Theatre of Magic

Pinside rating

This game received 939 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 8.428 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #25 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game design: 8.6

Artwork: 8.543

Sounds/Music: 7.922

Other Aspects: 8.449

Pinside staff rating

This is how we, the very knowledgeable (wink wink) staff & moderators rate this game. 10 of us have rated this game.


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Found 511 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 511 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
Currently showing results page 14 of 21.

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7 years ago
Always a fun play, I will play it whenever I can find it.
7 years ago
Friend has this one, fun for a while, but seems shallow and repetetive. I am glad he has it, will play at his house rarely, not enough for me to want one. Definitely understand its popularity, though.
7 years ago
Nice pinball. Love to play it nearly every day. Nice flow, nearly no stop n go.
7 years ago
This is a great game. The ramps are not too difficult to hit once you get used to them. I love the call outs; they really help you plan your next shot. I love when it says "you must concentrate". The toys on the playfield are very interesting. The flow of the game is good. Some stop and go play but not too much. Overall excellent game.
7 years ago
If this game isn't in your top-10 list, you're nuts.
2 orbit shots, inner and outer
captive ball
2 ramps
great toy
nice secret trap door
it has as much action as a wide-body without being a wide body. Just incredible.
7 years ago
This my friends is it. The grand champion, the master of masters.

If there was one pinball machine we could save to define the genre for all of humanity, it would certainly be THEATRE OF MAGIC.

With Medieval Madness being a CLOSE 2ND, I would say that the design, sound, lighting and gimmicks of this machine are the perfect mix of complexity, fun, and art. Yes, you get a feeling while playing this game that it is in fact magic, but in a way that defines the magic of pinball as a whole.

Simply put, the MAGIC of pinball has never been more totally defined in a single machine as it is here in Theatre of Magic.

Played in a dim or dark environment with the sound up, you can easily get lost in this game. We may never see another on this level.

Play it. Buy it. Live it. You have the Magic.
7 years ago
This is a fascinating game. I really like the magic theme and the sound and voices really put you on the performing stage. The magic trunk and trap door are phenomenal pieces alone, but together they shine! The field is fast and the flow is awesome! The only possible con by hardcore pinballers like myself would be that it does not have an overly complicated wizard mode.

To me, this game is the best of the best. A real challenging playfield, understandable rules to achieve different levels, clear signs of game progression, great music, voices and sound effects, and most importantly; loads of fun and entertainment.
7 years ago
WOW! What a has it all. A fantastic design from John Popadiuk, who is one of the all time great designers. The machine is outright the most visually appealing pinball game inside and out. The game flow is quick and challenging, but not overly complicated. The tricks and illusions are top notch. The music and voices mesh so well with the action.

Speaking of voices, this game has both a main male voice and a main female voice, which is different from the norm. The balance between these two different voices adds a dimension to this game that others do not have. And when we are comparing the best of the best games, you have to be a bit nit-picky to differentiate these machines.

Theater of Magic ties all of the key elements of pinball into a fluid and seamless package of sheer enjoyment. A must for a home game room!

I love pinball.........I love Theater of Magic!
7 years ago
Wonderfully colourful game that I have owned for 12 years now and never tired of it looks fantastic with LEDs installed!
7 years ago
Nice game but too easy and soon tired of it.
7 years ago
Theatre of Magic is a phantastic pinball machine. Looks great an have a great flow. The Theming is one of the best. Hidden ball locks and magnets as ball saver, its magic.
The inner circle shot is one of the best shots that you can have on a pinball. If you hit the ball and the lane perfekt the ball goes through the lane in a awesome speed an keep the spinner under fire. Best together with Magic Cards :).
The rulesheet is easy, but with experience you can find out some hidden treasures and combinations.
The weak point are the final. That is no challenge. Hit a 14 times any target. Thats disappointing for this great machine, but you can live with it.
Not a pinball for every day but therefore with a big big fun factor.
7 years ago
Cool concept, fun game, wish it had a better flow.
7 years ago
The game with widest variety of gimmicks using magnets. Too bad the software makes the gameplay boring having also one of the worst wizard modes ever. Right ramp impossible to shoot constantly due to its design.
7 years ago
Beautiful game just does not hold my interest and became repetitive. My wife really enjoyed it. I think if I had a collection of 10 or more games this would fit in fine with the rotation just not an every day player.
7 years ago
This pinball is fascinating me for years. I like the magical ambiance and the sound is very mezmerising. It's a fast pinball and it has got very good flow. The only cons, it's an easy pinball, so a pinball wizard could find the lastability not enough challenging. But when I wanna just to relax, it's the ideal pinball.
7 years ago
Great game good flow and rule set, love the theme and call outs...definately want to own this game.
7 years ago
Really good game, though I didn't find it very challenging, I did have a lot of fun with it. Great ramps. The artwork is fantastic. The music gets repetitive and annoying quickly.
7 years ago
This game in my opinion is a top 10 game easy. I rate pins a lot on how fun they are to play and this game is just fun to play and beautiful to look at. I really enjoy playing this game when I get the chance.
7 years ago
7 years ago
I love the theme and look of the cabinet. The sound and voice work is amazing and every time I play I find something new!
7 years ago
I would like this game more if the rules were better. It gets boring after a while. It is one of the best looking machines ever made, and the flow is top notch.
7 years ago
In my top five of all time. Great game, easy to learn, but takes time to master. This game keeps me coming back in attempts to break my own High Score and Spell "Theatre" Keep earning extra balls and your game can last forever.
7 years ago
Only played this for about an hour in a laundry mat one time, but this was long enough to make me understand why people like it so much. The trunk is a really cool toy. great shots and a couple combos that are cool. i love the way the game looks in general. It is on my wishlist for adding to the game room if i ever run across a nice one.
7 years ago
Theatre of magic is a beautiful package that has a serious imbbalances in the rules/gameplay. As a player, this game is hugely overrated. It is an easy player, not a players game.

The Pros:
This game is gorgeous and lush. The sounds are fantastic and the entire package integrates into the whole theme incredibly well. The right ramp can be a really tough shot depending on it's sweet spot. Shots zoom around smoothly and very quickly. The shots on this table have the Papadiuk flow big time. Even more so than most Steve Ritchie games.

The Cons:
2 things to shoot for... multiball and the left orbit. Rinse and repeat, and again, and again, and again. Hope that the ball bumble down the backside of the trunk after a multiball or two to get your locks going... The cellar kickout can shoot that ball straight down between the flippers if not properly adjusted. Some much to do and such a shallow ruleset. After watching the ball loop around from the right flipper all the way around the playfield over and over and over and over... Score a billion or five in combos... it's time to move on.

The Takeaway:
A great way to introduce people to pinball and have them enjoy a game or three. Collectors who love games that look fantastic, will lavish thousands on trinkets and restorations with this deck. But even with fresh wax, open outlanes and a steep setup... if you are a serious pinhead, you will tap this game out pretty quickly. TOM IS NOT A TOP 10 GAME. Not by a longshot. This is not even a top 100 game. This is a pin-table that is for the kiddies and the girlfriend who likes pretty things.

The reason I am rating this game so low is because it is "exploitable" and has a scoring imbalance in the ruleset that takes away from the brilliant gem that this game should be. The game may look like, but it does not PLAY like a true "A" title. That is just how I feel about this deck. This is my opinion and only that. Take it for what it is.


This is a game that I play for "fun". Yes I can go for multiball and left orbits, but if I don't care about the score, the game is entertaining to play. The magno-diverter is an engineering piece of art and the modes are fun. Even then, reaching the wizard mode is still one of the most anti-climactic experiences of 90's B/W games. I see this table more often in private collections than on site, and for that purpose, it isn't so bad.
7 years ago
This pinball is full of magic... nice, very nice, good for beginners and also pro, maybe after sometime litte repetitive, but a good pinballin particular good quality material ;-)
There are 511 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 14 of 21.

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