Time Machine (Data East, 1988)

Time Machine

Pinside rating

This game received 99 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 7.822 /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: 7.506

Artwork: 7.741

Sounds/Music: 7.9

Other Aspects: 7.874

Rating comments

There are 45 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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Found 45 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 45 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
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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!
5 years ago
In short, if I ever see one for sale I would have to consider buying, lots of fun to play.

Edit: Played more recently. Sound was up and boy does that make a difference! Great sounds. Love how it changes to "50s" pinball sounds during the multiball. Way ahead of its time considering this was 1988...not too much other innovation out there.
5 years ago
love this game! used to think it was gonna burn me out, but the theme on this thing is just great. You have awesome cheezy artwork scattered throughout the PF from each of the decades ranging from the 50s all the way to the 80s. Everything from the art and music for each time period is spot on. The game also features true 2.1 stereo sound, which was rare for the time period and DE's claim to fame for these early pins. The shots can get a bit repetetive after youve raped the StarWarp ramp about a dozen times, but the music, SFX, and of course the chime box when you finally get back to the 50's keep you coming back for more. If you get tired of raping the ramp, set the game on hard and try to hit the targets and its a whole new ballgame!
5 years ago
Wow what a sleeper, found one tonight that was blinged out and was quite surprised in the outcome, great speed, ramps were awesome and tough just make sure the flippers are strong. You play through different decades 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s with all the different music to suit, for a game that's made in the 80s this is amazing with an open playfield like new 2000 machines and a quirky feel to it, if you get a chance find one and play it.
5 years ago
So well designed, so fun to play, great sound, great artwork. The cabinet art suffers a bit. The game is not super deep, Id rather hit this game up again and again when you put it next to some newer stuff that trys to hard. A true pinball game with a really unique theme... I am actively pursing one...
5 years ago
This was the very first pin I've ever owned (and fixed from a "dead" state), but have played many, Time Machine is one of those games you can't judge by playing once or twice, once you have the feel for the angles and get to know the action of the playfield its a game that will provide you with endless fun, the theme never gets boring and the artwork is outstanding and very appropriate to the theme, I love watching the speedometer (Decometer) lights flash and the light shows it gives you when you get the million, I love the jackpot music on multiball and the laser kicker that saves your ass surprisingly often, I especially love the unique EM simulation with the knocker and chimes, it really enhances the experience and seals the deal with the time travel theme (one thing I wanted to mention is that the chimes DO have a "volume control", in the game setting menu you have the option to set them to off, street, or super, super being the loudest setting while off turns the chime box off and simulates the sounds through the speakers (least the manual says this, I have mine set to street personally, you will need a manual to do this, if you require one they have them posted online for download)) they made less then 2900 of these, and I truly wonder why, its such an amazing pin, my initial plans were to fix it up and sell it to get a Cyclone, my favorite pin at the time, but quickly Time Machine grew on me and evidently surpassed the Cyclone! I love this pin so much that I have it in my bedroom right beside my bed, the family loves it and often I awake to the sound of the chime box when my father plays her in the morning, beats the alarm clock beeping for sure! This machine is very under rated, it deserves a place in the top 100, and I thoroughly believe the only reason that its not is because of how scarce these machines seem to be, before bed I try to play only a few games, but a few always turns into a few dozen, once you start playing it you don't want to stop. Time Machine is without doubt in my mind the best Pin Data East has ever made and one of the best machines of all time
6 years ago
I play this game on location alot, very fun and music and callouts fits the theme so well. First time i hit the million point shot and heard "you win the game" in a funny futuristic voice made me drain from laughing so hard. Great game.
6 years ago
Time Machine is a game that stands on it's own very well. This is the most creative table that DE produced in a number of different ways. Ed Cebula's best game since Andromeda and until Jurassic Park.

The Pros:
The time travel theme is a light one. Victor Hugo did not design this game. A well thought out layout and artwork that shines. The BG ties the whole art package together. The sounds that change as you travel through the decades playing pinball are inspired. Sniper skill is required to hit the standups in order to shift through time. The Double ramp shots require precise shots to make it all the way up the ramps. The lighting and sounds really come together with this deck. The best "theater" that DE ever produced.

The Cons:
A bit simple in some ways. Can get monotonous.

The Takeaway:
A great game and one of DE's strongest efforts. As long as you maintain this game as you should and have good flippers, you should have a wonderful time playing this deck. But it is what it is... DE from 1988. Consider the B/W competition at the time. Taxi, Jokerz, Cyclone, Swords of Fury. Other than maybe Banzai Run... B/W did nothing to blow this game out of the water. In fact, I'd say it's better than at least a few of the above mentioned games. C'mon, this game has bongos in outer space featured on the BG... what bad could come out of a game like that? I don't say this often, but... Well done Data East!

This is an excellent example of the last remnants of "simple, but never easy" mindset from the EM/early SS school of pinball rulesets. No, it's not really that simple, but yes, it's much simpler than most games coming out 1988 or later. An interesting place in pinball and an interesting theme that represents the cusp of SS/DMD technology. Hit the ramp over and over and collect yer' millions. Light your double PF score when you really need it. However the Time Warp for millions is unbalancing enough to make this deck a one shot game.

DE's equivalent of Elvira and the Party Monsters.
6 years ago
best back glass from data east
best music an theme selection data east
this machine deserve a better place
6 years ago
I fell in love with this machine due to the sound and music. Progressing through the decades produces era-accurate music, call outs and sound-effects at every stage, and the radio-bumper style additions (More pinball, shoot again!) never grow old.

The objectives are simple and clear, and starting multiball in the 50's after locking the 70's and 60's ball, starts the chime-box to ringing, which is just awesome.

When the "Time Warp" million point shot comes up, my heart rate increases a bit, and I instantly become a bit ham-fisted with the high pressure shot..

Great pinball experience.

Update: Scoring isn't all that balanced. The key to getting high scores isn't to start multi-ball and hit the jackpot, it's to rape the time warp ramp over and over again. Still a fun game.

Exit Interview:
Great game, It was just too stop and go for me. You can't keep them all, but when I sold this one, it was one time I wish I could.
6 years ago
Very fun machine. The theme is great, you get to go back in time from the 80's to the 70's to the 60's and finally to the 50's. Where upon your arrival you are greeted to the sounds of an EM pin chiming away like crazy. All of the different eras have their own sayings that were standard for that time period. I like the numerous skill shots, and the biggest ones are on a short timer... Don't get me wrong this isn't the deepest rule set, but it's a fun machine to walk up to and play without having to be a wizard. The lighting on this machine is great, and the artwork is fun, but not irritating over time.... Will always be one of my favorites.
6 years ago
Very fun pinball game ..
6 years ago
With LEDs, this machine shines! The music/speech is better than most. Not a complicated game, but I keep going back to it because it is a fun game. If you "return to the 50s", brace yourself because those chimes are LOUD! It is sure to get the attention of everyone nearby.
6 years ago
A fun game to play with a unique chime box under the playfield for when you go back in time. It's a little limited on gameplay but is still a great game. The downside is the chime box doesn't have a volume control and it's pretty loud.
6 years ago
The retro 80s boombox music was kinda cool and different from what most games of the time played. Gameplay was ok. Artwork was cheesy bad.
7 years ago
I would possibly travel back in time to play this.
7 years ago
Time Machine is great, fun ramp shots and mulitball action, but the gimmick that won me over was the authentic chimes and knocker sounds fired off within the cabinet. It's even louder than my Taxi bell. Great sound effects and music as you advance through the 80s back to the 50s.
7 years ago
I liked this machine when it came out. I love getting to the different eras and having the game play theme change (chimes in the 50's were cool). It was kind of a pain to work on, but not a bad machine overall. I would own one if I could.
9 years ago
I like when you get to the 50's era and the game chimes like a EM pinball. Interesting to get to the various decades. Time warp is fun for awhile. Some of these games have that won't register crucial hits so you can't ever advance to the next time frame which kills any fun at all. So the game must be dialed in properly to reach its full potential.
10 years ago
Loved it at Uni. Took it to the cleaners recently. Surprisingly so-so I think it was set on easy. So maybe a tougher setting would make me feel like I earned it,
Warping back in time for retro sounds is GENIUS though.
There are 45 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 2 of 2.

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