The Shadow

Bally The Shadow

I never liked The Shadow very much. Hadn't play it a lot, hadn't read the rulesheet, so when I ever came across one at a tournament or show I hardly knew what to do.
I did read posts by people who love it, it should be a deep, players pin.
When a friend of us moved and didn't want to move the pinball machine into his new house, I had his game at our house for a week until the buyer came to pick it up. The perfect opportunity for me to get to know this game.


I'm still a bit confused about The Shadow. I learned appreciate it. It has very good rules and offers a challenge to the player. Sounds are well, I like the artwork, I'm even not bothered by the backglass (as some people are, there are even replacement backglasses available without Alec Baldwins face on them).
The layout of the playfield is special. It just can't be compared to other games. It's a combination of everything. That's what it has in common with a game like Twilight Zone. Mostly short shots, also a few long shots, some fast but also a lot of slow shots (ie when you get a ball on a ramp and it travels across the playfield). It features some special or very unique things, like the mini playfield, the diverters you control, the cool sanctum lock. It doesn't flow very well (especially compared to fast games with a fan layout), but isn't really stop-and-go either. This definitely is a game you start to appreciate the more often you play it. I'm glad I played it and got to know this game better but it's not my cup of tea and I wouldn't sell any of my current games to make room for this one.

Things to look for when buying

Wear at the sanctum. The magnet will burn into the playfield and discolor it.

Check both diverters work, they are controlled with the extra flipper buttons.

Check the mini-playfield works well, drop targets in the back reset, the arm moves smooth in both directions and kicks the ball away.

There should be 4 or 5 rings on the playfield (on the metal ramps near the diverters), which light up. Many games have one or more missing. There should also be some small statues of the mongol warrior.


Because not everyone likes the artwork of the backglass, a different (non-official) version is for sale.

Click here to see the IPDB entry of this game.