The third game from American Pinball, Hot Wheels engrosses players in a thrilling journey through the streets of Hot Wheels City. The evil Draven and his army of Creatures are causing havoc, and it’s up to you to restore order with the aid of epic vehicles!
This rulesheet is a wiki; feel free to contribute!
A tour of the playfield, starting from the left flipper and working our way around clockwise:
Left flipper: Standard.
Left slingshot: Standard.
Left inlane: Fed from either the right ramp or Build Track scoop. Lights “P” in “EPIC”.
Left outlane: Lights “E” in “EPIC”. Can be lit for Pit Stop Ball Save.
Pit Stop standup: Located in a similar position above the left outlane to the Last Call standup on Oktoberfest. Lights the Pit Stop ball save when hit enough times
BATTLE stand-up tagets: Six targets in a slight outward-facing curve. Complete all lights to qualify a Battle mode start.
Left orbit/ramp: Has a spinner at the entrance. Hard shots feed the ball to the right flipper via a plastic ramp; weak shots go into the pop bumpers or the skill shot lane (which subsequently feeds to the right inlane. Can be lit for 12th place, 6th place or the checkered flag.
Car target: The first of 4 standups, located between the left orbit and left inner orbit. Adds cars to your collection in main play (more on that later), and also helps qualify add-a-balls during a multiball.
Left inner loop: Hard shots loop around to the right orbit/spinner; weak shots go into the pop bumpers. Can be lit for 11th, 5th or 2nd place.
Car target: The second of the 4 stand ups, between the left inner loop and the “Build Track” lane.
Build Track lane: A lane with a drop target guarding a VUK saucer, which delivers balls to the left inlane. Shoot to build tracks, cash in virtual ball locks for Track Multiball, earn Extra Balls, and collect super jackpots. Players can start the first two Battle modes can be started from this scoop.
RPM standups: Three standups that spell “RPM” and are stacked, meaning that that the “P” is positioned slightly farther back than the “R”, and the “M” is farther back than the “P”. Hitting and completing the RPM standups increase the Tachometer value.
Loop magnet: Found above the pop bumper area. Holds balls for different features, including Loop Crash Multiball. Balls drop into the pop bumper area through the one-way gate below the magnet after release.
Pop bumpers: Three bumpers in a triangular array layout. Players can shoot the opening just to the right of the RPM stand-up targets. Weaker shooting lane, inner loop, or orbit shots also feed the pops, along with outer loop magnet releases. Balls sometimes eject out the right inner loop, although typically they exit the pop area through the opening at the bottom. Players must pay attention as some lower pop area exits may drain SDTM without nudging.
Car target: The third of the four stand-ups, found in the pop bumper area.
Advance Bonus X target: Found near the pop bumper exit, qualified by hitting all four car targets
Turbo kicker: This shot kicks the ball back to the left flipper at high speed. The shot can be lit for Boost Scoring, jackpots, or a Special.
Right ramp: Hard shots travel the orange ramp length to feed left inlane; weaker shots drop into the bumpers through a cutout at the top of the orange ramp. The shot can be lit for 10th, 8th or 3rd place.
Right orbit: Has a spinner at the entrance. Hard shots send balls screaming around to the left inner loop, while weak shots will fall into the pop bumpers. Can be lit for 9th, 7th or 4th place.
Right saucer: Guarded by a drop target. Holds balls before feeding them to the right inlane. Can be lit for Battle modes, locks, or Mystery awards.
Epic stand-ups: A pair of stand-up targets that start (top) and complete (bottom) qualified Epic feature modes.
Skill shot lane: Three rollovers at varying lengths apart from each other numbered 1, 2 and 3. Balls exit the skill shot lane via a drop past a one-way gate into the right inlane.
Right outlane: Lights “C” in “EPIC”.
Right inlane: Lights “I” in “EPIC”.
Right slingshot: Standard.
Right flipper: Standard.
Tach Value Increase
At the start of each ball, players can do a soft plunge over the “1”, “2”, and “3” zone rollover switches without falling through the one-way gate into the pops, similar to the plunge skill shot on Twilight Zone. Each successive rollover switch passed adds a wedge to the RPM value.
Super Skill Shot
After a successful soft plunge, the left orbit will light with a yellow arrow for a super skill shot. The shot will also award 12th place toward the Victory Lap Multiball mode and capture the ball on the orbit magnet if the player has not started the race yet. Hitting switches, pop bumpers, slings, or taking too long to hit the left orbit will cause the super skill shot to clear.
Skill Shot Point Multiplier
Players can increase a ball launch point multiplier by holding the left flipper button to “rev the engine” on the tach display. Exceeding the max on the tach inserts “blows the engine” and prevents any further engine revs for that ball launch. If some of the tach wedges are lit prior to the ball launch, the minimum rev point is raised, shortening the time before the engine is blown.
The goal is to time a plunger release when the tach display reaches “10” without going over. A wedge of the tach will freeze for a few seconds to indicate the tach value reached when the ball launched. The indicated tach number determines the multiplier applied to the ball launch point value. If the ball launch does not successfully pass through the one-way switch, it is possible for the player to quickly recover and settle the ball and relaunch, and still collect the rev bonus.
Last Chance Skill Shot
If the ball launch completes the full orbit to the left flipper, the last chance skill shot is lit on the kickback shot, equivalent to hitting the “3” rollover switch.
Players can earn extra balls from any of the following:
- Reaching score requirement (instant)
- Collect two Hero Cars
- Collect a total of forty cars
- Random Collector Case Reward
Players must hit the left saucer to collect extra balls, unless marked as an “instant” award above. There is a default limit of four extra balls per player.
Tachometer and Gears
In the center of the playfield above the flippers is the tachometer (tach) gauge, and a small display in the upper right of the screen with a numerical tach value. While it is not explicitly noted for each section below, the tach value works as a multiplier for almost all scoring in the game. Maintaining a high tach value is vital to reaching higher scores.
The tach value decreases over time while the ball is in play, dropping faster at higher gear levels. Making shots provides a small tach value increase. Hitting flashing RPM targets provides a bigger increase and briefly pauses the RPM value decrease. Draining the ball subtracts 3 wedges from the tach display.
As an additional visual indicator, the center car toy starts spinning slowly when the tach reaches 5 (?), medium speed at 7 (?) and high speed at 8 (?). The GI lights also shift to yellow and red as the RPMs approach maximum value, while reaching the maximum value automatically starts the Red Line Mania feature.
In the center of the playfield tach display is the round gear insert. Gear determines the minimum tach value and end-of-ball total bonus multiplier, with the current gear indicated by the color of the tach wedges and gear playfield insert lights as follows:
- 1st gear (White) - x1 bonus and tach multiplier
- 2nd gear (Green) - x2 bonus and tach multiplier
- 3rd gear (Yellow) - x3 bonus and tach multiplier
- 4th gear (Orange) - x4 bonus and tach multiplier
- 5th gear (Red) - x5 bonus and tach multiplier
The current gear is also represented on the right side of the display by the gear shift icon below the tach icon. Players can only increase the gear value by completing Red Line Mania modes up to the maximum 5th gear.
Players collect cars by hitting any of the 4 car stand-up targets on the playfield: One on the right of the pops area, two on either side of the left orbit entrance, and one between the kickback and right ramp entrance. Each target hit collects 1 car, with over 450 Hot Wheels cars in the game.
Collecting cars enables Car Chaos multiball, earns an extra ball, and qualifies Collector Case Rewards. There is also an end-of-ball bonus based on the number of collected cars during that ball.
Collector Case Rewards
Collector Case Rewards are the mystery awards for the game. Players qualify the Case Reward by collecting enough cars to fill a case; hitting any of the 4 car stand-up targets collects one car. The display’s car icon indicates the number of car collects remaining to qualify the Case Reward.
The Collector Case Reward options include:
- Start battle mode
- Increase tach value (+2 wedges)
- Hold bonus multiplier
- +1 bonus X multiplier
- 10 million points
- Light turbo
- Light extra ball
- (If Victory Lap Multiball race started) Advance three race positions
- (If qualified) Start Car Chaos Multiball
- Shots are colored yellow
- Hitting all of the four car targets qualifies Treasure Hunt jackpots.
- Hitting each car target again collects a Treasure Hunt jackpot once per target
- Blinking inserts indicate an available jackpot
- Collecting all four jackpots awards a specially marked car into the collection
- Draining ends the mode
- Multiple treasure hunts? Require additional car target hits per cycle, indicated by color change cycles ending in yellow?
There are a total of five hero cars to collect, based on famous and iconic collectable Hot Wheels car casts. Collection progress is noted by the playfield inserts above the tach on the playfield. Players collect hero cars by achieving the following goals:
- Twin Mill - Complete Car Chaos
- Roger Dodger - Complete the Draven battle mode
- Sharkruiser - Complete Victory Lap, Loop Crash, and Track Builder Unlimited multiballs
- Bone Shaker - Complete the Ultimate Epic
- Rip Rod - Complete Red Line Mania once
Collecting two Hero Cars lights an extra ball on the left saucer shot.
Red Line Mania
Red Line Mania is a timed mini-wizard mode that automatically starts when the tach value is maxed (Turbo boost does not count). At the start of the mode, other running modes and progress are paused and saved, the playfield is disabled draining all balls in play, and all of the playfield lights turn red leading into a mode start animation.
Once the playfield clears and the animation finishes, a 45 second mode timer starts as the game individually auto-launches four balls into play. The mode has unlimited ball saves and automatic ball launches.
The left orbit, left loop, left saucer, kickback, right ramp, right orbit, and right saucer are lit with red arrows. Hitting a shot clears the light and collects a jackpot. Completing all shots awards a super jackpot and restarts the cycle.
The tach gauge will begin to blink, flashing faster as the mode timer runs down, and eventually counting down from the “10” wedge for the last 10 seconds of the mode timer. Once the timer runs out, Red Line Mania ends, the playfield is disabled again and all balls are cleared. There is no grace period for jackpot shots after the timer runs out.
The gear level increases by one up to the max of 5th gear, the tach is reset to the lowest wedge, and the player earns the “Rip Rod” hero car if not already awarded. The player can then launch a ball back into play and resume the modes paused prior to starting Red Line Mania.
Turbo boost is qualified via pop bumper hits, the upper engine turbine icon displays the number of pop bumper hits remaining before the feature insert is lit on the kickback shot. Draining will clear a lit turbo light requiring requalification, although pop bumper hits carry over between balls. Hitting the kickback with turbo boost lit enables a 10x playfield multiplier for 15 seconds indicated by the tach inserts flashing and puts a ring of fire on the display tach display. Only one boost activation is allowed per gear.
If the boost is activated outside of a mode, or no major booted shots/uses are available, shooting the left scoop will bank a higher track builder multiball jackpot increase as a fallback strategy.
The end-of-ball bonus X target next to the pop bumper exit activates after hitting all four car targets. The target awards +1 bonus X when lit.
There are a total of 4 main multiball modes: Victory Lap, Loop Crash, Track Builder Unlimited, and Car Chaos. All four multiball modes stack with Battle and Epic modes, and players can stack the Loop Crash and Victory Lap multiballs by qualifying both modes before hitting the left orbit. Draining down to a single ball with no ball save timer or down the left outline without the Pit Stop save ends all active multiball modes.
Any multiball modes that allow tach value increases still permit Red Line Mania starts. If RLM starts during a multiball, all of the current balls are drained, and the multiball mode resumes after completing RLM.
Race/Victory Lap Multiball
At the beginning of the game, the “12th place” insert flashes on the left orbit. After hitting the left orbit, the ball stops on the loop magnet, a race start animation plays, and the ball drops into the pop bumper area.
Players need to shoot the next progressive place blinking insert shots to advance in race position, finishing with the checkered flag on the left orbit as follows:
- 12th Place/Start - Left Ramp
- 11th Place - Left Loop
- 10th Place - Right Ramp
- 9th Place - Right Orbit
- 8th Place - Right Ramp
- 7th Place - Right Orbit
- 6th Place - Left Ramp
- 5th Place - Left Loop
- 4th Place - Right Orbit
- 3rd Place - Right Ramp
- 2nd Place - Left Loop
- Checkered Flag - Left Ramp
Victory lap shots are available during most modes, with some exceptions like Red Line Mania. The background music outside of other modes dynamically changes as a player progresses through the race positions.
Collecting the checkered flag by hitting the left orbit will catch the ball on the loop magnet and finish the race. The player’s score and race completion time display on the screen before Victory Lap Multiball begins.
Victory Lap Multiball is a 4 ball mode. The left ramp, left orbit, right ramp, and right orbits are lit as progressive jackpots. Collecting jackpots increase the multiplier noted on the display, with the super jackpot multiplier based on the jackpot shot progress. Collecting the super jackpot from the kickback shot resets all of the jackpot values.
Loop Crash Multiball
The inner left loop and right orbit are alternately lit red to progress towards loop crash multiball. The player must hit 6 lit loop shots to qualify the multiball mode, growing to a maximum of 12 loops. The display icon showing a track loop indicates the number of shots required to qualify the mode. Once qualified, the left orbit will light to start Loop Crash Multiball.
The player is given a 15 second ball save, and the left loop and right orbit arrows are lit red. Hitting the left orbit, right orbit, or a pop bumper awards a crash. Collecting 10 crashes will light the left orbit with a green arrow to setup a super jackpot. The super requires shooting the left orbit to catch the ball on the loop magnet, and collected by knocking the ball off of the magnet with another left orbit shot before the ball is released from the magnet. Additional super jackpot qualifications require increasing numbers of crashes.
Track Builder Unlimited Multiball
Players must hit the Track Builder drop target or the scoop 4 times to start Track Builder Unlimited multiball. The display icon on the left with two connecting track pieces shows a number indicating the number of left scoop or left drop target hits remaining to qualify this multiball mode. Each hit builds the base multiball jackpot value.
Once qualified, the lock insert for the left scoop will light up green; hitting the scoop starts a two ball multiball. At the start of the multiball mode, the player is given a 15 second ball save and the right scoop is lit for 15 seconds. Hitting the right scoop before this time runs out will add a ball and double the base jackpot values.
Orbits and loops are lit with light blue arrows that award jackpots. Collecting enough jackpots lights the left saucer for a super jackpot. The ball is held in the left saucer for a few seconds after collecting a super jackpot, enabling a mega jackpot on the right kickback shot. The mega jackpot is cleared when collected, or when too much time has passed and the ball is kicked out of the left saucer.
Car Chaos Multiball
Players qualify Car Chaos Multiball after collecting 40 cars by hitting the various car standup targets. Car Chaos Multiball starts via a Collector Case Reward on the right scoop.
The car targets will flash in yellow to start the mode. Hitting any of the car targets enables jackpot shots, indicated by flashing yellow arrows.
(Full details needed)
Enabled in this order:
Completing Car Chaos awards the Twin Mill hero car.
There are four main battle modes (Gorilla, T-Rex, Cobra, Triceratops) and a fifth mini-wizard mode to battle Draven. Mode selection and progression is located to the upper left of the tach meter.
Qualify battle modes by completing all of the BATTLE targets. The left and right orbit spinners will cycle all of the BATTLE lights to the left or right, respectively. Hitting the right saucers’ clock tower drop target or any BATTLE target spots one BATTLE letter for the first mode qualification. Subsequent mode qualifications require hitting unlit BATTLE targets, and the clock tower drop target availability is reduced.
Once qualified, there is a call-out of Draven taunting the player to battle, along with the BATTLE letter inserts changing color to reflect the selected Battle:
- Gorilla - Blue
- T-Rex - Red
- Cobra - Green
- Triceratops - Yellow
Players can cycle through the incomplete Battle modes by hitting the battle targets or either spinner, with each BATTLE target hit or spin rotating one mode on the playfield lights.
Players start the lit Battle mode by shooting the right saucer, or the left saucer for the first two battle modes. All multiball and Epic modes stack with Battle modes.
In a battle, mode progress is shown on the top of the display as a green health bar that decreases as players complete objectives. A fuel gauge to the right of the bar acts as a 90 second mode timer. Players can add more fuel/time by relighting BATTLE targets, with a significant fuel bonus for relighting all of the BATTLE targets.
Completing the the Battle mode before fuel runs out awards a “fuel bonus” based on the remaining fuel. Draining the ball or running out of fuel ends and completes the current battle mode without any fuel or completion bonuses.
Mode shots are always indicated with purple, regardless of the color of the specific mode started. Battle modes start and complete with saucer shots with the left saucer only active for the first two attempted battle modes.
- Wave 1 & 2 - The left ramp and right orbit shots are lit. Collect 20 spins from either spinner to light the right ramp. Shooting the right ramp collects the shot value, clears the right ramp light, and moves to the next wave.
- Wave 3 - Collect 20 (?) spins from either spinner to light the saucers to finish the mode.
Note: Collecting additional spins builds the point value for the wave completion shot (value limit?).
All three lower car targets are lit purple. Hit all three car targets to clear the lights to light the left and right ramps. Hitting both ramps lights the saucers to finish the mode.
The turbo kickback, right ramp, and right orbit are lit. Completing all three shots lights the saucers to finish the mode.
The left orbit, left inner loop, right ramp, and right orbit are lit. Hitting a lit shot captures a cobra, awarding points and clearing the shot. A cobra escapes every thirty seconds, causing a cleared shot to relight. Clearing all cobra shots lights saucers to finish the mode.
Shown as the question mark battle mode, this is the BATTLE mini-wizard mode. This Battle mode is available after completing the Gorilla, T-Rex, Cobra, and Triceratops battle modes; qualified and started through the same BATTLE light and right saucer start process. The Battle lights for Draven are lit in white.
When the mode starts, players must hit the right Clock Tower drop target. Next, the BATTLE target inserts will light up in white, and the player must hit each of the BATTLE targets to clear the light.
(Final steps needed)
Completing this mode awards the “Rodger Dodger” hero car.
There are a total of four main Epic features (Cars, Ramps, Pops, and Loops) located to the upper right of the tach, with a central “?” for a final Ultimate Epic mini-wizard mode. Players qualify an Epic feature by hitting the rollover switches located in the inlanes and outlines to light all four of the E-P-I-C inserts. Pushing the left flipper button cycles the “E” and “P” lights, while the right flipper cycles the “I” and “C” lights.
The right side of the display contains an Epic icon mirroring the lane lights showing the letter collect status. When the player lights all four E-P-I-C lights, the “EPIC start” stand-up, an incomplete Epic feature is lit in dark blue on the playfield, and the four E-P-I-C inserts are cleared. Hitting the left or right spinner will cycle through the set of incomplete features.
Players can repeat collecting the set of E-P-I-C lights to qualify additional incomplete Epic features. Hitting the “EPIC start” stand-up begins the Epic mode for all of the lit features.
Note: Table settings allow both EPIC targets to function as Start and Collect targets.
Once the Epic mode starts, the player needs to hit the following number of shots to complete the mode based on the lit features, indicated by flashing light blue inserts:
- Cars: 8
- Loops: 5
- Pops: 20
- Ramps: 5
The display icon indicates the number of remaining shots of each feature required to light the “EPIC collect” target. Epic feature shot inserts also stop flashing but remain lit light blue to indicate completion.
If more than one feature was lit before starting the Epic mode, all feature shot counts require completion to activate the “EPIC Collect” stand-up. Continuing to hit lit feature shots beyond the required amount increases the mode completion bonus point total. Hitting the “EPIC Collect” stand-up ends the mode, awarding the bonus and the modes. Light blue playfield inserts indicate completed Epic features.
Draining ends the Epic mode unsuccessfully, clears all qualified/active Epic features, and forfeits the accrued bonus. Losing a sufficiently large bonus will cause an “EPIC fail” taunt screen showing the lost potential bonus amount and only awards a small portion of the full amount.
After completing all four of the main Epic features, the Ultimate Epic feature is available, and requires qualification and start/collect like the previous Epic features. The Ultimate Epic requires hitting 40 playfield (?) shots. Successfully completing the Ultimate Epic grants the “Bone Shaker” hero car.
Final wizard mode, available after collecting all five hero cars.
Additional balls are added automatically, until all six are in play.
(Legend MB rules?)