Pinside rating

This game received 68 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 7.759 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #121 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game Design: 7.778

Artwork: 6.614

Sounds/Music: 8.181

Other Aspects: 7.806

Pinside staff rating

This is how we, the very knowledgeable (wink wink) Pinside.com staff & moderators rate this game. 2 of us have rated this game.


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Found 31 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 31 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
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6 months ago
Played extensively on the Pinball Arcade app and then I FINALLY got to play it in real life at Pinfest 2022.

First things first, the music on this pin is AMAZING. I just love it. The backglass artwork, however, is rather weird.

I loved playing TX Sector on Pinball Arcade, largely because ripping the top right-hand spinner (with associated sound effects) is so immensely satisfying. I also love the simple rules with challenging gameplay, which is typical of these mid-80s Gottliebs. The upper pop bumper shot and spinners was a harder shot on the real pin, which made it less fun for me (as a mediocre pinball player). I'm not sure whether it would be equally fun as the online version if you were good at the game.

Either way, playing on the real game, I preferred Genesis, but this is still a satisfying and excellent pin.
7 months ago
Ah. TX-Sector. What an oddball game. Often compared to Robo-War, a game produced just a few months later from the very same design team. What's the deal? What makes TX-Sector such a notable game?

TX-Sector came out the same year Williams released Banzai Run, Taxi, and Cyclone. YIKES. That's some stiff competition, and lets not kid ourselves: Compared against those games, TX-Sector looks like some ill-conceived machine from a 12 year old's fever dream. Seriously, what's with that backglass? Is this game worth your precious gameroom floorspace, or is it just another jukebox game with lackluster gameplay, like BK2K?

With the benifit of hindsight, we can step back and looking at it objectively. Lets get the obvious out of the way: This game's sound package is excellent. What was going on in the Gottlieb sound studio? TX-Sector's audio is brooding, groovy, and mysterious all at the same time. It offers depth so great, every ball sounds like it has a different variation on the mainplay tune, and when you max out the drop target bonus, you get a new tune variation. Speech is clear, well mixed, and never repetitive. You'll hear callouts of teleporters lost in the "infinity zone" saying "I'm Here!" and "HELP" as the ball bounces around in the pops. VERY cool.

Gameplay is another standout. Shots are all over the place here, and like it's cousin game Robo-War, valuable shots move around the playfield, so no single shot is exploitable for big points. There's a few different ways to approach the game: The most common way is to rip those lit spinners. They're valuable, but more points can be had by building your "Mega Level" and shooting for a timed teleport multiplier--but you have to be fast! That timed teleport bonus isn't easy to get, and it's only lucrative after you've built up your Mega Levels!

Multiball's main objective is to build up your mega levels (again). Each time you reach the top of the ladder, the game awards 100,000 points and collects the current Mega Level bonus. This is the only time bonus levels hold over, and carry ball to ball, so multiball is less of a "shoot a single shot for a jackpot" and more like a "shoot everything frenzy" mode. Extra balls are only lit during multiball.

The two main strategies are either to nail the lit spinner, but doing so puts the ball out of control and into extreme danger. A more focused approach is to build the Mega Levels towards LOCK and teleport the ball after dropping the "interlink" drop target for a timed multiplier that counts down from 9X. A single, well set up shot can easily be worth 1 million points this way. HUGE points for this game.


--The super rad teleport trick is way cool
--Sound and music
--The playfield layout is pretty advanced with good balance and shot variety


--Being able to collect a building jackpot while in multiball would give players more incentive to play it.
--Gameplay is terrifically brutal
--Playfield artwork is cool, you have a galaxy, some awesome space teleportation stuff, but why does the backglass look like a fever dream during an acid trip?

When all is said and done, I think this game was just ahead of it's time in many ways: Rules can be a little haphazard and unclear at times, but there's always good balance and shot variety. Maybe not as much strategy as Robo-War has, BUT there's still plenty to do here, and is absolutely deserving of your hard earned floor space.
1 year ago
Super cool Gottlieb pin that is finding (finally) an appreciative audience.
1 year ago
TX has a remarkable soundtrack, like everyone says. It's not timbrally as varied as the Williams games that were coming out(PSG sound vs FM) but it carries the sci-fi feel well.

As for visuals, the backglass always struck me as an error in photo processing, but no, it really does have those garish colors. Premier was very big on the 80's trend of staged photography, but they also didn't stage it to look very interesting. The playfield is a little bit better but also suffers vagueness. The theme is vague in general and this is an issue that cascades into other parts of the game. There are teleporters; if you teleport at maximum energy you "clone" and start a multiball. And getting the multiball is pretty cool in itself since it plays a different music track. But the whole thing is kind of unmotivated, like it's an excuse for the game having the features it does. No "characters" or "adversaries" here, just a robovoice saying things at you.

While the shooting and rules are original, they have a "post-Krynsky" feel to them: there are a few points on the playfield where wood-chipping is necessary to progress. If you drain you start over. That much is familiar enough, but it's also not really a Krynsky game in that the playfield is carved up into distinct sections - a drops area, a pops area, and some ramps, spinners and standups woven in between those things. The goals and layout lead you to engage with one of those features at a time, in very discrete "must make" ways, vs having a blend of progression across many of them and ways for misses and wild bounces to be turned in your favor. The bounces are challenging and drain fast, but also are not really interesting to recover from, because they almost always go straight to the lower PF features at high speed and then spend a while knocking around there, stubbornly pushing more and more energy into the ball so that you can't get back control. Again, there's a vagueness present in how the game wants you to approach it.

The rules are punishing in other respects too: there are more ways to not accomplish things in this game than to accomplish them. Almost everything has the same kind of toggle-to-light dependency, which makes the different ramps and lanes feel interchangable, like you could remove half and the game wouldn't be much different, but because they're there and then nerfed by the rules, less of your made shots "matter." There is a hurry up that feels thrown in - I never feel a sense of urgency from it. If you clear one of the drop banks, the other one is reset, destroying progress when the rules require you to do one bank, then the other. The vocals are constantly informing you when you shoot the ramps that you have not finished the lock goal(well, it says something more in-theme but I can't make out what). It's like, gee, thanks for telling me I'm playing the game wrong. And it really does completely reset you when you drain, a serious morale-killer when you just reached the 3X multiplier(24 drop hits needed): "I thought I was done with the drop targets and now I have to do it again?? I lose the locked ball??"

It isn't outrageous for 80's SS games to do all that, but I'd probably feel more satisfied with this one if it clubbed me over the head less, given how hard it is to find a flow. There is appeal here, but it's cerebral, perfectionistic. You will fight this game more than you dance with it - and I think this is a thing that Trudeau started to address better in later designs.
2 years ago
Absolutely amazing
3 years ago
The game bored me. It seemed older that late 80's to me.
4 years ago
Very rewarding multiball on this one that can often take a while to achieve, especially as progress resets each ball! The teleport feature looks great and continues to look great even after the novelty has worn off. Themeing is a bit of a turn off though, I don't what a TX-Sector is or does and the machine makes no effort to tell you that. Backglass is also horrendous in my view. Gottlieb games like this still lag behind the competition, but this one stands out more than some of the others due to the cool teleport.
4 years ago
Great game, just overpriced. Music is excellent. Not a huge fan of the rules though.
4 years ago
This is one of the oldest pins I enjoy. The music and shots are fun, and I'm always happy to have a third flipper. Definitely an early John Trudeau gem. That playfield though, so much red!
5 years ago
A statue should be made for the team creating this unique masterpiece. Out of this world sound and an outstanding gameplay. Deep respect.
5 years ago
Fun game but the spinner kills this game...
5 years ago
What to say about "TX-Sector"...first, it's not the prettiest pin I've seen. It's like a spaceship and the Golden Gate Bridge had a baby. It's just...blah. Almost colorless. Industrial, really. The scoring is strange. You have to load up your "power", then make a shot to...do something. I have no idea. There's a ramp that, try as I might for five straight games, I have NOT been able to hit. I've only gotten the interlink shield down but the ball just won't go up the ramp when I've cleared it. Otherwise, hitting targets is fun, I guess. Neat soundtrack, reminiscent of an 8-bit concerto but I wouldn't go so far as to say "OMG GREATEST PINBALL SOUNDTRACK EVAR" like so many here have done. This is a decent Gottlieb game but it's far from a masterpiece.
5 years ago
TX Sector is a really nice 80’s theme game. Not very complex, but fun.
The highlight of this game is definitely the sound; among the best 80’s soundtracks for pinball. My favorite is the pop bumpers with the randomized sound effects. The next notable feature is the teleporting ball feature; pretty cool the first time you see it. The game layout is quite good with quick game play if you’re playing a freshly shopped example. The upper flipper is key to getting multiball, so it needs to be strong and smooth to make the ramp shot. The multiball is short lived, so it’s a challenge to collect the extra ball. As others have said, the art is awful on this game and the innovation compared to Bally and Williams of the same era is lacking. It’s easy to see this getting passed over in the arcade back then. I can’t seem to figure out WHY this game is getting SNOW much hype these days…maybe the rediscovery of what was once passed over.
5 years ago
Everybody knows about TX-Sector now. It's been revealed as the diamond-in-the-rough that it is (to be honest, most Trudeau games have been this way: CFTBL (long time ago), Robo-War (may be even better than TX), Congo, etc...). That said, as an owner perhaps I can shed a touch more light on the game in a relatively unbiased fashion.

-you've head it before, the sounds are absolutely incredible. Completely retro Sega Genesis quality. So fun.
-The layout is fantastic. Like...brilliant. So many great shots that feel so good to hit. Dang near perfection in the layout.
-The light show is quite impressive. Tied to the sound, it's a great effect.
-Multiball is appropriately challenging to get, which means it's rewarding.
-9 drop targets = fun
-2 spinner that love to rip
-The ball staging effect is kinda cool, but also not nearly as impressive when you realize that habit-trails under the playfield were like only a year off

-Not enough made (bummer for all you who really want one)
-The right ramp, if not setup properly, is brutally tough to make it up and around
-Suffers from typical Gottlieb issues of the time (grounding issues, WAY outdated MPU boards and overall tech, ridiculous wiring system makes repairs difficult, etc)
-Always having to have a ball staged for the game to start. If for some reason it isn't hiding in one of the transmitter locations, tough luck.
-Commands quite a price nowadays. In its day, TX was terrific value for a true pinball player's delight. Now it's a premium if you wanna join the club.
-The art. You gotta love it and hate it, but let's be honest: Constantino was certainly no Youssi

A good game. Not a Whirlwind or even a High Speed, but a really good game. The art is subjective obviously, but the sounds are not...they rock. And so does the layout. Play it on your iPad. If you like on that, you'll really dig it in real life.

UPDATE: Well, TX is gone. Sitting next to Andromeda, Barracora, and Robo-War, it just didn't get played nearly as much. In the end, I like TX but didn't love it. A simple game, but one that I found guests never really gravitated towards, and the outlanes beat the crap out of me! Glad to have owned it, but also not missing it
5 years ago
its a good game, but after playing it a lot I don't love it.
6 years ago
Never played it. I play it on TPA.

I think this machine ranks blah blah

Action/Per/Minute: Good - subway holds the ball a little, and multi-ball happens here and there.
Backhands: unknown
Bonus Multiplier Goal: unknown
Dink Donk: Good - just a little as ball comes out of pops
Drops: Amazing - two big meaty sets
Drops Sweep: Good - looks like upper flipper could sweep whole bank?
Extra Balls: unknown
Flippers: 3
Goal -EB/BC/MB/Jackpot: unknown
Hurry-ups: unknown
Inlane Lane Change: don't think so?
Inlane Swoosh: looks good
Jackpot/Bonus Collect: unknown
Lane Change: none
MB Earning: looks reasonable
MB Fun: looks very good - a few detaining shots - not sure what goal is once in MB
Metal Ramps: nope
Nudging: looks average
Orbits (Repeatable): none
Outlane Fun: looks good
Pops: might be the weak spot -- no 1-2-3 rollover lanes
Rules (time/order): unknown
Shots (total): 9 shots and two ramps
Skill Shot: kinda - it's more about strength like black knight
Slap-Saves: weak, since it's not a williams
Spinners: 2 -- sound decent, not sure how to light and rip them
Stop'n'Go: ok - subways surely suck up some clock time
Taunting: weak - don't think so
Toy/Gimmick: subways are it afaik.
Voice / V. choreography: seems pretty good. lots of voices, not sure how well they are tied into the shot location

ART: good playfield, worst backglass of all time? horrible cabinet

SOUND: may be best music of all time, sound effects are great, voices are great

DISPLAYS: worst of all time, tiny little blue things up top

FEEL: likely feels good. don't know yet

OVERALL: music and layout are king here
6 years ago
This has always been a difficult machine to rate, however not because of its uncommon public appearance or low production.
It has an outstanding sound, music, and light show package.
It suffers from another John Trudeau "lack of flow" design in gameplay, but that is not a major drawback here, as he has his own trademark preferences.
Cabinet is unremarkable.
Translite is unique with its lithograph holographic image, but only better than Genesis.
The real standout on the playfield is the vitrigraph "molten glass" effects, which look great, but are not paired equally with the rest of playfield artwork.
The game feels unfinished and had much more potential.
The area that causes this game to be less known is the theming which does not have any means to make it recognizable to general pinball audiences.
It just does not stand out enough in a crowd of other machines, until you play it and crank up the sound.
7 years ago
TX Sector.. ahh my love of Gottliebs never ends. TX Sector much like Gensis is just a great game, good old Trudeau designs. TX and Genesis sit side by side, I joke and call them the beauty and the beast. With Genesis being the beauty.

I think people get hooked on the TX sound package and kind of overlook the game play. While the sound is excellent and you will often find your self bobbing your head while playing. The game play is also very good for a pin from the 80's. There is always something to shoot, whether you are going for drops to get your special and increase the multiplier, lighting up the lit spinner or transporting the ball from one side of the playfield to the other. The ramps are fun to shoot and the ball transport "without subways" was imo pretty mind blowing for the day. The game keeps you coming back for just one more.

The art package is the games downfall though, when you compare this with Genesis as mentioned above they just fell way short. Even with LED's the playfield is dark and there really isn't anything artwork wise that stands out. I think the Vitrigraph playfields looked much better than the screened ones as they were much brighter. I may try to lighten up the PF a bit with some LED spots one of these days, getting some light in the middle may brighten it up a bit.

Despite the so so art this game is a Gem, it along with Genesis will likely be in our house for a very long time. Anyone in the St. Louis area that wants to play TX or Genesis send me a PM.
7 years ago
Can't say this was love at first sight, as my example of this machine was a basket case when I bought it and I had never played the game before. At that time (2013), I had just seen the Classic Game Room review of the game on Youtube. The game was offered to me for €200,-, so I figured eh, what the heck.

Now it's 2015 and my TX-Sector shines again. With that, I've got myself a new favorite. This game does just about everything right. Talk about an immersive gaming experience. Great ruleset, beautiful lighting effects and a beautiful soundtrack. The way the lights, sounds, speech and gameplay blend together on this game is almost like a work of art. Ironically, the art department is really the only part of the game that could have been better.

If you can find this game, play it. Or better: buy it! And when you do, make sure that you put leds in it. Naturally, colour changers in the pops. But especially the flashers scream for coloured leds. The transporter effect is pretty damn good by itself, but with leds it's just a sight to behold. Also, TNT Amusements has got a nice video on Youtube with great tips to enhance the GI on this game. Including a great mod on the drop target in front of the ramp.

I've set mine to give 500.000 points instead of Extra Balls and Specials. For 2 reasons: 1. Now there's an actual jackpot to go for during multiball. 2. It makes the drop targets much more interesting to go for.

TX tx tx...
8 years ago
TX Sector has the coolest sound effects out of any game I have every played! Ball in the pops makes strange different noises all the time. Cool light show when ball teleport gimmick is achieved. Ball has potential to be saved in right outlane, can bonce back in shooter lane.
8 years ago
Great game!! Sounds are totally 80's. Interesting flow with light show and ball transport. Keeper for sure.
8 years ago
Awesome backglass. Gameplay is fun as well. I like the "guard" in front of the ramp. Lots of shots for a game of this era.
8 years ago
I recently bought a broken TX based on everyone's comments.Its now up and running and I couldn't agree more with everyone!
The sounds of this game are like no other,it's gotta be one of,if not the best sounding pinball machine I've ever heard.
The game is also fast and fun since I've shopped it out.It has some great shots,ramps,drop targets,multiball,it's just a fun overall game.
It won't be leaving my collection,it sits next to my mint Robowar.
8 years ago
XT Sector is a really trippy machine. The sound effects alone are one of a kind. Fun.
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