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 7 of 12.

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4 years ago
There are some neat things in this game like the moving drop target shots...but beyond that I am struggling to think of anything nice to say.

Just a complete miss by JJP despite the cool tech and very talented people working on it.

The layout is just very boring to shoot and the toys are not very interesting -- great software not enough to make it very interesting to play.

Might be good for those that really enjoy old school slow games and long ball times. I like the opposite, so not a fan.
4 years ago
I have to say this is one of my all time favorite pins out there. Only played it at one "event" for about 3 hours but know a lot of people who own the game .
the Lastability and Ruleset are awsome, sound blew me away ( i know a lot is recycled but i still loved it a lot)
and i can recomend every one to try this game! even if it may look empty and boring, trust me.
4 years ago
One of the best looking games ever made. Looks more modern than most games out there. Sound is superb.

But, unfortunately it's not fun to play. Never recovered from a bad playfield design. 4 flippers, then 3 and the third is fairly pointless.

This game needed to be a narrow body as now game times are way too long and it doesn't have hooks to keep playing it.
4 years ago
This is my first pinball purchase and I bought it NIB after playing it at Louisville Pinball Expo. I've played pinball all my life and have inherited two machines from my father. I finally got to the point to be able to have machines at my home because my kids are old enough to be safe around them. I researched and went to expo with a short list : Spider-Man (I was looking at playing the original and then buying the VE), Ghostbusters, and WOZ. I knew they all would be there and I wanted to play each with my kids and then decide which to buy (kids didn't know what I was up too). As soon as we got in, a JJP distributor (with Jack there himself) had a bank of machines (WOZ, DI, and Hobbit). I had no intention to look at the Hobbit...thought the movies were ok, but not on the level of Ghostbusters, WOZ, or Spider-Man nostalgia. But, figured I'd give it a play. Wow! This game is just on another level compared to other pins. The light show, giant LCD, movie clips, shaker, music, movie call outs, etc. The mechs popping up and down, multiballs galore, and tons of shots. Sensory overload...but in a good way. Ended up playing all on my list and lots more...but still kept going back to the Hobbit. Sorry, ghostbusters...but no comparison going from Hobbit's giant LCD to your DMD. Aerosmith was there, but just not that into the band and Jacky was just flat out annoying to me. So, after owning for 3 months, my family still loves it. Even my wife has now turned into a pinball freak. Every person who has walked into my basement goes straight to it and is mesmerized by the light show, sounds, and overall package. Some say that the LCD is wasted because you never see it while you are playing. True, at a 7 degree slope, if you look up, you lose your ball. However, I think JJP games are made to be played with others. This game is as fun to watch as it is to play. I can't think of any other game like that. I love being able to watch all the LCD stuff, lights, etc while others gets me just as hyped. And, there really isn't anything more fun than having my daughter read off the cues on the playfield LCD (above the pop bumpers) while I hit the shots. A total team effort. Code is great. There is at least one more revision coming at this point and should flesh out the Five Armies, I hope. Great game, totally epic, and fun for me and my family. Draws people in like nothing else. Once you learn the rules, you'll be hooked and looking at strategies to get through all the Arkenstone modes. And that is where the multiballs come in. Choosing when to activate a multiball plays in to your journey to the next movie mode (Arkenstone). Okay, I've said enough...great game. Play it first...and see if it for yourself. FYI, I've had no quality control issues. Only had to do a simple mech adjustment (head on goblin was tilted just a hair to make it hit the side). Otherwise, it's been perfect!
4 years ago
For perspective, I owned, loved and regret ever selling WOZ. I was in on The Hobbit, but got out because of the Elaut scandal and rumors about financial troubles at JJP. I count myself as a JJP fan, and I am a huge fan of Keith Johnson's coding. I'm really glad that JJP appears to have stabilized and is now shipping The Hobbit.
I have played The Hobbit 3 times now. Once, early in the code at Rocky Mountain Pinball Showdown '15, once recently at the 2Up, and today at Arcade Amusements in Manitou Springs, CO.
It is a beautiful game. It is just gorgeous, perhaps the best looking game since WOZ. Definitely among the top 10 prettiest games of all time. If they had done direct printing cabinets like early WOZs, it might take the #1 spot on looks alone.
However...the playfield is laughably empty. The ball floats around the playfield like I'm playing an 80s Bally or something. I wonder if they did this intentionally as a response to the difficult maintenance of WOZ. If the ball is really slow and there's nothing to hit, nothing can break, right?
Can this shell of a game be salvaged by Keith Johnson? If so, this will (further) solidify his reputation as the GOAT programmer.
4 years ago
probably one of the most beautiful games ever made.
4 years ago
I liked this machine, but ultimately decided to get a Wizard of Oz instead for my collection. THe game is fun to play, but dare i say "easy", as balls last forever, multi balls are pretty simple to achieve, and balls hardly ever go down the drain. (of course that last part just might be me comparing it to the Ghostbusters machine i play every day with the wide open spot between the flippers).

I like the playfield, and while at first it seemed barren compared to the Wizard next to it, the pop ups are a lot of fun and create a challenge. I liked the animations and voices of the machine and call outs, but i was a little disappointed in the gimmicks and toys. Smaug is good looking but ultimately doesn't do much.

Summary: Great game, good play,
4 years ago
Just had the game for a few days and still can't get the grin off my face, even when I'm in bed. That being said so far It's very fun, the game play is great , the sound is awesome, and the backglass/lcd screen is cool too. I think this game should last for a good amount of time in my small collection because of how many different modes to play and try to complete. The game also plays pretty smooth and has a lot to shoot at, drop targets, ramps, orbits, a captive ball, and even holes that kick the balls out to the ramps! Yup It's a keeper!! After owning this for a year I still love it but it’s at it’s best with a quick and fast pin for a partner, so if you you’re looking for a adventure style pin then look no further...... After owning for a while now the only thing that’s really changed is that I only want to play this once a week or so, not every day. I love the long adventure and it st still blows me away on the sounds and animation, best ever. If you have at least 2/3 pins then this is a good change of pace pin to have.
4 years ago
I had no idea what was going on but I was kicking this games butt and getting all sorts of rings and crap. I am sure this would all make sense to me if i watched the movies. Someone please buy me this game
4 years ago
Lots going on...but it's all lost on me. Much like JJ's Wizard of Oz, the game is an assault to the senses. Looks good, sounds good, shoots fine, but dip my nuts in sweet cream and squat me in a kitchen full of kittens I have no clue what is going on. The game is an exercise in excess. I'm a guy that needs games to be a bit more simple. I want a dime store novel, but Hobbit gives you...well, the entire works of Tolkien. I have a feeling it has a lot to do with that backbox screen. Lots of information there, but I'm just not looking at it. I've been trained to focus on the playfield. Characters, clips, numbers and animations are all too much for my pea-sized brain I guess. No complaints of the "bare" fills up nicely with the pop-ups, and they are used in interesting ways. Maybe I'm just a 35-year-old curmudgeon that can't keep up with the times...but the Hobbit is a bit too excessive for my liking.
4 years ago
Best pinball i have ever played :)

4 years ago
gave it a slightly higher rating because of it's age...all the effects are there
4 years ago
Pretty awesome pin. Much to do and although the layout looks simple it still has a lot of variety.
Some may not like the long ball times.
4 years ago
I have the Smaug version of this game and I think it is the best art package of all time. Rules were a little weak at first but with recent update, now on par with the best games. My only complaint is with the upper flipper, which has limited value. Other than that, an amazing pinball experience. Everyone enjoys playing it!
4 years ago
Good/great - absolutely stunning visuals, lighting and sound. Intricate and deep rule set. Innovative playfield. Wide body design.

Could be better - beasts can be intrusive. Can feel excessively multi-ball driven at times. Can be challenging to know what the objectives are during MB modes.
4 years ago
Quality is written all over this game. Jersey Jack is definitely the leader in building a quality game. The Hobbit has everything and keeps you coming back for more. It's extremely beautiful, and the LED screen showcases some action packed scenes. The software is very impressive; again, high quality here. I was blown away with this pin when I first saw it on the road that I had to buy one. I play it every day. 10/10 in my books.
4 years ago
This is as close to the perfect game as it gets. The theme, the technology, the way the game pulls you into an adventure is unlike any other game I've played. I liked it so much after playing it on location I bought one.
4 years ago
What a great playing game !
Sounds and visual are top notch.
I play with Bose headphones via the built in headphone jack.
A little hard to learn at first to learn the rules 31 modes with 3 wizard modes
The playfield and shots are very entertaining and sometimes hard !
Very good build quality and last ability
The pop-ups are noisy when reseting though

Time will tell if it's a keeper AA++
4 years ago
So you know that girl in high school that everyone wants to date because she has amazing style and basically the hottest girl in school? Then when you finally get a yes to prom everyone says "WOW you're going to prom with Alicia? Holy she's HOT!" Then you get to prom, everyone is staring at you because you are prom king and queen then after the night is over you realize Alicia had so much beauty and hype but did not have time to explore who she was as a person inside. This was hobbit for me. A beautiful, well-lit machine that everyone wants to play. I just didn't have enough time to get to know the machine.
4 years ago
Had to update my rating. Aesthetically the game is great, however the shots, modes, and code are not too exciting. The multiball modes seemed very repetitive and progressing through the game and modes wasn't very satisfying. Still a good game, but not a great game IMO.
4 years ago
Didn't like it at all when it came out. UNTIL I got to play it a lot at a friends place. It really grew on my and I had to own one asap. It brought real change to my collection.
4 years ago
The LCD screen is such a huge addition to these machines. Great game-play and has RPG elements to it. Very deep game-play. Love it
4 years ago
A really great second offering from JJP. How can you not love Gandolf screaming "JACKPOT!." There is an open playfield but the pf toys that pop up underneath, along with the rollover, and drop targets make up for that. The many modes with multiball add on is great. There's just so much to do. I don't care for the "arrow" left outlane kicker because I've had many a ball shoot directly into the opposite (right) outlane, but I can live with it.
4 years ago
As a transition from Ghostbusters Premium- its the Hobbit for the win!

Definitely a shooters game to the max- needs dialing in like any other pin, but nothing unusual about the process- unlike GB which required tons of modifications to make the game playable.

Build quality is just on another level than the basic Stern boxes of today- which seem more appropriate for routed games for money making rather than collectibles for the home.

I've barely scratched the surface in the Hobbit like most others. Its got the depth of an RPG video game crossed with a pinball machine.
4 years ago
A beautiful machine, great audio visuals and mostly excellent build quality. However, 2-3 weeks of owning and I was done, for all the technical tour de force I found the game wanting, few shots that are satisfying and big scores are all about the over the top multi-ball which turns it into a random event. For all the animation and gusto of the scree, you never have time to appreciate it in game. For those that liken it to a RPG, you've obviously never played one! The rule set appears complex, deep and very interesting to start with, but it just does not deliver. A great shame in my book.
There are 284 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 7 of 12.

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