I was looking to buy roadshow and looking reviews, opinions and stuff and the main detriment to the quality of this game seems to be the opinion that it is extremely linear.
If we define linearity by having to do same stuff in same order every time, I ran some numbers and found out that it is actually far from linear.
1) Longer path on adjustment is valid and you cannot travel from a city of one color directly to the city of the same color
2) I assumed that order of cities is like it is represented on the map on the playfield from right to left. I drew a small graph and I probably made errors on locations of some cities. It could change the number but not much, the order of magnitude of possibilities is defined by having 18 cities and connections among them. So if I am wrong in the depiction of the map, you can correct me and I will recalculate the path
3) Let's say that game is varied and different if you pass through modes in different order. I mean, Addams family has like 12 modes of which some are awards (extra ball, 3,6,9 million) and not real modes for playing and you start each mode in different order by changing them through bumpers. Nobody thinks of Addams Family as linear, but opposite - as modes making it very convoluted game. Unless you go for the bumpers before you go for electric chair on game start you always start in Mamushka very much like first choice on Roadshow is New York.
So, non-linearity is having a game where you play different cities in different order. We can give a number to non-linearity of a game by comparing how many different games you can play just by playing modes - let's see how many different paths are there to get to west coast cities.
I attach the picture with white, yellow and orange cities in my best effort to draw a map of the travels, they are titled A to R. I drew pink lines to show which is eligible next city from each other city.
for instance, let's say you had a bad game and got to Atlanta and then drained ball three in it. You could have gotten to Atlanta (C on the graph) through 2 different paths - one is by playing New York (B) and then Atlanta, and the other is by playing Miami (A). 2 choices is pretty boring aka linear so far. Let's see how the gamestates convolute by playing further.
I will find all possible paths of all possible lengths from points A and B to west coast cities P (Seattle), San Francisco and Los Angeles (R):
to A: 1 path. it is one of two starting cities
to B: 1 path. it is one of two starting cities
to C: 2 immediate paths: B-C, A-C === total 2 paths from beginning
to D: 2 immediate paths C-D, B-D === total 2+1=3 paths from beginning (B-C-D, B-D, A-C-D)
to E: 3 immediate paths D-E, C-E, A-E === total 3+2+1= 6 paths from beginning (B-C-D-E, B-D-E, A-C-D-E, B-C-E, A-C-E, A-E)
to F: 2 immediate paths E-F, D-F === total 6+3=9 paths from beginning (B-C-D-E-F, B-D-E-F, A-C-D-E-F, B-C-E-F, A-C-E-F, A-E-F, B-C-D-F, B-D-F, A-C-D-F)
to G: 1 immediate path from F === total 9 paths from beginning
to H: 3 immediate paths G-H, F-H, E-H === total 9+9+6=24 paths from beginning
to J: 2 immediate paths G-J, H-J === total 9+24=33 paths from beginning
to I: 2 immediate paths H-I, J-I === total 24+33=58 paths from beginning
to K: 2 immediate paths I-K, J-K === total 58+33=91 paths from beginning
to L: 2 immediate paths I-L, K-L === total 58+91=149 paths from beginning
to M: 2 immediate paths K-M, L-M === total 91+149=240 paths from beginning
to N: 1 immediate path from M === total 240 paths from beginning
to O: 2 immediate paths L-O, M-O === total 149+240=389 paths from beginning
to P (Seattle): 3 immediate paths M-P, N-P, O-P === total 240+240+389= 869 different paths from the beginning, longest path being through 12 cities, shortest path being through 6 cities)
to Q (San Francisco): 2 immediate paths N-Q, O-Q === total 240+389= 629 different paths from the beginning, longest path being through 12 cities, shortest path being through 6 cities)
to R (Los Angeles): 2 immediate paths N-R, O-R === total 240+389=629 different paths from the beginning, longest path being through 12 cities, shortest path being through 6 cities)
You can go three times through the country on 629+629+869=2127 different ways
I may have made some errors in the numbers, but the principle stands. If you are good enough, you can have 869 different games just playing modes (not counting order of starting multiball, flying rocks, wheel awards, bridgeouts or other). Remember that there is a mini effort to lock balls in west coast cities to start super payday which is not given by default at all, has to be earned.
Now, how can anyone call this game linear???
I will make analysis for comparing with TAF. This was done in a hurry, if you are interested, I will do it later.