Theatre of Magic (Bally, 1995)

Theatre of Magic

Pinside rating

This game received 918 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 8.444 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #18 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game design: 8.576

Artwork: 8.612

Sounds/Music: 7.967

Other Aspects: 8.463

Rating comments

There are 470 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 470 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 470 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
Currently showing results page 1 of 19.

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17 days ago
All my reviews are going to follow a simple formula for those reading.
Number of shots to make - Pro's - Con's - Must Have Mods - What To Look For When Buying

Number of shots - 9 - very high

* All the magic gimmicks & use of magnets
* Flow in all the ramp & orbit shots feels very smooth and satisfying
* Trunk bash toy can be used 4 different ways
* Wonderful piece of artwork with lighting

* Hitting the left orbit over and over to score points, not good for tournaments
* Poor video mode
* Average wizard mode

Must Have Mods: (Note I will not include things like LED's, Color DMD, Invisiglass or Speaker Upgrades unless it's really badly needed)
* 3D Translite possibly the best one made
* Interactive Topper from Ministry of Pinball
* Gold components in as many places as possible (shooter, buttons, rails, lockdown bar)
* Tiger Saw Mod
* Tilt Graphics apron magnet

What To Look For When Buying
* Trunk condition
* Wear around the flippers and on Illusions common
* Damage to ramps
* Trap door functional
38 days ago
Very fun game even for beginners. I like the theme and sounds of the game. Keeps you involved and wanting more.
48 days ago
Great game. Alway fun to get the trunk.
57 days ago
The art is great.

Watch the Bowen tutorial

This game has some potential, and in one tournament they set up the left loop so it wouldn’t “loop” and that seemed to help a bit, but with the rules where they are, this game is edging on unplayable.
62 days ago
Classic Bally. About as good as it gets on layout & flow & fun. It’s a pleasure to shoot every shot; very rewarding. Compared to modern tables with complex rules, yes, this one could get repetitive to some. But not me. It’s just classic, simple, rewarding fun from the plunge. Love me some mid-90’s Bally!
65 days ago
TOM is a very fun game! Always cool to see the ball jump up onto the target!! It does get a little easy and repetitive quickly and therefore I think it gets boring and not a favorite.
79 days ago
Put a bunch of games on a well setup one. I had a blast! The shot, toys, and theme are really fun. This may be a buy in the future.
83 days ago
One of my favorites of all times. For this generation, this game is near the perfection. Ball flow and combos are very fun! The music and voices fit the game perfectly. I like the animations on the screen too. Game is pretty easy but the grand finale will give you more challenge. For sure the magic box is a great feature. Like the secret entrance (behind the box).

The only 2 cons I can do on this game is the reliability of this Magic box which can get broken by ball impacts. Fortunately, still today, we can find good replications to replace it. And finally, the hocus pocus magnets can be REALLY frustrating sometimes, because it doesn't freeze the ball enough long so sometimes, the ball is still moving and can go in the outlane instead of the inlane with a poor chance to save it.
This is a SOLID game if you are looking for 90's pinball machine. Not easy to find in good shape and pricey but it deserves it.
84 days ago
Great overall game. Fun for beginners and experts alike. Solid all the way around. Artwork, lights, gameplay, and ruleset are all top notch. It screams longevity. This would be a great home game to enjoy.
85 days ago
Theater of Magic is one of my all time favorites and keeps me coming back again and again. There is so much to do, the ruleset is fairly deep, there are tons of shots all over the playfield that are easy to hit, etc.

This is tops on my list to add to my collection and hope maybe Chicago will get it on the remake list :)
86 days ago
3rd best J-pop game. Definitely a Top 10. This game has good replay as it’s fun to play. Great sounds to match the gameplay
3 months ago
Great game perfect for your first machine as it tells you what to shoot for it has flow like a river and that inner horse shoe shot is just superb I owned one for two years my only negative was it is actually a bit to easy to finish grand finally you dont have to complete the illusions just start them which I find annoying now that I own a few sterns and they are not a gimme!!
3 months ago
Thank god this game has new roms, that balance the scoring!!! If only Grand finale was remade, it would be excellent!!!
4 months ago
For me this game has a fun theme and integrates it well with a good backglass and nice animations. I think the layout is a fun easy to shoot one and also can be a bit challenging at times. I don't like how the skill shot really doesn't have much to do with the plunger... It does have use as you need to time what reward you'll get when you plunge, and then you shoot for the shot and need to make it. So overall its a really cool skill shot. Really cool use of toys and a magnet. Like the trap door as well, even if I hardly ever make that shot.
Nice multiball rules and easy to get to the multiball. All in all I really enjoyed the game. The one thing I like about the layout is there are many different shots, but they do not feel cramped. They feel spread out just the right amount. Also this game has really cool ramps. The one thing I don't like is the rollover lanes. Hard to tell which is lit and which isn't... Yes, they have the mirror, but I can't really notice that.
I don't know if this is a top game of all time, but it has cool toys, good art with just the right amount of sex appeal, a cool theme, cool cabinet art, and good animations, and it shoots really well. So I don't know what else you might want. Don't know if its worth the price that people want for it though.
4 months ago
Maybe not a super deep game, but one of the most beautiful and with a great theme. Theatre of Magic is one of the best classics.
4 months ago
I have owned this pin for 1 year now.I dont play this so mutch so the other pin i have.But i think it’s a fun pin to play.The theme its not my cup of tea,but a nice pin and well made.The game play is good.I dont think this is a game for a small collection.Perfect game for a few plays.
4 months ago
Solid game, great flow and tons to shoot for. Art work is pleasing, and really enjoy the callouts. The music does a great job immersing you into the game.
5 months 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
6 months 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?
7 months 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.
7 months ago
Excellent game! Top 10 machines ever made. Too bad it's prone to technical issues, but the theme and music is so right.
8 months ago
A beautiful and hypnotic game!
8 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.
9 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.
10 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.
There are 470 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 19.

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