Pinside rating

This game received 38 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 6.938 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #293 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game Design: 6.758

Artwork: 8.047

Sounds/Music: 4.493

Other Aspects: 6.955

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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Found 20 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 20 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
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5 months ago
This is a very fun game with a really nice lay out and awesome art. It suffers from the lack of music/sounds, mostly like other pins from it's era. I think it is one of the best of it's time, but I would put a couple of others ahead of it.
All in all, it is a fun pin and worthy of most collections. If you are a superhero or superman fan in's a "must have."
8 months ago
Awesome theme but its Atari pinball.
10 months ago
Of the three wide-bodied games I think of (Paragon, Genie and Superman), this one is the only one I didn't like at all! It's weird because Steve Ritchie worked on it but it just doesn't work for me! It may be that the machine I was playing was set up poorly but the play was.... soooo.......sloooow!!! I couldn't get into a rhythm and (to be honest) I didn't want to!
12 months ago
It’s unfortunate that most people do not get to play this machine setup and in the shape it should be. When the flippers are strong and the machine is setup well you better look out. This machine plays fast and is very fun. Spelling Superman may seem simple, but requires you to play the entire playfield. The artwork is amazing and the Atari sounds fit in great. This machine by far gets the most play out of my collection. This is an underrated game and will never be leaving my collection.
2 years ago
Oh, Atari..."Superman" might be better than "Hercules" in terms of shots and a slightly better ruleset...but it's still a terrible game where you basically have to spell "SUPERMAN" by hitting drop targets and orbits. I wouldn't have an issue with the game's simplicity except it plays slow as molasses and the version I played at CAX had horrible flippers which just couldn't get the ball far enough up the playfield. The audio is Atari 2600 quality. I guess it's better than hearing "ding" all the time but the electronic "boop" sounds along with laserblast sounds are just monotonous. The theming is incredibly weak. This could have been ANY game. There's no personality to the theme past the coast of paint. It's just not very good.
3 years ago
It's a bird, it's a plane, it's a fairly boring game with a killer backglass and great playfield art. It could have been much better
3 years ago
Great artwork, it plays very slow and clunky.
Theme is excellent, I wish it was not a widebody. Superman should play fast and exciting unfortunately it does not.
3 years ago
I understand the logic of making Superman a broad, tank-like game, but the speed and fun suffers a bit as a result. I like the challenge of spelling superman and some interesting layout choices, but overall not one I gravitated to back in the day or now that I can play it on location in NC.
4 years ago
I love this game, they are getting hard to find in good condition, just picked up two of them, both non working, but amazing backglass. I think the pinside value for this machine is way low. the artwork on this machine combined with colors used is amazing.

Now...I own firepower, xenon, black hole....and there is just something great about this machines sounds.

Yes, it's a widebody and it doesn't have ramps or fancy moving plastic creatures to hit with your ball, but it has a classic pinball sound like none other than Atari machines can give. Williams system 6 sounds are okay, I believe a little rigid, stern mpu100 the sounds are dorky and seem stifled (like they were concerned with perception or didn't spend the money on quality sound, Bally the sounds are okay, gottlieb system 80 are okay as well.

All in all, because late 1970s and early 80s is my wheel house, Atari pinball sounds just capture the period best; perhaps, its because Atari 2600 was out and those sounds are very similar. Playing Superman brings back childhood memories of a time more simple where pinball was defined more by excellence in art and fluidity of play. Superman has all of these.

Any rate, superman is a great game!
Artwork = 10 just amazing layout and color choice
sounds =10 pinnacle of early beeps, bops and Lazer beam
Playability = 9.5
Last ability = 9.5 it's just a great classic early solid state, I find if you set the back legs all the way up on 3" levelers and have the fronts all the way down, the game plays rather well. Not lightning fast, but that's not what this game is about. I enjoy being able to take a few seconds between shots and admire the beautiful artwork admist a game. Just a great game.
4 years ago
OK game, incredible 1978 styling!
5 years ago
My favorite Atari table and wide body, we just clicked, the play is slower and maddening play in a good way.
Play at PHOF when I visit and remember it when I was a teen.
Definitely sucks if the flippers are too weak to make shots.
5 years ago
Superman is such a mixed bag. It has a few cool ideas, and some really good shots, but it's also hampered by several things.

First, I should note that the art looks great. Playfield art and backglass both give the comic book vibe from the era. George Opperman may have been Atari's greatest asset. Cabinet art is pretty tame comparatively, in that limited color stencil style favored at the time.

The playfield is well lit, and given the bright colors I think it is pretty easy to keep track of the ball.

The play itself is mixed, so let's hit the good parts first. I'd consider the main goal to be spelling SUPERMAN. Nothing spots letters, so you have to make all the shots, and they require you to play the entire table, so I think that's well implemented. There is a drop-target bank in the center; completing the drops advances the kick-out hole's award, so you can choose to take the center-shooting risk and try to light that for more value. There's also a roving lit drop target (reminds me of Tri Zone, another 1979 game) on the bank which can be hit for additional points. The game has two spinners, either of which can be lit, and they can be a lot of fun. I also really like the lower-pop on the left-hand side. It gets a lot of play in games, and introduces a lot of action in an otherwise slow table.

So, the bad parts. Well, as my last sentence in the good section demonstrates, this game is slow. All the Atari games are widebodies, and this suffers as you'd expect. Big outlane sections, lots of (slow) side to side action, and sometimes significant time waiting for the ball to actually interact with something. The Fortress of Solitude shot is long (better have strong flippers to make it), and it takes up a ton of space. Outside of hitting the spinner, all it does is have an elaborate path back to the top of the playfield. It is sort of neat to see, but it requires such a strong shot that you'll just wish the game had an orbit instead. Luthor's Lair is easier to make (the ball has less routing to deal with) but it also is pretty lackluster outside of the spinner.

Sounds are fun, but no background music is a disappointment (not surprising for the time, but knowing that the designers wanted to add it in and Atari said no just makes it sting knowing it could have been more immersive).

Overall, Superman is a decent pin. Steve Ritchie's design, while not consisting of the flow he is now known for, does offer a number of shots, and the rules incentivize taking those shots. But even steep the game doesn't play particularly fast, and you MUST have good flippers in order to reach the top of the playfield. But if you see one in decent shape, this can be entertaining and challenging.
5 years ago
Edit 2018: Bumping my score down a bunch. Superman can be kind of a slow bummer sometimes.

Superman is fine. It's WIDE and you get a lot of side to side action, but I don't think the game is a dog. Lower pop bumpers are always cool. You light up the spinners like they're absolutely on fire sometimes. I like the moving arrow on the drop targets in the center scoring 5000. Considering how insanely big this game is, it doesn't really have all the shots on the world. Just compare it to something like Embryon...
6 years ago
Yes, it's Superman. Yes, it was designed by Steve Ritchie. Yes, it's a BEAUTIFUL looking game. No, I didn't think it was very much fun.

Atari pins were some of the most colorful and beautiful looking games. Unfortunately, they were all widebodies, that just felt clunky and oversized for no good reason. This game is no exception to me. I was bummed playing it because it just looked so good, but the ball moved so slow and I got quite bored by ball 2. For me, I'd rather pass this one up and play something from another company. And good luck finding parts for these old Ataris...
6 years ago
Great looking game...but not too much fun...a bit slow...not enough to shoot at for me.
6 years ago
Best in show Michigan Pinball Expo 2015. This game is played with subtle shot selection and the game play is slow compared to contemporary machines. This game is for enthusiasts.
8 years ago
Superman was one of Steve Ritchie's first pinball game designs and his last with Atari.

The Pros:
The deck is faithful to the theme. Opperman's illustrations are spot on with the feel of the comic at the time of comic book history. Very bright, colorful, clean and righteous. 3 lanes and 3 standups at the top of the PF to shoot from the flippers at the bottom of the PF are a sign of tings to come. With 8 SUPERMAN letters to hit across the table, there is a great deal to shoot for and this keeps the entire PF valid.

The Cons:
I have yet to play a copy where you can make a shot to the top of the PF with the ball. might it be a dearth of Atari pinball parts? I have yet to visit the "Fortress of Solitude". Even if I can get to the top of the PF... the 2, 3 and 4 lanes at the top are near imp*@&$le to hit.

The Takeaway:
If you are a big superman fan, consider this game. I don't like playing it, but will reserve full judgment until I can find a game that plays as it should. The best way for me to describe my pin-experience with this table would be: Hey, anyone know any good Christopher Reeve jokes?

After all of this time I finally got to play a superman the play as it should. This is definitely a Steve Ritchie game. This copy of the game was very fast and the flippers were very strong. All of the sudden, feels game was alive! I believe this is what Steve has in mind when he designed it. Not the slow, lumbering box of meh that I encountered before this copy of this design. The orbits with spinners on the sides in particular are fast in the flow. There’s a surprising amount of chaos on the lower play field with the beasts layer like pop bumper on the lower left. Which is strange to say, because this game came out three months before paragon. Scoring in this game is really is about bonus and getting the top lanes to multiply your bonus with lanes one through three leading to 2x and lanes one through four leading 3X. Something familiar? I think it sounds like flash.

But more than anything else I got to play a copy of this game that had crispy and strong flippers and worked as it should. This game is fun. A lot more fun than I thought it would’ve been. Well the lower play field is chaotic and very much side to side proposition, we start to see the flow that made him famous. The angles on the drop targets are dangerous and require Carefil decision for shooting angles. Considering how early this is in his career, it is a sign of thing to from Steve Richie. The layout is certainly much better than airborne avenger. It is a fast widebody game that requires skillful play. If I could find one that was nice and fast, I would consider only one myself. Scores updated accordingly.
9 years ago
Love this game. Great flow, several different objectives, and you just can't beat the theme or art. Widebody early solid state pinball at its very best here.
9 years ago
I was pleasantly surprised at how much I actually enjoyed Superman. Loved the artwork, the flow was good, and it was enjoyable. I don't think it has the last ability I'd want to own one, but I will definitely play it again when I have the chance. I also just found out it's a Steve Ritchie design, which doesn't surprise me at all really.
9 years ago
The only good Atari. Such a complete deviation from every other machine made to that point. Makes you wonder just how good Atari's Road Runner would have been. Very challenging single ball game. This game kicked my butt when I was a teenager, but it never discouraged me. As an adult player, it still challenges me, and is just plain fun. And those "futuristic" Atari beeps just warm my heart. To top it off--it's a looker. Great 1970's comic art mixed in with "futuristic" Atari design.

UPDATE: It's pretty shocking how bad this game can be when not properly set up. I had mine fully restored, and it's still one of my all-time favorites. My flippers reach all shots with ease, my pf is cleaned, cleared and fast., and the game is just great. And yet, I've played about 6 other copies of this game in the past 4 years. And they suck. Most of them are just outright neglected. Which is really a shame. When it is set up correctly, this is one of the best games made up until this point--tons of shots, challenging goals, just a world of fun. It's too bad there aren't enough nice copies around so it is appreciated the way it is meant to be.
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