The Hobbit

Pinside rating

This game received 554 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 8.384 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #39 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game Design: 7.777

Artwork: 8.99

Sounds/Music: 8.704

Other Aspects: 8.182

Pinside staff rating

This is how we, the very knowledgeable (wink wink) staff & moderators rate this game. 5 of us have rated this game.


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Found 284 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 284 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
Currently showing results page 6 of 12.

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3 years ago
This game has me shook! I had a premium version of one of Stern's offerings with tons of mods, a good game, but I saw a chance to trade even up for a JJP, Hobbit Gold Edition. Never had a game with these sorts of features & wanted to give a JJP game a shot. I did, & all of a sudden I feel like the newer stern's I've recently owned are just pieces of junk haha. & that isn't a knock against Stern, nor is it true, they do some cool stuff, but more a nod to JJP, TH just feels like its in its own class of game.
I was going to go on about what I think is so impressive about the game in detail, but honestly don't feel like typing up that much.

The game is super customizeable which is great, you really can dial this thing in however you want. Visually just stunning, never seen anything quite like it with the lamp effects, displays, etc. Game is beyond deep, I don't believe I've played the same game twice & there are still modes & features on this game that I didn't even get to yet. But in this case depth doesn't mean complicated. Read for 5 minutes about the basics & pretty well got the hang of it. Unlike some Stern's these days where I feel like I need a degree in cryptology to figure them out. To me that is perfect, depth without overcomplication.

It is true, the game isn't really a flow game & more of a shooters game as others have mentioned. I don't find the game slow at all though, at least not how mine is set up. This game was clearly designed to be an epic shooters game with tons of shots, wasn't meant for flow. Its not like they went for flow & missed the mark. The game plays as it was designed to & it does it well. Lots of ups & downs during gameplay which is fun. Yes sometimes the game does have more of a classic gameplay feel with long shots typical of a widebody & lots of drops & the relaxing background music. & that is fine by me. But when certain modes or multiballs kick in, the tone of the game can shift pretty quickly as the music & lighting change their tone as well. Just a beautifully done game & it does seem like it was built like a tank. Solid, not easy to nudge & it had the be the heaviest game I've moved... so its not going anywhere anytime soon haha.

Oh & a quick update, I saw it mentioned in other reviews that some people think there is too much multiball.... Then Just hit the ring button on the lockbar! It will postpone your multiball! Putting you to where hitting the right ramps starts a mode for you instead of locking a ball. Love this feature! You really do have a lot of choice in how you want to approach each game.
3 years ago
The Hobbit is simply one of the most beautiful games ever made.

The artwork on the cabinet and playfield is second to none.

The overall detail into the design of the game is outstanding. The game has a very deep and intriguing set of rules. The game is very deep with 31 different modes and 3 wizard modes. It is, arguably, the most sophisticated pin ever made.

Between the lighting on the playfield and the LCD screen book in the corner, it is pretty easy for player to figure out where to shoot.

Speaking of shooting, this game is a shooters paradise with shots galore. It has two kickups (one hidden behind drop targets), two ramps, eleven drop targets, a captive ball shot, and four pop up targets. The game puts your shot skills constantly to the test.

Everything about the game screams perfection. JJP nailed it with the theming. The game was designed to make you feel like you are on a quest. There are no other words to describe this game other than, “Epic.”

The game feels and plays like a mashup between Stern’s LOTR and MM, however the Hobbit is better than either of them.

Like MM, you have two ramps. You also have a main bash target on the upper left playfield. You also have pop up targets. However, with the Hobbit, you also have a dedicated flipper and a unique slingshot to bash the main target. You also have 4 pop up targets instead of 2. The hobbit also has far more drop targets besides. The hobbit also has a much deeper rule set than MM that exceeds even the much celebrated LOTR.

In many ways, it is interesting that so few recognize that the Hobbit is basically a very similar layout to MM, but with far more going on.

Like the castle in MM, the main toy/gimmick in this game is a talking dragon, giving callouts directly from the film.

The music and clips are from the blockbuster trilogy. JJP did a fantastic job with the overall immersion factor.

The Hobbit is one of the best games ever made. Personally speaking, it is very similar to MM, but much better. We own both the LOTR and the Hobbit. We have played MM extensively. If we had to choose between the three, the Hobbit would win hands down. It is essentially very similar to MM, but with far more shots, sophistication, and a much deeper sets of rules. Not to mention it is just a much better looking pin altogether with a far more immersive experience.

It is a masterpiece in my humble opinion. If MM and LOTR are both considered top 10 games, then the Hobbit should be there as well.

The only critiques is that the playfield, at first glance, appears to not have as many toys or gimmicks as some other high end games.

However, this is because so much of what is going on with the Hobbit is actually meant to be “hidden.” In a way, the entire game is built like a treasure chest. It is hard to tell what the game really entails without spending time learning it’s secrets.

For example, the hidden cave shot that takes the ball into a hidden subway, the windlance shooter, the one ring ball save, and the four pop up beast targets all add to the element of being a mysterious treasure chest. The LCD book and barrel bumpers are also interesting, with the barrel bumpers splashing water on the LCD screen of the book.

I should also add that in spite of the open feel of the playfield, there are numerous areas to add custom mods or toys should you desire.

Some reviewers say there is no reason for the upper right flipper. In response, that is like saying there would be no need for an upper flipper to bash the main toy in MM (which, you would have to admit, would be awesome if it existed). The upper right flipper and left slingshot gives you the opportunity to bash the daylights out of the Smaug play area, which includes 5 drop targets, two hidden bash targets, and a hidden upkick.

In conclusion, we find it hard to believe that anyone could fail to rate the Hobbit as one of the best pins of all time. It is the only pin in our relatively small collection that will, for certain, never leave. We find it an impossibility for any rational mind to rate MM as being one of the best pins of all time, but at the same time fail to bestow the same or similar honor on the Hobbit. In many ways, the Hobbit is very similar to MM, but with far more shots, far better rules, far more modes, far better design, far more sophistication, far better sounds and callouts, far better theming, far better artwork, far better music, far better animation, far mode modes, far more features, and, overall, a far better experience.

It is one of the best pins of all time.
3 years ago
An amazing game that can be a chore to shot after awhile. Truly epic IMO, but misses the mark for fun after a few weeks.
3 years ago
Such a deep game with so many modes and layers... no two games are the same. Once you get good at it, be prepared for a 45-90 minute game. This game really makes you work to get everything out of it, and is full of multiballs that really test the mettle of the player, making you have to really focus during multiballs to hit your shots and score big. This makes it truly a game of immense skill and depth. It doesn't drain like your typical Stern, so people tend to underestimate the difficulty of this game. You can keep the ball going for a long time, but it takes a lot of practice to activate the wizard modes and hit all your right shots. This game is one of the best things to come out of the moderately disappointing Hobbit film trilogy.
3 years ago
The hobbit is a beautiful looking game the LCD and sounds in the game are great. But, the reason I don't like the game is because of the rules and the modes feel kinda short. I also don't like that it's a mutiball frenzy the whole time.
3 years ago
Way too complicated, overwhelming graphics and rules. Probably would be more fun after playing 100 games, but that's way too long to have to play something to understand the game.
3 years ago
I played this on location 2 days ago. It was cool, but also seemed slow and bulky to me. It was awesome that the ball saved so many times, but I never could get it, and was just playing all I could, doing the best I could, knowing I do not want to put another 1.00 in it, but I wanted to play as long as I could, and it said I had the high score for the day. And my friend played later, and also had the high score for the day, and I noticed it was lower than what I did. I really think this game was just set up at the location to say anyone that played made the high score.

This game room had all the latest games, this one was the best, but I only played it one time. I would play it again in the future and see if it grows on me. Some new games.........NO, but this one, we will see, it is bulky but cool.
3 years ago
What a surprise, everyone was telling me that this pin was bad, and it is clearly not the case the rules are very deep, and there is a lot of way to progress in this game.

The lighting are very beautiful and the sound are incredible like a movie film.

Well done
3 years ago
I've owned this game for 7 months and I love it. It is one of these pins that grows on you slowly over time. There are no amazing shots, kind of like an EM machine, so the love of this pin comes from the appreciation for the entire package, i.e. Music, rules, animations, art, sound and lastly the immersive nature of it all. It is also the type of game where you should adjust everything to difficult. The prize of defeating Smaug, along with the 3 wizard modes will keep you coming back for more. Mind you, my setting are so hard I have only come close to beating them. I am amazed how low these are selling for, don't listen to the haters, buy on and refuse to sell it for 6 months. The beautiful journey this pin will take you on will blow you away and leave a lasting impression.
4 years ago
Owned my LE for almost a year, and still loving it. The variety and number of modes really makes this game great for a home environment.
4 years ago
I was genuinely surprised by this game. When I first saw it I hated it, I thought the playfield looked barren and couldn’t believe it was a wide body. Then I played it on location and had a blast with it even before I understood the rules, but after a little research of the rules and playing it in a home environment this game really shines. It has super deep code with the most modes I’ve ever seen in a game. When set up properly it actually can shoot quite fast, mine is not “floaty” at all. The only downside is that it seems to have its share of air balls. It’s definitely the most beautiful machine I have seen!
4 years ago
Seems like the open playfield has a lot of landscape that could be filled. The pop ups can be kinda annoying at times. Stop and Go is not my thing.. Flow baby Flow !!
4 years ago
Bought this one NIB but sold it quite quickly because of what the majority here is also saying. Empty playfield and a bit boring. But after a while was feeling that I missed something so I watched some tutorial videos of the machine and after watching for a couple of hours I decided to buy back my own Smaug.

Now I am enjoying it very much as there are so many ways to play the game. It feels like the game takes you through the films if you want to. There is so much to do and cleverly programmed by Keith that it is just awesome.

I must say that I am a fan of deep rule games such as WoZ, TSPP, TZ so you have to be into that kind of games to enjoy learning the fine details of this game. It can be fun just to shoot the dragon, but that is not the point of this game. It requiers some commitment to fully enjoy it.

Contrary to what people think, you DO NOT have to watch the screen constantly. The clever use of RGB lighting points out everything right on the playfield. Screen is nice to check what you have accomplished so far.
4 years ago
Ok it's definitly a new pinball generation but my feeling is that this game is not finished... I played with it with pleasure but some parts (3rd flipper... why ???) make me feel like they launched this game too early.
Without that it's a awesome and pretty pinball !
4 years ago
As the second game of JJP, I had very high expectations. While the game is definitely worth dropping quarters in to play, it wouldn't be one for my home. Basically, you have a crazy open open playfield with very long shorts to hit anything. Which is fine and fun. But there are four popup monsters that come up regularly that get in the way of shots. I'm a huge fan of 3+ flipper games, but the third flipper on this one is useless. There are no special shots that you can make with the upper right flipper, which makes it feel useless. While the code is phenomenally deep, none of the modes necessarily feel unique. Rather, I just work into multiball and try to keep the balls alive. While hitting things, modes stack on, points go up, and the game progresses. A lot of fun if you like multiball, and lots of lights and call outs, but hard to really develop a strategy.
4 years ago
After owning this game for a few months I rerated. The 2.0 update was great and the family loves this game. Very deep and a blast to play (provided you have 45 mins to an hour). My fav game in my collection easily. Love it!
4 years ago
I have MMR LE, WOZ RR, LOTR LE, MET LE, and the Hobbit Smaug in my line up. This is nothing short of amazing. The build quality is incredible. The overall feel of the machine is great once you have it dialed in. I have only played about 40 games, but thus far its a very fun machine. For those of you who compare the game to LOTR LE ... well there's no comparison. Their both entirely different games. If given a choice all of my kids gravitate to the this game if for nothing other than the incredible graphics, sound quality, and general theme.....the entire family loves playing this game. My initial impressions were good, but not great. The key is you have to give this pin a chance. Its a little slower than my other pins, but once you get into it, and start understanding the deep rules it gets really really fun.
4 years ago
This is a great game. Super fun with plenty of depth to keep you coming back for more. 32 play modes and over 1,000 call outs.
4 years ago
For me this is the king of all pinball games.
4 years ago
Awesome game. Very beautiful. And Im a pretty good pinball player and the complaint that it is way to easy is way off the mark, it isn't the hardest game I've played but it's far from a cake walk.
4 years ago
LOVED IT! Wish I had the dough to own it!
4 years ago
Not for me in the slightest. Theme is decent, but wasted on such a massive empty widebody. All the shots are crammed up the top save for a few pop-up 'trolls' which get in the way and aren't utilised as sparingly or as good as in Medieval Madness. Widebody layouts should only be used if there's lots to them (TZ, Roadshow, WOZ), this one is just uninviting. There are no toys that interact with the ball, save for a magnet next to the Smaug head that holds it while he speaks. The display is a mess in my opinion, much like Wizard of Oz, and aside from multiball, I literally had no idea what I was supposed to be shooting for, which mode I was playing, whether I was in a mode or not or what part of the films I was at, and it overall just felt very dull as a result. Audio also does nothing to help, and there's no instructions card you can read whilst holding the ball on the flipper. Also, what is the third flipper for? Same as WOZ, don't just put a flipper on for the sake of it, give it a ramp or something! Overall, really not for me, I don't like the way JJP design their games, but I know lots of people do so that's good, hopefully I can warm to them with the right layout.
4 years ago
I have tried so hard to like this game as I love LOTR, but many many plays later I have to say .... it's boring. Hitting the ball up the wide body play field and yawn for it to return. They nailed the theme , music , cabinet. Quality product , yep they nailed it all except for. .... gameplay ..... to slow
4 years ago
I know it's a little contrary to popular opinion, but I find this game to feel more like a slot machine than a pinball. Too much going on in the back glass and too many weird modes and distractions from a solid game of pinball. A decent play, and I love where Jersey Jack is going with some of their new pins, but this one is just not my fav of their line up.
4 years ago
I love this game-- super fun and super deep. The only thing I can imagine changing is adding lights so I can see the badass playfield better, particularly in the back.
There are 284 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 6 of 12.

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