Safe Cracker Logo

Safe Cracker
~ 1996 ~


Click Here for the IPDb entry

sc_machine I first played Safe Cracker at Pinball Ben's house when he had a small pinball get-together about the Spring of 2003. I really got turned onto the game then, but figured I wouldn't have much of an opporunity to pick one up, since fewer than 1000 were built, and most of those were exported to Europe. But I kept my eyes open.

On September 15th, a Safe Cracker appeared on the Mr Pinball Classifieds, listed by Arnie Christensen in Omaha. I didn't respond to the ad until about 11:00 that morning, but amazingly I was the first respondent and was given first right of refusal.

The machine has a couple of minor flaws, and was very dirty, but the price was reasnoable, so I bought it. It was delivered to my house on October 3, 2003.

Not having anyplace to set it up, I had to quickly modify my office by converting the closet to usable office space so that I could move my desk. This opened up enough room to set up the Safe Cracker and also the recently-acquired Monte Carlo. It had to be done in a hurry, since I was leaving town in less than a week, and had to have it all finished before I left. Diane was also not home during all of the work...

So, my collection is now at seven games, with five of them being Ballys.

Pictures and Description of the Game

Safe Cracker is an unusual game in a variety of ways:
Size: The most noticable unique feature is the physical size of the game. The playfield is narrower and shorter than the standard game by about 15%. It sits just as high, but the head is also narrower in relation to the body, so it looks very "skinny".
Timed Play: Rather than having 3 or 5 balls to play, the player has a certain amount of time. Extra time is earned by accomplishing certain tasks and also given occasionally as awards.
Token-Pin: Safe Cracker is the only "Token-Pin" game ever produced. Normally, the game operates on quarters just like every other pinball, but it also spits out special tokens for reaching certain modes during gameplay. These "Magic Tokens" can then be inserted back into the game through a different slot in the coin door to play a special mode. The tokens themselves are scarce, and are fairly highly collectible items by pinball enthusiasts.


sc_playfield Playfield
This is the playfield for the game. It is proprtioned the same as a standard-sized game, so it's not readily apparent that it is downsized. It might be smaller, but is jam-packed with things to shoot for.

As indicated by the title, the theme of the game is... bank robbery!

The player is given a certain amount of time in "minutes" (roughly translated to seconds), in which to unlock doors to the bank in order to have a chance of making his/her way to the Vault. Along the way, the player earns certain awards while trying to avoid hazards.

Backglass/Board Game:
The backglass for the game is dominated by the "Board Game", which is an important part of gameplay. This is where the player gets from the Bank Entrance to The Vault. A variety of things can happen during the board game, including bribing hungry guards, 'finding' money at the ATM, and being chased by robotic dogs.. It takes a certain amount of luck to make it to the Vault to collect your Stash.

Continue to the next section: Gameplay