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Spy Hunter

Pinside rating

This game received 38 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 6.223 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #339 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game design: 6.071

Artwork: 7.173

Sounds/Music: 5.94

Other Aspects: 5.972

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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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 25 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 25 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
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3 days ago
This game is unique in the way the play field flippers are off center. The rules take a little bit to get used to or even understand. But it actually becomes a fun game once you learn how it all comes together. Of course it’s hard to beat the classic spy hunter theme music while you play.
2 years ago
Games a turd. Only game worse is Monte Carlo. Turrible!
2 years ago
This a very strategic pinball machine !!! Playfield design is very unique, fun and challenging !! A lot of skill shots ! This is definitely a thinking person's pinball (not the kind people can just hit the ball around and love it). Learning the rules really helps with the enjoyment of the game. Art work is very good (although cheesy 1980's). Artwork on back glass, playfield and cabinet work well together. Sound is very good also ... maybe a little repetitive but not enough to bother me. Lights are excellent. GREAT GAME !! Challenging but fun !! Can play it for years to come !!!
2 years ago
this is a great game! very cool and challenging.
3 years ago
I think that Spy Hunter is an OK game. Not too deep and it is a little weird with the flippers over to the right. It is not bad at all though, but it makes way more sense in a larger collection. I had one and really enjoyed it for a few months. Then when it was time to let it go nobody really wanted it. Not a bad game, but not a great game either.
3 years ago
Probably the worst music in all of pinball. The left bumper and shifted play field layout is just awful.
4 years ago
Very atypical playfield layout with most of the action on the right 60% of the game. I enjoyed the machine a lot - pretty straightforward once you understood the ruleset, decent set of shots, and the left hand bagatelle was kind of interesting. Left side isn't as much of a drain monster as you'd think. It's a better machine for a multi-game collection or for more casual players. Usually can find them very reasonably priced and pretty reliable.
4 years ago
Spy Hunter has plenty of unique elements. The game features 2" flippers on the upper playfield trap, off-center 3" flippers to guard the drain, and tricky outlanes (or inlanes?) on the left of the lower PF make this table interesting to try to play on. However, of all the times I've played Spy Hunter, I've never been hooked to the machine - it lacks that "one more game" appeal because all of those interesting elements never really come together to make the game fun. Worth playing to see something a little different, but not worth a second shot.
4 years ago
I do not like this game. The bagatelle on the left takes up too much space and really slows the game down. I groaned every time it went in there. I did not think this was a drain monster at any position. I found myself wishing it would drain faster. Artwork is ok. music is expected Peter Gunn ever and over. Gameplay was just blah.
5 years ago
Spy hunter..this is a classic pin that needs some recognition! Yes, the ball does drain down the left side quickly but it is still fun! Definitely LED this pin and you will love it even more. It is challenging and the theme is awesome! The upper left bagatelle is fun to try and complete, especially on an increased angle with different colored LED's. This is nostalgic pinball at it's best and I appreciate that. In my opinion this is a sleeper in the bang for your buck production, awesome music and sounds, great artwork! I definitely enjoy playing this machine and if you can find one add it to your collection!
5 years ago
At first, the three separate playfield sections (lower playfield with non-centered full-size flippers, upper playfield with small flippers, and top-left bagatelle) are part of the allure of this machine. But long-term those separate sections mean at any given time, you have very little to shoot for and thus the game gets old too fast.

Overall, a fine machine to have in a large collection, due to its theme and unique layout, but in a small collection (it was one of two machines we had for a year; the other, Eight Ball, never got old) that unique playfield is its undoing.
5 years ago
I've owned this game for a few years and wanted to have it for a while before rating it. This was actually my first pin purchased after I built a MAME machine and my wife then asked me "Hey, can you buy Pinball machines?"

This game gets a lot of flak, people don't like the offset flippers a little to the right, and the 2 outlanes to the left. I guess it's not the norm, and maybe it's because I've spent a lot of time with this machine, but it doesn't bother me at all. The plunger shot is actually a skill shot that if timed correctly will close one of those 2 outlanes. There are 2 flippers up top to rattle the ball around, but what you really want to do is get the ball into the upper left area and light the roll overs. Once you get enough of those you get an extra ball.

There is just 1 bumper, but it's right above the outlanes so whenever it's popping you're nervous. There's a spinning target that leads to a kick-out hole, a captive ball to bash, and Peter Gunn theme music. Difficulty can be upped so the kick-out hole only rewards you when there's a match. Each match also ups the scoring multiplier. What more could you want?

Biggest negative is that it doesn't feel like the video game of the same name, and in the end that probably annoys people. The Spy Hunter video game is great, and difficult to replicate in MAME. This pin is very different from the feel of that game other than the music, so it can feel a little like a bait and switch.

But standing alone, this is a fun game that can be tough but rewarding, and feels different from most other pins. I'm happy to have it in my collection!
6 years ago
Not a fan. Do not like the offset flippers. Great arcade, bad pin.
6 years ago
Quite possibly one of the worst layouts in pinball. The entire table is shifted to the right, leaving the left third open for drains.
7 years ago
This is actually a pretty good game for the money. Although there is not a lot of incline to the playfield the flippers are strong enough to really get the ball moving. The only bad thing about the playfield and play in general is the way that the flippers are all the way to the right and the left side of the playfield is 2 outlanes below a pop. With a little practice you can keep the ball out of this area for the most part but there are times when you need to go there and it is always a crap shoot as to whether the ball with come out or drain. Surprisingly, it normally comes back out without draining as much as you would think. Great first game.
7 years ago
this is a fun game and it goes great in any collection. Love the theme on this game. The game play is good I really like the spinner giving you big scoring opportunities and multiplier advancement and I like the fact the higher the spinner bonus goes the less the odds are that you will get it. The upper section with the two flippers is pretty fast and and takes a bit of skill to advance the agent gk lights. The upper left section is nothing special but it is fun and rewarding trying to get all the weapons lit. The skill shot it really hard to get but I like the fact it closes the gate to one of the drains.
7 years ago
Backglass is great, captures the game does the side art...that's where the good comments stop. Completely wasted left side of the bumper and two drain holes.

Upper playfield is ok with the mini area but u can't do real shots on this one at all. Can't imagine playing more than once...boring with little rewards.

EDIT: PLayed again recently, worse than I remember.
7 years ago
The best way I can describe this game is it's remarkably average. It's not amazing and it's not horrible by any means, just OK. It doesn't have multi-ball which I think makes it feel very slow. There are a few playfield components that are interesting. The mini bagatelle to the left is neat, changing lanes to light all the rollovers to gather weapons for your car. It's a neat change that both out lanes are on the left side of the playfield, right beneath an evil pop bumper that loves to push the ball out of play. There is a gate that can close to block one of the out lanes making it easier to keep the ball in play. Two upper flippers help keep the ball among a field of drop targets and a captive ball. There is one spinner in front of a kick out hole and a bank of drop targets to aim for as well. If you have room in your collection and you see one for cheap why not pick it up. Definitely doesn't have lasting potential when trying to decide which of your beloved machines need to go though. The abundance of white lights/inserts make this machine very LED friendly. Lots of color could be added to liven up the playfield.
7 years ago
Interesting enough game, the PF layout is weird with it being all jacked over to the left, but over all a decent game. Very much like an EM in play style and sounds.
7 years ago
Spy Hunter is a game that needs to be taken care of. When you give this game love... it will surprise you with how much it gives back.

The Pros:
A truly original PF from Greg Kmeic. Cool shots all over. Captive ball is a sniper shot. The spinner on the right in front of the saucer plays much better than I thought it would and the bagatelle feature (when was the last time you saw that?!?) on the left down to the exit with the pop bumper means that your nudging skills are in play all the way down the PF. I usually don't like Tony Ramuni's artwork, but this one is ok. The game has a multi-level feel to it on a single playfield. Kind of like Grand Lizard, but without the ramps. Captive ball 2x/3x PF scores is sweet.

The Cons:
Drop targets that just aren't worth shooting. Too much risk, not enough reward. Sounds are weak, esp. considering this was 1984. Would you rather play this or Space Shuttle on sound alone. Even Eight Ball Deluxe had a hand up on this sound system.

The Takeaway:
When properly maintained, this game requires a slower trap and shoot game as well as liberal amounts of nudging on the entire left side of the PF. Flailing on this game leads to quick exits between the flippers or to the left. A much better skills game than most people take it for.

While this game may be a decent game to practice ball control techniques on it, it is exploitable during gameplay. The top saucer over and over and over and over... means that this game is mean to have for practice and FUN ONLY! Unless you are playing for Tommy Dollars, not a game for the tourney. The ball can be trapped, cradled and backhanded from the lower right flipper. Even with a saucer kickout adjustment and fresh rubber kit (THIS GAME NEEDS GOOD RUBBER KIT ON IT) this game can easily be tamed and worked over again and again and again and again... If that ball goes anywhere near the left lanes, trouble.

But for just some battin' around. Great! Keep it around for the kids and the vidiots who lubs some Spy Hunter video game (side note, the video game is a George "Fan-Man" Gomez design). Not for the serious minded pinhead player though. IF you can pick one up cheap and are looking for something different in your collection, enjoy it!
7 years ago
Awful. just Awful. How did this go into production with such an awful layout?
8 years ago
It's bad. One of, if not, the worst pin I've ever played.
9 years ago
Not a bad game to compliment the Video game of the same name. At first glance, it looks like a very complicated and fun game, but it doesn't really live up to the appearance in game play. Not bad... but not that great either.
10 years ago
I'd rather play the video game...
10 years ago
There are definitely fun moments to be had playing this. Unique layout helps. Doesn't stay fun forever but its a neat game considering the tough era it game from. Probably does better in a larger collection. It has been many years since I owned it & the theme song is stuck in my head as I write this haha.
There are 25 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 1.

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