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Swords of Fury

Pinside rating

This game received 193 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 7.842 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #88 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game design: 7.787

Artwork: 7.864

Sounds/Music: 7.555

Other Aspects: 7.869

Pinside staff rating

This is how we, the very knowledgeable (wink wink) staff & moderators rate this game. 7 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 101 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 101 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
Currently showing results page 1 of 5.

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3 days 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.
34 days 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!
77 days 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.
4 months ago
Played this game a ton as a kid, loved it. Played it again a few weeks back and it did not bring back the love I felt. Still great game though.
5 months ago
What more can you say?
5 months ago
A strong title in 88, and the sound on this machine is just fantastic.
7 months ago
A little bit of everything is on this busy playfield: ramps, habitrails, horseshoes, upper playfields, drop targets, standups, sequences, on field playfield lock, and reversed-orientation upper playfield flippers, this game has a whacky kitchen sink feel to it that embodies both the heyday of early 80's solid state designs while taking advantage of the state of the art of very late solid state display era design. Some have poo-pooed this as having little to go for except multiball, which I think is missing the point. Since multiball has layered playfield multipliers, multiball is the start, just the entry point for building up insane scores.

While the sounds and soundtrack for this are impressive -- really only Rollergames, at the very end of the pre-DMD era, exceeds it -- that's not really something I enjoy about the machine. I'm really left cold by the Swords and Sorcerers era of art and theme, but given how little interest the artwork and theme have for me and the sort of lack of any actual integration of yet another random version of a pretty tired theme arc, the fact I still adore this machine says something about how well done the rest of the design is. I don't mind having to ignore all that to focus on the gameplay.
9 months ago
this pin is such a classic, very very simple, but still a classic. the music is my favorite from any pin, just so epic. the sounds and call outs are perfection. the shots, loops, and small upper playfield are extremely satisfying, especially when chained together. there isn't much to go for besides multi ball, no wizard mode, but it's still a fun pin. my buddy has several modern games at his place, but I still gravitate to this one the most.
9 months ago
This was an obscure game that I actually enjoyed when I thought it would underwhelm. The four flippers do set up a lot of shots that feel good enough to warrant continued playing.
10 months ago
1 year ago
This is a good pin for a newer collector or a Williams system 11 fan.
It isn't really rare, but there must have been a lot destroyed because you seldom see them.
There is a lot going for it, but it doesn't have that "one more time" feel for me. The shots and call outs feel repetitive, and your main scoring objective is to get the multiball.
It stands up to other alphanumeric's from the era, but it falls short of many other pins in the same price range.
1 year ago
A nice starter machine and I love the music. Owned a really nice example for a while, but lastability is a little weak, gameplay rather shallow.
1 year ago
Perfect example of game that you should play before you buy it. I expected to really like the game, but man was I wrong. First off, the music is great, but I wasn’t impressed with the sounds. Art is pretty good. Where this game lacks is in the rules. The rules are unbelievably shallow. Got tired of the game after just a couple plays. Traded it for a Sega lost world + some money, and I couldn’t be happier. Not sure why people like this game so much, besides lionman.
1 year ago
Its the one pin I regret selling
1 year ago
Greatest music in all of pinball and Lionman.
2 years ago
I expected much more. I had to let it go in a few weeks.
2 years 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.
2 years 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.
2 years 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
2 years ago
What a beautifull and challenging game! It rocks!
2 years 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.
2 years 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!"
2 years 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.
2 years 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.
2 years ago
great game for its time. Love the music and lionman!!
There are 101 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 5.

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