Time Machine (Data East, 1988)

Time Machine

Pinside rating

This game received 98 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 7.826 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #72 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game design: 7.518

Artwork: 7.768

Sounds/Music: 7.896

Other Aspects: 7.862

Rating comments

There are 44 rating comments for this game.

Pinside staff rating

This is how we, the very knowledgeable (wink wink) Pinside.com staff & moderators rate this game. 3 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 44 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 44 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
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61 days ago
It took me a long time to find this pin and we'll worth it..the game play ..art package..music ..all works well together...love the flow of the game.. going back from the 80's to the 50's..is such a blast with this pin.. especially the chimes...I believe it's worth well over 2000...it's a keeper
68 days ago
The travel through time theme including matching music is fantastic. This could be the base for a great modern pin. I love theartwork, it is stunning. Technicalit was probably too early to make the most of the thema. As a pinhead you got to love the mechanical chimes that are playing at times......history. Loved it and now it moved on in time.........
74 days ago
First game I owned. Good introduction to owning a machine.
Shots are a bit limited and scoring is all about getting the 1 million.

Really cool bit, is going back in time and the music changing, including EM style chimes.
6 months ago
Great machine, sounds and music absolutely fantastic like most if not all David Thiel games!!!
6 months ago
Fun game , great pop bumpers. Love the music and the use of the chimes.
7 months ago
I will be simple and to the point. This game is lots of fun. The going back decade by decade and the music changing is a cool theme. The 50’s bells emulating an EM machine? Pure gold. This game is fun, easy to work on, and inexpensive if you can find one. I mean, you can get a top 100 pin for well under 2k? I might buy every one I find. Haha. I have a lot of pins and keep coming back to this one.
8 months ago
A really solid DE game. One of my favorite DE games before 1990. Great layout and excellent music and sounds. Only issue is the rules are a little unbalanced and it could get repetitive in a smaller collection like mine. Great game for sure though.
9 months ago
This game caught me by surprise -- had the opportunity to add one to the collection for a good price and it is becoming a family favorite.
I'd say the best feature of the game is the music; the variation with the decades is nice and all the tunes are quite catchy. Game play is fast with plenty of ramps to shoot at and plenty of actions from the pop bumpers. Not a deep ruleset but that's ok when you just want to have fun and play pinball.
2 years ago
Really cool game. The call outs are obviously early data east which tend to be short 1 or 2 words phrases, the art work is busy but fitting. The game does have appeal and the music is very catchy. Anyopne who has owned this game or remembers playing it will know exactly what I mean. The cool gimmick of this game are the mechanical pin chimes that sound off as you progress through the game by "going back in time" through the 80's, 70's, 60's and 50's. This is when you get multiball. I am always looking for family friendly pins and this one hits the mark. This is enjoyed by all generations. The only reason why I sold mine was because I was pressured into selling it by the guy who came to look at another machine I had for sale. He didn't want the other one and fell in love with time machine instead. A good all around pin.
2 years ago
This game is fantastic and I'm glad I finally found a clean one to add to my collection. Why?

Cabinet and Glass are great, they actually left open areas on the glass and have reflective material on the door to give it some depth. Data East tried a lot of interesting things with their early back glass, this one look fabulous. This game is just nice to look at when its not running.

Playfield has so many interesting little features in the artwork I find things I didn't notice every time I look at it. The layout is fast and there are some tough shots and some nasty long sigh drains. The timed ramp shots make you work for a nice score. The light show is great, and the play field is playable in low light.

The sound is the icing on the cake. This game sounds phenomenal, I never noticed it when I played at the arcade, but when I was playing it before I bought mine I asked the seller if it was hooked up to the stereo he had sitting next to the game. Data East games always sound great but this game has a different board that makes it sound freaking awesome. The call outs and music changes as you travel from decade to decade make it a lot of fun. Then there is the cherry on top, something I don't think some of the reviewers here get to, when you get to the 50s era the game goes EM and clangs, what a payoff!

It isn't exactly the deepest game and there isn't a DMD. Yet it is a good looking fun machine. In my collection there are three steps a pin goes through.
My office, where I will put a game and keep it a few months to see if I love it and eventually sell it.
My garage, where I play it some more, work on it a little bit, see if I love it, eventually sell it.
My basement, I hate hauling machines down my stairs and hate moving them up even more. If a machine is in my basement I plan on keeping it for a very, very long time. Time Machine went directly to my basement, and sits next to my Black Knght and Fish Tales. It ain't goin' nowhere.
See you later alligator!
2 years ago
One of the better data east games, satisfying shots,decent music, and nice artwork make it fun to play and not get old
3 years ago
great data east game keeper
4 years ago
Own it, like it, the whole family from 5yrs old to adults enjoy the game.
4 years ago
After a 3 year hunt I found a close to mint Time machine. I really enjoy the music, lights and the art work. The rules are not that hard but still very challenging to achieve and it plays fast. This is a keeper in the couples cove.
4 years ago
The theme is where this game shines. It has plenty of charm regarding nostalgia, from the jukebox between the speakers to the call-outs that sound right at home on an oldies radio station. The game play is nothing groundbreaking for its time (hit the 3 sets of targets, light lock). But the progression of each lock takes you back through the decades, each decade with its own tune from disco to bubble gum to doo-wop. The payoff for this game is the multiball in the 50's. The music continues but the sounds stop and a three chime box comes to life as the machine starts to mimic an old EM game right down to the display which animates the scores to look like a scoring reel. A fun game, and one of my favorites.
4 years ago
This game is exactly what I was looking for at this stage in my pinball hobby! I've owned alot of over rated games now NGG,wcs94 Stern this ,williams that ,a lot of games with No brains ! No matter the price I like a game that makes me work towards something,Rbion,Funhouse,LOTR and now Time Machine !
4 years ago
This is a fun pin despite its flaws. There aren't a lot of shots but between the 3 targets banks, 3 ramps, and lanes / pop bumpers there is enough. The gameplay is very fast and requires accurate shots to the 3 ramps. When you miss a shot you need to be prepared for lightning fast ricocheting in the lower playfield. Average ball time, for me at least, is very short.

The music is great. The playfield artwork is quirky. the rules are very shallow but still fun. The starwarp jackpot seems too high compared to the rest of the scoring but that can be adjusted in the adjustment menu. The ramps are pretty steep which means that weak shots will roll back down and strong shots will hit the glass rather than stay on the ramp. Between the ball hitting the glass often and the klacker, which goes off constantly in the 1950s, this is a very loud pin. If I could change one thing on the pin I would add a short ball saver on multiball.
4 years ago
Some of the best pin music up there with BK2000, swords of fury.. a few others. I love the going back in time music shifts and always rewarding to hit the 50's chimes 'n multiball. I don't plan to have it leave my collection anytime soon.
4 years ago
First working pin I ever purchased. Bought it in light of the great deal, wasn't overly excited about the machine. I of course wanted a cool Bally or Williams table. I then played it for hours and hours each day, grinding on the ramps and such. It was fun! Then I re-rubbered it. It was harder! I'm very pleased with this table and am happy it's getting a better rep these days. Best played in dim or dark settings, so that the playfield blackout during Starwarps really pisses you off. Simple but satisfying rules and great tunes. So awful it's kinda great backglass. Recommended.
4 years ago
A fun game, playfield layout feels a bit off but doesn't play horrible. The theme is excellent, the music is pretty good and the chimes are a nice touch.
4 years ago
Fun cool theme
5 years ago
Fun layout, worth putting a bunch of plays on for sure.
5 years ago
A very well-rounded machine. Light STARWARP and go for the million point spiral shot. This also has a very colorful and noisy three ball multiball mode, once you have locked the balls after going from the 80's to the 70's, 70's to the 60's, and finally, back to the 50's. There are some really witty call outs in the game; my favorite is "Gag me with a spoon!"
5 years ago
Hard game!!! Very good sound for the years. Backglass is horible.
5 years ago
Time Machine is the rare game that didn't look like much but was very fun to play. I loved going through the different era's of music , especially the chimes for the multiball. The backglass is pretty cool, and the playfield has some great pop culture references from the different era's.

Overall an underated game that probably hasn't been played by many!
There are 44 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 2.

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