Quoted from FatPanda:
Mode-driven games, to me, are games where you have to complete a set of modes to make progression through the game to get to the final wizard mode. Looking at B/W games, Lawlor games specifically, if we look at TAF, TZ, Roadshow (just the first few that pop into my mind), you have to qualify a mode, start a mode, then rinse and repeat to get to the final wizard mode. Yeah, there are mulitballs, quick mulitballs, other "side" modes, but they don't necessarily give you progress through the game. If you think about TZ, you have the door panels. As long as you light them all, you'll get to LITZ. You have the main mulitball and the Powerball multiball. You could play those 2 multiballs all day without progression. Or you could play directly for door panels to get to LITZ.
If you think about LOTR for example, it has a much larger ruleset than TZ. Admittedly, I'm not super familiar with the ruleset, but from what I understand, there are several different objectives that you need to get in order to get the the final wizard mode. There are the 3 multiballs (from each of the movies), there are the ring modes, the gift of the elves (each requiring a different objective be met) etc. I'm not sure you could call those "modes" (some are modes, some are shoot X, Y, Z). Look at WoZ. I think in one of Keefer's interviews, he said that WoZ was LOTR 2.0, and just beyond the modes in that game, there are a plethora of other objectives to reach in order to get to Somewhere over the Rainbow.
I guess one could argue that the objective in Keefer's games could be considered modes. For me, it's more like ticking off a checklist of items before getting to a final wizard mode, where as, for more mode-driven games, there are actual modes that once you qualify, not necessarily complete, you'll get to a final wizard mode. I understand that with DI, you have to collect Sim card in order to get to Armageddon, but that seems like a pittance compared to Keefer's ruleset lol.
So if I’m breaking this down; the difference to you is that a “mode based game” requires starting each mode, but not necessarily completing them to get the final wizard mode - and the more complex games (LOTR/WOZ, et al) require completing stuff in order to do so?
LOTR is based on “collecting” things - getting the rings lit, completing the battles, etc. (Are we considering Valinor or Destroy the Ring as “completing” the game?) This is also how TH works.
DI is more of the Addams/Twilight where you are starting each mode to progress, but must collect the SIM cards to get to the final mode. IMO if we are basing purely on variety, TH offers the most - you have the same basic 5 things required for each stage/movie, but the Smaug Multiball and the modes themselves
Offer a huge variety of challenges. Smaug, which also offers its own unique build-up in order to actually kill him, changes as you progress through the game. Mode inside-a-mode, if you will. The collect-the-dwarves and Beast modes are relatively consistent as you progress.
DI has another code update coming soon, but I doubt it will change the rule set drastically - I really enjoy the fairly linear progression, and the inclusion of all the video game sensibilities (bosses, mini bosses, etc), but I have to balance it with other games. I love DI but have not played it in a month after getting to Showdown. Then Pinball happened