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Pinside rating

This game received 60 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 7.498 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #171 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game design: 7.629

Artwork: 7.426

Sounds/Music: 5.756

Other Aspects: 7.676

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 26 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 26 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
Currently showing results page 1 of 2.

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9 months ago
Better game than black knight! Hahaha

It's fun. One I played flippers needed rebuilt. Couldn't make the loader shot in upper left. Got it once.

Nice widebody. Good art. Fun to play.
9 months ago
A great classic stern, brutal to play but rewarding to blow up.
Simple rules hit stars, get special, rip spinner. Easier said than done. A huge flipper gap, brutal out lanes, and high slings make this a punishing yet rewarding early solid state and great tournament game.
10 months ago
One of the finest early ss games in existence.
1 year ago
For the age of the game and as simple as the layout is this one keeps you coming back for more. This game will help improve your skills for other machines. Getting all 5 stars to light on a single ball makes it a challenge.
2 years ago
Love the Classic Sterns.
Stars has a nice combination of drop targets, stand up targets, and spinners -- the rules are so simple yet the game can be quite challenging. I like the chimes vs. electronic sounds with this game. Playfield art is very nice but I could do with a different backglass. Overall a fun game that I keep going back to for some good old fashioned pinball.
2 years ago
One of the best cheap solid state pins you’ll find. It can be a brutal game because you always feel so close to beating it. Shot geometry is so good and the rules are perfectly balanced
2 years ago
My very first pinball machine that got me hooked on the hobby. Very simple and basic, but challenging to hit your shots consistently and nothing beats the classic sounds of the chimes.
2 years ago
This is an early solid state, late chime box game. In some ways this is my most difficult pin. I love this game. It is a simple rule set, so great for when non-pinners come over. It is really popular with with experts too. You need to drop either set of drop targets to get the double & triple bonus going & then drop all 6 for the extra ball. Hit all 5 stars to get the moving bonus lit. For its age, I highly recommend playing it. The sounds from the chime box are music to my ears.
3 years ago
Stars is an excellent game that's really held up well over the years. I go long enough between stints playing it that I tend to forget it has a nice progressive points scheme, where you alternate hitting targets to get additional points on the spinners, bonus X for completing a bank, and eventually a special light for completing both banks (available at a standup). It has only a single bumper, but it's got a lot of kinetic action for its placement. There are three overlapping arcs/parabolas that play dominantly, and you can if you want make almost every shot from both flippers, although it has the typical crossover pattern for most shots. The left spinner is harder, hidden up beyond the banks, but isn't impossible. In general it's got a lovely open playfield.

The artwork also is pretty cool; it's a generic space scene, with a kind of SST like rocket on the backglass, and spacey stuff on both the cabinet sides and playfield. There isn't a huge incorporation of space sounds and a "story" on the playfield, though.

The one caveat is that there's no blinking indicator for which player is up, and this is one of those odd machines with the player scores not in left to right top to bottom order -- it goes up from bottom left and then down to the right. In tournament or multiplayer games, make sure you keep track of who's shooting!
3 years ago
Super fun game
3 years ago
This game is absolutely brutal and unforgiving. It boasts gigantic slingshots that seem to put a mile between the flipper and the nearest starred standup target or spinner, and the ball will either ricochet between those two for a short eternity or come screaming straight down the middle, center post be darned. This may not sound like a promising description for a pinball machine; at first, I couldn't stand it. But, if you like a little challenge with your pinball, this game is perfect - the spinners are satisfying to hit, and are most so when you have managed to light the starred inserts on the right spinner through the standup targets. The drop targets are less rewarding and only slightly less risky, but they do provide an alternate method to getting points. The playfield seems simple with the two banks of drop targets, two spinners, pop bumper, and scattered standups, but the apparent sparseness belies an engaging, engrossing machine - it's so addictive to play, inspires such an obsession to execute a good score, that it doesn't need many whistles or bells. A great game.
3 years ago
There are two ways to approach this game. You can go for all five stars first, which maxes out the right spinner and opens the door for big points for hitting the moving star. Or, knock down the drop targets, max out the multiplier rewards and max out the left spinner. I've found I get more consistent scores when I try to max out the multiplier rewards, but I get my biggest scores when I hit all the stars and start nailing the right spinner.

The overall layout of the game is well thought-out, and will test your skills with both flippers. You had also be a good 'nudger,' otherwise you'll be reaching for another quarter before you know it. I love the chimes. The artwork is good and fits the theme of the game. Definitely a keeper!
4 years ago
Stars is frustratingly simple. Collect the five standup star targets to light “special” at one of the five star standups (hopefully special equals points, but can also be an extra ball or free game depending on the settings. Then rip the right spinner. Easier said than done, though. The layout is nothing to write home about, but the placement of the upper star standups around the pop bumper reward accuracy and patience. The ho-hum generic space artwork doesn’t do it for me, out of context—however; it surely is a sign of things to come from Stern in the following years. Stars marks the first true leap into the solid state era for Stern, as the bulk of the games that would follow would feature a sci-fi/fantasy lean to match the solid state electronics that were powering their games. The chimes are a bit of an anachronism, but that rapid-fire low clunk of fourth bar when the special is attainted is worth the price of admission.
4 years ago
Stars is a great game available for what I think is a bargain. The early Sterns are having a bit of a collector renaissance, with most touting Meteor, but I dare say Stars is superior to Meteor in some crucial ways.
The key with Stars is that it constantly offers shifting situational play. You can work towards lighting the Stars via standups to build the right spinner (and collect the roving 50k if you get them all,) or you can work the drops. Left spinner is 200 + 400 for the center target of each drop target bank. First time you drop a trio, they all reset, and your left spinner is back to 200. Next time(s) requires all 6 down. But maybe you really want to finish and take the 3x multiplier reward? Maybe you now have the right spinner built enough to take that bonus?
The dynamic value of the left spinner, with the right spinner value that builds, offers very unique gameplay strategy. It makes Meteor feel more one-dimensional in comparison.
A caveat is that if your an A-group player, Stars might not be so amazing as you can probably call each shot and make it. But for the C-level and even B-level players, the situational play will come forth in a big way.
Chimes and art are classic for the era. Only thing to dislike is the one Star target that you can't hit directly.
4 years ago
This is just all-around the best pinball machine out there. I couldn't ask for more out of a pinball game. It's simple and fun and amazing. I have already played the game over a hundred times.
4 years ago
The game is nice with the moving star to hit, but overall, for the time period of this game I feel it is lacking. The shots are very simple to make, the chimes stay the same throughout the game and I feel the layout could be improved.
5 years ago
A little plain, but raise the rake and you've got some high speed pinball going on
5 years ago
One of my favorite games. I love the artwork!!
7 years ago
I used to own this game.
8 years ago
Good playing game I really like the fact that it is a solid state game with chimes
8 years ago
Stars is a game that I had never played before until recently. I like it. This table has a classic Bally feel to it, but at the same time still has it's own Stern Qualities.

The Pros:
A great layout with lots of targets and smooth spinners to shoot to your heart's content. Lighting all the colored star rollovers requires precision and the single pop bumper has a surprising bit of action to it. Open outlanes need good control skills on the lower PF. The chimes are nice on this deck. One of my first thoughts playing this game was "Is it just me or does the space between the flippers seem a bit wide?" Then I learned how to use the post. The flipper spacing and the post between them is a great way to learn flipper skills and how your angles on a pin-deck play out. Hitting the wandering special/100k is always a challenge. Good shots to the drops, standups and spinners mean that there is always something to do with this deck. Even when everything is lit up... RIP THE SPINNER!

The Cons:
Can be a bit easy if not set up to be a challenge (not my table though, the settings on the software make a big difference on this deck. They have got to be set up right.

The Takeaway: As a player, this game plays great. Set it up steep, tighten the tilt, wax it up nice and shiny and make sure the rubbers are fresh and bouncy. Some people will complain about this game being a gimme, but when set up properly, this game is challenging. Don't believe me? If you REALLY want to make this game nasty, get rid of the Kirk-post between the flippers and see what happens to your scores. As a collector, this game can give you a great bang for the buck. Simple, but never easy. A great example of a Stern game from the late 70's. Play it whenever you can. If you don't believe me, watch the tutorial by Bowen Kerins and watch the master in action with this deck. . Steve Kirk is one of the unsung hero-designers of pinball. Nine Ball and the best selling Stern (version 1) deck, Meteor are his work from this vintage.

Make your shot... Survive... Make your shot... Survive...

There is an adjustment on this game that will make the Special worth a credit or points (50 or 100k I believe). Set this to score points and all of the sudden that roaming red dot becomes the absolute focus of your attention. Like a cat to a laser pointer. When this game is set up like this... it becomes a true player that makes the entire table open up for the big whammy. Now where did that red special end up? For extra Cruella DeVille points... take the lights out of the inserts. MWAAAA-Haaa-HAAAA-Haaaaahh!

Update 2:
The pop and the sling must be easily activated and strong. When set up properly, this game is a tension filled ball of nerves. IF you think this game is boring, you need to freshen your rubbers, wax the PF and steepen this deck up! The game isn't a snoozer (for a New York second), you just aren't setting up the game to be played as it should be. Nastify this deck properly and then tell me how uninterested you are playing Stars. If you're not sure about what it should feel like... Feel free to try my personal table on for size and see how dull this design is when it is eating you and your pin-fu skills alive.
8 years ago
Half SS half EM. Excellent gameplay. Chimes in a SS is really cool! The playfield art reminiscent of old 60/70's comics when imagination and not facts were the inspiration...
8 years ago
I really like this one, a Solid State with chimes, very pleasing, and hope to have it sitting next to my Meteor if I can somehow convince the dude to sell it to me at a reasonable price, we shall see!
9 years ago
Beautiful space theme pinball, lots of fun great target layout.
10 years ago
This game is okay for the era. One pop bumper is a big feature. The ball feels pretty contained on the playing field, especially upper. Can play pretty fast, probably the best thing about Stars. Lots of weight on the right flipper if you are hitting the pop targets. The game goes better when you put on some eighties music, or the Drive soundtrack. The sounds are chimes. Not challenging pinball but not annoying either. The benefit of this game is you aren't always triggering chests or voice over "haha" sound effects.
There are 26 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 2.

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