Theatre of Magic (Bally, 1995)

Theatre of Magic

Pinside rating

This game received 917 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 8.441 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #17 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game design: 8.57

Artwork: 8.615

Sounds/Music: 7.932

Other Aspects: 8.459

Rating comments

There are 460 rating comments for this game.

Pinside staff rating

This is how we, the very knowledgeable (wink wink) staff & moderators rate this game. 9 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 460 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 460 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
Currently showing results page 1 of 19.

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9 days ago
A beautiful colourful machine great toys like the trunk and levitating ball .I found the call outs repetitive and got old with me after a while, but nonetheless it is a fun game
44 days ago
J-Pops third best game and as with the others (besides WCS) it is as shallow as it is beautiful. In a one pin collection it would get old very quickly. Worst video mode and wizard mode in pinball?
74 days ago
Another pinball classic. One of the few games that pulls off deep rule set with playability. Lots to do, great toys, amazing theming. Not much to not like about this one.
78 days ago
Excellent game! Top 10 machines ever made. Too bad it's prone to technical issues, but the theme and music is so right.
88 days ago
A beautiful and hypnotic game!
3 months ago
Classic pinball table with one of the best playfield layouts around. Plenty of magic gimmicks to give the game the wow factor, but also nice ramps and orbits for the pinball player. Themeing is good, what rules there are are good, and the art and music is perfect for the film.

My only issues are the callouts being quite repetitive and there is little to no humour in any of them, which takes a lot away from the experience for me. Magic can be funny, but this game is so serious aside from one or two specific references like 'move your car'. there's also a question on it's lastability, as theres just modes, multiball, spelling theatre and advancing the clock, and that's it. Wizard mode also gets my vote for worst wizard mode on a great game.
4 months ago
This is my number one grail pin. The callouts and atmosphere are the best of any game I've ever played. My next purchase for sure.
5 months ago
Near a perfect 10 .
I played the heck out of a TOM today at Knoebels Park... the trunk didnt work right, but I still enjoyed the Hell out of it. I didnt even bother playing the other pins much... Twilight Zone, Star Wars Pro, Game of Thrones...
So that tells you something.

Loved the updated lighting to LED. Hope they remake this game soon as I will definitely be adding one to my collection.

THe ramps are so satisfying , the spinner shots, the ... everything.. Beautiful playfield..
Theres just something about the layout. Its just .. Perfect.
5 months ago
Even though I like the theme of this game, it never really got me excited. All the elements are there, but the game still falls flat for me. I'll list the things I don't like about this game:

- The voices. Mostly the male voice just annoys me.
- The music. I understand that it's supposed to fit the magic theme, but it does nothing to get me excited. In fact, it might be one of my major annoyances.
- No humor.
- The trunk toy is just a bit lame. I don't like bash toys in general, but as a centre piece of a Magic themed game it's even more of a let-down.

On to some of the things I do like.

- The Speed. It can be brutally fast, which is a good thing to me.
- Very good flow
- Good artwork, mostly so on the cabinet
- A lot of gimmicks

In conclusion, I think it's an overrated game in the current ranking. On paper, it seems it has everything a great game needs, but once you actually play it, it might be a disappointment.
5 months ago
TOM has been the game I've been drawn to the most at the local bar/pincade. I have not dived deep into the ruleset but do like the variation of the trunk, ramps, and other shots on the playfield. A fun multi-ball, I can usually keep it going longer than I can on other games for some reason. May just have to add this one to the home collection someday. . .
5 months ago
Not my absolute favorite JPOP game (CV and TOTAN top it) but recently warmed up to it on location after owning a bad example years back. Word is CGC will be re-making it.
5 months ago
This game has to be the single most overrated game in pinball history. It’s okay but clearly is not one of the best ever created. Either way its good but not top 20 good.
5 months ago
Unbelievable game is so much fun and well thought no wonder it favourite classic
6 months ago
This is a fun game for sure. Lot's of cool use of magnets. Music is good, call outs are good too. I was disappointed when I achieved the grand finale, you complete it and that's it, the story restarts.
7 months ago
When I think about 90's pinball machines this is the one that always stands out. There's so much going on, yet somehow it isn't overwhelming. The spinning trunk was jaw dropping to me as a kid and it still makes me smile today. Might have been the pinnacle of the golden era machines for me. Artwork was so cool, the theme is interesting and makes for cool gameplay with the different acts you have to fulfill. The cabinet is super cool, draws you in! A little too pricey for me to own one myself... but if it's in an arcade, you can bet I'll be dropping some quarters on this classic.
7 months ago
My favourite game so I'm biased! It has weaknesses - 'shoot the trunk' is a much over used shot. But for me it has sufficient depth to enjoy without the needless complexity of some modern games (no need to spend hours watching youtube just to figure out the rules). And every time I hear the words 'welcome to the theatre of magic', I know I want to play...
7 months ago
Beautiful game with great flow and fun modes. Unique toys that really feel like magic tricks (the trunk, vanish, magnets etc.) . Over time it becomes a little monotonous since many shots are aimed at the trunk and the strategy is rather limited. The playfield follows a classic fan layout. The Grand Finale wizard mode is rather lame and not very satisfying. Theme however attracts a large audience and is fun for both beginners and more experienced players. Playfield, cabinet,, dots and sounds are gorgeous. We owned it for a couple of years after which it got a little boring.
8 months ago
Beautiful machine with a very nice theme tie in, a number of satisfying shots, combo shots, great flow and excellent toys, tricks and features. The cabinet, playfield artwork and light show are one of the best. The rules are good, but the finale isn't much. But the game is very enjoyable and immersive on its own without focusing getting to the grand finale. Ramps and orbits are spectacular and its a lot of fun to get multiball flow going. There is a lot more than just hitting the trunk, Orbit and ramp combos are great and the trap door shot is fantastic.
This is a great game to go to after grinding it out on other more complex ruled machines. One of the best machines out there for more novice players, who can enjoy a a lot of what the game has to offer without frustrating drains.
8 months ago
After about the 50th time playing it at the arcade I just had to have it. I love the use of magnets in pinball and this one has them in spades. The trunk has alot of neat functions game wise and gimmick wise. The ramps are fun and the game modes are clear (something I've seen too many machines struggle with). After buying it, I still play it at least ten times in a weekend, usually more. It just never gets old.
9 months ago
I was worried that I would get easily bored of this pin based on some of the reviews I had read, but one thing I can tell you after owning it for a few months, is that this game is the definition of FLOW! Every shot feels smooth as silk, and even missed shots somehow don't feel like bricks. The wizard mode is not the toughest to get to, but it's also not simple. Some have said that the wizard mode is lacklustre, but I think it's fantastic. I love starting the Grand Finale and trying to spell out MAGIC THATRE. If I had to knock something, it would be that the multi balls don't have a save, and also don't count towards anything but points. I personally like games that use multi balls to advance objectives.
It respects to looks, it's probably the most elegant pin out there. It's a beauty to look at. I think this is a top pin that deserves it's place in the top 20, if not the top 10!
9 months ago
This is a great game. It's a lot of fun to play. I would recommend it. I think lastability and fun are two of it's strongest features. The sound and animations aren't as good as my absolute favorite games, but those features aren't the end all, be all. This game would make my top 10.
9 months ago
I'm not sure what I can add to the discussion of ToM, but having played it to death when it first came out, it's always struck me as having excellent balance in the scoring. It has a wizard mode that's fun to work towards and which isn't so difficult as to be impossible but nevertheless is a real achievement. It's got good tournament chops and also plays well as a single player. As noted, about the only real criticism is the prevalence of maintenance headaches from the magnetic toys, particularly the trunk, and the degree to which a poorly-tuned Theater of Magic will just drive you ape, fast. It's far from the most temperamental machines of its era, but it goes from near perfection to horrors pretty fast, especially since it's got some drain zones on the outlanes and some STDM opportunities if flippers, ramps, plungers, and toys are off a bit.
10 months ago
A nice fun classic pin. The modes are fun and the spinning crate is a cool toy. The ramps are nice and the game shoots pretty decently. Kinda overpriced but there is a reason. Solid all around.
10 months ago
Love everything about this machine except for the ruleset fairly shallow and the wizard mode feels unfinished. However it's really fun to play and the toys and magnets along with the smooth and fast flow make this a great machine to have in a collection. Newbies gravitate to this and can make some progress (and usually the cool trunk multiball) so it's great for non-pinheads too.
11 months ago
Really like this one.
There are 460 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 19.

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