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Best of Slots 2010 – Games

 

REELS

Our Favorite Games

This year’s survey has served to confirm what our readers have felt for years when it comes to the best Slot games in the business.       With few exceptions, IGT continues to dominate the reel-spinning categories of our survey with WMS dominating again in video. Video poker, of course, is easy: It is, has been and probably always will be the realm of the company that invented it, IGT. There are exceptions, of course, but these two slot-makers seem to consistently be our readers’ favorites.

Here are the games that keep us coming back.

Little Green Men Slot Machines

 

Favorite Reel Slot Machine

When talking reel-spinners, your opinions have not changed in a decade. Your favorite game this year is once again “Wheel of Fortune.” For 14 years and running, players have loved to spin that wheel—the fortune wheel mounted on that IGT slot revolutionized the slot business when it first appeared in 1996, pioneering not only the slot bonus round but the era of themed slots that draw on TV and movies.

What is interesting about No. 2 on the best reel-spinner list is that it is usually part of No. 1. “Double Diamond,” the groundbreaking game with the multiplying wild symbols first introduced in 1988, serves as the base game for Wheel of Fortune and other MegaJackpots big-money progressive slots. No surprise on No. 3—“Blazing 7s” by Bally, the perennial favorite with the multiple “7” combinations and familiar flaming graphics.

Favorite Reel Slot Machine

IGT, Wheel of Fortune

IGT, Double Diamond

Bally Technologies, Blazing 7’s

IGT, Triple Diamond

IGT, Red, White & Blue

Best Reel Slot Graphics/Design

IGT’s Wheel of Fortune takes this category, thanks to the graphics that convincingly convey the Wheel Of Fortune game show regardless of which of the many versions of the game you view. Right behind is the reel-spinning version of the WMS hit “The Wizard of Oz,” which is a “Transmissive Reels” game—the face of the slot is animated, and there is animation on a video overlay on top of the reels. Third place goes to Blazing 7s, with he flaming artwork that has become a Bally mainstay.

Best Reel Slot Graphics/Design:

IGT, Wheel of Fortune

WMS, Wizard of Oz

Bally Technologies, Blazing 7’s

WMS, Monopoly

WMS, Gold Fish

Best Reel Slot Theme

Wheel… Of… FORTUNE! Again, players love spinning that wheel. IGT’s Wheel of Fortune was the first game to carry a popular theme, and that theme—complete with the familiar theme music and that audience chant—led the way for others. To our readers, though, it’s still the best.

You’ve kept the tried-and-true Blazing 7s theme near your heart, though, making it No. 2, followed by the Oz reel-spinner.

Best Reel Slot Theme:

IGT, Wheel of Fortune

Bally Technologies, Blazing 7’s

WMS, Wizard of Oz

WMS, Monopoly

IGT, Double Diamond

Best Reel Slot Bonus Round

Should we say it again? Wheel… Of… Fortune! It was a stroke of genius in 1996 for IGT to take the idea of a roulette wheel mounted on a slot machine—first appearing from Bally a year earlier, with “Wheel Of Gold”—and marrying it with the sights and sounds of the most popular game show in history. Sixteen years later, it holds up. A good idea is a good idea!

Coming in second is another game-show bonus round, “Deal Or No Deal.” Atronic has taken the “Briefcase Bonus” right from the show, with its element of risk-taking when players are asked to accept a deal or stick with their “briefcase,” for a higher or lower bonus. “Sex and the City” comes in third, with a cavalcade of female-friendly bonuses that have the player shopping for shoes or switching wardrobes.

Best Reel Slot Bonus Round:

IGT, Wheel of Fortune

WMS, Monopoly

IGT, Top Dollar

WMS, Wizard of Oz

Bally Technologies, Hot Shot

Best New Reel Slot Machine

Well, we figured that we’d create this category so we could write about a reel-spinner besides Wheel Of Fortune, but this year, you showed us—you picked the newest version of the Wheel as your favorite new reel-spinning slot. There are several version of “Wheel Of Fortune Spinning Reel,” including a traditional version, a 40-line version, and even a “MultiPLAY” version with two sets of reels, thanks to the magic of the IGT “Multi-Layer Display” video technology that simulates reels in 3D.

Coming in second is the reel-spinning version of Atronic’s Deal Or No Deal, which is a higher-denomination version of the game with that same gambling bonus round; and third place goes to the reel-spinning version of Sex and the City from IGT.

Best New Reel Slot Machine

IGT, Wheel of Fortune Spinning Wheel Double Diamond

Atronic, Deal or No Deal

IGT, Sex in the City

WMS, Wizard of Oz

Bally Technologies, Hot Shot

Best Progressive Reel Slot Machine

The great thing about your top pick for progressive reel-spinners, IGT’s Wheel Of Fortune (What else?), is that it was the first game to include something interesting in the base game. Before the Wheel, progressive slots were really boring—spin, spin, spin, the possibility of the progressive being the only exciting part. The chance to spin that wheel was perfect to break up the monotony.

Second place in the progressive reels category goes to the original progressive machine, IGT’s “Megabucks.” This game has survived since 1986 because it is constantly reinvented, again, with great base-game features. The progressive version of perennial favorite Blazing 7s from Bally comes in third.

Best Progressive Reel Slot Machine

IGT, Wheel of Fortune

IGT, Megabucks

Bally Technologies, Blazing 7’s

Bally Technologies, Quick Hits

IGT, Double Diamond

VIDEO

Favorite Video Slot Machine

There were few surprises in this category this year. Players have been lining up to go “off to see the wizard” ever since WMS introduced the Wizard of Oz video slot three years ago. The original “Sensory Immersion” version of the game, which uses the surround-sound vibrating chair and amazing audio and visuals to take the player on a virtual-ride trip right into the classic MGM film is still packing them in.

Second-place for video slots goes to another WMS game, the “Adaptive Gaming” inaugural slot “Star Trek,” which allows players to go through successive “episodes” of the original Star Trek series by earning “medals” through play—and a log-in system on a national network that lets you pick up your progress where you left off on your next trip. Third place goes to “Sex and the City.” Based on the hit HBO series, this “chick flick” game has been as big a hit for IGT as the Wizard is for WMS.

Favorite Video Slot Machine:

WMS, Wizard of Oz

WMS, Star Trek

IGT, Sex in the City

IGT, Wheel of Fortune

WMS, Jackpot Party

Best Video Slot Bonus Round

It’s now surprise that your favorite video slot has your favorite bonus round. The Wizard of Oz bonus features are truly masterful, from “Flying Monkeys” that seem to fly from behind the player to turn symbols wild to the flying emeralds you pick to get one of the characters before the Great and Powerful Oz.

Coming in second is another WMS game, Monopoly—pick your version of this great series. All of them have the bonus feature simulating a trip around the squares of the legendary board game. It’s another action that’s stood the test of time. Third place goes to IGT’s Sex and the City, with bonus features ranging from picking pairs of new shoes to picking outfits for your favorite character from the show.

Best Video Slot Bonus Round

WMS, Wizard of Oz

WMS, Monopoly

IGT, Sex in the City

WMS, Star Trek

IGT, Wheel of Fortune

Best New Video Slot Machine

IGT’s Sex and the City takes first place in this category. It has been a complete hit for IGT, not only for its bonus round but its “MultiPLAY” setup, which lets you wager to activate up to four sets of reels, winning jackpots on all of them.

Second place goes to Star Trek, which has several versions out in casinos—all on the same cabinets. When you earn a new “episode,” the entire machine changes to a new game. Coming in third is the latest version of Monopoly. Hard to keep track, since WMS launches at least a couple every year.

Best New Video Slot Machine

IGT, Sex in the City

WMS, Wizard of Oz

WMS, Monopoly

WMS, Star Trek

Bally Technologies, Fireball

Best Video Slot Graphics

We’re off to see the wizard, again. Few slot machines have ever reproduced a theme with the quality and attention to detail as the original Wizard of Oz game. Right behind, though, are two of your other perennial favorites, Sex and the City and Monopoly.

Best Video Slot Graphics

WMS, Wizard of Oz

IGT, Sex in the City

WMS, Monopoly

WMS, Star Trek

IGT, Star Wars

Best Video Slot Theme

Not to repeat ourselves, but we’re off to see the wizard yet again! WMS Gaming’s Sensory Immersion technology conveys a theme better than anything in the business, and as themes go, one of the most beloved fantasy films of all time simply can’t be beat. Still, it was a close call—second-place winner Monopoly has survived more than a decade because people love to play the board game they grew up with. And Sex and the City, which takes third place, is simply irresistible as a theme.

Best Video Slot Theme:

WMS, Wizard of Oz

WMS, Monopoly

IGT, Sex in the City

WMS, Star Trek

IGT, Wheel of Fortune

Best Video Poker Game

The video poker enthusiasts among our readers typically vary between video poker bonus games and the classic Jacks or Better as their favorite. This year, it’s the classic Jacks or Better game that gets your nod as the favorite. It’s the easiest strategy to learn, and if you can find the 9/6 version (9-for-1 payout on the full house; 6-for-1 on the flush), it returns 99.54 percent.

Coming in second was Deuces Wild—also a very easy strategy to learn, and a top pay schedule returning more than 100 percent with perfect play. Double Double Bonus, with its huge four-of-a-kind payments with kickers, comes in third.

Best Video Poker Game:

IGT, Jacks or Better

IGT, Deuces Wild

IGT, Double Double Bonus

IGT, Jacks or Better

IGT, Double Bonus Poker

Best Video Poker Bonus Game

There are several categories of video poker that give bonuses for four of a kind. Your top two favorites in this category return big bonuses four Aces, Deuces, Threes or Fours—Double Double Bonus and Double Bonus (which doesn’t have the “kickers” to boost the top jackpots. Coming in third is that high-paying Deuces Wild game.

Best Video Poker Bonus Game:

IGT, Double Double Bonus

IGT, Double Bonus

IGT, Deuces Wild

IGT, Bonus Poker

IGT, Double Double Bonus Poker

Best of Slots 2010 – Games.

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