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Strikes 'N Spares

Pinside rating

This game received 31 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 6.610 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #321 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game design: 6.881

Artwork: 6.51

Sounds/Music: 4.956

Other Aspects: 6.819

Pinside staff rating

This is how we, the very knowledgeable (wink wink) staff & moderators rate this game. 1 of us has 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 17 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 17 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
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4 months ago
Set up properly it’s a challenging game and loads of fun. Underated because it’s being rated on a pinball site.Glad I picked one up.
7 months ago
I'm another one of these guys that feels the need to review this machine as a "bowling with pinball" rather than a straight pinball game! The machine was designed with that in mind (ex: someone designs a great Monster Truck but nobody would rate it as a great NASCAR vehicle!) With that in mind, this machine IS a lot of fun! I can't add a lot more than what has already been said with one observation: just imagine the possibilities if the machine had utilized banana flippers!! As a pinball machine, it's lousy but as an arcade machine, this one has an interestingly unique theme!
1 year ago
First of all, I’m rating this as a bowler or pitch and bat, and not a pinball. So please understand that when you see my rating. A very fun game, that simulates a bowling game without leaving home. If you like actual bowling you will find it fun. Easy to learn, translates to instant fun for nonpinheads at parties. Which is where this machine shines. I have 10 pins/arcades and I would say somewhere around that number it starts having a place in a collection. You do not want it to be your only pin. It’s a one trick pony. But in a larger collection it’s just the change of scenery that keeps your collection fresh.
2 years ago
I rated this title significantly higher than most. It's a bowler that uses pinballs, instead of pucks or balls. It's not a pinball machine.
Based on what it IS not what some THINK it is or wish it was, it succeeds wildly!

In fact, I'm not sure this was ever tried in the past or since, so in that regard, this machine stands as a very unique one-of-a-kind effort.

It has menu settings to make it as hard or easy as you wish. My guess is that nobody is going to bowl a 300 game on this when set to the most difficult settings. Wife loves it, daughter plays it too and they really don't play my pinball games. Of course, its always waaaaaay more fun when played in teams/groups/partners

Fantastic addition to a larger collection of pinball games IF you enjoy bowling 'cause that's what it is!

BTW @jeremyON has a review below that is dead on - well done
2 years ago
I tried this title at TPF two years ago. It did nothing for me and I lasted about two minutes. It is a nest looking machine and the way Gottlieb set it up was well thought out. But the game play just did not work for me.
3 years ago
Obviously not a deep game. Still a lot of fun. Super easy for anybody to step up and play and know what to do.
3 years ago
Not really a pinball machine, but if it has flippers and you're going to make me rate it on a pinball scale, it does poorly. It's on the same level as maybe puck bowlers although with a little more skill involved. Flash is usually what saves easy bowlers from being too easy, but because the flippers more or less propel the ball at a constant velocity, flash is pretty easy to figure out the timing for. I'll put a quarter in it if I see one on location, but not something I'd play over and over again that's for sure.
3 years ago
This game is rated on the low side and I understand why, but it's not fair. This is a DIFFERENT game. To own this game you need to already have an established collection of pins or you need to be someone who loves bowling and/or pitch and bat but really isn't a pinball fan or baseball fan.
First, this is a very classy arcade machine in a rather loud and colorful cabinet. The mechanism and playfield in this machine is absolutely drop dead gorgeous and tough looking, simply the finest. The playfield looks like a brand new just oiled down bowling alley. The machine stands taller than any other standard size cabinet pin that I have seen. So tall in fact, that there is a second set of leg mounts to mount the machine lower for kids (A first that I have seen). This is a machine that Matt Dillon (James Arness) would feel right at home with.
Second, this is a pitch and bat bowler. Weird? Yes. But how does it play? Fantastic. This game emulates a bowling alley very well even going so far as to have operative ball returns. The larger pinball emulates the feel and momentum of a real 16lb bowling ball with the flipper acting as your arm. The game is simple to learn but difficult to master. It has three different bowling games built in and a patented tournament mode where players can compete for a prize payout every week. If you ever wanted to feel like a millionaire with your own bowling alley in your home, you cannot come any closer in the space required by this machine. Can you curve the ball? No. This is a hand/eye coordination game. Can you bowl fast? How about a game every three minutes? Get your game on!
Third, it has an authentic sound, nothing loud or annoying and not one but two magnificent DMD displays. The larger pinball lands with a thud, emulating the drop sound of a real bowling ball onto the lane, into the ball return, and down the ball return to the flippers. Again, it's like having your own automatically scoring, pinsetting, and ball return bowling alley in your own home.
Finally, is it a "real" pinball machine? Well, yes and no. It certainly has bowling "pins" and the pinballs are larger than usual, but this is first and foremost designed to be a bowling emulator under glass and it succeeds marvelously. There is no "exciting" gameplay here, no multiball jackpots, no screaming callouts, no spinners, no ramps, just a nice relaxing game of bowling without having to rent shoes, trudge out into the snow, or put up with obnoxious players (other than the ones you invite over yourself). If you love bowling and pitch and bats, then you'll love this. If you want to bowl in your home but don't have the space for a bowling alley or ball bowler, then you'll love this. If you like pinball and it's your only pinball machine, you'll soon feel like getting a mainstream pinball machine because you'll know that you're missing out. For pinball machine number 13 in your collection though, it can't be beat. Lastability is it's only downside, because the gameplay is understandably shallow, just like most bowlers.
5 years ago
Obviously not a deep machine or anything, best played in groups. While not the most substantial pinball experience, it's one of the most fun and easy for people who are pinball-phobic. Great great intro machine and very forgiving for even a novice.
6 years ago
The kind of game that's a lot of fun at a party, but not the type of thing you'll likely play alone for hours at a time. Good choice for a large collection that just wants something different...
7 years ago
Like SlugFest, this game really shouldn't be considered a pinball machine, so rating it in relation to other pins is just unfitting. However, again like SlugFest, the game succeeds very well at being fun in its own way. The game has three bowling modes that you can choose from at the beginning of the game. Your goal is to then use the left or right flipper to flip these massive pinballs into the pins, just like bowling. You can set your ball up from the left or right side by hitting the corresponding flipper button. You then press the flipper button again to flip the ball towards to the pin. Like how shuffle bowlers roll over switchs to active hitting pins, Strikes N' Spares does the same. So depending on the angle the ball is shot, the machine's logic will raise various pins to simulate the reaction from an actual bowling ball being thrown down the lane.

When I owned this machine, I enjoyed it most when playing it and competing with friends.
7 years ago
this should be a redemption game it's far far far from a real pinball machine. I've played this a couple of times with my wife and it was the only time I've ever thought about leaving her if she was going to try and make me play it a third. To each their own when it comes to style of machines and just the fact that we're all on this site together shows a common bond to the greatness of them and for that I thank each and every one of you
7 years ago
I got this for my wife, hoping it would make her want to spend more time in the game room with me. She played a few games and so far, so good.

Firstly, this isn't a pinball machine. It's a game that uses flippers and balls, but other than that, it's almost totally unrelated to the genre.

The few games I've played on it have been fun. It's got three games to choose from: A 10 frame regulation game, a game called 'Flash' which relies on timing as well as shot placement, and Strike 90, which allows you to keep shooting as long as you're nailing strikes. There is also a tournament mode (when not on freeplay) which allows you to bowl a three game series where you compete against all other bowlers' scores for a period of time. Pretty cool.

I have it set up on easy right now so I don't scare my wife off right away, and I was able to get 7 strikes in a row on the first day I owned it. Once you find the shot, it's easily repeatable. You can, without effort, trap the ball on the flipper as it comes from the kicker which makes aiming your shot very easy. I think a good option would have been to force the ball to drop to alternating flippers rather than allowing the player to pick. I find it much harder to shoot from the left.

The music and sounds are high quality, but nothing great. Could have benefited from more entertaining voice call outs or something. With 2 DMD's you'd expect more in the way of dot animation, which are sadly pretty basic.

One last thing: This game is also HUGE! It's the largest machine I own now. The head had to be completely removed in order to fit it into a Ford Explorer for transport.
8 years ago
Would be good in a large collection. Its bowling for pinball its a neat idea and a decent game.
9 years ago
Love it!!!
9 years ago
Cool bowling game. Easy to play. When my friends come over they always want to play this. Everyone knows bowling!
9 years ago
Like this game, mixes both pinball and shuffle alley bowling. Great with friends, since it is a theme everyone is aware of.
There are 17 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 1.

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