As one would expect, the game casts players as Jack Slater and Danny Madigan as they go through ten explosive events from the movie. Race to the Roof, Double your Bonus, chase mice with Whiskers the Cat, then Find Benedict and Save Danny to avoid the Big Mistake. Use the Super Crane to move balls around the table, and if you can endure Lt. Dekker's tirades, the quaking cabinet, and the ball-flinging magnets, you can earn your action-hero creds to attend the World Premiere for a six-ball M-ball bonanza accompanied by music from AC/DC, Queensrÿche, and Megadeth.
Although the movie performed poorly at the box office, the pin is highly praised by admirers, who laud its action-packed gameplay, diverse ruleset, and rich audio-visual package. Players who look past its license and Data East heritage have often called it one of the most overlooked and feature-loaded games of The '90s. The most frequent complaint against the game is for its translite, with an unimaginative montage of characters surrounding Arnold Schwarzenegger's oversized head.
The Last Action Hero pinball game demonstrates the following tropes:
- Angrish: Lt. Dekker, who roars unintelligibly whenever his spinner is hit.
- Ascended Extra: Done with the crane, of all things. While it's a one-scene prop in the movie, it's the most prominent toy in the game, gets used in multiple modes, and is even featured on the sides of the cabinet and backbox.
- Ax-Crazy: Ripper threatens Danny with a fireman's axe.
- Call a Hit Point a "Smeerp": The modes are called "Dynamite Feature"s.
- Combos: Several, though the most lucrative is two consecutive ramp shots followed by a shot to the center scoop, which rewards the "Second Cousin Frank's" Progressive Jackpot.
- Da Chief: Lt. Dekker.
- Death Glare: Arnold Schwarzenegger has one on the translite.
- Game Mod: Replacement translites are widely available for owners who don't want to be assaulted by Schwarzenegger's Death Glare. There are also firmware upgrades that tweak the rules and add additional quotes and features.
- Glass Eye: There is a bank of target for three of Benedict's novelty glass eyes. Hitting all three awards the Benedict Bonus Boost, and they're the focus of the "Red Eye" mode.Slater: "Got to catch the red eye."
- The Grim Reaper: Drain a launched ball too quickly, and the Reaper shows up to feed you another chance with a "Death Save".
- Hand Cannon: Slater takes aim with his Desert Eagle on the playfield, while Benedict has his Dan Wesson on the backglass.
- Hellish Copter: The beginning of each ball features a helicopter firing on a skyscraper; making the Skill Shot will cause Jack Slater to shoot it and make it explode.
- Match Sequence: Playing Hamlet, Jack Slater throws Claudius through a stained-glass window. The match number appears in the hole.Slater: "To be or not to be?"
Narrator: "Hamlet is taking out the trash!"
Slater: "Not to be."
- Painting the Medium: The ball launcher is the pistol grip for Slater's Desert Eagle.
- Progressive Jackpot: "Second Cousin Frank's," which is awarded by making a Combo of two consecutive ramp shots followed by the center scoop.
- Rated M for Manly: Unburdened from the movie's Indecisive Parody and Hidden Depths elements, the Last Action Hero pinball is free to indulge itself in a nonstop barrage of explosions, gunfire, and action.
- Real Song Theme Tune: The game plays "Big Gun" by AC/DC, "Angry Again" by Megadeth, and "Real World" by Queensrÿche.
- Re-Release Soundtrack: The Pinball Arcade version replaces AC/DC's, Megadeth's, and Queensryche's soundtracks with rearranged tunes, likely due to Farsight being unable to acquire the licenses for the bands' music.
- Roger Rabbit Effect: On the backglass, Whiskers the cartoon cat hangs out with the rest of the human cast.
- Skill Shot: Launch the ball to hit the moving C-R-A-N-E light and make the helicopter explode.
- Smart Bomb: The "Smart Missile," which is fired by pressing a button above the launcher pistol grip. Firing it awards whatever is currently lit on the playfield.
- Spelling Bonus: C-R-A-N-E enables the ball lock on the crane, R-I-P-P-E-R collects the Ripper Bounty, and LAST-ACTION-HERO starts the six-ball Hero Round.
- Stuff Blowing Up: The game has no shortage of explosions.Slater: "Here's another explosion for your movie, kid."
- Timed Mission: Most of the Dynamite Features. In Hero mode itself, the timer can be extended from hitting certain amounts of switches.
- Wizard Mode: After collecting all of the Dynamite Features and completing LAST ACTION HERO, shoot the Movie Scoop to start the World Premier. After rewarding a bonus for how many Features were finished, the display shows people entering a movie theater while a "People Seated" value counts upward. During this time, shoot the Movie scoop to get one million points per person seated. The mode ends when the Maximum Seating Capacity is reached (based on how many Features were completed beforehand).
- Writing Around Trademarks: To avoid infringing on Williams Electronics' trademark over the term "multiball," the game uses "M-Ball" instead.