Quoted from ryanwanger:
The map layout is for the Paddock Modes. All Paddock Modes are based on the same exact concept, regardless of the dinosaur: the moving green arrow represents the dino, orange rescue shots represent workers. You're trying to capture the dinosaur and rescuing workers before they are eaten.
The thing that differs between Paddock Modes is how aggressively the dinosaur pursues workers, how many workers need to be rescued, and what perks you will be awarded after capturing the dinosaur. Once you've started a Paddock Mode, you're in it until you capture the dinosaur, and it continues across balls.
The other modes in the game (Control Room and T-Rex) are more traditional modes that can be selected, and will time out or end when you drain.
The Paddock Modes don't feel linear to me because they aren't: shoot X, then shoot Y, then shoot Z. They're more like a conceptual framework for capturing dinosaurs and rescuing workings that runs throughout the course of the game, and you'll often have other things going at the same time.
It's really quite unique, and I can't think of anything to compare it to.
That's *Mr.* Intergalactic to you. Oh, wait...
I LOVE it.
Missed a lot of shots the first two games I played and came away thinking some of the shots were too hard. Found my groove eventually and have become much more accurate.
So many satisfying combos and shots you won't find in other games: the Tower Ramp and the S shot are completely unique, the feed from the right orbit to the center of the upper right flipper is completely unique, and the way the truck requires you to unblock shots when it's in your way...as well as requiring you to hit it from different angles depending on it's current position and what you're trying to accomplish also feels totally unique.
The way Paddock Modes work is genius, and I find them extremely engaging to play. They force you to make a lot of decisions about what to prioritize, and those considerations are constantly changing based on how long it takes you to capture the dinosaur.
The animations are really amazing. I can't imagine how much work went into them.
There are no scoops to slow things down and take up space, and as someone who tries to play very slow and controlled, the game really encourages me to hit a lot of things on the fly. Not a ton of backhandable shots. If you don't flip the upper flipper, the ball will be out of control anyway, so you might as well hit something. Stuff like that.
On the downside, getting a multiball is difficult at the moment and a lot of games on this machine are going to be played without starting any. Some of the shots are pretty tight but pretty much every mode gives you several options of shots that will award progress (and the game isn't necessarily super punishing when you miss). I think the Paddock Modes probably aren't fun if you don't understand them, but cool stuff happens throughout the game even if you just shoot lit shots. It's not obvious when T-Rex and Paddock Modes are ready because the inserts are on a sign above the left ramp's return habitrail. The raptor tri-ball feels a little wood choppy right now, although I expect it will be less so on the Premium when it captures your ball.