Pictures courtesy Classic Pinball Corp

Stern's newest game was shown for the first time at the AMOA show in Las Vegas at the end of September.

Based on the popular TV quiz show, Wheel Of Fortune is designed by Dennis Nordman and programmed by Keith Johnson. The version shown at AMOA was still in development and some features and artwork may change before production begins in October. One such change is the backglass image above which is subtly different from the one shown below.

The cabinet artwork consists of the show's logo over a colour-burst starfield. It's bright and colourful and leaves no doubt about the game's theme.

The backbox artwork uses the same background but features the $5,000 wedge - the largest un-multiplied prize value on the wheel in the show.

The cabinet front uses a single line version of the show's logo under the coin door but most interestingly, the ToPS tournament start button has finally been removed from the lock bar and moved to the cabinet front just under the main start button.

The translite artwork shows a scene from the show with a familiar pinball-related phrase and some familiar Stern personalities as the contestants in conveniently colour-coded outfits. Front and centre is the show's logo flanked by the stars of the American version of the show, hostess Vana White and host Pat Sajak. For non-American territories however, the faces will be unfamiliar as most countries have their own hosts for their version of the show.

The problem of how to show the mystery phrase on the display has been addressed by splitting the DMD into two parts. The left third shows the scores while the right two-thirds shows the phrase puzzle. This one-third/two-thirds split appears to continue into attract mode as the game scores stay up constantly on the left while high scores and other information appears on the right.

Meanwhile, on the playfield there is the requisite spinning wheel at the back of the game. The three colour-coded contestants from the translite artwork appear on the playfield and have their coloured pointers on the wheel and matching standup targets in front of them.

The "B" shot leads to the three pop bumpers under the left ramp. The "O" shot heads up a ramp which loops back on itself much like the rather appropriate Bally Game Show centre ramp. Shooting the "N" letter sends the ball across the playfield on a wireform to the left ramp. Behind the "U" letter are three in-line drop targets leading to a scoop feeding a wireform to the right ramp while the "S" shot is the right loop up to the wheel.

This two-flippered game has a very busy playfield packed with features, sub-game inserts and a scrolling LED display embedded in the playfield just above the flippers.

And talking about the flippers...

Wheel of Fortune departs from the traditional arrangement by moving the flippers further apart and including two rollover lane between the flippers like those found in games such as Wayne Nyens's Cow Poke and Buckaroo. This provides a centre post for straight-down-the-middle balls and gives the chance of a Super Spin (since changed to Big Money) if the balls rolls over a lit lane but requires players to learn new ball control skills if they are to avoid frequent drains.

The two outlanes are divided in two as they head towards the outhole, and either half can be lit, providing the opportunity for a free spin of the wheel before the ball drains.

Well, that's about it for this first look at the Wheel Of Fortune pinball. We'll have more information about the game soon as soon as it becomes available right here at Pinball News.

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