Pinball / Cue Ball Wizard
"Just watch the Wiz, baby."
Cue Ball Wizard
"Quit talkin' and start chalkin'."
is a 1992 Physical Pinball Table
designed by Jon Norris
(under the Premiere label), with illustrations by David Moore and Jeanine and Constantino Mitchell.
Unsurprisingly, a game called Cue Ball Wizard
has a cue ball prominently featured on the table, along with an eight ball in an oscillating kicker on an upper playfield. If the player shoots the cue ball correctly, it hits a target on the kicker, which knocks the eight ball into an upper set of targets. This is used during 8-Ball Multiball; hit one set of targets (solids or stripes), sink the eight ball, then use the kicker during multiball to hit the upper targets for a Super Jackpot. Alternately, complete the six game modes on the Wagon Wheel for Pool Ball Mania, then finish it with a quick round of 9-Ball for a 500 million
Among pinball buffs, Cue Ball Wizard
is well-regarded for its innovative playfield, tricky shots, numerous hidden bonuses, and smooth flow, a game that's not too difficult for beginners but fairly challenging for experts. If there is a downside, it's in the cartoonish sound effects and voice clips, which are too lighthearted to sell the game's "Urban Cowboy" motif. Regardless, Cue Ball Wizard
became one of Premiere's best-selling tables of The '90s
, a record it held until the company closed its doors.
Digital versions of Cue Ball Wizard
appear in Microsoft Pinball Arcade
(PC version only) and The Pinball Arcade
Just watch the tropes, baby:
- Cowboy: Everyone in the game is a cowboy or cowgirl, with over-the-top dialog to match.
- Expy: The Shooter is clearly meant to be one for Clint Eastwood.
Shooter: "Make my day."
- Fake Difficulty: Not on the real table, but the Microsoft Pinball Arcade version of this game makes going up the ramp a much more frustrating task than it needs to be (especially considering you're supposed to be able to shoot it without too much effort). Get ready to hear a lot of "You sure need that ramp, son." Thankfully the later version in The Pinball Arcade was a bit nicer.
- Golden Snitch: Completing 9-Ball rewards an overwhelming 500 million points, which becomes more lopsided if DOUBLE is enabled at the time.
- DOUBLE can be considered this, too. It doubles EVERYTHING. Including Extra Balls and Specials.
- Medium Awareness: If you drain the ball down the outlanes, the Shooter comments, "I hate these outlanes."
- Off-the-Shelf FX: The cue ball and eight ball on the playfield are genuine pool balls. Operators can also remove the cue ball to make the game easier for players.
- Score Multiplier: DOUBLE doubles all points on the current ball. Having it on turns the 500 million points for winning "9-Ball" into a 1 Billion bonus.
- Shout-Out/Spiritual Successor: This game has so many references to Bally's Eight Ball Deluxe, designer Jon Norris' favorite pinball game, that it could be considered a Spiritual Successor. The game's theme and white-hat opponent aren't coincidences.
- One of the possible things to find behind the curtains in the "Where's the King?" video mode is Cactus Jack from the Gottlieb table of the same name.
Cactus Jack: Surprise, tendafoot!
- Skill Shot: Time the launch so the rotating shooter strikes the eight ball into the center (blue) targets.
- Spelling Bonus: P-O-O-L enables the Video Modes and the Sweet Spot, W-I-Z-A-R-D lights the No Way target for 10 million points per hit, and D-O-U-B-L-E doubles all subsequent scores for the current ball.
- Take That Player: A weak ramp shot will result in the Shooter asking, "What kind of cow pie shot was that?"
- Timed Mission: 9-Ball, which gives the player 90 seconds to shoot down the 1 through 7 targets, hit the 8-Ball saucer, then shoot the 9 ball.
- Video Mode: Two of them.
- Welcome to Corneria: The game's instructional callouts quickly get repetitive.
"You sure need that ramp shot."
- World of Ham: The dialog is a nonstop cavalcade of Western clichés.
"Yeeeee-hah! Multiball, awayyyyyyyyyy..."
- Zonk: One of the possible results in "Find the King" is a cow pie, which is worth nothing.
"You ain't thinkin' of leavin' now, are ya?"