My most recent pinball acquisition is a Williams Oh Boy! The game is definitely a looker, and has kickers in the left and right outlanes that can return the ball to play when it might otherwise be lost. That's a cool feature, but...
Oh Boy! is an interesting game, but not as interesting as it could have been. It has a weird vertical pop bumper arrangement that works like this:
From top down, the five bumpers (four passive, one a pop bumper) in the vertical row down the middle of the playfield score 1 point each, but when lit, they score 10,10,10,10, and the purple one scores 100.
The bumper sequence never resets at the start of a game; it just picks up where it left off at the end of the last one. If the top one is lit and you hit it, you get the "lit" score, it goes out, and the one underneath it lights up. Each bumper stays lit until you hit it. When the second one from the top is lit, it also lights the rollover lane in the upper left and bottom right for 50 points. When the fourth one is lit, it lights the rollover lane in the upper right and bottom left for 50 points.
When the lowest of the 5 bumpers (the purple one) is lit for 100, the kickout hole below it (which scores 50) lights to score 150. You can hit the hole as many times as you like when lit, but you only get to hit the 100 point bumper once. Once you do that, it goes out and the bumper at the very top of the game lights again and the kickout hole returns to scoring 50 points.
That's the problem.
Once you've hit that 100 point purple bumper, you've got the ball down near your flippers, but to advance the bumpers again, you've got to somehow get the ball back to the very top of the playfield. It's almost impossible to do, as there's just too much stuff in the way, including a couple of posts at the top of the shot.
There is a potential shot to do it, but it takes surgical precision to accomplish it (see photo) and you succeed about once every 20 tries.
That means that once you've scored that 100 points, there's just not much scoring to do until you lose your ball and on the whole, Oh Boy! is a pretty low-scoring game.
I've modified the game rules slightly. In the lower half of the playfield are two bumpers (labeled A and B) that do nothing; there's a light socket behind them.
I've rewired those two bumpers. I pulled the light sockets out of the way and put a switch in each one. That switch is wired to the outer switch of the Advance Relay that's located under the playfield.
Now when you hit either one of those bumpers, the lit bumper sequence in the center of the playfield advances.
This gives you a target in the lower half of the playfield that will advance the sequence, rather than leaving you with a nearly-impossible shot back to the top.
You'll now have an opportunity to get that 100 point bumper lit a second time during a single ball's play. Despite the lower playfield location, you don't hit those two bumpers all that often in play, but it does make a difference.
On the downside, it also occasionally takes that 100 point purple bumper away from you when it's lit when you hit the target that advances the sequence while trying to hit the purple bumper. Oops! It's gone!
I played a test of 35 games before doing the mod and averaged 722 points per game (with the game set at 900 points for a replay.)
After the mod, I played 35 more games. Average score is now 868 points, so the mod increased overall scoring by 20%.
It's now easier to score, but the new advance feature makes the scoring a bit less predictable.
I put a sticker on the chrome at each bumper that says "ADVANCE."
I've found that this tweak makes the game more fun to play, as Oh Boy! is notorious for its relative lack of scoring.
I've done a few mods on my machines over the years, but this is the first time I've ever changed the ruleset. Just thought I'd share in case anyone might want to try it. It's a pretty easy mod if you have some spare playfield switches lying around.advance_relay (resized).jpgoh_boy_playfield (resized).jpg