New slots tap movies, TV, music themes
BY JOHN GROCHOWSKI For Sun-Times Media
We live in a pop culture world. Whether it’s the latest box-office champion at the movies or the latest music video sensation on YouTube, it’s part of our pop culture, an experience we share with families, friends and co-workers.
For casino players, slot machines are part of that culture, and they’re by no means separate from the world around us. You can have your films and your jackpots too as pop go the slots with some scene-stealing new games.
At the movies
John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, song, dance, young love ... “Grease” is a pop culture extravaganza, and so is the hot new Grease video slot from Bally Technologies. There are two playing fields on the screen — two sets of five reels — in a penny game with a 60-cent minimum wager. Reel symbols are chock full of movie imagery, and there’s music and video featuring John and Olivia.
At bonus time, the event everyone will want to see is the “You’re the One that I Want” free games, complete with video of the showpiece scene of the movie. The stars woo each other in the “Grease” showpiece video in the top box, a scaled down video plays atop the spinning reels on the main screen, and speakers in the back of the game’s special chair contributed to a surround-sound effect.
International Game Technology also looks to the silver screen for its Breakfast at Tiffany’s slots. Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” lights up the slot video screen just as surely as she lit up the silver screen in the 1961 comedy that co-starred George Peppard as her love interest, Paul Varjak.
The slot machine version is chock full of video, and those who love the movie will have a great time at the game. Holly’s cat — just called “Cat” — will walk across the screen from time to time. Pet the cat to earn bonus credits.
WMS Gaming loves to go to the movies. And one movie it loves to share with us over and over is “The Wizard of Oz.”
The latest in its series of Wizard of Oz slot machines is In Journey to Oz, WMS uses a bonus wheel for the first time. On an average of once per 60 seconds, a mini-wheel spins on one player’s screen. If it lands on Glinda, the good witch rises to the big screen overhead, and with a little movie magic says, “A wave from my wand and we will see what magic may bring.” She then spins an onscreen bonus wheel that could take you into one of four bonus events based on Dorothy, the Tin Man, the Lion and the Scarecrow. If the wheel lands on a witch, you get a “Witch Wheel” with values multiplied.
From the small screen
IGT and pop culture have long been partners in slot entertainment, starting with the Wheel of Fortune slots have been casino favorites for more than a decade. For the TV game show favorite, IGT turns to TV classic science fiction in its new “The Twilight Zone” video slots.
The Twilight Zone marks the first time IGT has allowed players to choose their volatility in the base game. Players are given a choice right on the main video reel game, as a Rod Serling-like voice urges them to pick high, low or medium volatility. With low volatility, you get more frequent small wins, and with high volatility you have a better chance a large win, but with fewer small ones to keep you in action.
Iconic Twilight Zone images are used ... monsters, dinosaurs, spaceships, the flying window and clock from the TV classic’s opening sequence. It’s rich in special features and bonuses, a game that could hold the attention of Twilight Zone fans for a long time.
On the music charts
It’s all Jacko, all the time on Bally Technologies’ thriller of a slot, “Michael Jackson: King of Pop.” King of Pop is on Bally’s a new 22-32 cabinet, with a 22-inch video monitor on the main game and a 32-inch vertical screen up top for musical bonus fun. On top of that, there’s a wheel, and you use the U-Spin format to touch the screen, give the wheel a big spin and see which bonus you’ve landed. The wheel can give you bonus credits, or take you to one of six bonus rounds themed after Michael Jackson songs, including “Bad,” “Beat It,” and “Billie Jean.”
Dance moves are integrated into game play. In the “Smooth Criminal” bonus, the music video is overlaid on the reels, and at a cymbal clash Jackson will halt, point ... and the indicated symbol will turn wild. At the end of a bonus event, a bandolier-laden Michael Jackson statue image rises in the top box, as golden as your bonus award.
So what’ll it be? Movies? TV? Music?
You get to decide what’s top of the pops.