Hot New Slots!
15 November 2012
By John Grochowski
Each year at the Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas, I roam from booth to booth to look at the major slot machine manufacturers and the coming attractions that will draw us to their games over the next year.
There are hundreds, perhaps thousands of new games when all the “game-makers” are taken into account. I get a good look at perhaps 75 games and their bonus events during the show’s three-day run. Let’s just take a look at a few highlights.
- At the WMS Gaming booth, a ride down the chocolate river --- sometimes bumpy, sometimes smooth with special effects through the Sensory Immersion motion chair --- made Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory a game I’ll be seeking out on casino floors. It’s in a similar vein as the Wizard of Oz, an adventure in storyland with Willie, the Oompa Loompas, and the whole cast of characters.
Two new Wizard of Oz games --- Haunted Forest and Emerald City --- along with Monopoly Prime Real Estate, showed what the new Gamefield XD cabinet with high resolution graphics can do.
One game I absolutely loved that will appeal to longtime video slot players was Monopoly Legends. The “legends” involved are classic WMS video slots. In bonus events, you could find yourself taken to Goldfish, Jackpot Party, Zeus or Reel ’Em In. A spinning wheel tells you just what game you’ll be playing at bonus time.
Bonuses from the other WMS favorites are given a Monopoly spin. If the wheel takes you to the Reel ’Em In bonus, it’s Mr. Monopoly out on a boat, dropping a line into the water as he fishes for your prize.
From comic books to TV to the movies, the Amazing Spider-Man has kept fans enthralled with its blend of adventure and hero’s angst. Now WMS is rolling out its Spider-Man slot machines, and the result is … well … amazing.
It’s on WMS’ advanced Sensory Immersion 2.0 format with synchronized motion technology, and the CPU-NXT3 operating platform gives it the boost for some pretty incredible effects. During free spin bonuses, the effects chair is synchronized with film clips in an event that can have up to eight reel sets spinning at once, all collecting extra credits. With up to 50x multipliers the rewards can be huge. There’s also a bonus event that takes you into battle against the Green Goblin, and effects will get your Spidey sense tingling for sure.
- OK, I’m not exactly of prime video games-playing age. Still, it was shocking to find just how out of practice with a joystick I am on my first attempt at flying a bat through a cave, trying to collect bonuses in IGT's skill-based Blood Life video slot. I’d play it again, but for those who prefer chance to skill on the slots, you can choose a free-spin bonus instead. And if you choose to play the skill-based version and don’t do very well, there’s a treasure-picking bonus at the end of the round that servers as an equalizer.
When I’ve written about skill-based slots in the past, I’ve received emails from readers saying they sounded like fun, and wondering where they could find the games. That’s up to individual casino operators who try to put games of the floor that they think will bring the most action from their players. I don’t have access to a list of what casinos stock specific games. However, I can say with some confidence that one game that will find wide distribution is Little Green Men: Cosmic Blaster.
The latest take on IGT’s Little Green Men theme that long has been a durable favorite of alien chasers everywhere, Cosmic Blaster features a skill-based bonus events. Instead of merely picking spaceships to shoot down, you use a joystick to maneuver into firing range to blast them out of the sky. It’s fun, and I can only hope to get to the bonus event often enough to get in some practice.
The game I think my wife would really love is IGT’s CSI. It’s available in Las Vegas, Miami and New York versions, just like the TV show. One bonus event takes you to a crime scene, and you pick out items in the room to reveal either bonus awards or evidence. If you can collect three pieces of evidence before a stopper ends the round, you also get a free spins bonus.
IGT’s Wyland game is gorgeous, using artwork by the famed marine life artist. At bonus time, I liked the Paint With Wyland event. Presented with a line drawing of sea turtles, I dragged my finger across the screen to fill in the colors and collect bonus credits. That’s finger-painting I can get on board with.
Look for John Grochowski on Facebook (http://tinyurl.com/7lzdt44); Twitter (@GrochowskiJ) and at casinoanswerman.com.
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