Probably no vs question between pinball machines gets asked more than “Which is the better pinball machine, Medieval Madness or Attack from Mars?”. I’m going to break down this comparison for you today as I’ve played both of these extensively.

MM vs AFM Playfield

On the surface, it looks like MM wins this hands down. I think I would kind of agree that Medieval Madness is more loaded on the playfield overall. I’m not quite sure though that MM shoots quite as well as AFM, the shots are a little steeper and don’t flow quite as well, plus the trolls in the middle are more annoying than fun most of the time.

Basically, the castle is a better toy than the saucer, and the catapult/tower are better than anything else Attack From Mars has, but the combos you can do on AFM are superior to the ones you can do on Medieval Madness. I think the art is overall better on MM.

MM vs AFM Rules

Straight away, Medieval Madness has a deeper ruleset than AFM, no question. However, that doesn’t necessarily make it better as I think Attack from Mars is a lot less wood choppy. Why do I say that?

  • Castle scores more points than anything else whereas AFM is more balanced scoring wise
  • You have to hit each shot 9 times instead of 3 which would seem like an improvement in difficulty, but some of the things to do multiple times (like trolls) are not that much fun
  • MM is essentially hit every shot 9 times and destroy the castles 5 times, where as AFM has better variety of objectives to get to the wizard mode (5 way combo, super jackpot, total annihilation, etc)

Basically, even though MM should be a lot harder just looking at it on paper, in reality it doesn’t play out that way because you can stack multiballs to continually castles in Medieval Madness whereas in Attack From Mars you can only destroy the current saucer. That plus the fact that AFM has a wider variety of goals means it’s actually easier to get to Battle For The Kingdom than Rule the Universe.

Which is better for home use?

This one is kind of a toss up. Like I mentioned above, MM has better toys and a more extensive ruleset, but AFM is slightly harder and smoother to play. I don’t think you can go wrong with either of them honestly, both of them have the same drawback for good players in that they’re too easy for long term play.

I would just go with whatever theme you like the best of the two and whichever one you can afford. AFM is the cheaper game by a slight amount though if more Medieval Madness remakes are made it’s possible that it will be cheaper.

Attack From Mars is probably a little bit easier for the novice player to get into. While hitting the castle is pretty straight forward in MM, the rest of the game isn’t as clear.


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