Ball Games Patents (Class 273/118R)
  • Patent number: 6164644
    Abstract: A pinball machine has been designed with several novel mechanical and electrical features such that it is easily retrofittable or convertible between a first pinball game and a second pinball game. The pinball machine includes a cabinet, a playfield mounted to the cabinet, and a backbox extending upwardly from a rear portion of the cabinet. To facilitate modification of electronics controlling the operation of the pinball machine, a controller box assembly is installed in the backbox. The controller box assembly comprises a rail structure mounted within the backbox and a controller box movably mounted relative to the rail structure to open and close the controller box. The controller box containing the electronics may be pivoted downwardly while remaining in engagement with the rail structure to provide easy access into the controller box.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 14, 1999
    Date of Patent: December 26, 2000
    Assignee: Williams Electronics Games, Inc.
    Inventors: Bradley D. Cornell, John R. Krutsch, James A. Patla
  • Patent number: 6158737
    Abstract: A pinball machine has been designed with several novel mechanical and electrical features such that it is easily retrofittable or convertible between a first pinball game and a second pinball game. One of these features is a novel playfield assembly for the pinball machine. For ease of movement of the playfield into and from a cabinet of the pinball machine, the playfield has skid rails which extend substantially along the length of the playfield. The skid rails are spaced from the lower side of the playfield by a distance that is greater than the distance by which components protrude from the lower side of the playfield. Thus, the playfield can be placed on the ground without any chance for damage of its components. The playfield may also include a slide stop at one or both of its ends. The slide stops engage the front molding of the cabinet to ensure the playfield does not fall into the cabinet or fall from the cabinet as the skid rails are being slid across the front molding.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 14, 1999
    Date of Patent: December 12, 2000
    Assignee: Williams Electronics Games, Inc.
    Inventors: Bradley D. Cornell, John R. Krutsch, James A. Patla
  • Patent number: 6155565
    Abstract: A pinball machine has been designed with several novel mechanical and electrical features such that it is easily retrofittable or convertible between a first pinball game and a second pinball game. The pinball machine includes a cabinet, a playfield, a panel, an electronics system, and a video display. The playfield is mounted in the cabinet with the panel mounted to the cabinet and overlaying at least a portion of the playfield. The video display is mounted generally above the cabinet and is disposed to project video images onto the panel for viewing by the player. The electronics system includes a control unit and a plurality of input/output elements which are mounted to the playfield. The control unit, which includes a controller and memory for storing game instructions and video images, is coupled to the plurality of input/output elements. The controller executes the game instructions to cause the video images to be displayed upon the video display.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 14, 1999
    Date of Patent: December 5, 2000
    Assignee: Williams Electronics Games, Inc.
    Inventors: George A. Gomez, Charles R. Bleich, Bradley D. Cornell, Andrew W. Eloff, Bradley A. Hume, John R. Krutsch, James M. L. Shird, Thomas W. Uban
  • Patent number: 6120021
    Abstract: A lock-down bar release system for a pinball machine serviceable in a location-service mode and an operator-service mode. The pinball machine includes a playfield disposed within a game cabinet and a lock-down bar for securing a playfield glass over the playfield and onto the game cabinet. A handle mechanism and associated latching structure is operable to release the lock-down bar. In the location-service mode, the movement of the handle and release of the lock-down bar is effected automatically by using a location-service key. In the operator-service mode, the operator uses an operator-service key to access the interior of the game cabinet through a coin door from wherein the operator may physically pull the handle to release the lock-down bar. The pinball machine includes a restraint mechanism for inhibiting removal of the playfield (and thereby preventing access to the coin box or cash box under the playfield) in the location-service mode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 14, 1999
    Date of Patent: September 19, 2000
    Assignee: Williams Electronics Games, Inc.
    Inventors: Peter J. Piotrowski, John R. Krutsch, George A. Gomez, James A. Patla, Charles R. Bleich
  • Patent number: 6113097
    Abstract: A pinball machine has been designed with several novel mechanical and electrical features such that it is easily retrofittable or convertible between a first pinball game and a second pinball game. The pinball machine includes a playfield mounted to a cabinet. Unlike previous pinball machines, electrical wires and their associated "playfield-side" connectors extending from input/output elements mounted to the playfield are limited in movement to a region generally beneath and in close proximity to the playfield. This allows the playfield to be more easily handled than prior playfields, which had long dangling electrical wires and connectors which could be easily tripped over or severed. Additionally, the plurality of playfield-side connectors are configured for easy installation and integration with corresponding "cabinet-side" connectors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 14, 1999
    Date of Patent: September 5, 2000
    Assignee: Williams Electronics Games, Inc.
    Inventors: John R. Krutsch, James M. L. Shird, Thomas W. Uban
  • Patent number: 6089570
    Abstract: A ball and target game includes a spherical element and an elongate target element carrying a plurality of discrete target areas, which areas are juxtaposed longitudinally on the target element. The spherical element and the target element carry complementary hook and loop components or magnetic components that enable the spherical element to releasably attach to the target element within a selected target area when the spherical element is projected at and strikes the target element within that target area.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 19, 1998
    Date of Patent: July 18, 2000
    Assignee: Bay USA, Inc.
    Inventor: Baylis M. Gruber
  • Patent number: 6062560
    Abstract: This disclosure is directed to novel systems and methods for supporting a game apparatus, actuating a paddle, and storing coins deposited in a coin-operated device. A game apparatus is disclosed for receiving coins and for storing the coins in a manner such that the theft of the coins by merely inverting the game apparatus is substantially prevented. Further, a paddle mechanism is disclosed for actuating a paddle in response to a mechanical input from a player without the need for electrically-powered sensors, solenoids, or motors. Moreover, the game apparatus is disclosed as being supported by a novel support system which enhances the stability of the table apparatus and may be conveniently assembled and disassembled.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 1997
    Date of Patent: May 16, 2000
    Assignee: VSM Marketing, Inc.
    Inventor: Paul Royes Peterson
  • Patent number: 6036189
    Abstract: A game which comprises a plurality of play devices and a panel for prohibiting access of a player to the plurality of play devices. The panel includes at least two optically distinct portions. A first optically distinct portion is substantially transparent for viewing at least one of the play devices and a second optically distinct portion is partially transparent for viewing at least another of the plurality of the play devices and partially reflective for reflecting a virtual image to be viewed by the player. The second optically distinct portion having a higher reflectivity than the first optically distinct portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 14, 1999
    Date of Patent: March 14, 2000
    Assignee: Williams Electronics Games, Inc.
    Inventors: George A. Gomez, Patrick M. Lawlor, Thomas W. Uban
  • Patent number: 6036188
    Abstract: An amusement game which comprises a playfield having a game piece and a plurality of play features, and an apparatus for projecting a changeable virtual image in association with the playfield.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 19, 1998
    Date of Patent: March 14, 2000
    Assignee: Williams Electronic Games, Inc.
    Inventors: George A. Gomez, Patrick Lawlor, Thomas W. Uban
  • Patent number: 6010130
    Abstract: A vertical marble game includes marbles; an upright marble track having plural elongate, vertical slots therein, at least one diverter associated with each vertical slot, wherein each diverter is shiftable about an axis, and wherein a marble, released at the upper end of a vertical slot is operable to shift one or more of the diverters, thereby diverting the marble from the first mentioned vertical slot to an adjacent vertical slot; and a catchment tray located at the lower end of the marble track having plural, horizontal slots, equal in number to those of the vertical track, wherein each horizontal slot is sized to receive a predetermined number of marbles therein.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 5, 1998
    Date of Patent: January 4, 2000
    Assignee: Uncle Skunkle Toys, Inc.
    Inventor: J. David Schreiber
  • Patent number: 6000696
    Abstract: A game machine enabled to make various responses by adding the psychosomatic state and emotion of the player as one of conditions for determining the responding manner. The psychosomatic state of the player is grasped to change the responses in accordance with the psychological state of the player by making use of both a chaos attractor obtained by numerically processing the information sampled from the player and the index indicating the degree how the chaos attractor matches the defining condition of the chaos.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 15, 1998
    Date of Patent: December 14, 1999
    Assignee: Semiconductor Energy Laboratory Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Shunpei Yamazaki, Akiharu Miyanaga, Toshiji Hamatani
  • Patent number: 6000697
    Abstract: A pinball game comprises a cabinet, an inclined playfield, and a video display. The inclined playfield supports a rolling ball and a plurality of play features thereon. The cabinet includes a pair of opposing side walls and a rear wall extending between the opposing side walls. The playfield is housed within the cabinet such that the playfield is partially encompassed by the side walls and rear wall of the cabinet. An upper portion of the rear cabinet wall extends above a level of a rear portion of the playfield. The video display is mounted to this upper portion of the rear cabinet wall and is located in close proximity to the rear portion of the playfield. By mounting the display to the rear cabinet wall in close proximity to the playfield, the display can be easily viewed by a player during game play and, yet, allows the playfield to be easily serviced for maintenance and troubleshooting purposes without interference from the display.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 19, 1998
    Date of Patent: December 14, 1999
    Assignee: Williams Electronics Games, Inc.
    Inventors: John A Popadiuk, John W. Skalon
  • Patent number: 5992848
    Abstract: A pinball machine having a vertically displaceable ramp play feature. The ramp moves between an upper position in which it does not interfere with gameplay, and a lower position in which the lower edge of the ramp rests on the playfield. When the ramp is in the lower position, balls can be directed up the ramp towards a suitable target, such as a raised playfield.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 12, 1998
    Date of Patent: November 30, 1999
    Assignee: Williams Electronics Games, Inc.
    Inventors: John Krutsch, Patrick Lawlor
  • Patent number: 5988636
    Abstract: A new multi-game table top system for providing a table top which converts into a multi-game recreational area allowing multiple people to utilize said table top for recreational purposes such as golf, soccer, or hockey, and thereafter reverting to the table top's original purpose. The inventive device includes a reticulated table top, a golf transparent board, a soccer transparent board, and a hockey transparent board where said boards are removably securable to the upper surface of the reticulated table top by a plurality of securing magnets around the edges. The reticulated table top is constructed from steel coated with a permanently bonded plastisol coating approximately one-quarter of an inch.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 5, 1998
    Date of Patent: November 23, 1999
    Inventor: James A Kilmer
  • Patent number: 5988637
    Abstract: In a machine to dispense balls (spherical or near-spherical objects such as gumballs) wherein means is provided to play a game with one of the balls before it is dispensed, a temporary holding chamber is provided for a ball by two blades of a paddle-wheel-like wheel which coact with stationary surrounding side members. A latch engages a wheel portion to prevent the wheel's rotation except in response to the actuation of a target by a rolling ball in play on a playfield. By providing such a chamber in this manner, unwanted release of a ball in response to even extreme tilting or shaking of the machine is prevented because the apparatus can easily be made so that no amount of shaking or tilting will change the characteristics of the chamber to make it possible for a ball to exit the chamber except in response to actuation of the latch.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 23, 1999
    Inventor: Lyle G. Dickerson
  • Patent number: 5967514
    Abstract: An arcade game including a progressive bonus apparatus connected to a plurality of individual game units. The progressive bonus apparatus receives score contributions from each game unit to increase a progressive score. When players achieve a predetermined task on a game unit, they receive a non-monetary award based on the progressive score. Each game unit connected to the progressive bonus apparatus may take the form of an arcade-type game with a rotating wheel on which to base scoring. A playing piece is directed down a playing surface towards a target end, and the wheel is rotated according to the target that was hit by the playing piece. The position of the wheel when it stops rotating affects the score. A non-monetary award based on the score is dispensed to the player when the game is completed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 1997
    Date of Patent: October 19, 1999
    Assignee: RLT Acquisitions, Inc.
    Inventors: Bryan M. Kelly, Norman B. Petermeier, Matthew F. Kelly, J. Richard Oltmann
  • Patent number: 5938195
    Abstract: A serpentine ramp is rotatable about a horizontal axis between its center and its upper end to lift a pinball from a lower play surface to an upper play surface. A ball is directed from the lower surface into a ball receiving portion in the lower end of the ramp. This closes an optical switch causing the ramp to rotate between a receiving position and a discharge position. A ball disposed in the receiving portion rolls on the ramp to its upper end and then onto the upper surface. A second optical switch is closed by the return of the ramp to the receiving position which terminates the operation of the device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 8, 1993
    Date of Patent: August 17, 1999
    Assignee: Williams Electronics Games Inc.
    Inventors: Python Anghelo, Raymond Czajaka, Dan K. P. Lee
  • Patent number: 5845903
    Abstract: A game of chance based on random distribution of game pieces utilizes a plurality of spheres or discs, which may be generally the size of marbles or checkers, visually divided into two types, such as by two different colors. The game pieces are used in particular to play a bingo-type game. The pieces are contained between two parallel planes spaced apart slightly wider than a game piece, with at least a part of the front plane being transparent. The space between the two planes is circumscribed by a rotatable ring, defining a chamber within which the game pieces remain. With the parallel planes vertical or at least tilted, the lower portion of the chamber is used to randomly mix the game pieces, while at an upper end of the chamber there is located a holding section or display matrix within which the game pieces are all ultimately stored in parallel columns.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 18, 1996
    Date of Patent: December 8, 1998
    Inventor: Randy Sloan
  • Patent number: 5839724
    Abstract: Portable target game apparatus positionable on a pool table or other support includes an inclined board having target holes for receiving balls rolled onto the board. Straight side walls and a straight back wall are attached to the board and extend upwardly from the board. Connector walls are diagonally disposed relative to the back and side walls and interconnect the back and side walls. Resilient material is connected with the back wall, the side walls and the connector walls to redirect movement of balls on the ball support surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 20, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 24, 1998
    Inventor: Felix Juan Bunac, Jr.
  • Patent number: 5833235
    Abstract: A pinball machine comprises a position controller and a movable feature on the pinball machine. The position controller comprises a servomotor connected in operative relation to a shaft. The movable features connect to the shaft and are movable between several positions by the shaft. Circuitry is provided to produce a signal to command movement of the feature to one of the positions in a manner responsive to an event taking place in the pinball machine. Electronic circuitry causes the servomotor to move the shaft to a specific position in response to the signal, without the need for mechanical switches. Specifically, a plate-like, movable obscurer for the flippers is disclosed as the movable feature, although other types of movable features are discussed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 6, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 10, 1998
    Assignee: Sega Pinball, Inc.
    Inventors: Paul M. Lesley, Michael D. Toler
  • Patent number: 5827138
    Abstract: A game played on either an indoor/outdoor court. The game includes a bat, a game ball and two sets of balls which are of different colors. The bat has a substantially round drive head with which to bat balls. A game ball is hit up the court. Then one player hits their ball up the court and as close to the game ball as possible. The game continues until all the balls are hit. Then the person or team with the ball(s) closest to the game ball scores a point for each ball that rests closer to the game ball than the closest ball of the opposite side or team.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 25, 1996
    Date of Patent: October 27, 1998
    Inventor: Ramsay M. Barrett
  • Patent number: 5803451
    Abstract: A skill-based game including multiple score indicators is disclosed. The skill-based game preferably involves rolling a playing piece down a playing surface towards targets, and allowing the user to use the targets to manipulate multiple score indicators, so as to use one's skill to obtain a winning combination. In a preferred embodiment, the playing piece is a ball and the multiple score indicators are mechanically rotated dice. Progressive scoring can also be provided. The invention attracts players and retains their interest so that they tend to repeatedly use the game.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 17, 1996
    Date of Patent: September 8, 1998
    Assignee: RLT Acquisition, Inc.
    Inventors: Matthew F. Kelly, Bryan M. Kelly
  • Patent number: 5799938
    Abstract: A game structure for use on a horizontal or substantially horizontal surface, the structure comprising a shaft one or more loop members, the shaft including two support members extending from each end of the shaft for supporting the shaft in a horizontal or substantially horizontal position above the surface; and each loop member occupying a respective plane and being rotatably connected or connectable to the shaft at the loop periphery so that when the loop member is disposed below the shaft and in contact with or in close proximity to said surface, the loop member may rotate about a vertical or substantially vertical axis which extends through the respective plane. Game structure including different combinations of additional components, and games playable on a horizontal or substantially horizontal surface comprised of game structure of this invention in combination with other game components to permit ball rolling games, ring toss games, games which require a suspended net, and combinations thereof.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 12, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 1, 1998
    Inventor: Ronald L. Lewis
  • Patent number: 5785313
    Abstract: A bowling game board having a base board on the top surface of which a lane is formed for rolling a bowl; a bowler's platform provided on one end of the lane of the base board and attached thereon movably in the width direction of the base board; a bowler doll fixed on the top of the bowler's platform and having an arm which rotates under the restitution force of a spring; a locking part provided in the rear of the arm of bowler doll on the bowler's platform for engagingly locking the tip end of the arm and a push button for disengaging the lock of the locking part; a pin stand part provided on the other end side of the base board; a pin controller for causing pins to stand provided above the pin stand part so as to be able to move upward/downward; and a pin collecting case removably attached on the outer end part of the pin stand part.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 25, 1997
    Date of Patent: July 28, 1998
    Assignee: Staff Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Masami Shiraishi
  • Patent number: 5775697
    Abstract: A game consists of a playing board (1) divided into a central section (2) and several playing sections (3), one for each player. The playing sections have a series of marker rings (4), preferentially figures and symbols, as well as colours, and devices to enable each player to make his move by means of counters (17, 18) and which move is hidden from the other players. For this purpose each playing section (3) includes a part (5) which can be raised to give access to a service area (6). This contains spaces (15, 16) for holding the counters balls, and for openings (9, 20, 21) to a central space (8) and adjoining service area (6), respectively, which are used when making the desired moves.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 23, 1997
    Date of Patent: July 7, 1998
    Assignee: Quanto AS
    Inventor: Roger Sten Snarli
  • Patent number: 5775537
    Abstract: A merchandise dispenser for dispensing merchandising prizes which are used in conjunction with coin operated amusement games. It includes a conveyor belt that follows a continuos path of travel within a housing, a control cabinet having an interface device which is connected to a remote coin operated device which offers an award based upon a score, points or achievement, a prize retrieval space contained within the housing, and an access door formed in the front of the housing to retrieve a prize.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 14, 1995
    Date of Patent: July 7, 1998
    Assignee: HIGA Development Corporation
    Inventor: Merton G. Doyle, Jr.
  • Patent number: 5772204
    Abstract: A bowling game is made to be played on any flat, smooth table top. Nine bowling pins are arranged in a pattern on the table top in a 3.times.3 array. A ball is provided having one hemisphere made of lead glued to another hemisphere made of hard wood. The ball is spun toward the array of pins. Scoring is based upon knocking down a particular prescribed pattern of pins and being awarded the number of points corresponding to that pattern and varying between 5 points and 40 points. The first player to earn 100 points wins the game.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 2, 1997
    Date of Patent: June 30, 1998
    Inventor: Inga E. Phelps
  • Patent number: 5769415
    Abstract: A game machine enabled to make various responses by adding the psychosomatic state and emotion of the player as one of conditions for determining the responding manner. The psychosomatic state of the player is grasped to change the responses in accordance with the psychological state of the player by making use of both a chaos attractor obtained by numerically processing the information sampled from the player and the index indicating the degree how the chaos attractor matches the defining condition of the chaos.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 27, 1996
    Date of Patent: June 23, 1998
    Assignee: Semiconductor Energy Laboratory Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Shunpei Yamazaki, Akiharu Miyanaga, Toshiji Hamatani
  • Patent number: 5755438
    Abstract: A game device played with rules similar to a hockey game. Te device contains an inflated transparent sphere containing a plurality of handles, nets between the handles, and a ball on the inside of the sphere. The object is to roll or bounce the ball into the opponent's goal. The game may be played between individuals or teams.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 14, 1997
    Date of Patent: May 26, 1998
    Inventor: Kerry J. Deminski
  • Patent number: 5746669
    Abstract: The present invention provides a game and training device which can be played in a game-like setting to develop skills such as ball handling, passing, and shooting. A primary goal forms a target opening in a generally vertical plane through which a ball may be kicked by the player. In addition, a plurality of intermediate goals are arranged on the playing field in spaced relation to one another. Each intermediate goal defines a respective target opening through which the ball is to be passed as the player advances the ball to the primary goal. Each intermediate goal comprises a pair of base members positioned on laterally spaced apart relation to one another and a hoop member supported by the pair of base members.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 1996
    Date of Patent: May 5, 1998
    Assignee: Michael N. Sinsheimer
    Inventors: Michael N. Sinsheimer, Richard W. Turner, Holger Schleife
  • Patent number: 5743523
    Abstract: An arcade game including a progressive bonus apparatus connected to a plurality of individual game units. The progressive bonus apparatus receives score contributions from each game unit to increase a progressive score. When players achieve a predetermined task on a game unit, they receive a non-monetary award based on the progressive score. Each game unit connected to the progressive bonus apparatus may take the form of an arcade-type game with a rotating wheel on which to base scoring. A playing piece is directed down a playing surface towards a target end, and the wheel is rotated according to the target that was hit by the playing piece. The position of the wheel when it stops rotating affects the score. A non-monetary award based on the score is dispensed to the player when the game is completed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 7, 1996
    Date of Patent: April 28, 1998
    Assignee: RLT Acquisition, Inc.
    Inventors: Bryan M. Kelly, Norman B. Petermeier, Matthew F. Kelly, J. Richard Oltmann
  • Patent number: 5722656
    Abstract: Machine to dispense spherical or near-spherical objects such as gumballs or rubber balls. A reservoir holds the balls and a sloping playfield is provided. After a coin is inserted a ball from the reservoir is dropped onto the playfield. A player can then use flippers to try to hit a target with the ball before the ball falls through one of the holes which the playfield contains. If this happens the ball is dispensed and the player no longer has an opportunity to hit the target. If the player is able to hit the target with the ball that ball is dispensed. At the same time, a second ball is dispensed as a prize.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 4, 1996
    Date of Patent: March 3, 1998
    Inventor: Lyle G. Dickerson
  • Patent number: 5720480
    Abstract: A display panel for a pinball machine utilizes a lightweight plastic housing member with a plurality of apertures therein for retaining light bulbs. A glass lens and film having an image thereon are resiliently retained on the housing member with channel members that extend about the periphery of the lens and housing. The display may be removed and installed as a unitary piece in a pinball game cabinet.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 21, 1996
    Date of Patent: February 24, 1998
    Assignee: Williams Electronics Games, Inc.
    Inventors: Patrick Lawlor, John W. Skalon, John Krutsch
  • Patent number: 5711522
    Abstract: A projectile launching mechanism for use in a table top game such as soccer in which an impeller is mounted on a central core for coaxial movement relative thereto against a spring bias. The central core has a striker thereon operable, in use, to move downwardly when the top of the impeller is engaged to hit a ball attached to the core at a point offset from its vertical center line and launch it radially outwardly from the core. Preferably, the ball (25) is magnetized and attaches itself to a metal attractor ring on the core, but the core can be magnetized and the ball attracted thereto. A ball (6) located in the central core (1) provides mobility for the launching mechanism.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 5, 1996
    Date of Patent: January 27, 1998
    Assignee: Origin Products Limited
    Inventors: Christopher C. Wiggs, Christopher Joseph Crabtree Taylor
  • Patent number: 5704610
    Abstract: A competitive table top type game having a "fenced-in" playing surface with opposed player ends. Each player controls one or more strikers and uses it to cause a play piece such as a ball to hit the opponent's target. When a player's target is hit, a liquid discharge is directed at that player for added play value and enjoyment. For simplicity and economy of construction, that player actuates a mechanical stop to stop the discharge and reset the target. In one form, the actuation of the stop also advances the opponent's's score. Alternatively, any simple score indicating arrangement may be used.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 6, 1997
    Date of Patent: January 6, 1998
    Assignee: Adolph E. Goldfarb
    Inventors: Adolph E. Goldfarb, Martin I. Goldfarb
  • Patent number: 5700008
    Abstract: A game of skill, such as a pinball game is integrated with a game of chance, such as a simulation of a board game. A micro-processor based control system permits play of the game of chance when a player achieves game objectives in the skill game. The game of chance is played using random number selection to determine the "moves" on the simulated board game. The player may continue the game of chance until he wins the game or he may stop at a designated point and return to the game of skill. The game of chance simulation may include a plurality of lights arranged in patterns to simulate board game paths.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 7, 1997
    Date of Patent: December 23, 1997
    Assignee: Williams Electronics Games, Inc.
    Inventors: Patrick Lawlor, Matthew C. Coriale
  • Patent number: 5700007
    Abstract: An arcade game including a progressive bonus apparatus connected to a plurality of individual game units. The progressive bonus apparatus receives score contributions from each game unit to increase a progressive score. When players achieve a predetermined task on a game unit, they receive a non-monetary award based on the progressive score. Each game unit connected to the progressive bonus apparatus may take the form of an arcade-type game with a rotating wheel on which to base scoring. A playing piece is directed down a playing surface towards a target end, and the wheel is rotated according to the target that was hit by the playing piece. The position of the wheel when it stops rotating affects the score. A non-monetary award based on the score is dispensed to the player when the game is completed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 21, 1995
    Date of Patent: December 23, 1997
    Assignee: RLT Acquisition, Inc.
    Inventors: Bryan M. Kelly, Norman B. Petermeier, Matthew F. Kelly, J. Richard Oltmann
  • Patent number: 5664777
    Abstract: A play feature for a pinball game permits the storage of a number of game balls and release of the balls at high speed and in quick succession back onto the playfield for multiple ball play. A rotor element having a plurality of vertical vanes is disposed within a circular housing having a conical lip. The base and vanes of the rotor, together with the conical lip, define receptacles for receiving game balls. When a predetermined rotor speed is reached, the balls travel upwards on the conical lip and outward against an outer wall of the housing. The stored balls are conveyed successively to a discharge channel where they return to the play field at high speed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 29, 1995
    Date of Patent: September 9, 1997
    Assignee: Williams Electronics Games, Inc.
    Inventors: Dennis P. Nordman, Winston H. Schilling, Edward F. Hicks
  • Patent number: 5651546
    Abstract: A rolling ball game is provided with a token dispenser which dispenses game tokens by rolling them onto the inclined cover glass of the game cabinet. The dispenser is provided with controls to permit interaction of the dispenser with the game housed within the cabinet. Thus, dispensing may occur during game play as a function of player skill when appropriate events occur on the game playfield. Tokens provide a basis for players to defer game rewards, such as bonus points or special game features until another game.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 14, 1996
    Date of Patent: July 29, 1997
    Assignee: Williams Electronics Games, Inc.
    Inventors: Patrick Lawlor, Matthew C. Coriale
  • Patent number: 5647595
    Abstract: An apparatus for playing marbles including a first layer of foam material having an upturned perimeter for retaining marbles therewithin and a second layer of foam material affixed to an upper surface of the first layer and within the upturned perimeter. The first layer has a lip affixed thereto inwardly of perimeter and beyond an edge of the second layer. The lip extends transversely outwardly from the upper surface of the first layer. The lip is formed of a strip of foam material adhesively affixed to the upper surface of the first layer. The first layer is formable between a flat configuration and a bowl-shaped configuration. The first layer has a generally rectangular configuration with inwardly radiused corners when in the flat configuration. A hook-and-loop fastener is affixed to each of the radiused corners for forming the first layer into a bowl-shaped configuration.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 1, 1996
    Date of Patent: July 15, 1997
    Inventor: David F. Knickerbocker
  • Patent number: 5639087
    Abstract: A rolling game machine includes: a rolling unit by way of which the player rolls a rollable object in a desired direction; an interference member movable in a direction intersecting the inertial direction of the rolling object; an opposite detector arranged opposite the rolling unit for detecting a rollable object which has been rolled across the interference member; an end detector arranged near a forward end of the interference member for detecting a rollable object which has fallen and moved by the interference member; a rating device which assigns a rate to a rollable object which has completed its rolling on the basis of detection of the first and second detectors; and a ticket issuing device which issues a ticket corresponding to an assigned rate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 29, 1995
    Date of Patent: June 17, 1997
    Assignee: Konami Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Akihisa Ogawa, Takashi Hamano
  • Patent number: 5632482
    Abstract: The invention comprises a multilevel, vertically oriented pinball game arranged in a cabinet that occupies a minimum of floor space. Because the smaller game cabinet limits the depth of the playfield, a single horizontal playfield would not provide the play or challenge of a standard game. To overcome this drawback, the pinball game of the invention includes a plurality of vertically displaced playfields. The playfields are arranged such that the player plays vertically between the playfields as well as playing horizontally on the individual playfields. Each playfield includes a number of play features such that even though the game is contained in a smaller cabinet it will provide a typical number of play features. At least one player controlled flipper is provided on each playfield to allow the player to control the ball when on that level. A wide variety of ramps or other ball transfer devices can be used to convey the ball between the playfields.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 25, 1995
    Date of Patent: May 27, 1997
    Assignee: Williams Electronics Games, Inc.
    Inventor: Python Anghelo
  • Patent number: 5620181
    Abstract: A signaling device for an amusement game including a playfield having a plurality of triggering devices disposed thereon electrically linked to a microprocessor. A plurality of light sources are mounted behind the playfield which are capable of being activated either singularly or in combination by the microprocessor to produce a predetermined color of light. An optical receptor is disposed on the playfield and is optically connected to the plurality of light sources through an optical lead whereby the optical receptor will become illuminated in the color generated by the plurality of light sources. The color generated by the light sources and, therefore, the color in which the optical receptor will illuminate may be changed to either signal a successful activation of a specified triggering device or signal which triggering device should next be activated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 23, 1995
    Date of Patent: April 15, 1997
    Assignee: Capcom Coin-Op, Inc.
    Inventor: Bryan P. Hansen
  • Patent number: 5607155
    Abstract: This invention comprises a games apparatus on which a game involving strength, skill and agility is playable by two or more opposing players who, in playing the game, must struggle against one another as they attempt to score points by directing a playing piece on a playing field into a designated scoring zone or zones.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 16, 1995
    Date of Patent: March 4, 1997
    Inventor: Neil D. Campbell
  • Patent number: 5560602
    Abstract: A pinball machine cabinet is provided comprising a playfield box and a back box attached thereto. The back box contains electronic driving circuitry and includes a speaker panel attached thereto, the speaker panel being movable between an open position and a closed position for allowing access to the electronic driving circuitry. A hinge is provided to connect the speaker panel to the back box and a clasp is associated with speaker panel for maintaining the speaker panel in the closed position. A pair of stereo speakers and a display unit are mounted to the speaker panel. A pair of speaker cabinets may be disposed within the back box into which are disposed the pair of stereo speakers when the speaker panel is disposed in the closed position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 23, 1995
    Date of Patent: October 1, 1996
    Assignee: Capcom Coin-Op, Inc.
    Inventors: Charles F. Johnson, Manolo R. DeLa Torriente
  • Patent number: 5560601
    Abstract: A game machine enabled to make various responses by adding the psychosomatic state and emotion of the player as one of conditions for determining the responding manner. The psychosomatic state of the player is grasped to change the responses in accordance with the psychological state of the player by making use of both a chaos attractor obtained by numerically processing the information sampled from the player and the index indicating the degree how the chaos attractor matches the defining condition of the chaos.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 12, 1994
    Date of Patent: October 1, 1996
    Assignee: Semiconductor Energy Laboratory Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Shupei Yamazaki, Akiharu Miyanaga, Toshiji Hamatani
  • Patent number: 5558373
    Abstract: A pinball machine comprises a position controller and a movable feature on the pinball machine. The position controller comprises a servomotor connected in operative relation to a shaft. The movable features connect to the shaft and are movable between several positions by the shaft. Circuitry is provided to produce a signal to command movement of the feature to one of the positions in a manner responsive to an event taking place in the pinball machine. Electronic circuitry causes the servomotor to move the shaft to a specific position in response to the signal, without the need for mechanical switches. Specifically, a plate-like, movable obscurer for the flippers is disclosed as the movable feature, although other types of movable features are discussed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 14, 1994
    Date of Patent: September 24, 1996
    Assignee: Sega Pinball, Inc.
    Inventors: Paul M. Lesley, Michael D. Toler
  • Patent number: 5549295
    Abstract: A multi-level rotatable concentric ring marble game that includes a circular base, a circular upper peripheral cylinder, a lower peripheral cylinder, a cylindrical collector, and a plurality of concentric rotatable circular rings. The circular base contains a base central opening and has a base perimeter, a base flat bottom, and a base sloping top that slopes from the base perimeter towards the base central opening. The circular upper peripheral cylinder contains a plurality of upper peripheral cylinder openings and is disposed on the base sloping top at the base perimeter. The circular lower peripheral cylinder is disposed on the base flat bottom at the base perimeter. The cylindrical collector is rotatably mounted in the base central opening.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 15, 1995
    Date of Patent: August 27, 1996
    Inventor: Michael W. Goldring
  • Patent number: 5544880
    Abstract: A pinball machine comprises a playfield, a shooter for propelling balls on the playfield, and a figure having at least one movable limb. The limb is movable between a first position where the limb is capable of receiving and holding a ball, and a second position where the ball is propelled from the limb onto the playfield. A motor/solenoid and shaft are provided for moving the limb between the first and second positions to propel the ball from the limb, and then to retract the limb back to the first position. A ball delivery trough is positioned to deliver balls to the limb in the first position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 13, 1995
    Date of Patent: August 13, 1996
    Assignee: Sega Pinball, Inc.
    Inventor: John D. Borg
  • Patent number: 5536007
    Abstract: A cat game (10) includes a rigid enclosed frame (16) having bottom and top edges (18, 20) and interior and exterior sides (22, 24), with the interior side defining an interior space (46). Rigid parallel flat bottom and top walls (38, 40) are attached at the interior side respectively adjacent the bottom and top edges of the frame for permanently enclosing the interior space. The flat top wall has nine holes (48a-i) therein and a spherical ball (14) is placed in the interior space through one of the holes. A distance between the flat top and bottom walls is substantially uniform and not greater than twice a diameter of the spherical ball and substantially all of the top holes have minimum dimensions that are greater than the diameter of the ball but less than 1.5 times the diameter of the ball. Most of the top holes are spaced a substantial distance from the frame.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 1994
    Date of Patent: July 16, 1996
    Inventor: Kirsten R. Snyder