playfield is pretty cool. Artwork is great. Callouts are great in my opinion.
9 months ago
Superb game. Spooky has really turned a corner with TNA and ACNC, they make a quality game. The theme integration in ACNC is off the charts and this is a fantastically coded game.

The funny thing is I didn’t think I’d like the music on this pin at all as I’m not an AC fan...but the music is excellent and fits the mood of the game play perfectly. Wish I had the space to add this title to the collection.
9 months ago
I want this! This game is a butt kicker.
10 months ago
I was in on this game when they first opened up for orders in early 2018 and waited patiently over 18 months before my game finally arrived a few months ago. The verdict: I love it! I usually don’t bother with reviews because what I have to say usually has already been said before, but this game is just so unique and fun to play that it deserves a shout out.

The art is well done for a horror themed pin. I mean, you are in a nightmare castle and you know it. The video and call outs go along great with the game-play, particularly after you understand the rules and realize why you are trying to move around room-to-room in the “castle.”

The rules are still a work in progress, but overall the modes are fun and once you have one going you are treated to an Alice song.

An earlier observation (I think it was on the review by SDTM guys) was that the game had too many shots and they might be too tight. I am a so-so player at the best of times and I can hit all the shots. What is also great is if you miss a shot it does not brick the ball STDM. At least not most of the time. Ball times are good and I’ve had some great games where I cleared multiple modes, though not enough to get to wizard yet.

There are no bash toys to speak of, but you don’t really need them. There is so much to do just hitting the shots and advancing your modes that you don’t really need to be bashing a toy to have fun. The Frankenstein multi-ball is a nice bonus mode and cutting off Alice’s head on the guillotine is a hoot. If I had to nit pick any one thing I'd say the game is dark. It's hard to play if the lights in the game room are off.

Finally, Spooky’s customer support is on par excellence. In a nutshell, this game was well worth the wait.
10 months ago
Spooky hit this one out of the park. The artwork (cab, backglass, playfield) is the best I’ve seen on pin. Graphics is up there with the artwork. The rules are coming nicely and will soon get good polish. Game play. Some people complain about this...shots are too tight, too many posts, etc...I think it’s a blast to play. I find it annoying if I can flail and monkey flip and still do well because every shot counts points. You have to be on and dialed in, but so satisfying when you are. This will never leave my collection.
10 months ago
I love this game, but it's pretty bouncy and difficult to play on the fly. Inter-mode can get bland if you're unable to make a shot, but the game play is fun, the art is the best of all my games, and the music is awesome!
10 months ago
What a masterpiece !!!
Owned many, many machine in the past.
Ranked it in my all time top 3 pins.
The balance from challenge and fun is excellent!
Alice Cooper will stay in my collection forever.
Great job Spooky!
10 months ago
Not sure how I feel about this one, shots are all very close together and difficult.... good looking machine that I might need more games on
10 months ago
This game plays dark in a dark bar. Might not be a factor in a well lit area or would benefit from PinStadium lights. Many balls end up SDTM.
11 months ago
This one was painful for me because I love and idolize Alice Cooper and was going to order this machine from Spooky Pinball for their December production but was hesitant to without playing myself since machine didn't get the hottest reviews and Rob Zombie machine was a huge let down. Well...Alice Cooper's Nightmare Castle is a bit more enjoyable than Rob Zombies but this still is no Stern. For one, the playfield is oddly designed so that alot of the times the ball is bounced down the center for a cheap drain. There is a youtube video where pinball players struggle to keep the ball in play. I consider myself a decent pinball player yet I suck at this one. The visuals are gorgeous...don't get me wrong. The cinematics are great. It's issues are all on the ball's movement across the play field and cheap drains. Also, the machine breaks down alot. Balls easily get stuck near Frankenstein and glass has to be pulled back to remove. I managed to get ball stuck 3 times in 10-15 games. Also there is a glitch where you'll try and start a game and it'll say balls are missing and you have to reboot. I was told this is a software issue but still quite annoying. I really wanted to love this game but bottom line is Spooky Pinball company has a lot to learn from Stern or American Pinball. Having cool IPs is not enough.
1 year ago
Really great rules and very challenging! Nice tight shots that take a bit to get on to but once you've played it a bunch it really gets going. Great modes, cool Co-op play which I think Stern and JJP should take notice of. Its fun to play as a team with friends and try to get as far as you can... Great upper playfield with lots to to do and very well implemented into the modes as well. Artwork is amazing and the theme is right up my alley and I'm not even an Alice Cooper fan musically :)
1 year ago
I play this whenever I see it.
Great Spooky theme.
Fun play.
1 year ago
Wow, I feel in love with this game hard. The only slight downside is it is a bit dark, probably by design for the theme. If you added pinstadiums with UV it would be awesome! I was totalling digging this game then 3 of my friends came and we played in co-op mode and my fun went up even higher. Co-op mode is something all pinballs should do! Thank you Spooky and Team for making my favorite game in years!!
There are 56 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 3.

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