Swords of Fury

Pinside rating

This game received 214 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 7.888 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #83 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game Design: 7.838

Artwork: 7.842

Sounds/Music: 7.636

Other Aspects: 7.928

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 99 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 99 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
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26 days 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.
3 months 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.
5 months ago
Best game EVER!
6 months 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.
8 months 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.
10 months 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.
12 months 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!
1 year 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.
1 year 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.
1 year ago
What more can you say?
1 year ago
A strong title in 88, and the sound on this machine is just fantastic.
1 year 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.
1 year 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.
1 year ago
2 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.
2 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.
2 years 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.
2 years ago
Its the one pin I regret selling
2 years 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.
3 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.
3 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.
3 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
3 years ago
What a beautifull and challenging game! It rocks!
3 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.
There are 99 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 4.

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