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Pinball Arcade: Season Four Tables Ranked – Quark’s Corner

season 4

The Pinball Arcade had a tremendous high with Season One, sunk down in Season Two, and then had a completely skippable Season Three. Season Four isn't too bad but considering what came before and what else is on the market, it is not easy to recommend this season to anyone for the MSRP of $29.99.

10. Red and Ted's Road Show

  • Design *
  • Fun Factor **
  • Complexity *****
  • Creepy Factor *****

Take the creepy animatronic face from Funhouse and give it a wife. I guess the creepy doll from Funhouse became a traveling construction worker and got lonely while on the road. This table does not translate well to the digital realm. It's ugly, it's messy, it's way too busy and complex, and is the antithesis of a good time. This is the only table in this season that I actively dislike. Sit on the couch, binge on Antiques Road Show, and leave this table in the dump.

Image result for red and ted's roadshow pinball

9. Party Zone

  • Design ***
  • Complexity *
  • Fun Factor **

This table gives me anxiety and feels like an easier version of Dr. Dude, even if they don't have anything in common. You can listen to Pinball Wizard, which is cool I guess.

8. EarthShaker

  • Design ***
  • Fun Factor **
  • Complexity ****
  • Earth Quakes *****

The table shakes, which is awesome on a real world table, but really tame in a video game version.

7. Phantom of The Opera

  • Design *****
  • Fun Factor ****
  • Complexity **

Phantom of the Opera has a great color scheme and soundtrack with an overall easy to figure out gameplay. The play-field feels small, which is great for playing on a TV.

6. Xeon

  • Design ****
  • Fun Factor ***
  • Complexity *

Before The Bride of Pinbot, Xeon was the first lady of pinball. The biggest take away from Xeon is the art on the board, which features a litany of women with…larger than usual posteriors. Xeon also moans when the ball hits the bumper. Still, Xeon is a classic fun table and I'm surprised it took until Season Four for it to be included in The Pinball Arcade.

5. Cyclone

  • Design *****
  • Fun Factor **
  • Complexity *

Also known as Baby's First Pinball, this was one of the few tables I adored, but slowly got bored as I kept playing. The objective of riding the cyclone and getting on all the rides is very easy, and I found it very hard to actually lose. The hardest thing about the game is the skill shot. A good table for a rookie or a small child.

4. Starship Troopers

  • Music *****
  • Fun Factor ****
  • Amount of Flippers ***
  • Complexity **

I like this table, what can I say? It's unique, it's simple, it looks like it was made for five-year-olds, but that's what I love about it. The relatively small playfield with easy to distinguish targets along with the additional third flipper that sits next to the right flipper makes it such an interesting table. The music also gets you pumped up. Starship Troopers feels like it was made by the people who made Pinball FX.

Image result for starship troopers pinball

3. Jackbot

What more is there to say? Read all about Jackbot: HERE

Image result for jackbot

2. The Addams Family

  • Design *****
  • Fun Factor *****
  • Not Twilight Zone Factor *****

The Addams Family isn't ranked Number 1, and before you throw your Cousin It body pillow at me, hear me out. Any pinball wizard knew that The Addams Family is the most successful table of all time, but I feel it pales in comparison to its spiritual sequel: Twilight Zone. While I ranked Twilight Zone very poorly in my Season One ranking, upon further review, it's one of my top three favorite tables of all time. I do have to give credit to Gomez and the rest of his bloodline; there would be no Twilight Zone without The Addams Family.


1.Safe Cracker

  • Design ***
  • Fun Factor *****
  • Innovation Factor *******

Where do I begin with Safe Cracker? Like Champions Pub, (which is the best table of The Pinball Arcade: Season Two) Safe Cracker is the best because it is unlike any other pin I have ever played. In Safe Cracker, you play a ball who is trying to steal money from a bank. In Safe Cracker, you don't lose when you run out of balls, but when you run out of time. You don't get points, you get money that you've stolen. The back glass is actually an interactive board game where you have to outrun security and guard dogs. You constantly switch from table to back glass, as you progress to the center of the bank. Safe Cracker is a table you should play with friends, as you all race against time to be the first the vault.

Safecracker pinball

Final Take:

The Pinball Arcade has been a mixed bag throughout the years. On one hand, you have some of the best tables of all time in Seasons One and Two. On the other hand, the later seasons feeling like a cash grab of unrecognizable tables. The Pinball Arcade does a great job of emulating the real world pinball experience, but that's really all it does. This feels less like a video game and more like an emulation. The lack of options to help the player become more proficient at each table is a serious misstep. The “pro version” of each table doesn't remedy this and is not worth the price of admission. Paying an extra three dollars per table just to look at the board from a different direction and gain slightly more ball control, does not help a newcomer. Perhaps The Pinball Arcade could have added an easy mode to each table, using arrows to show the player where they need to shoot the ball or an endless ball mode. Oddly, The Pinball Arcade does use these arrows in their explanation of each table, but some of these tutorials are over 800 pages long. As someone who has sunk over $100 dollars into this franchise, I can't really recommend The Pinball Arcade when Pinball FX 3 does a much better job of bringing the hundred year game to the modern age.

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