Theatre of Magic

Pinside rating

This game received 942 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 8.442 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #20 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game design: 8.611

Artwork: 8.569

Sounds/Music: 7.951

Other Aspects: 8.459

Pinside staff rating

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


Your Rating?

You need to be logged in before you can rate pinball machines. No account yet? Registering only takes a sec!

Found 504 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 504 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
Currently showing results page 2 of 21.

List options

1 year ago
Currently one of my top 10 pins of all time.
1 year ago
Truly, one of the best flowing games I have played - the ramps flow so smoothly into each other you can hit inner/outer orbits multiple times, alternate sides and just keep the ball going. The stop/start portion of the game is down to the magic trunk, but this is a pretty fun gimmick with the trunk having different modes and capturing the ball. Some nice magnet tricks are implemented such as the magna saves (when they work) and the spirit ring which picks up the ball from one rail and drops it in another.

I like the callouts and music they fit the theme perfectly - it's a lot of fun to play, not frustrating and certainly not too easy as some people say. It looks fantastic I love the art package and the cabinet is simply awesome, definitely one of the best looking (older) games out there.

Criticisms... Well perhaps the sounds are a little repetitive and the rules seem to be quite simplistic without the depth found in some other games, but I think the fun factor more than makes up for these.
1 year ago
In my opinion one of the best games ever. Great game play and playfield. Great lights and a lot of fun.
1 year 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
1 year ago
Very fun game even for beginners. I like the theme and sounds of the game. Keeps you involved and wanting more.
1 year ago
Great game. Alway fun to get the trunk.
1 year 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.
1 year 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!
1 year 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.
1 year ago
I first played Theatre of Magic on location and loved it even though I didn't know the rules all that well. When one came up for sale locally I bought it. The layout is great and I like the trunk, but the scoring is so out of wack it makes the game hard to play. There is little incentive to complete the modes. Shooting for the bonus X is most important and becomes boring. It lasted 5 months in my collection. It was a great game for my 7 year old as he could grasp the entire game.
1 year 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.
1 year 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.
1 year 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.
1 year 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 :)
1 year 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
1 year ago
Beautiful playground, lots of shots, lots of light, great animation, great sound and music. I like playing over and over.
1 year ago
Thank god this game has new roms, that balance the scoring!!! If only Grand finale was remade, it would be excellent!!!
1 year 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.
1 year 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.
1 year 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.
1 year 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.
1 year 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
1 year 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?
1 year 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.
1 year ago
Excellent game! Top 10 machines ever made. Too bad it's prone to technical issues, but the theme and music is so right.
There are 504 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 2 of 21.

You too can add your own comment by rating this game! Click here to rate the machine.

Hey there! Got a moment?

Great to see you're enjoying Pinside! Did you know Pinside is able to run thanks to donations from our visitors? Please donate to Pinside, support the site and get anext to your username to show for it! Donate to Pinside