Swords of Fury

Pinside rating

This game received 233 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 7.948 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #90 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game Design: 7.901

Artwork: 7.892

Sounds/Music: 7.665

Other Aspects: 8.008

Pinside staff rating

This is how we, the very knowledgeable (wink wink) Pinside.com staff & moderators rate this game. 7 of us have rated this game.


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Found 116 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 116 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
Currently showing results page 1 of 5.

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24 days ago
Beautiful / terrifying artwork and a lot of fun to play.
51 days ago
With the exception of that “3x U turn” shot( which is a ball drain), a very fun game. Cool sounds, nice upper playfield, and nice art overall.
68 days ago

Super fun and underappreciated System 11 game. Top 5 pinball soundtrack. Picked one up last weekend and really like it. Solidly recommend rebuilding the drops in the upper playfield if it is at all slow. Overall, the game can be gimped by a good player repeatedly locking for multiball. I wish there was a shot needed to qualify. The upper playfield is fun and unique. The avengers standups are pretty much useless as the in lanes light it. Like the Lionman shot. Overall I like it. Not the best pin in the world but deffinatly worth some time in your basement.
70 days ago
Very fun game considering the era and time. I enjoy every time I play this but I tend to get tired of the call-outs which make me run away from the game. I'd love to own one someday if I could mute the game lol.
4 months ago
Nhill pinball museum
5 months ago
6 months ago
I remember expecting nothing from this game the first time I played it and coming away really liking it. For a 1988 game, it has a lot going on. The upper playfield fits perfectly into the game and flow. There are a lot of shots and good rules. It's smooth and is easy to understand. One of best games from the late 80's.
11 months ago
Mini plays fast. I like the variety in the play. Looking to own one.
1 year ago
There is a lot going on in the play field with the mini play field in the upper left hand corner, the loop slings the ball down back at your flippers in the middle left of the play field and more. But I wish they could have worked in a couple of pop bumpers somehow. Still it is a great play field for it's era. The cabinet is one of the best ever. Always an eye catcher. Having said all that, the sounds wear on you. Very very repetitive and the LIONMAN sound drives me nuts. It is enough for me not to want to play this game sadly.
1 year ago
Lionman!!! the call outs are Great!! there are lots of good shots to master. I am drawn to Steve Kirk games. I like his design and execution. low run game and lots of fun. Buy one if you can, easy to sell if you get tired of LIONMAN!!!!!
1 year ago
I first played this machine at a bar back a few years and loved it. I've always loved the theme of this machine and the sound - it can get a "little repetitive" but its one of my grail pins.
1 year ago
This has one of the most interesting Layouts of any System 11 game I've played, and it surprisingly works well.

There is a lot to praise about this one.

The good:
- The music and sound package of this game are incredible. I really enjoy how the music builds as you progress your multiball and the music you get for multiball really does get your heart pumping.
- The layout is very interesting, and it works. It's mainly a sharpshooter style game, but there are a surprising amount of flow shots that can be found.
- The upper playfield is a lot of fun, one of the better upper playfields out there.

The mediocre:
- The u-turn double spinner is quite risky and not very satisfying for the amount of space it takes up on the playfield. I wish there was something more useful here, or there was more value in hitting the spinners.
- The playfield artwork doesn't do much for me. I do like the backglass and cabinet art.

The bad:
- This game desperately needs some kind of "Lite Lock" mechanic. Once you get that left lock shot dialed in, the gameplay really starts to suffer. It's simply too easy to hit the left tunnel shot to lock balls. You can easily keep plunging, let it drop down the upper playfield, to a chill, to a lock shot. I wish they would've done something like use the spinner to determine if lock was lit, like make it take progressively more spins to lock the ball. It's really the only bad thing about the game, but it is pretty impactful.
1 year ago
It’s not the fastest or deepest System 11 game, but its layout and theme and music are just so unique, it just has it. We all know the theme is awesome if you're a D&D/80's video game dork and that "LIONMAN!" and the sword whooshing sound with the flippers can get annoying (although I don't even really notice it like I thought I would).

I sold a Rollergames for a Whirlwind, and a Whirlwind for a SoF. One is faster, and the other is more involved and beloved, but I just like SoF better. The upper playfield is more fun than TSPP (and less of a struggle!). The timed shots up the Lionman & Magic Tunnel ramps and trying to build your 500k upper horseshoe loop score before collecting give you just enough variety of things to do beyond building your jackpot and getting multi-ball rolling to collect it. The ball lock is a tough shot on its own, but a little depth would have been better to have to at least knock down all 5 stand ups to allow each ball or something.

I think it’s right up there with the best System 11 games we all praise (and Banzai Run, Radical!, Diner, and Mousin’ Around being other smaller run darlings I enjoy more than the most touted big dogs). It’s got a loyal little following for a reason.
I’d sell my Stern Godzilla and BSD (which I did!) before my SoF because I know I’d never find one as nice or for as good of a price again. Most went to Europe I read somewhere ( mine made its way back from France in 2001 and sat in someone's house being neglected until I got it Oct 2021.)

It's definitely worth a play just for the layout and tunes!
1 year ago
Played this at my buddy's arcade and fell in love with it. The artwork is well done and fits my style of theme. The upper playfield is challenging and a nice addition to this game. I felt the flow was good and the shots were working for me. I want this game in my collection for sure.
1 year ago
Added to my collection recentrly. So fun game and sound effects. Great game play.
1 year ago
There is a lot going on in this game. They really stacked and crammed the toys and shots. Upper playfield is fun and challenging. This is what upper playfields should be, a different small game, not a small crappy pinball machine. Art is very nice.
2 years ago
Lion Man!!!
Okay, that’s annoying.
I first started writing a review of Swords of Fury a couple days ago. It seemed pretty negative even though I like the machine, so I decided not to submit my rating and go take another look. There’s one in a public location just down the road… about 90 miles.
The playfield is really nice, love the blue theme. Blue pinball machines always get a thumbs up from me.
The backglass and cabinet, well, hmm… I wish they had an artist who could rip off Frank Frazetta instead of one who looks like their sword and sorcery art would be published by Charlton comics in the early 1970’s. It’s not bad, just not WOW!!!!
This is a playfield!!! There is a lot going on here and a lot of fun shots. The difficulty level is fairly high if you are using the ruleset, but you can just blast the ball wherever just to have a good time. Some games have no multiball and play great without it, others have multiball but it’s just a nice bonus that’s not necessary but adds an extra level of fun. Then there are games that don’t have multiball and need it desperately and others where multiball is utterly completely and totally nessesary. You can probably figure out which one of these Swords of Fury is!
Sound and music:
Hmm, being terribly honest I’d say the sound is lacking. I don’t expect a full orchestra and a score that loosely resembles the Lord of the rings soundtrack with subtle hints of Conan the Barbarian. It’s far better than the cheesy synth rock music on the Dungeons and Dragons pinball, and I won’t say it’s a “volume off” game either. Just not to my taste, sorry. The sound… I am trying not to be negative but I keep thinking Thundercats every time it says Lion Man!!! “That’s Lion-O you silly pinball!!!”
Gameplay and funfactor:
This game is fun as fun gets! Everything negative I pick on gets overridden by the gameplay and fun factor. It is a steaming bag of frustration one time, the next it lets you get a good score. Each ball goes wherever the heck it wants when you try to be precise but then you synchronize with the ball and the shots come perfect and naturally, until the ball changes it’s mind and goes wherever it wants to again. It can’t be played once then walk away, no, it demands one more game over and over. If you are thinking about owning this game, it’s definitely worth your money. I don’t own it or have it on my wishlist because I have limited space in my game room and a few other games have priority on my one remaining free space, but if I had room for ten more machines, this would probably be one of them.
2 years ago
Best sound package, interesting scoring rules, but once you know what to do, it get's a bit repetitive.
2 years ago
This game really keeps you coming back for more. The music and call outs are great. The theme/art is great.

This is definitely one of the best games of the era.
2 years ago
Best game EVER!
2 years ago
Played one with weak lower flippers. So I would have to adjust my score when I play a different machine. I enjoyed the layout, art and theme on it though. I want to play some more, so that is good.
2 years ago
If I had just played a number of my other system 11 games and then stepped up to SOF I would have had no idea it was in the same family. I imagine its the theme and probably the lack of pop bumpers that give it a different feel (at least compared to my sys11 games). This is not necessarily a bad thing. . . in this case I welcome and enjoy its uniqueness.

I think the artwork on the cabinet is very eye catching. The silvery/blue combination is easy on the eyes. The translite fits with the theme -- nothing says Medieval to me more than sword swinging armor clad individuals fighting off ogres and what not. Playfield art is vibrant and catchy -- a nice compliment of blues, oranges, and blacks that are attractive but not obnoxious.

Lighting is good -- not over the top and blinding and perhaps a touch on the dark side, but I think that fits with the vibe of castles, dungeons, and lairs.

Sounds of course are fantastic. Music is pleasing to listen to -- especially at the start of multi-ball for me. I know it probably gets old for some, but I actually enjoy the callouts/playfield sounds. The swinging metal/sword sounds almost mimic something that would come from a video game. I smile each time I hear the screams/ahhhhs!-- the game sounds like I do when the ball drains. Then of course there is "Lionman!" -- a callout that just about everyone knows in the pinball universe.

Gameplay has a little bit of everything that is/are setup in a unique way. There are ramps -- but they don't really feel like ramps because of how they are hidden/laid out in the game. There are drop targets -- but they are in a unique location and are utilized for clever purposes. There are spinners. . . three of them! Two of which are associated with a wild horseshoe that can bring the ball back to your flippers with blazing speed. Sometimes I like to see how many times I can feed the ball back thru the shoe -- I think my record is three. There is multi-ball -- but you don't achieve locks the way you might in other games. To achieve the multi-ball jackpot requires a good amount of concentration. . . more often than not my multi-ball times last fewer than a couple seconds.

There seems to be a lot to do yet at the same time your goals are fairly simple. I tend to focus on setting up the multi-ball and accessing/targeting the upper playfield targets. The spinners and horseshoes get my attention as well but I'll admit my aim up ogre alley needs work. Hitting the "AVENGER" targets seems to happen at random as the ball moves around -- occasionally I'll need one or two more letters but the inlanes help with that or I will try to aim for them. Like most games, outlanes can be my downfall if/when I've miscalculated my shots.

Overall this game has added a nice taste of variety to my lineup. I was never really a dungeons and dragons guy back in the day but I can see how this theme may have appealed to those that were. I'm looking forward to putting some time on this pin and I predict I'll proclaim "Lionman" at random and for no reason someday when I'm well away from the game.
2 years ago
SOF is a game you can make a simple or complex as you'd like. If you're going for high scores, just MB all day. But there is a lot to do on this game beyond MB. The double spinner horseshoe is great, and I really love the various ways the ball returns. I love seeing someone react to the ball releasing from the ball lock to the upper left flipper when they aren't ready for it or no realizing there are 3 ways for the ball to enter the PF off the right ramp. The simple elements combine for really unique gameplay.

Despite the repetitive LIONMAN! callout, I love it every time, and the music is some of the best of the era (better than BK2000 IMO). I'll be hanging on to mine for a while.
2 years ago
One of my favorite Williams games, which there are many. It has a good variety of different shots and goals to accomplish while the music and sounds are very good for 1988. Very fun game!
3 years ago
I want to like this game. I guess I'm just not crazy about the theme. "LION MAN" That could only get old if you hear it like 100X per game... Oh Wait you do. I also find the flipper sword noise annoying. I will admit, for a System 11 Game, this has A LOT to do. Upper play-field is neat. I think if this same layout was used for another theme, I would like it a lot better.
There are 116 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 5.

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