Story dated October 13, 2004
Stern have announced details of the latest enhancement to their ToPS pinball tournament system.
ToPS is a hardware and software package designed to make it easier for operators to run a single-game high score tournament and can be retro-fitted to any Stern game from Playboy to the present.
The original offering simply awarded prizes to the top scorers. Now Stern have introduced their (grammatically incorrect) Bump N ' Win software.
This is how it works. When a tournament game is started the player is given a target score to beat. This is not the highest tournament score, but another score set in the software. If the player beats that score they are automatically given second place in the tournament, bumping the other scores down one place.
Of course, if they go on to achieve the highest score they will gain first place instead, but in that instance the previous holder of that first place is not moved down to second. Instead they are completely removed from the rankings.
The aim of Bump N ' Win is to allow less skilled players a shot at a tournament prize. They won't win the top prize but can still pick up second or lower prizes.
One side effect of the Bump N ' Win system is to give a distinct advantage to players who play a game towards the end of the tournament, since they are less likely to be bumped off second place. It also underlines the importance of first place, as a second place score can now be beaten in two ways - by either a higher score or any game above the Bump N ' Win level.
So the end result is a two level tournament - one just for first place, and a second for places second and below.
Gary Stern says, “We all know tournaments are attractive and make money. Bump N' Win™ solves the problem of ‘professional' players winning everything, resulting in casual players not competing. And boy, has Bump N' Win™ been successful!”
Bump N ' Win needs to be a success. Sales of the ToPS system have been sluggish and ToPS evangelist Steve Epstein has received an indifferent reception from many operators who remain unconvinced by the opportunities offered.
Bump N ' Win is already in the software for Ripley's Believe It Or Not! games and can be installed in Lord Of The Rings and Terminator 3 games by a software upgrade available on Stern's web site.
© Pinball News 2004