Swords of Fury

Pinside rating

This game received 212 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 7.921 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #86 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game Design: 7.876

Artwork: 7.894

Sounds/Music: 7.667

Other Aspects: 7.945

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 107 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 107 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
Currently showing results page 1 of 5.

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40 days 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.
3 months 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!!!!!
5 months 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.
6 months 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.
6 months 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 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!
7 months 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.
11 months ago
Added to my collection recentrly. So fun game and sound effects. Great game play.
11 months 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.
1 year 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.
1 year ago
Best sound package, interesting scoring rules, but once you know what to do, it get's a bit repetitive.
1 year 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.
1 year ago
Best game EVER!
1 year 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.
1 year 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.
1 year 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.
1 year 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!
2 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.
2 years 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.
2 years ago
What more can you say?
2 years ago
A strong title from 88, and the sound on this machine is just fantastic. One of my favourites :)
2 years 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.
2 years 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.
2 years ago
3 years 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.
3 years 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.
There are 107 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 5.

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