Pinball’s first mode based game came out in 1989. I had thought of designing a mode based game a couple of years earlier, but I had to wait for system 3, since system 80B couldn’t handle the demands made on the operating system by this design. When we tested the game, it was placed (hidden) in the little arcade in Algonquin Town Center located in Algonquin, Illinois. I met the truck and set the game up and waited for the first paying customer. When that first customer placed his money into game and pressed the “Start” button, I knew that pinball would never be the same again. But the game had disappointing sales and the following games were the SL series. About a year later, I was told to put rounds (modes) on all games because the French customers liked them. Then I knew that I was right about mode based rules becoming a paradigm shift, and that Pinball would never be the same again.

The topper with the blue and red floodlights was taken from “Red Alert”, my best layout that was never produced. That design (made in my first year at Gottlieb) was a mode based (each different mode triggered a Red Alert, using the toppers floodlights) game that featured magnets in the middle of the playfield (like Addams Family) and two different multiball modes (That hadn’t been done yet in 1987). Red Alert was a really fun board to shoot, but I was still a junior designer at the time and that game got s@#tcanned, along with most of my other efforts. That was my best layout to get cancelled. Back to LCA, John Borg who was working at Gottlieb at the time designed the ball jets and rotating playfield and the design was originally a card game. The spinner draw card feature was retained, but the rest of the game rules were adapted rules from my original Red Alert.

The main reason why I’m writing about LCA is because Far Sight Studios just released the game for PC/Mac and Mobile devices. I haven’t played the game in over 20 years and look forward to being able to play it again!

Thanks Far Sight!


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