Surf 'n Safari

Pinside rating

This game received 37 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 7.215 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #217 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game design: 7.522

Artwork: 6.988

Sounds/Music: 5.938

Other Aspects: 7.317

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 23 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 23 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
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4 months ago
Super cute game here, lots of fun. Very family-friendly and nothing too serious. The theme is a real winner.

Borrowing a couple of things other people mentioned - the double score feature does seem a little too important, but I can't really think of anything else to criticize and it's not so bad. The game does seem to be right in between the alpha-numeric and DMD periods, although it reminds me of Gottlieb's other game, Genesis. Surf 'N Safari has more charisma though.

It might be a bit easy but even skilled players should have a nice time trying to complete everything. Nice mix of shots. All the big ramps make the ball a tad hard to follow sometimes. I really like this one though.

*Wife approval* "Can we try to find this one?" On the wishlist.
10 months ago
This game would be well suited for the corner of a bar, in a cabana by the beach, where it would sit for years and get the occasional play. There are a lot of items all over the play field, and they almost add to that roll up the boardwalk feel. However, once the game gets going, that same amount of novelty gets a little in the way. It could be played once or twice by many, or many times during a summer vacation. But, it doesn't really ask to be played over and over again.
1 year ago
I just got this as my first pinball machine. It was a reasonable price, and though it doesn't have the same toys you may expect from a Bally/Williams, it certainly has alot going for it.

The rules are easy to learn, clearly signposted by callouts from Rodney and shown on the lightgrid. Though it hasn't got a DMD, this isn't an issue as it's only missing what might have been some nice waterslide/whirlpool animations. Sure, it's not a deep rule set, but definite challenge; getting double followed by the two multi-balls is my tactic for high scores. It has all the basics nailed: ramps/pop bumpers/spinner/decent multiball. The shots are all satisfying and the timers make you take time to cradle and plan shots. Lower playfield isn't as frantic as Genesis, upper playfield fan layout works well, side snack bar drop targets you get more by luck than aiming for, though they don't advance to modes so not really worth going out of your way for/worrying about.

Overall, it's bright, colourful and fun. The sound is great, and the theme (bizarre as it is) works well with the upbeat music allowing for lots of animal noises to play alongside.

Would certainly recommend.
2 years ago
While the game itself is not extremely deep, it does have a lot going for it. It's a shot-based game, combined with a progressive scoring matrix that dictates various reward opportunities and shots throughout game play. The middle of the playfield has a great lighting setup, which tracks your progress, but doubles as a light show and even a countdown clock where the numbers are shown using the insert lights forming the numbers (think like a big basketball scoreboard). I really liked that simple, but interesting feature.

A lot of the shots are timer-based, as are the rewards, so a missed shot or two can cost you a chance at some good scoring. The 2 and 3-ball multiball is great, and fast enough to be entertaining. The "Double" mode, which doubles ALL scoring in the game until you lose your ball, is one of the best chances to score big points.

Overall, I think it's a fun family game, and while definitely not as deep as some other games, it's perfect for an entertaining pin in a collection. You can tell it was made right on the cusp of the DMD era, as the feel is very early DMD when playing it. If you can find one for a good price, grab it, it's worth playing and enjoying.
2 years ago
Not a bad game at all. Has some interesting things about it and a really good theme. I don't remember being wowed in any way but I do remember enjoying the few games that I played on it.
3 years ago
Another excellent gottlieb title for a beginner collector. Fun shots and call outs, goofy music and sounds. I mean who wouldn't like a talking Jamaican alligator? Lol
3 years ago
The vast amount of lights makes this game pure eye candy. After a full LED installation it is a self contained carnival. The game is sure fun with ramps and the swirling bowl in the middle. I wish that more time went into cabinet design and better quality went into playfield toys. Getting past those issues the game does shake rattle-n-roll. It is a more challenging pinball to restore. It is always that way when there are some quality issues. Replacing the flipper mechanisms with better grade ones improves game play vastly. This is a good family friendly pinball. Looks great under the Christmas tree!
4 years ago
This game is my sleeper favorite in my collection. It's simple fun. I know the theme is silly but the shots are a ton of fun and it's really just an enjoyable pin to play and relax with. I love hitting the Whirlpool shot and watching the ball circle the bowl.
5 years ago
i bought this machine at Pintastic ! myself and the kids love it for my first pinball machine !
5 years ago
i only owned this one for a short while, as it seemed less fun in my home environment than it had done playing it at a show against a friend. it has the classic fan layout that later came to grace so many of the favourite titles (MM, AFM, MB - the holy trinity) and also some nice 'sucker shots' (central bank of drops) and 'treasure shots' (the 3M target) to make learning the game worthwhile.

it's pinball so i like it of course, but it can't really hold it's own when up against any of the big hitters from the 90s. a good starter table
6 years ago
I really enjoyed the graphics on the game. I only played it once on route.... the game was beat but I managed to get a decent score even though a few features were dead.

The ramps are very fun!
6 years ago
to me, one of my favorits games
only fun !
6 years ago
Surprisingly fun game. Great ramps. I guess the theme is done well, when u have a dinosaur on a tube you can't expect much. Played it a few times and came back for more! It's fun pinball, not very deep, but worth a few spins.
7 years ago
A good, solid cheaper machine. I dont know how much it would hold my interest if it was my only pin, but its fun and cheerful.
The theme is odd, the alligator with leds up his nose is a strange one, but the shots are fun and the sound is bang on.
7 years ago
More to this game than you'd expect (or at least than I expected!). When you get into the strategy of the game it becomes clear that if your aim is to max your points you really need to get 'double' going (which doubles not just your score, but also advance in the grid AND extra balls), so the strategy starts to become focussed on spelling 'double', which is a carry over feature... I guess it makes it interesting in a multiple player game because the guy before you can get 'doubl' so you then just need 'e' to start the double feature... To get letters you need to first advance 'the pipeline' to the top (5 shots) and then keep getting the ball in the pipeline after that to get letters (one shot in lights 'advance double' and the nest shot in gets a letter...), this can make gameplay a bit repetative because you keep going for the pipeline 'till double starts, and when you loose that ball (and therefore go back to normal scoring on the next ball) the urge is to get double going again!! Since there are two potential extra balls to get (4 if you get them while double is runnig) per grid completion, then if you get your gameplay fine tuned, you can probably get into an 'infinate game' situation where you can earn more extra balls than you lose!! I think this aspect of the game kind of lets the game down a bit... it would be better if it was only possible to get 'double' once per game, then after you've got it, you can focus on playing the game normally after that!

The sound effect when you start 'double' is crazy!! It's one of the best parts of the game!! :-)
When double is running, that's when the games comes to life! It's fun, there's lots of variety in the required shots (when you're not trying to get double!), and the plastic palm trees are real class!! The backglass artwork is also fun, especially if you have kids... spotting the animals is fun for them :-)

Apart from the repetative nature if you play to gety double running, what also lets the game down to me is that there's no bonus multiplier... and the right set of drop targets are totally useless, not playing a part in the game strategy at all!! Why they didn't make those drop targets the bonus miltiplier is beyond me, this game is begging for that to happen!! Each time you complete 'the grid' you get 5mil bonus, so it would be great to have a way to multiply that to add another dimension to the game...
7 years ago
Surf 'n Safari is a game I only played recently and I have to say... it was a fun table.

The Pros:
Solid layout and cool shots to make at both ramps. The right ramp to whirlpool is very nicely done. The RastaCroc is a unique and entertaining character. Does not have the usual Gottleib/Premier feel to it. Double score and multiball make a good combination. Rodney looks like he is shooting fire out of his nose.

The Cons:
The drops on the right are nearly impossible to hit. Scoring is unbalanced with multiball overriding everything else.

The Takeaway:
Babes in bikinies hanging out with jamaican dinosaurs makes a great combination in this pinball game. Who would have known? This is one of the better Gottleib games from this era of this manufacturer.
8 years ago
Great early system3 game.

A pretty simple layout, but a fun one nonetheless. Very original (though a bit strange) theme: a water slide park... with wild animals. This theme comes alive by the use of prime colors, Rodney the crocodile and cute little palm trees scattered around the playfield.

Add to this a tropical soundtrack and Rodney's carribean accent, and the general 'feel' of this machine is that of a hot summer day with lots of ice cream, splashing water and fun.

The rules contribute to this: They are simple to understand. But, there's more than meets the eye. Filling the grid on the playfield is great fun. This makes it a game with a high 'just one more-factor'. It's a great game for parties as well.

Surf 'n Safari is a great machine for a casual game of pinball. Why so serious?
8 years ago
Normaly i'm not that fond of gottliebs, but I gladly make an exception for this one. Filling up the grid is just plane fun. And the jackpot isn't that easy to get to. like the palmtrees all over the playfield to, looks good in all of it's weardness.
8 years ago
A fun, cheerful, light hearted game that shouldn't be taken too seriously. Love all those cheesy plastic palm trees and ramps. I enjoyed playing this, filling up the matrix with all the different shots and shooting for the relevent award at the top. Not too keen on SS Gottliebs normally, but I make an exception for this game. Fun Fun Fun!
8 years ago
It's just not fun and is very plain
9 years ago
Good family game-fun but nothing special!
9 years ago
My first pinball. Overall, this game is excellent and the flippers (when rebuilt) were the strongest of any of my other pinballs. Lots of shots and smooth ramps made it alot of fun to play. The bowl ramp was fantastic but there weren't really any other "toys". Rodney was only decorative (but I did like the LED lamps in his eyes). This game is underappreciated due to the confusing theme (African animals, water park rides, and sexy gals in bikini's). The Gottlieb system 3 is excellent and is very reliabile. Game is very affordable at around $900-1000). My only wish is that it had a Dot Matrix display. Jamaican speech (for Rodney) is confusing; but overall this is a great pin. Too bad I had to sell it. :-(
10 years ago
Only got to play a few games of this before it broke. Wasn't really impressed. Seemed easy and basic. Backglass artwork isn't bad. Theme and skill level aimed at kids or teens.
There are 23 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 1.

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