Heavenly slots?

Sep 7, 2004 5:41 AM

In order to fuel slot players’ passion for new games, manufacturers such as IGT must continually turn out games that will pique players’ interest.

And because of the diversity of tastes that drive slot players, there’s no telling where the next great game will come from — TV series, famous movie star, classic movie or even grocery store staple!

Here are three hot new games from IGT that should be appearing in casinos soon.

Playing on the cult-classic films from Monty Python, IGT has launched The Holy Grail Video Slots. Actually, IGT has transformed the movie — said to make Ben Hur look like an epic — into a hilarious 5-reel, 15-line, 75-coin nickel video MegaJackpots machine.

And to make the adventure even more fun, the Monty Python and The Holy Grail game is one of the most advanced slot machines yet.  It’s on IGT’s new AVP, or advanced video platform, which handily delivers all of the movie’s sidesplitting silliness via actual clips from the film and lovingly recreated animation.

For instance, Black Knight, the Trojan Rabbit — your favorite bits — are all here in the game’s screen symbols and bonus round action. Even the machine itself towers over the countryside with its top box designed as the infamous "French Castle" where Arthur and his knights are first taunted and then bombarded with farm animals.

But, instead of a legion of swearing Frenchmen, those ramparts enclose a spinning die and a Holy Grail bonus board used in one of slotdom’s most elaborate advanced rounds.

Speaking of flying milk cows, the scene is among the 38 memorable moments included in the scatter pay Film Clip bonus that’s triggered when three film clip symbols land on the middle three reels.  You select one of the clips and are treated to a display of the selected scene while credits roll up on the meter.

The Grab-a-Goblet bonus starts when three Grab-a-Goblet symbols land anywhere on reels three, four and five. Three goblets appear and each displays a possible credit value, and you’re prompted to remember which goblet is worth the most. They are then shuffled in typical shell game fashion; when they stop moving, you try to select the one that will have your cup running over with bonus winnings.

More rousing even than coconut hoofbeats, the Holy Grail bonus round is the ultimate in bonus-within-a-bonus games. Launched when three Holy Grail symbols land on an active payline, they quickly morph into an animated version of one of the classic song-and-dance routines from the movie.

You’re then alerted that you have seven win spins of the die in the top box, and the value the die lands on represents the number of moves you’ll make around the top-box game board. Each move increases the number of spins by the amount displayed on the game board or awards a mystery credit amount. Win spins are accumulated up to a maximum of 50, until a corner bonus square is hit. If a move lands you on the Black Knight, Trojan Rabbit or French Castle bonus squares, you’ll be prompted to choose between playing the win spins or entering the secondary bonus.

As you no doubt guessed from the names, these secondary bonuses are based on favorite scenes from the movie. In the Trojan Rabbit bonus, for instance, you’re taken to the countryside where three groups of familiar characters — Bobbies, Knights and Peasants — march to the forefront, each carrying a shield with an assigned credit value. You’re prompted to select one of the groups and when you do, the others flee the scene. And just as in the film, a wooden Trojan Rabbit flies over the castle wall and lands on your selected victim while you’re awarded the associated credit amount. The other two bonuses — Black Knight and French Castle — are equally silly and, with luck, profitable.

But that’s not all for the Holy Grail symbols because when five of them land on the first payline with a max wager, it’s more like Holy Toledo! You’ve just won the MegaJackpots top award that starts at $100,000.

Frog Prince slots

If Monty Python isn’t enough of a fairy tale, there’s The Frog Prince, a game rich in storybook design and offbeat humor. Castles, crowns and croaking frogs abound on the reel symbols, and the bonus games are enchanting.

In the Magic Wish bonus, you pick one magic book to reveal the number of free spins you won, and one magic wand to conjure up a bonus multiplier. A swirl of pixie dust sets the reels in motion for guaranteed-win bonus spins.

When animated frog symbols land on the three middle reels, the Kiss the Frog bonus leaps to life. Ribbitt! The screen changes into a forest scene, where three hopeful frogs wait to be "kissed" so they can turn into a Prince, which earns the top bonus award.

You can accept the first offer or take a chance and "kiss" again (and with some of the less-than-charming characters you might encounter, you may WANT to hold out for a better offer). Each of the possible characters has his/her own personality and prize money purse.

While we don’t recommend this approach, when The Frog Prince was introduced at a Las Vegas casino, women were observed actually kissing the touchscreen to reveal the Prince. Talk about interactive!

An added bit of fun during the bonus round is Three Dog Night performing its hit "Joy to the World" with it’s classic line, "Jeremiah was a bullfrog!" It’s enough to have you "ribbitted" to your seat!

James Dean slots

From the ridiculous to the sublime, the marquee value of IGT’s Diamond Cinema family of games has added a lot more wattage with the addition of a new James Dean slot machine to the already established Marilyn Monroe blockbuster and the hit pairing of Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman.

James Dean had one of the most spectacularly brief careers of any screen star. In just more than a year, and in only three films, Dean became a widely admired screen personality and received two Academy Award nominations. En route to compete in a race in Salinas, Calif., James Dean was killed in a highway accident on September 30, 1955.

The machines feature two of Dean’s most enduring images: one resembling his role as an ambitious cowhand and, in the other, a leather-jacketed bad boy. And once you start playing the nickel game, the exciting video action coupled with lifelike voiceovers, evocative mood music and intriguing bonus games prove Dean’s legend hasn’t lost its luster or the ability to captivate and entertain.

Adding to the excitement is the fact that Diamond Cinema is also a MegaJackpots system, which means that if five Diamond Cinema logos land on the 15th payline with a maximum bet, you win the top jackpot of at least $1.5 million. The MegaJackpots award is paid in annual installments upon verification of the win.