WMS Gaming's Houdini video slot is great escape

May 5, 2009 5:09 PM
Slots of Luck by L. Sabin |

Houdini is a 30-line 10x max bet from WMS Gaming. This game, based on the famous magician Houdini and his escape tricks, initiates what WMS calls the "Rotating Wild."

The name comes from what happens when wild symbols land in the center of the screen. I first encountered this game at the Tuscany Casino and my curiosity was instantly piqued.

The video reels were set up differently than other slots. They are made up of circular symbols, arranged as five going left to right on the top and bottom with four others in the middle row.

During normal spins, pays happen just as in any other video slot by matching symbols on predetermined pay lines. The pay lines are left to right, but not all of them start on the first reel. You definitely need to check out the pay lines before you start play to understand how you’re getting paid.

The symbols are reminiscent of Houdini magic tricks – locks, keys, handcuffs, chain-locked chests, magic cards and a portrait of the magician himself.

There are two wild symbols. The first appears only on the top and bottom reels in one of the four corner positions and is wild with all symbols. The other, a "Rotating Wild" symbol, lands in either of the two center symbols on the middle row.

Any win is paid and then the six symbols surrounding the wild one rotate clockwise around the stationary wild symbol until forming a new pay-line combination. This repeats until the circle of symbols makes a complete rotation, stopping seven times to evaluate new symbol combinations for additional wins.

The same thing happens if the two middle symbols are both wild, The eight surrounding symbols rotate for near-certain repeat wins, thanks to the two wilds.

There is also a second-screen/free-spin bonus. Two bonus symbols on the ends of the middle row trigger the event. The screen displays four chests, locked up as in one of Houdini’s escape illusions.

The player is prompted to select a chest, revealing a number of free spins (6, 8 or 10) with all jackpots doubled. If Houdini pops out of the chest, the player gets the initial number of free spins and selects another chest for up to 10 more free spins.

If Houdini is revealed on the first try, all jackpots during the free spins are multiplied by four.

Houdini takes a little time to figure out, but when the "Rotating Wild" comes especially during the bonus round with the 4x pay it makes the effort worthwhile.

Question? Comment? E-mail me at: LSabin