Pinball: Middle Earth

Frodo? Is that you?

"Escape to a new world of pinball adventure."
Promotional flyer

Middle Earth was a Physical Pinball Table designed by Gary Slater with art by George Opperman; it was released in 1978 by Atari.

Despite the title, the game has nothing to do with The Lord of the Rings. Instead, the name comes from the table's setting, an alien Lost World filled with feral beasts, bloodthirsty dinosaurs, giant apes, strange monsters, and the brave futuristic explorers trying to tame it all. But like Middle Earth itself, mastering this pinball won't be easy, as its double playfields and offset flippers require unconventional pinball skills.

On July 1st, 1978, songwriter Mandi Martin garnered national news coverage and entered the Guinness Book of World Records when she played Middle Earth for 140 hours and 32 minutes, with a final score of 321,400 points.note  Pinball players tend to be divided on the game; some enjoy the challenge of the unorthodox playfield, but others find it too sparse and slow to hold their interest.


The Middle Earth pinball demonstrates the following tropes: