Players love TV-based slots

Nov 12, 2002 12:56 AM

   Among the latest trends in slot machines is the use of TV game shows and sitcoms, not just to adorn reel strips or glass fronts, but to actually participate in the slot game itself.

   New Jeopardy video slot machines have hit the casinos and initial reports indicate they have been well-received by players.

   Jeopardy Video is a nickel video slot version of IGT's popular Jeopardy MegaJackpots spinning reel slot game. The initial game, introduced in 1998, features many of the visual and sound effects popularized on the syndicated game show.

   The new video version pumps up the action with enhanced sound effects and computer graphics, as well as voiceovers by host Alex Trebek and announcer Johnny Gilbert, and the familiar Jeopardy music.

   And there are multiple ways to win. The Jeopardy Bonus starts when three or more Jeopardy symbols land on any payline, and the Double Jeopardy Bonus kicks in with three or more Double Jeopardy symbols.

   Players then pick squares from grids that look like the set on the TV game show. Each square reveals a credit value, which is added to the bonus win. One 2-times multiplier is hidden on the grid in the Jeopardy Bonus, and two 2-times multipliers double the bonus credits in the Double Jeopardy Bonus.

   Both bonus rounds end when the player uncovers the Final Jeopardy symbol, which triggers the Final Jeopardy! Bonus round. The player receives one pick from a set of five squares, which also includes a 2-times multiplier. The MegaJackpot Instant Winner progressive jackpot is won when five Jeopardy symbols land on the ninth payline with maximum coins bet. The MegaJackpot builds from a base amount of $100,000 and is paid instantly, upon verification of the jackpot.

   Another hot game is I Dream of Jeannie, a product developed under an IGT joint venture with Anchor Coin, a subsidiary of Anchor Gaming, has also made its first appearance in casinos. It is a nickel video slot game — and is loaded with ways to win. Three or more scattered Wish symbols trigger the Three Wishes Bonus.

   A player picks three out of six wishes when Jeannie beckons, "Make a wish." The player gets laughs while racking up credits, with wishes like "I wish I had natural blonde hair" and "I wish my mattress was stuffed with money." The Bonus Doubled symbol delivers the ultimate wish of a doubled payout. And if the Bonus Wish symbol is uncovered, the player gets an extra pick from the wish list.

   Bonus game fever is heightened in the Spin the Wheel Bonus, triggered by three, four or five Jeannie Wheel symbols on any payline. The player picks the number of spins by choosing bottles from a beach. The familiar TV show theme music plays during the reel spin, credit rollup and bonus play, and the round ends with Jeannie announcing, "Master, you're a winner!"

   The machine, marketed and distributed by Anchor Coin, will be available in a stand-alone format in all jurisdictions except Atlantic City and Detroit, where its MegaJackpot Instant Winner jackpot prize will build from a base amount of $100,000.