The Who's Tommy Pinball Wizard

Pinside rating

This game received 241 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 7.801 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #98 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game Design: 7.963

Artwork: 7.44

Sounds/Music: 7.645

Other Aspects: 7.796

Pinside staff rating

This is how we, the very knowledgeable (wink wink) staff & moderators rate this game. 7 of us have rated this game.


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Found 112 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 112 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
Currently showing results page 4 of 5.

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9 years ago
A real good machine. Interesting how the lack of seeing the flippers doesn't affect as much as you might think. Some interesting English characters and an absorbing game.
9 years ago
Owned this game for 8 years. Never got old to me. My wife hated the noise. I finally had to quiet things down and get rid of her, I mean, the game. An all time classic that belongs in every pinheads collection for a couple of years. Top 20 for fun and music.
9 years ago
I love this game. It is challenging, there's lots to shoot for and the art package is incredible. My only gripe would be that the scoring is a little unbalanced; the jackpots can really ramp up a score, even if the play beforehand has been poor. That really is a minor niggle though - this is awesome.
9 years ago
My favourite D/E pin. Love playing along to pinball wizard and so much to do on this pin. Would like to own one so I can get a real chance to experience all the modes and get to the wizard mode. Really like this pin. Seems it would get a higher rating if it were a Bally or Williams.
9 years ago
Tommy is a "players" pin in that it is very challenging. It takes practice to be able to make the shots and keep the ball in play. Lots of cool modes. Theme is great, and the Tommy Scoring that uses the blinders so you play as though you are blind (like Tommy) is great.

Music of from the Broadway musical and is not The Who, but is very good nonetheless. Music is very well integrated with gameplay.

I love the artwork on the playfield and cabinet, not so much on the backglass.

Overall a very good pin, one of the best DE DMD's out there.
9 years ago
I have owned this game for 10yrs now and still really like the looks of the pin from the yellow cab to the pinball topper topper that shows your reflection with the pinball wizard arrows poiinting at you. Like many people have said before, the blinders are one of the coolest toys put into a pinball machine. A game of Tommy is an adventure that seems much better if you are familiar with the Tommy 'history'. I would have preferred the Who to actually do the audio over the braodway version but that is my biggest gripe. Challenging modes, a tough right ramp and the need to smash a mirror makes this high on the 'fun-a-bility' chart for me
9 years ago
One of my favourite games. Great theme, music and flow. Topper is great. Never get sick of playing it and would probably be the last to go in my collection.
9 years ago
excellent game play and great the music and themes with a video mode... best data east game by far
9 years ago
The music is taken from the musical, not from the album of the Who - but still well-done. Plenty of variation "assignments" to be completed - after owning it for half a year, I still didn't play the "pinball wizard" mode.
Easy multiball. Unique feature: play "blind" like Tommy mode, when the flippers are blinded and you have a 3-ball multiball.
10 years ago
I'm a "the who" fan and i love this game also the outlines are way too open. The music is great and the modes are fun and i think the DMD animations are very stylish. I would like to own one.
10 years ago
Wish it was based on the album instead of the show.
10 years ago
Played this at a pinball event, unfortunately I could barely hear the music but I know The Who! I was sold when I got "blind" mode, a plastic skirt swings out over the flippers so you can't see whats going on... pain in the arse but really clever and cool!
10 years ago
This is a game that hits on all cylinders. The shots are fun but challenging, the music is top notch, DMD animations are superb, and the blinders are a great playfield addition. I like everything about this game (with the possible exception of the cabinet color)!
10 years ago
I live the flipper blinds, a great idea, should be repeated!! Enjoyable game, just not one I'd want to own 'cos I think it's too ugly!
10 years ago
Figured that I should probably add some comments for Tommy after all this time. Tommy is one of the best games from the 90's, bar none. It basically has everything you could want in a game, tons of modes, multilevel multiball, cool toy (blinders), etc. The biggest thing though for me that it offers is a challenge, it is not your typical game from the 90's where you can start mastering it after a couple hundred plays and start getting bored. I think I have a couple thousand plays on mine and I'm no where close to mastering it.

Reasons why I love Tommy:
stackable modes
all the modes are different, no crap modes like TZ other than the video mode
main multiball has multiple stages and is very difficult
shots flow, layout is awesome overall
game is very difficult, hard to reach wizard mode
7 or 8 different easter eggs hidden in the game
extra balls that you have to collect in a certain order or they disappear
blinders are awesome
skill shot is a shot which actually takes skill, and can be very rewarding
very balanced scoring
awesome multiball intro, one of the best in pinball
the upper flipper has two of the most satisfying 3rd flipper shots in pinball
great music that has great variety, plus plays the pinball wizard song, how can you top that?
topper is brilliant

It's just a great game overall. You don't see them for sale very often, they didn't make very many of them and once someone gets one they usually don't let it go. I had to search for a year for mine if I remember correctly. The game really doesn't have any weaknesses, it's one of the most polished games I've ever played.
10 years ago
NOT as TOMMY as I'd LIKE but Tommy enough!
10 years ago
I own it so it may be bias, but thats only cause I have got to play it more than other machines and like any pinball the true worth only becomes apparent after multiple times spent at the flippers. The main feature of Tommy and why it rates as high as it does in MHO is the heritage it delivers. This table really captures the feel of an older style and time of pinball and delivers it in a modern interpretation. So while I mark it down for points in regards to lack of toys etc it really is all about Pinball past and in this regards it does a bang up job. Also the music and catchphrases are superb and simply add tons to the whole play experience. Experience is the word because you don't just play Tommy you live it, it is over the top, creepy and sometime a little weird, but than again anyone who has seen the movie will know that is exactly what it needs to be.

Okay time for an update. After owning this machine for four years, I think I can give a true honest account of the game. First of all I don't truly believe you can compare Data East from the mid 90's against Bally/Williams from the same era or todays STERNS. There is just a slight sub-par quality of build and sound when held up against other manufactures. That being said Tommy suffers these comparisons much less then say Jurassic Park or Last Action Hero.

Two things that still stand out after all these years are The Music and The Modes. Tommy is really Data East answer to the Addams Family and it is therefor no surprise that like TAF it nails it's theme and fun factor. I know that many Pinsiders mark down the music and callouts due to the fact that they based on Broadway Play and not the movie and I tend to agree that this is a fair call. Imagine that TAF was based on the broadway musical rather the the movie, it simply would not have the same impact. That being said, really all it would take to achieve a smooth transition from the musical to the album/movie would be a new back glass and updated sound files (after market mod anyone). Otherwise the theme does stick true to the movie/opera as far as modes, playfield etc...

Okay so heres the deal, Tommy is a fun game with great depth in the soundtrack/call outs and a really nice presentation (back glass is the exemption). I would strongly recommend it to a bigger collector as a great table for sub $2000 or to a real WHO fan but.... and its a big but... Tommy is not best in class in even one category and as such simply does not stack up to the best of the best. Its a great game to get you started in 90's pinball heritage, but once you immerse yourself in the best from this era, you will soon forget it and move on...

My Tommy is soon to be moved on when my Addams Family returns from a complete restoration project and really it is fitting. The Tommy was bought for my now wife (girlfriend at the time) as a substitute for an Addams Family that I could not afford at the time. And while she loves it for sentimental reasons, I know any feelings of loss or sadness for seeing it go when the Addams arrives will soon be swept away. I guess that sums up Tommy - Easily Forgotten
10 years ago
Not a huge Data East fan and I can't stand musicals...yet I love this game! Tommy is simply one of those games that has a great feel to it. The sound and lighting come together perfectly to compliment certain shots and moments in the game. For example, during multiball, you'll hear old school pinball chimes - how cool! The music, and not just the song Tommy, will get stuck in your head for days to come (I've got the music during the Christmas mode stuck there now).

Really, the only cons to this game, are the lack of any cool toys (in the proto-type, the airplane that sits in back dropped balls for multi-ball) and that some of the modes just feel unexciting. However, I've never been one that needs a good toy to enjoy a machine.

This game is a top ten in my book.
10 years ago
Love the acid trip multiball
10 years ago
"Extra, Extra read all about it! Extra Ball!" ooooh how i loved that. Such an amazing game which incorparted all of the fun of the musical. The blinders are a real shock and become a extra special challenge. Being able to hear many of the songs form the show in this game is a very big bonus. I think my favourite feature of this game is seeing myself play it through the reflection of the big silver ball topper.
10 years ago
I believe Tommy is a largely under rated game. This game is simply just a blast. Music is great. Theme is awesome. You just stop playing this machine! Very highly recommended!! Own one!
10 years ago
I've been playing pins for years, this is by far my favorite. Difficult to find, don't own one, but play is challenging and following movie theme with Cousin Kevin, Acid Queen, and then Tommy Scoring with the blinders. Best is "smash the mirror" with english accent! Graphics are cool, and airplane! Pin play followes the various scenes in the play/movie!
10 years ago
I just upgraded my ratings on this game. I have played it far more now and I believe it is a far better game then I originally thought. Replaced a lot of insert lights with LED's made a big difference but now as I am getting to appreciate the rules more, this is one terrific game. I love the throw back sounds to the EM days.
10 years ago
I am hard pressed to come up with another game that does a better job integrating the theme. Consequently, if you are a fan of The Who / Tommy, I don't see how it's possible not to love this game. Sure, it may be based on the Broadway version, but it still rocks! Overall, the gameplay is fun and highly addictive, with some interesting shots to make. There aren't many toys, but the blinders are absolutely brilliant! I'm convinced that if this was a Bally/Williams game, it would be ranked much higher.
10 years ago
Had this game for a while has some nice features like the "blinders" think it could have been better if it was based on the band than the stage show
There are 112 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 4 of 5.

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