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Climbing High – High Rise Games

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Multimedia’s High Rise cabinet provides the theater for a new bonus show

by Frank Legato

 

In the old days, they were called “High Boy” cabinets, but even those old super-tall slot machines couldn’t compare to the newest format from Texas-based Multimedia Games.

That’s because Multimedia’s new series called High Rise Games uses the extended top box—at 37 inches, the vertical monitor is taller than anything in the business—not for encyclopedic pay tables like those old Bally Continental games, but as an interactive, dynamic platform for any of a complete range of bonus games.

Multimedia Games has spent the past few years in a transformation from what was a successful but comparatively small manufacturer of mainly Class II electronic bingo slots into a real force in the larger traditional casino market. The games it has brought out on its standard upright and slant-top cabinets—“Invasion from Outer Space,” “Haunted House,” “Carnival in Rio”—have been among the most entertaining in the country.

Now, imagine those and other fun games put into what is essentially a giant format. “What this does for the player is offer this immersive kind of experience in a towering video platform,” says Mick Roemer, Multimedia’s senior vice president of sales. “It gives the player a real sense of power and slot theater.”

Roemer says the combination of a wide-screen main video monitor for the base game and the towering top monitor creates completely new opportunities for the company’s game designers. Most are made for the larger-than-life format, but a few reprise some old themes with a brand-new bonus fitted to the super-tall monitor.

In the latter case, the High Rise format takes those popular games to a new level.

 

The Moneyball

Moneyball is a perfect example of how a new format can remake a game that was already popular. The Moneyball bonus is a giant virtual game of pinball, the long vertical monitor replete with animated bumpers, off which the ball bounces back and forth, registering bonus credits on its descent toward a bonus award zone.

The initial batch of High Rise games includes two Money Ball versions reprising popular base-game themes—the campy 1950s sci-fi theme “Invasion From Outer Space” and the under-sea adventure “Dive Quest.”

The base games have all the cool bonus events of the stand-alone models. The quirky Invasion has the “Alien Attack!” bonus and all the fun animation depicting UFOs, the old antenna TVs, and the townspeople running for their lives. This version has two additional bonus rounds on top of the original. “Dive Quest” features a nine-reel screen (nine reel spots, but each one is a complete reel with all the available deep-sea diving reel symbols), with the “Dive Bonus” that sends the player searching for treasure.

On top of both of these base games, though, is a Moneyball pinball bonus that can take place on any of four backdrops. One is an outer space scene with the pinball bouncing off asteroids; another is a “Money Tree,” its “fruit” serving as the bumpers to send the ball shooting back and forth to shake credits loose.

Three Money Ball symbols give the player three shots. The player shoots the pinball up toward the top screen, and the pinball game starts. “You’re playing what appears to be a skill-based pinball machine,” Roemer explains, “where you shoot the ball and it works its way down the bonus screen pachinko-style.” Some of the bumpers register bonuses, multipliers, “3X Fireballs,” and even a pinball-style “ball lock,” where the ball will stay in place until another ball is launched, and two pinballs bounce around the screen for added money awards. Some bumpers even kick off a secondary mini-bonus, like a second-screen three-reel slot where you can’t lose. The ball ends up in one of several “prize buckets” at the bottom of the screen.

Red Hot

The first of the High Rise games to hit the market was “One Red Cent,” launched late last year. Here, the big monitor is host to what was its other purpose—the perfect display for a multiple-progressive slot.

In this case, the top box displays five progressive jackpots, with reset levels ranging from $5 to the top prize starting at $2,000. Another nine-reel base game, the progressive jackpots are triggered with “One Red Cent Deluxe” symbols on five or more reels. The symbols pay at four reels (160 credits times the line bet), but the bottom progressive hits with five of the symbols. The scale rises from there, to the top $2,000-plus prize for the symbols on all nine reels.

As in many of the other High Rise games, there also is a separate picking bonus, doors revealing prizes up to 25 times the total bet. Every 50 bonus events, on average, the giant penny will spin until revealing a 100X multiplier.

“The One Red Cent five-level penny progressive is our signature nine-reel game,” says Roemer.

Next up, he says, is another nine-reel game called “White Hot Progressives.” This is a five-level progressive slot with a unique display that centers around each progressive prize. Animation on the jackpot displays makes each progressive “heat up” with light as it gets closer to hitting. The progressives are hit with five to nine “White Hot Progressives” symbols, similar to the One Red Cent Deluxe jackpots.

White Hot Progressives is already out in Class II versions in some Native American casinos, but will be due soon for a release in all the traditional markets as well.

 

The Rollout

There are eight High-Rise titles in the initial launch, Roemer says. Other standouts include “Jackpot Factory,” with a top-box video re-creation of a Rube Goldberg-style of mechanical gadget.

Another five-level progressive, the slot features four bonus events, including the main “Amazing Bonus Machine” feature, in which the player selects objects from 24 crates, each containing one of four objects form a conveyor belt, moving the objects closer to corresponding progressive prizes. As players collect more objects , the conveyor belt for each

object moves them closer to the corresponding progressive prize. When a belt is full, that progressive is awarded.

There are even crates containing all four objects that advance all conveyor belts, making it possible to win multiple progressives simultaneously.

Another nine-reel game, “A Girl’s Best Friend,” recalls the Marilyn Monroe era with a five-tier progressive. When three Round Diamond symbols land on the seventh payline, the player enters the “Diamond Ring Bonus,” where all nine reels turn into a big screen for a picking bonus. Players pick three jewelry boxes to reveal a jewel and a multiplier. If you pick the box with the diamond ring, you win more.

All the titles in the High Rise series have inherent strengths like the nine-reel format, the symbol-driven progressives, and the elaborate video bonus events on that huge top-box display.

“These games give you the feeling of the bonus game encompassing you,” says Roemer. “It’s very fun to play, and people are really gravitating toward it. The progressives are awesome, with players hitting the lower-level prizes a lot. It’s a great, versatile format, and no doubt we’ll do more graphics and elaborate bonusing to come.”

 

 

High Rise SlotsMultimedia Games

 

One Red Cent

 

SLOT TYPE

Nine-reel, 32-line video slot; five-level progressive jackpot; second-screen bonus event; penny denomination

 

PAYBACK % RANGE

85.02%—97.8%

 

AVERAGE HIT FREQUENCY

Approximately 50%

 

TOP JACKPOT

Progressive; $2,000 reset

 

Progressives won with One Red Cent Symbols on five to nine reels

 

 

Moneyball

Invasion from Outer Space

Dive Quest

 

SLOT TYPE

Five-reel, 30-line video slot; second-screen game-specific bonus events; top-box pinball-style bonus; penny, 2-cent, 3-cent, nickel, dime and quarter denominations

 

PAYBACK % RANGE

88%—97.95%

 

AVERAGE HIT FREQUENCY

Approximately 50%

 

TOP JACKPOT

375,000 credits

 

 

White Hot Progressives

 

SLOT TYPE

Nine-reel, 32-line video slot; five-level progressive jackpot; second-screen bonus event; penny denomination

 

PAYBACK % RANGE

88.91%—97.66%

 

AVERAGE HIT FREQUENCY

Approximately 50%

 

TOP JACKPOT

Progressive; $2,000 reset

 

Progressives won with White Hot Progressives symbols on five to nine reels

 

Jackpot Factory

 

SLOT TYPE

Five-reel, 30-line video slot; multiple second-screen bonus events; five-level progressive jackpot; penny denomination

 

PAYBACK % RANGE

85.09%—97.92%

 

AVERAGE HIT FREQUENCY

Approximately 50%

 

TOP JACKPOT

Progressive; $2,000 reset

 

Progressives won through second-screen bonus

 

A Girl’s Best Friend

 

SLOT TYPE

Nine-reel, 32-line video slot; five-level progressive jackpot; second-screen bonus event; penny denomination

 

PAYBACK % RANGE

87.58%—97.2%

 

AVERAGE HIT FREQUENCY

Approximately 50%

 

TOP JACKPOT

Progressive; $2,000 reset

 

Progressive won with “A Girl’s Best Friend” symbols on five to nine reels

 

 

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