The ‘Wizard Game’ by Jon Norris

The Wizard Game by Jon Norris-

This concept is intended to be an alternate rule set for any pinball machine. The Wizard Game Rule Set is intended for games that are set on “Free Play”.

Since the game is already on free play, the emphasis of winning free games doesn’t make any sense. The wizard rule set changes the rules, so that the game becomes an “Add-A-Ball” (Balls to play) and when the player wins a replay, the “Replay” will be a “Wizard Game” that has a unique rule set, complete with it’s own high score table.

Since the game is now add-a-ball, the player will be able to play longer (Game Time, not Ball Time), so the rule set itself can be deeper and/or broader than the standard rule set. We could even add features that can only be collected or used during a wizard game (adding volatility).

I wanted to do this 25 years ago (Deadly Weapon and Operation Thunder), but since less than 1% of all sales went into the home, this option did not make any sense to do. But, now-a-days, 30% of sales of new games go into a home or are set on free play, it is time to do it! Since I don’t work for any pinball company, all that I can do is to write about the concept to promote it, but if I did work for a pinball company, then all of my game designs would have a “Wizard Game” setting!

The way it works is that any time you start a new ‘game’ you are playing the “Base Game”. This is the standard add-a-ball rule set, where you begin with 3 balls to play and can be awarded additional balls through features or score. Add-a-ball play is better than “Same Player Shoots Again” because players still take their normal batting order rather than watching a player play extra ball after extra ball. With add-a-ball play, the won balls are played after the other players have completed their games.

The ultimate goal of the Base Game is to win a Wizard Game. This is a replay that is played following the end of the base game. The wizard game is treated as a new game and has a special rule set and has it’s own high score table.

During Game Over, the display shows both the base game high scores and the wizard game high scores.

This rule set isn’t intended for use in a league or tournament situation, since game times could be rather long.

Wizard Game by Jon Norris




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