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Pinside rating

This game received 211 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 7.556 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #151 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game design: 7.198

Artwork: 8.625

Sounds/Music: 6.951

Other Aspects: 7.459

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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Ranking history

An overview of this machine's ranking over the last years. Lower is better.

Rating history

An overview of this machine's rating over the last years. Higher is better.

Found 114 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 114 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
Currently showing results page 1 of 5.

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13 days 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.
3 months 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.
5 months 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 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
5 months 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.
6 months 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.
6 months 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 months 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.
10 months ago
Love this game, reminds me of my childhood . Basic game but so much fun to play .
11 months 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.
1 year 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.
1 year 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.
1 year 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, 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.
1 year 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.
1 year ago
Xenon is a Fun and good game. I would recommended to people that are look to get into pinball.
1 year ago
I just love xenon! Just 2 or 3 short years before EMs were still being built. Then you look at xenon and wow, she had to have set the bar high for 1980. Simple 2 ball multi ball and ramp shot makes her a fun machine for beginners.

Update- Iv played alot more pins since, while its still a great pin compared to what was made a few short years earlier it doesnt hold up to much that was made after it.
1 year ago
One of the most artistic and cool pinball machines around. The playfield art, wow... What going on?! I can just imagine my own story. Backglass and the lighting of the infinity glass... stunning. The sounds are strange yes, but unique. The early 80s pinball 'music' is meh, but good compared to the others at that time and even after. The Xenon voice, wonderfully innovative. Game play? Well, it's simple, easy to understand, has Multi Ball and come on, one of the best 'rip the spinner's games around!
1 year ago
One of the best looking machines of all time. I've owned this a ton of time, not because of gameplay but just the overall look of the machine.
2 years ago
"Xenon" is "Pin-Bot" before there was "Pin-Bot". The difference is that "Pin-Bot" is actually awesome and "Xenon" is just plain terrible.

It's a relic of a time long since past in which women in space wear tight, sexy clothing and moan at you to score points. I think.

All while the annoying music goes faster and faster, creating "pressure" so you'll screw up and miss your shots. It's a shame it's easy to make those because the music just becomes annoying and terrible. Additionally, there isn't much to this game past hitting ramps and drop targets.

Even the art is ugly and misogynist, praised only because of its sex appeal. Don't believe me? Read the majority of the reviews for it and you'll see men fawning over sexually-tinged audio that's poor at best.

You want sex and pinball? Try either of the "Elvira" games or even "Bride of Pinbot". "Xenon" is a dated loser.
2 years ago
A bally classic that never get old. If you get to play one on a clear coated PF that's set up nicely, it rocks!
2 years ago
I have restored 2 playfields for this and made reproduction aprons for it, so I’m a bit ashamed I don’t know the rules better… Absolutely beautiful art on the PF, BG and cabinet. The first female voice is cool, and what guy wouldn’t like sex noise sound effects… I’m willing to bet these were a major contributor to the high number of copies sold.
2 years ago
2 years ago
I like xenon. and easy game and a great looker and if you add LEDS stunning backglass is one of the tops in all of pinball
3 years ago
Great art but that is all that its got. Not that fun.
3 years ago
I love the Xenon mainly because of its backglass, a great piece of art.
It was one of the first game having a tube and was considerer very innovative when it ran out on the market.
3 years ago
I editted my rating here as I read some of the other comments and thought I may have got it wrong.
Played it for an hour after having not played it for aaaaaaaaaaggggeeess.

It's better than I remembered. Plays like a classic, with the saucer top middle off the plunge.
It's actually a lot faster than I remembered, in multiball anyhow. The pops are pretty close to the flippers and send the balls back to you frequently so you can be dealing with alot at once, trying to get them through the spinner (which stays lit after multiball ends for the rest of the ball). The spinner shot is good, as is the tube shot - but really that is the only 2 shots in the whole game. Maybe the drops sometimes when a ball is locked and you have one on the left flipper, but even then the tube's a better option.

It's still really all about the backglass with Xenon (which is stunning every time you turn it on). The artwork is good (have a repro pf which is nice) but the game is something from a previous era. A good play if you're looking to learn basic pinball skills or just like ripping spinners. If it wasn't so cool looking, I wouldn't own one. The same can't be said for Fathom or Centaur for example as these are unique games in their own right (AND they look cool).
There are 114 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 5.

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