Pinside rating

This game received 565 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 8.129 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #54 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game Design: 8.32

Artwork: 7.917

Sounds/Music: 7.395

Other Aspects: 8.415

Pinside staff rating

This is how we, the very knowledgeable (wink wink) Pinside.com staff & moderators rate this game. 9 of us have rated this game.


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Found 303 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 303 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
Currently showing results page 1 of 13.

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17 days ago
The best thing about this table is when the fan topper kicks in and blows air in your face.
36 days ago
The first pinball machine I played back in the day. I got one about two years ago to start my home collection and it is just awesome. It’s amazing that many of the current new releases with all the gimmicks and toys can’t come close to how this plays and how it keeps you coming back. It utilizes everything right. The spinner, drop targets, pop bumpers, multi balls, shots-it is to me a true representation of a great pinball machine. One of the best for sure.
54 days ago
My first time with Whirlwind was at a laundry mat in Jersey City New Jersey. I had to stay for a month a buddy's place as I looked for an apartment since the one I was suppose to move to fell through. At one point I had to do some laundry and around the corner I went. As I am killing time with my washing I have to try out the pinball machine.
I pop my quarter in and start to play. I remember playing my normal trap and try out shots playing conservative and trying to make the game last long. Then it happened. I don't know what I did but I hit something and the next thing I see is the center of the table spinning in a circle and my ball just warping and re directing off into weird angles and shots. I had never seen anything like this before in a pinball machine. Before I know it the game is over and I have to play again. I probably dropped another $2 in quarters playing games while my laundry sat there. It was fun and a game that definitely made a lasting impression and one of my all time favorites.
79 days ago
Best System 11. The toys are awesome, the integration of the topper and information leds in the backbox fits just perfectly to the backbox. And it's beautiful. The theme is wonderful.
3 months ago
One of the Lawlor classics. Love the theme, love the fan, love how satisfying the multiball build ups and jackpots are. It’s not my favourite game but I’ll always play it when I see it and the sound package is hugely nostalgic.
3 months ago
Own both Funhouse & Whirlwind. Sold the Funhouse as it did NOT live up to its name. Whirlwind is in a class of its own and really ought to be #1 from its era. I see they are finally fetching top dollar on this pin and their is a damn good reason why.
4 months ago
One of the best games ever.
5 months ago
I keep missing out.
I have wanted this machine since I first played it at a greyhound bus stop in Indianapolis when I was a teenager. A year later, I encountered another one at another Greyhound bus stop in Colorado Springs.
Did Greyhound buy all of them??
Yes there was one in Minneapolis too, and in Kentucky, and some place in the middle of nowheresville Kansas.
Since then I have seen numerous ones for sale, either I didn’t have the cash or wasn’t quick enough to contact the seller.
I suck at playing whirlwind.
Seriously! I am good at playing many pinball machines, but Whirlwind isn’t one of them.
A game lasts less than 10 minutes for me, although I have had a few great scores over the years.
But I love it! It’s frustrating, fun, and challenging.
In the end, it’s not really a very special machine. The gimmicks are neat, the spinning play field, a fan on the top that blows at different speeds, “uh oh, it looks like rain!”
This machine has special, private, memories for me as well, traveling across America as a teenager.
My official rating score on here is biased because of that. For those without the nostalgia I would say it realistically deserves a 7.5 rating.
I never end up getting to buy this machine, it’s always eluding me. Just like those many things that I was searching for when I was a teenager playing pinball at Greyhound bus stations along the way to somewhere.
6 months ago
It really doesn't get much better than this, one could argue that it's "toy" (a fan!) is still perhaps the most well integrated device in a game ever seen in pinball even to this day! I've owned three in the ten years I've been collecting and it's taken owning a bunch of cool (design and rule wise) Sterns to truly come back and appreciate the subtle charms and challenge that this machine holds: it's a high watermark for it's era and an all time achievement for pinball.
7 months ago
This is the game that drew me into pinball, very young at this new place in town Chucky cheese. So my opinion might be a little biased. But I still love this game, the shots are fun, the whirlwind spinner’s keep you on your toes, the ramps where amazing at the time. One opens up!! And you have to hit that other ramp perfectly with the 3 flipper to get your millions shot.
After all these years I still play this game. Add a deep subwoofer and LED flashers to the cloud and back box and you won’t be disappointed.
9 months ago
This is real pinball. This is one of the all-time best games made.
9 months ago
Great game, fine machine. I just wish it had a dmd
10 months ago
This game is a lot of fun to play. It is a sterling example of why Williams was dominating the market. During that time
11 months ago
Great game again from Pat Lawlor, it's got something enchanting for me.
Nice gameplay, good shots,I like the tollramp to go for the quick multiball and the extraballshot is great, pretty tight.
No modes, and that makes it so good!!I like it even better than Funhouse, but thats a great game too,I think because WW is slightly more difficult.

And of course the sweet left rampshot, that one is so satisfying!!
John Youssi did some great artwork here.

The sound is the only thing that is a little less, For instance: Taxi has a fabulous Sound.
Great game, will never leave my room!
11 months ago
Really cool game, the playfield spinners are awesome when they have new grips to throw the ball. Really fun easy game.
12 months ago
This game is fantastic. Love the super cellar awards working towards mega door bonus and 3 distinct multiball modes. Million plus ramp jackpot is very satisfying and although not worth many points the 3 way combo is my favorite shot when I can manage to make it to hear the air raid siren. The spinning disc add a randomness that makes sure no 2 games are exactly alike! Easily the best system 11 that was ever made!
1 year ago
Definitely my favorite system 11 games of all time. The shots are butter and I love the unlimited score you can make on this pin.
1 year ago
One of the greats.
1 year ago
This is the 2nd or 3rd pin I owned and it was the first I got really obsessed with. I think I have played this more than any other pin simply because it is so easy and fun to play. There is nothing bad about this pin and I end every game wanting to play another. It is hard to review because there is nothing specific about it that is great but the combination of everything is great.

It is obviously (Pat Lawler Design) very similar to Addams family in layout and I like the two about equal. Whirlwind is a much better value.

If someone comes over and doesn't have any pinball experience this is the machine I start them on. That being said I still play it and love it.

But to be complete here are my Pros and Cons:


Great Layout - The shots and 3rd flipper are classic. All the shots are smooth and satisfying.

Rules - This is a great rule set. The multiball goals are clear but challenging. The wizard mode is awesome. Super well balanced. Fun on easy and extra hard setting. This is the steak and potatoes of pinball.

Easy? - So, on mine. It rarely drains to the outlanes and it has a center post. A good player could play all day on this. The goals are challenging but the play is pretty friendly. I learned many ball handling techniques on mine (dead bounce, live stop etc) because it is really generous to the player. I would say this is a con but as my skills have improved I still enjoy playing it...


Theme - Firstly, I think the theme is really well done and integrated. However, it is still about the weather.... It is fine, the callouts are good and it is fun. Sometimes it is nice to have an original theme but it is not the Avengers.

Toys? - So not a big deal but the toys are pretty innocuous. I thought the playfield spinners would be crazy to deal with but actually they rarely effect gameplay. The fan is "fun" but I turn it off in winter and on in summer.

Too Easy? - So I listed easy as a pro, but also it will probably not challenge an experienced player. I would recommend this highly to someone starting in the hobby but if you have 10 pins this might underwhelm you.

Overall, I love this pin but it is what it is. Highly recommend as a value pin to someone starting out but no real surprises for someone experienced.
1 year ago
Such an amazing pin for 1990!!
Fast and fun, great theme and amazing art throughout!
Love the skill-shot type ball launches and this has a tough one.
Will never part with mine!
1 year ago
This game rocks. Full on Midwest. Love the accents, reminds me of home.
1 year ago
I've watched the forum/classifieds for awhile and would notice a lot of wanted ads for Whirlwind. . . I also noticed when one was listed for sale it would sell quickly if priced reasonably. As an Earthshaker owner I decided to keep watch for one for sale in my area and after about a year I brought home a Whirlwind.

Simply put, this game is fun to play.

I seem to like "generic" themes, and crazy weather is just as good as any for a pinball machine. The playfield is bright and colorful, as is the cabinet and backglass. Playfield art is attractive and is probably my favorite area of the three -- important as that is what you are looking at 90% of the time. The best part of the cabinet is the topper -- possibly one of the best toppers in pinball -- because you actually feel a breeze on your face as you play.

Sounds are good -- the music is catchy and there is enough variety to keep things from getting old. I could do with a little less hillbilly voice though. Well looky here. . . .

Plenty of lighting and flashers (lights flashing = lightning) to keep with the theme. I've played a number of games with the room lights off and it was a bit dark around my upper flipper -- it could just be my game though.

A variety of shots and ramps are well placed around the playfield to keep the player on his toes. More than once I've hit the upper orbit with the upper flipper only to have the ball fly around and drain before I could flip it again. I'm working on that -- really want to score the triple combo. ;)
The ramp diverter is cool. . . and of course there are the spinning discs on the playfield (grippy decals a must). The sight/sound of the discs spinning and how they influence the ball is/are exciting and sometimes frustrating too!

I can see why this game is so often paired up with Earthshaker. They do seem to be made for each other -- too bad there is not a way to link them together! I'm glad I decided to add a Whirlwind to the collection. . . and now I know why they never seem to last very long on the marketplace :).
1 year ago
Another great Williams system 11 game!
1 year ago
A great System 11 game, second only to Earthshaker & Taxi. Shoots well and easy to follow rules. Keeps you coming back for more.
1 year ago
A truly great game. Everyone should own this at least once in their lifetime. Has a very nice layout, with satisfying shots. Has some of the best/deepest rules of any system 11. The way you work your way to ball-locks and eventually a storm multi-ball feels very mode-like. The flashing shots change from ball-lock to ball-lock, forcing you to make a variety of different shots. Plunge is great allowing for a challenging skillshot with a psuedo-ballsave, or a loop around the orbit to the upper flipper.

Topper fan and spinning playfield discs are very fun, as is the moving ramp and the double scoops. Fan feels great in a hot room--I wish more pins had fan toppers! Jackpot shot through the left ramp from the upper-flipper always feels great. Not much that you can complain about really. Doesn't have as much depth as newer pins, but more depth than most pre-DMD games, and it feels great to shoot.

Layout was so good that Pat Lawlor largely re-used it for TAF, and DataEast basically copied/stole it again for their Jurassic Park.
There are 303 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 13.

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