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The Bearclaw was developed by laying in as many straight shots from the flippers as possible. The magnets were originally cups like the two center shots. However, having a wall of shots blocked the flow of the ball, so the cups were pulled and the magnets installed. The way the magnets randomized ball return, kept ball speed up, and once the ball is caught create a new playfield element, radically changed the board for the better. The board is fast and fun. Scoring on the board is divided into the different kinds of shots. Having a scoring section for each kind of shot (magnets, center, and long), forces the competitors to play the whole board and not rely on exploiting one shot to win. I later realized that the orbit on Bearclaw is too low on the play field for the flippers to hit it forcefully. Which is why the small orbit magnets were designated “Choose Two” of any one category. I felt like I was really on to something with Bearclaw, and I wanted to push this way of designing further. I saw areas of the board that could be improved and started on the next design.

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