Time Zone

Pinside rating

This game received 14 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 7.018 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #259 in the Pinside EM Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game Design: 6.817

Artwork: 7.828

Sounds/Music: 2.597

Other Aspects: 7.188

Pinside staff rating

None of the Pinside.com staff have rated this game. Sorry, no rating from us.

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Found 11 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 11 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
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1 year ago
Will I be able to get $200 worth of enjoyment out of this machine. Certainly, yes! This machine has two outstanding features: 1. The colorful time tunnel that awards scoring. 2. The 4 powerful pop bumpers that really get the ball moving. Game play is fast when everything is clean and adjusted.

Negatives: The flippers are strange feeling and weak. I'm not sure what is wrong with the mechanism mechanics, but the flippers don't feel solid...they are mushy. Maybe they felt this way when new in 1973, I'm not sure. The other negative is the game rules aren't fabulous and the machine is kinda random. Not a lot of real objectives to shoot for directly with the flippers. Fun things happen, but they are mostly what I would call happy accidents. The other negative is the playfield has a center block (which is a feature that I now realize I do not like). The 3 targets that control the time tunnel function and collect the tunnel value are a high risk shot. So I typically try to avoid it and hope to shoot the ball to the left or the right so the pop bumper mayhem can prevail.

Overall, it is fun. I am looking forward to playing it with other people, as that will probably be even more enjoyable. I like the skill shot on the plunge and the time tunnel feature is neat. Nothing else like it for the era. The extra ball is fun to get, but really it's just a happy accident. I also enjoy it when the ball makes it into the lane on the right to return to the shooter and collect the tunnel value plus a thousand or three points. The happy accident on the left side is when you get the extra ball, or the ball gets into the up kicker to shoot it back up to the top of the playfield and collect the time tunnel value. It's also nice that a post pops up and retracts from the playfield down by the flippers to prevent a center drain. It's not near as cool as zipper flippers though. It is a good change of pace when you just want to bash the ball around without thinking too much. It plays fast enough and the time tunnel and 4 pops make it worth a few plays. I keep wishing this machine had zipper flippers. I think it would be more popular in that configuration, but the time tunnel under the playfield takes up the space the zipper flipper mechanism needs.
It would be cool if the kickout holes up top would lock balls for some multiball.
1 year ago
I am a little biased because this is the first game I owned. I loved it right away though and played it continuously for a year. I still enjoy playing it years later even after adding 3 more games to my collection.

The tunnel is a beautifully executed light show and scoring mechanism. That combined with hitting that middle target to pop up the ball saving post makes the game. It gives you something to master. If you get it on the 5000 then keep hitting that middle target you can rack up a great score. I also learned how to aim and hit the extra ball. Another cool feature that was rare for a game of this time.
3 years ago
To me pinball is functional art and this game belongs in an art museum. Just a thing of beauty. The game play is a bit random and there are no real rules, but who cares? You want deep rules buy Game of Thones. It's a beautiful and simple, fun game.
6 years ago
Frankly this is one of those games that looks way cooler than it plays: I mean how sweet is a time machine themed pinball game with a flashing time tunnel in the middle, a bonus lane with two gates, a pop up ball saver post, 2 kick out holes, 4 poppers, a kick out lane and back box animation timed to the time tunnel?

For all that the game just never jelled for us and has no real flow, like someone just took a box of "cool stuff" and dumped it onto a playfield and called it a day. The ball meanders around the upper playfield aimlessly and if you get a ball in the upper gate its just pure luck. The lower gate you have better odds making the shot either directly off the flipper or bounced off the post opposite the gate. Freezing the bonus at 5000 is fairly easy to do but gets boring.

Lets take about chimes: I hear Bally has some of the best chimes in the business and based on this game I can assure you that is not the case. Even after rebuilding the chime box with fresh coils, strikers and grommets and careful adjustment they still sound like a Williams box that has had its spirit broken. They clank and jangle like a junkyard Yugo on its last legs.

Game reminds me of a 10 I dated once: Looks great on your arm but empty of any substance and shallow as a cookie sheet. I have played worse games so perhaps I'm being harsh, this one will do ok in a group but not sustain an owner with room for a single pin.
7 years ago
I had to see what the under-playfield action was all about on Time Zone. Really unique for an EM, and not too bad for a few games. Once I figured out how to activate the pretty lights underneath, I was pretty much done with the game. I would like to have one in my collection though - it wins for gimmicky design originality.
8 years ago
Hmmm... This pin is an example how not to design a machine. Ball drains easy. The 3 stand-up targets is the lower middle pf block any reasonable access to the upper pf with the 4 bumpers. So most of the time the ball is in the lower pf with absolutely nothing to do except try to get it back to the upper pf. In all very annoying. Finished one game and moved on.
9 years ago
its not that easy,i dont like it.
10 years ago
Time Zone (and Space Time) should be regarded as one of the best EM titles out there. This game has an amazing amount of playfield features for an EM: two kick-out holes, one kick-out lane, two gates that give access to a special scoring lane and the opportunity to replunge, a stopper post between the flippers, and -- best of all -- the Time Tunnel which allows for one of the best skill shots in EM play.

All of this works seamlessly around the theme -- time travel. The Time Tunnel cycles between 1k and 5k in 1k intervals. There are plenty of start and collect triggers in the game, but the best has to be the plunger shot. Time it right and stop the Time Tunnel on 5k and then hit the center lane to collect it.

The only thing this game lacks are drop targets, but there's already so much going on you won't miss them.
10 years ago
This was my first EM. Really nice looking machine and when set up correctly plays fast. The Time Tunnel is a great visual on the playfield. 10 years later

Sold it after 6 months. Beating the ball around and the randomness of the bonus can be a turn off for some. There is no rule set.

EDIT: And 10 years later and I’m trying to get one back in my collection. As a stand alone pin it will get old quicker than other titles. But in a line up it is a great addition. It is what it is and that’s what makes it a keeper. Perfect pin for guests too!

One last note, Space Time the 4 player version is the same game and rule set as Time Zone. The rating for Space Time is 7.8 but for Time Zone 7.1, quite silly but such is the current rating system.
11 years ago
This is a skills game par excellence. I found one with a trashed bg... I will be restoring the one I have an looking for another bg in the meantime.

The Pros:
The artwork is killer! For it's time it is incredibly bright, detailed and we even got christian marche not to use pointy people. The pf is a trip too. I mean really, are you blind? This art package is creative, vibrant and full of character. But then again this is only my opinion. The tunnel starts, the tunnel stops. What to shoot for, the center skill lane or the two saucers that might or might not score, but the gates open when you get them landed. What to do, where to go. Get that post up, tap the flipper and time that 5k center target. Those outlanes are tough! Classic risk vs. reward. It may seem simple, but it is never easy.

The Cons: My bg is flaking big time... but that's just my game. Bally connectors can be flaky too.

The Takeaway:
A brilliant game by the entire team! I have to know though... is it Ted Zale or Jim Patla? Christian Marche put out a great art package that ties the whole game together from the pf, to the cab to the fantastic bg. Who ever engineered this game, I wish I knew who you were... you did a bang-up job!

This is one of the best Bally EM games from the early 70's. There are a number of games that are similar in layout, but the implementation of the time tunnel, the up post and those evil outlanes means that risks must be taken skillfully or you will not get a good score. For pinheads who say EM games are luck boxes, this game demands a new set of SKILLS that you can transfer to any game. New or old. Can you shoot for the collect time lane on the left, yes. Will you be able to score it? Rarely. But you can also learn how to nunge/bounce the ball into the lane from the upper portion of the playfield. Don't tell me that isn't skillfull pinball. It's just upside down and not what many are used to. A damn fine game for true players!
11 years ago
A fun old EM game that is easily "flipped" I got 141,000 on it the other day.
Sold to a collector in Ohio on Ebay for $362. (12/24/11)
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