Swords of Fury (Williams, 1988)

Swords of Fury

Pinside rating

This game received 172 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 7.737 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #95 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game design: 7.628

Artwork: 7.815

Sounds/Music: 7.483

Other Aspects: 7.726

Rating comments

There are 83 rating comments for this game.

Pinside staff rating

This is how we, the very knowledgeable (wink wink) Pinside.com staff & moderators rate this game. 6 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 83 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 83 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
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80 days ago
Its the one pin I regret selling
3 months ago
Greatest music in all of pinball and Lionman.
4 months ago
I expected much more. I had to let it go in a few weeks.
8 months ago
I really like this game a lot. I've only played it a handful of time where everything works as it should. But, when the upper playfield actually is working right and proper the game is really amazing and fun. It has two horseshoe shots one lower and one upper and both are fun, and a bit dangerous to hit. Really, like all old school pinball games, this game can be unforgiving if you are not familiar with how it plays and bounces. I love the theme. This really is to me one of the best themes ever. And while I don't love the artwork, I do like it a good bit. The playfield art and plastics look nice and are just as good as any playfield art around. And to me, the playfield art gives me the vibe that I'm playing gauntlet. Just the perspectives that were used, that's just how it feels to me and that is a great feeling. The backglass art is nice, but I wouldn't say great. I don't think it pops as well as what it could, but the art isn't bad, its just to me lacking the certain Frazetta feeling I prefer in my sword and sorcery art. But, then again... There was only one Frazetta and so you can't blame a person for not being up to Frank's ability. No one is... Back to the pin. I hate the Cab art. Its fine for a pinball machine and it certainly fits... Its just boring. But, it does fit the theme... But, its a pin where you won't care if it gets hidden. Now, the gameplay... Its a nice smooth shooter. Lots to shot for. In my opinion... Which doesn't mean anything because I haven't played enough actual pins... But, I think this game has one of the best upper playfields ever designed. Modern games not withstanding, but out of the classic era, I think this might be the best upper playfield. There are a few ways to reach it. And its fun when you rip a shot and it gets sent back up there. And when the game plays right, its a fun little playfield that you hit your shots and it sends the ball back down and you can start over again. And I think the game strikes a nice balance between the two. You don't need to get to the upper playfield, but if you do you are rewarded with a good bit of points. Lastly what I think this game might have the best or some of the best is the sound. The callouts are amazing and epic. And epic music as well. The callouts might repeat a lot, but they're amazing so it doesn't matter. Go for the tunnel. Just sounds so dramatic. And who can forget "LIONMAN!" All in all this is a solid game. Is it a deep game. No... But, its a game you can turn on and play for 10-30 minutes and really isn't that what pinball should be all about.
8 months ago
A fantastic Sys 11 game with a fun layout and design by the great Steve Kirk. I love the unique 5-bank target upper PF, and the rest of the table is loaded (3 spinners, 2 horseshoes, ramps, bank targets, diverters ...) lots to shoot for.

I'd call it something of a "friendly" game in terms of ball time and drains, but that's not a negative. You can have intense, high-scoring games on it and your non-pinhead friends or kids can still get the hang of it and have fun on it. If it's too easy for you, tighten up some of the shots and crank up the incline a little. And it's been said a million times, but the music is the best in the history of pinball. I love how immersive it is and how the instruments build as you lock balls for multiball.

Love the artwork style and design (the runes are a nice touch) and the theming is fine ... yeah it's cheeseball adolescent power fantasy stuff but that describes 90% of pinball themes. Nostalgia isn't really a factor for me but I do feel the art direction and design of the game has aged a lot better than some of the cheese out there.

This machine awakened me to the awesomeness of Williams System 11s and now my life goal is to own all of them.
10 months ago
Helped a fellow pin collector fix a minor flipper problem a while ago. First time playing this machine or even ever seeing it. I had read about its collectibility and fun game play! I must say I was not disappointed! After the repairs where completed we played several games and it gave me a different perspective on games from that era! Previously to seeing this machine I thought that I had a very clear idea on what I wanted in my collection. Mostly A list machines. That would of been a mistake! Shit, think I’m going to need a bigger space! Hope this helps! Mike
10 months ago
What a beautifull and challenging game! It rocks!
11 months ago
The music and sound on SOF are classic Williams. Love the flow and upper mini playfield. Never gets boring for me. An under appreciated classic game.
11 months ago
This game, for it's time, just rocks. The music is probably the best in pinball, the stock sound system is crazy good, the layout and shots flow very well, and the fun factor is at the top of the list in my lineup. It definitely has the "just one more" game appeal. I see where it gets a little hate because of the scoring, and yes, there have been a couple times where I've let a ball or two drain, just to get my initials on the high score, without turning it over. Hey guys (and gals), it's pinball. It's fun, it's fairly priced, (for the moment), and it looks and sounds great. Those are the criteria that make it a keeper in my home. I've looked for one for quite some time, and my good pinball friend "reddog" in Cincinnati finally hooked me up. I love it, and it's not going anywhere! Love the theme. Not really any "toys" to speak of, but, like F14, it doesn't need them. The ramps are a blast to hit, and the 2 or 3 ball multiball is fun and challenging. The chute to load multiball is not an easy shot at 1st, and I'm still getting it down. The jackpot isn't real easy to obtain either. Rules are simple and fun. Great for beginners, and seasoned players alike, in my opinion. If you are one of those people that get upset playing golf, this one might not be in the cards for ya. Just sayin. Trying to get to the miniplayfield with one of the balls during multiball, and hit the random drop that is lit (to obtain the jackpot), can really test your temper. I've achieved it a few times, and it is not easy. Very satifying when you get it, though. Worthy of its current spot at 96, and even higher. Love my system 11's, and would like to have even more. Great value, great fun, and great quality. These 80s and 90s Williams and Bally games are the best pinball machines out there, in my book. "Lionman! Take Ogre down!"
1 year ago
Amazing sounds and as FUN as it gets in pinball. I love System 11's and this is one of the best! Soundtrack almost sounds like it's from a John Carpenter movie. The only thing that would have made the game a little better is if there'd been more going on with the 2X and 3X.
1 year ago
I agree with most others, music absolutely rocks on this game and is integrated very well into the theme. Even the simple credit sound makes me excited to play. I really like the flow of you get on a roll with the two horseshoe's. Like other system 11's gameplay and rules are not deep but this is a great "time for 1-2" games real quick type addition to your collection.
1 year ago
great game for its time. Love the music and lionman!!
1 year ago
1 year ago
Great game of the 80's. rather simple from a gameplay point of view. But fun game to play. Love the multiball, getting up that mini playfield and getting your jackpot by hitting the lighted target. Sound is really super!

Love the dark theme!
1 year ago
Pros: Hard not to love. Excellent original theme (borrowed Tolkien influenced original that is). Fun shots, cool upper PF. Amazing music, probably #2 after Pinbot for SYS11 games. Good art and coherent design overall.

Cons: A bit easy. Rules could be better (slightly uneven scoring/jackpot). Does become repetitive. Sword sounds on flippers becomes annoying.

update: the code in this game is really good. ball to ball differences in code make thing more interesting for the mp and ramp without making scoring lopsided. Some of the cons i listed above don't really bother me 100's of games later. The r&l ramp shots aren't easy to hit consistently, and missing them (especially the left) usually means a rebound sdtm.
This game is well balanced. Defensive enough, but not a drain monster. Let ur guard down though, and ur done.it is fast as well, despite the cluttered PF layout. It certainly isn't 100% stop and go, but a combo.
1 year ago
A good old SS with an interesting layout and a great Synth sound track.
1 year ago
A fast action table that gets the blood pumping. The upper playfield is fun, the lock shot is challenging and the center post adds an interesting element. I really like the sound package overall - music, sounds and callouts are quite good. One of my favorite system 11 machines, although still a few more to try. There are a couple shots that often result in death when you make them, so you feel conned when the ball drains and the game does its evil laugh. But you learn and come back for more!
1 year ago
The music on this game is epic, one of the best pinball soundtracks. Its fast, fun, and has a very interesting playfield layout with hidden tunnels, sideways ramps, and a very full/tight look and feel.
1 year ago
SOF is an amazing game. Incredible layout. Very creative. Fun upper playfield (which is rare). Very little wasted space on the layout, aside from the "horseshoe" in the lower left. Right up there with Taxi vying for my favorite system 11 game.
1 year ago
I put this just next to Pinbot in coolness for system 11s: Two horseshoes, Three spinners, and a bank of non-sweepable drops.

Action/Per/Minute: high
Backhands: yes, both outside lanes are possible
Bonus Multiplier Goal: (unknown)
Dink Donk: good a little in the upper middle area
Drops: one bank top left
Drops Sweep: nope
Extra Balls: yes
Flippers: 4
Goal -EB/BC/MB/Jackpot: progressive jackpot, extra ball goals
Hurry-ups: yes! good on on the upper center ramp shot
Inlane Lane Change: no
Inlane Ramp Release: no spoon-feeding ramps
Inlane Swoosh: very good
Jackpot/Bonus Collect: (unknown)
Lane Change: no
MB Earning: yes, lock left lane
MB Fun: very good
Metal Ramp: none
Nudging: yes
Orbits (Repeatable): none
Outlane Fun: good
Pops: none
Rules (time/order): one good hurry up I know of
Shots (total): 10?
Skill Shot: nope
Slap-Saves: yes - it’s Williams
Spinners: 3 !
Stop'n'Go: almost none - just the ball lock (like grand lizard)
Taunting: yes
Toy/Gimmick: upper PF is very cool
Voice / V. choreography: somewhat… need more info

ART: great - love orange and light blue
SOUND: great music
FEEL: great
OVERALL: great
1 year ago
For its time this game was awesome. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to purchase one and I really love it. It takes me back to an era in time when I was young. Obviously the music is a 10 its the best music package hands down. The small loop shots are fun and I really enjoy the mini playfield.

My only gripe might be that you can backhand the lock if you capture the ball on the top flipper of the main playfield. Fun to steal your buddy's multiball and the jackpot is always a challenge worth getting.
1 year ago
Another shallow game. "Lion man" has to be the best call out in pinball.
2 years ago
Best soundtrack in all of pinball. Scores maxing out is a major flaw, but one of the only ones. I feel this game should really be in the top 100. also lion man.
2 years ago
Fun to play at an arcade, very tough. Call outs aren't the best and once you get on the upper playfield you get big points. Pretty one dimensional, but still fun
2 years ago
Nice looking game, with great artwork and amazing music, one of the more charming 80s games. Maybe not very lastable.
There are 83 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 4.

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