Pinball Review: Cyclone

Cyclone pinball flyer

Cyclone is like a theme park wrapped up inside a box

Year of Production: 1988

Production Run: 9,400

Notable Features: A mini Ferris wheel that carries the ball. Spinning backglass animation.

Collector Rating: B
Fairly popular game and certainly the most popular of the trilogy (Comet came first, then Cyclone, and Hurricane was the last).

Player Rating: B

Decent ball speed when cleaned and waxed. Single ball only, so lack of multiball reduces the appeal somewhat. Ramps are smooth and fun to hit, easy to repeat (which is kind of the idea of the game). Slightly below average amount of depth for a System 11 game.

Cyclone Pinball Overview

This is a more modern take on the rollercoaster theme park idea previously featured in Comet (which was also thought up by creative genius Python Anghelo).

Cyclone is a simpler and kind of an old-school game. Which I love as a change of pace. Although the lack of multiball sets it apart in a negative way and is the common knock against Cyclone.

Buy it is hard to deny that the game is fun, has good ball action, and good ball speed.

The ramps are unusual and very fun.

The Ferris wheel is a great toy.

I love the sounds in the game, such as Dracula saying “boo!” or the carnival barker yelling “hey you with the face.”

There is something about this game that just makes me happy. A great addition to the game room if you have kids.

Plus the game is a real looker, especially if you have a nice playfield and install the flags (typically most are missing in the game).

Also I am a sucker for backlass animation and very few modern games have that.

Cyclone upper playfield

Cyclone Pinball — What to Look for Before Buying


  1. The playfield is not coated with a clear coat, so look for wear in high use areas. Especially common to have wear in the top inserts above the rollovers (the 1, 2, and 3). Note that reproduction playfields have been released by Classic Pinball Reproductions.
  2. Check for busted ramps. They are prone to being broken in front. The “Comet” ramp has been reproduced, but the other “Cyclone” ramp is going to very tough to find.
  3. Typically you will only find a few flags attached to plastics on the game. But if you look a picture of the Cyclone flyer, you will notice that the game was supposed to have several flags. You can buy a complete flag kit from Pinball Pal.
  4. Broken plastics are common. Especially the slingshot plastics, the spook house plastic, and the big “T” shaped one near the pop bumpers. Classic Pinball Reproductions has reproduced the plastics.

Mechanical & Technical

  1. Check that the spinning disk motor works in the backbox. Motors can get dirty and worn out.

Cyclone Pinball Mods

  • Real backglasses were made for this game. If you can find one out there — it is a nice improvement from the standard translite.
Cyclone playfield

Cyclone is a very fun but simple game. It is recommended for fans of theme and for families. There are not many modern games that feature absolutely no objectionable content. Cyclone is a fun pinball machine for kids new to pinball — as it is easy to understand and does not have multiball.

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