Xenon

Pinside rating

This game received 229 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 7.643 /10

7.643

Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #138 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.



Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game Design: 7.29

Artwork: 8.682

Sounds/Music: 7.069

Other Aspects: 7.571


Pinside staff rating

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

7.394

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Found 122 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 122 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
Currently showing results page 1 of 5.

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9.289/10
24 days ago
Xenon was a big hit when it came out 40 plus years ago, and still today, it remains a classic and amazing pin to play... The Tube shot is a never ending fun shot to hit, and having multi-ball is the icing on the cake. Also, have a the female voice of Suzanne Ciani sets this pin apart hands down! With four popbumpers, kickout hole, spinner and nicely placed drop targets, Xenon has it all! My only complaint is the playfield of Xenon is rather dark and could of used a few more playfield lights.. The easy fix is upgrading to a LED Lamp Driver Board and installing LED's to the playfield.. I highly recommend this pin!
8.741/10
4 months ago
Xenon is my guilty pinball pleasure. It’s a historically important game, one of the first with voice acting and the sound design is too notch. The artwork is breathtaking, everything I love about 70s sci-fi.

But it’s not a good game.

The path is so straightforward to win. Sink the ball in the cup three times. Do tube shot. Repeat. Multiball. That’s it. And yet, that simplicity makes gameplay flow. I love the game, though it’s not a defensible opinion.
7.040/10
7 months ago
Audio and visuals are hard to forget. It is like a pin right out of Heavy Metal magazine. I always give it a quarter whenever I see it and locally there are two of them nearby. Both play very differently because each location has the pitch of the playfield set differently.
It is one that I would like to own because it looks gorgeous, but unfortunately would not pay much for because the gameplay isn't terribly exciting and tends to get old really quick, even on the machine with the faster pitch.
9.860/10
8 months ago
After wanting xenon for awhile I finally added one to my collection. What a fun game to shoot. The voice technology is pretty awesome for the year it was released. Multiball is a blast to achieve. The sounds buildup keeps you’re blood pumping as they increase to a frenzy. Backglass and Playfield art are truly one of a kind. It’s almost like you’re having “relations” with the machine. Lmao!! Go get one and see what Xenon is all about. “Try tube shot”
7.841/10
9 months ago
Another Bally Solid State from the 80s that is a real looker!

The artwork and even the pieces as they are laid out on the playfield have a real sci-fi vibe that just works. The early 80s playfields always have so much detail -- it seems like there is always something new to see hidden.

This game focuses on the ramp/tube shot, the spinner, landing the top kickout, and maybe the drops if you want more variety. Sometimes less is more -- I find when there are more options to shoot for I can get distracted and instead of focusing on one goal random flippiness kicks in followed not long after by a drain. To each their own though.

If I was more of a sci-fi type of person I'd probably have one of these in my collection.
8.744/10
10 months ago
first pinball machine with a female voice ... revolutionary at the time ...
8.960/10
11 months ago
One of my favorite pinball
7.878/10
1 year ago
Fun game. Beautiful art work and sounds. Simple game to play and fun. I don't mind playing it again.
9.800/10
1 year ago
Nicest ass in pinball
6.791/10
1 year ago
I have recently purchased a Xenon. After spending a good 10+ hours on it over the last couple of weeks I feel like I've enough reps put in to give a fair assessment of the game.

-The Good-
The high point for me is definitely the artwork. Classic early 80's Sci-fi theme and an absolutely gorgeous shadow box backglass. My particular machine has a near mint condition backglass with LEDs and flicker eliminators. The game really pops. The playfield artwork is equally interesting. The 4 morphing faces under the spinner are the highlight for me.

I would classify the game play of Xenon as difficult. For me this a plus, although I could see how some people would not like this. Ball times can be short if you are not on your game. The tube kick-out can be particularly brutal depending on the machines particular feed into the right sling. Xenon has a interesting 4 pop bumper configuration in the upper middle section of the playfield. The ball ends up in the pops A LOT due to their location and one of the main objectives (center scoop) feeding into the pops. You have to be ready and willing to move the machine every time the ball is in the pops. Achieving the 2 ball multiball is somewhat difficult, but feels rewarding. Multiball times are generally short as it can be difficult to get both balls under control. Big scores can be achieved by getting Multiball and ripping the lit spinner for 1000 a spin which is very satisfying.

-The Average-
Xenon has a pretty simple ruleset. Truthfully there are not not that many shots on the game. You are either shooting the spinner, the tube shot, or occasionally the right set of drops. Backhand shots are rare on my particular machine as they require some set up via some flipper skills.
Tactically speaking it's a bit of a "do the thing" game. Basically you are going for Multiball and then juiced spinner rips. If the machine you are playing on has an old rusty spinner you can alternatively focus on repeated tube shots which builds in value. There is not much in the way of variety to scoring points on this game. For that reason I would give the replay value and lastability of the game average marks.

-The Ugly-
The sound on this game is a bit of a nightmare. I have the sound turned down pretty low. I do kinda like the female voice callouts that happen when you shoot the center scoop, but there is not much in the way of variety.
6.800/10
1 year ago
As many others have noted...the artwork is stunning. One of the very best in all of pinball. The gameplay is just so-so, however. There aren't many shots, the rules aren't deep, and it doesn't play very fast. I wouldn't suggest owning it unless you are a newer collector, have a big nostalgic connection, or get it for REALLY cheap.
6.680/10
1 year ago
I want to like Xenon. I really, really do.
This pin has one of the all time great back glasses in all of pinball. No real contest. It is among the greatest.
It probably has the sexiest female sci-fi voice in all of pinball--I can't even think of another one.

The game play is...not good. Slow.
Maybe it was the copy of the game I've played on location a few times...
but it is tough to care about this pin.
I think I'd rather play almost anything else.
6.460/10
1 year ago
It's just not my style. If you want to rack up the real point you have to really keep aiming for the ramp, that's it!!! Gets stupid after a while. It has drop targets and stuff but there's no point because the points are all in the ramp....graphics and artwork is amazing, talking robot voice was state of the art in 1980 and still a classic in 2020. I find this pin boring because of the point scoring system being to one sided
8.470/10
1 year ago
Beautiful Machine. Sounds were great for its time. I found it fun to play for a bit but I feel that I did tire of it.
8.411/10
1 year ago
This game is all about the sounds, backglass, artwork and tube shot. Allure of tube shot is cool, but grows tired over time.

All-in-all, this game is outstanding for its time.
8.794/10
1 year ago
Fun game to play, everybody who comes over loves to play her. Love the female voice "try to the tube shoot"
9.276/10
1 year ago
Great game! Simple rule set. The callouts are great. This game keeps you coming back for more. This game is staying in my collection.
9.474/10
2 years ago
This is the kind of game that makes you come back for one more play (and not just because she asks you to)

Game design: It works well, and the shots are rewarding. The game will reward well made shots, and easily drain on missed shots with side-side movement. Very interesting post under the flippers provides a lazarus every once in a while. Rollovers by the top kicker provide opportunities for skillful nudging. I really enjoy the two paths to bonus scoring

Pop bumper placement is excellent and really moves the ball around.

On a good incline, the gameplay is fast and furious, and will develop and encourage great flipper skills.

The rules and overall design is very solid.

-----------

Artwork wise this is my favourite solid state pinball. The light strobing around the backbox with infinity mirrors is incredible in a dark room, particularly as the game entices you to hurry up, the lights also flash more quickly matching the tempo of the music.

Sounds and Music? Again, absolutely phenominal what Suzanne Ciani was able to accomplish with the Bally engineers of the time.

The music is absolutely amazing, and draws you in like no other. It is unfortunate that most experiences will be made in the cacophony of a public place. In a home setting however; this can be enjoyed fully.
8.086/10
2 years ago
Love this game, reminds me of my childhood . Basic game but so much fun to play .
8.244/10
2 years ago
Fun machine in a larger collection, really great when you get the machine going, sounds and art is just fantastic and gameplay is decent. Overall an enjoyable game that I have no problem keeping in my collection for now.
7.717/10
2 years ago
Oh Xenon, so pretty. Underrated shooter. If you’re an Assman this game is for you.
8.460/10
2 years ago
Xenon sits next to Star Trek in my line up and all I can think is WOW, what a difference from 1979 to 1980! Xenon really raised the bar in terms of theme, art and sound. Star Trek while fast fun comes across as a title that just as well could have been an EM instead of SS title.

Xenon on the other hand feels to be a more integrated whole that takes advantage of the SS tech of the time period. Bally really seemed to have stepped up on this title compared to Trek. Touches like the animated backglass, flashing shooter gauge, great artwork, voices, etc which could have made Trek far more than it was.

If I have a knock about Xenon, I wish some of the call outs had more variation which isn't fair since newer machines do this too but get use to hearing "Xenon" a lot. The action is fast, the sound effects are above average for the time period and the artwork can't be beat. Toss some LED's in and it really adds to how great the game looks.
6.905/10
2 years ago
Xenon is quite the looker, mainly because of the beautiful artwork on the backglass and the infinity lighting complimenting it. The sounds are very cool as well.

However, this game lacks in the gameplay and layout departments. It's fun to play a couple of games on, but gets old fairly quickly.
8.719/10
2 years ago
As far as the look of the machine, Xenon has to be one of the sexiest prettiest looking pinball machines of all time. And the playfield artwork is truely psychedelic and deep. As far as the back box scoreboard lighting and mirror effect, it is mesmerizing and truely stands out, and eye catcher for sure.
As for gameplay.....ehhhh, it's not bad, but definately the greatest as it gets kind of old after a while, but not bad considering the era (1979-80) if you are a fan of pop bumpers, then the 4 powerful bally bumpers are a plus. The tube ramp is interesting and a first of a kind for the era. And game speed is okay.
Only issue I have is the simplicity and game rules get old kind of quick, and maybe a but boring in most peoples opinion.. But for me i like the oldschool late70s early 80s era. And love the riding of the rail when plunging the ball into playfield of the older games.
Sound oldschool sound effects and voices are okay , but the simple chime music playing over and over and over again gets real real real annoying...
The sexy female voice kind of draws you in...lol, and the orgasmic moan when you put a quarter in kind of tells you what kind of seductive woman Xenon is....yep Xenon is a gold digger, and her only motive is to drain your pockets, lmao.
Shell drain your pockets quickly as the game is over quickly if your not good at it.
All and all its decent pinball machine, but a little too simplistic as far as game play, but that's to be expected for the late 1970s to very beginning of early early 1980s era...So for the era, it is a decent game.......The best thing Xenon has going for it is The Awsome Visual Aspects....visually, it's one of the best.
6.442/10
3 years ago
Quite a looker, no doubt. The backglass is both magic and seductive. Interesting playfield layout und overall cosmetics. Problem is that the gameplay itself isn't that spectacular compared to other good early 80's games.

I think a lot of the hype around this has to do with its looks, rather than how good it plays. A decent table, but not something I would have to own. Especially considering the price tag for this cult item.

Update; oct -19 after some more mileage on this game. It looks cool but the play itself just isnt that interesting. Previous scores are justified.
There are 122 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 5.

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