With Power Push and Mega Money Catch, Incredible Technologies shows off the capabilities of it’s unique Prism VXP cabinet
By Frank Legato
When visiting a casino in this age of online gambling, it’s easy to remember why so many of us prefer to be there in person. There’s much to say about the grand way in which the slot-makers use hardware—the actual slot cabinets— to distinguish their games.
For the past year and a half, no product has driven that fact home more eﬀectively than the Prism VXP cabinet from Incredible Technologies (IT). What makes this hardware special is what that VXP stands for— “vertical expansion.”
The cabinet presents three screens to the player—the main 27-inch 4K touchscreen landscape monitor is augmented by the 18.5-inch button deck, the largest in the business, which doubles as an extra touchscreen monitor for use in various bonuses and game play. Sitting behind the main game screen is a giant 55-inch ﬂat-screen 4K monitor, which, in various game-related situations, physically rises and lowers, thanks to a commercial- grade motor.
The ﬁrst games on the new platform, UpShot and Pinwheel Prizes, used the moving monitor to great eﬀect in simulating pinball and pinwheels. This year, the newest games on the Prism VXP— Power Push, out in casinos now; and Mega Money Catch, coming soon—show not only how IT has improved the platform itself, but how it’s being used to create experiences present in few other slots.
For one thing, the cabinet can now startle you as you walk by. According to Shawn Cassatt, director of product management for Incredible Technologies, when the machines are idle, they go into an attract mode in which the big cabinet moves up and down.
“Instead of the top screen just moving during the bonus feature, if nobody’s playing the game and you walk by on the casino ﬂoor, with your peripheral vision, you may see a game literally move and wave at you,” Cassatt says.
Meanwhile, IT’s engineers and game designers have worked to perfect how the cabinet works in all aspects of the games. “The newer game families now take full advantage of all of the attributes of the cabinet,” Cassatt says. “As an old operator [Cassatt ran slots at Isle of Capri, Rivers in Pittsburgh, Borgata in Atlantic City and others over most of his 25-year career], an exciting aspect to me was having everything up and fully operational with some integrated graphics across all the screens.”
He says Dragon Rush, launched late last year, was the ﬁrst game to utilize all the integrated video across all three of the screens on the Prism VXP—in addition to the spaces between the machines on the ﬂoor, which beam animation from dividers known as Flex Edge displays. In all, the individual elements create a party of visual stimulation.
This year, all that movement and visual stimulation is drawing crowds to a new game called Power Push. At its heart is a bonus that replicates the classic mechanical coin-pusher machines—those large machines found in arcades, and in the 1980s, in Nevada casinos—that housed a pile of coins (tokens in arcades, quarters in the old “Flip It” casino machine), with mechanical “brooms” behind the coins that kept pushing the coins toward a ledge.
The object of those old games was to send a coin or token ﬂying into the chamber to disrupt the pile of coins enough that the brooms would send coins oﬀ the ledge and into the customer’s tray.
IT has woven a remarkably authentic representation of this into what will be the Power Push series. Inaugural games are Power Push Jin Gou and Power Push Long de Xiyue—Asian-themed 243-ways- towin games featuring strikingly beautiful artwork in high-resolution graphics.
At the top of the tall screen is a money tree, with coins, gems and jackpot tokens. There are eight jackpots displayed— static awards of $25, $50, $100, $200, $500 and $1,000, with progressives resetting at $2,500 and $12,000 when playing max bet on the penny denomination. Under the tree, at eye level, is the pile of gold coins, gems and tokens extending to what becomes the ledge in the bonus game.
During base-game play, players watch for gold coin symbols, which are wild, and ﬂip up to add to the pile in the top screen. Randomly, one of the wild coins will trigger the main Power Push bonus feature. “It’s great that the coin symbol is actually a wild, instead of a blocker as a bonus trigger,” Cassatt says. “It’s always a good thing when you get one of those.”
When the bonus is triggered, the big 55-inch monitor rises and the reels disappear, revealing the “ledge” over which the player tries to push coins, tokens and jewels from the pile for awards to the player. Those icons represent credit awards, multipliers, jackpots and even the top two progressives.
“There may be a pearl worth $15 or a token worth $25 or $100,” says Cassatt. There also are icons displaying “+2 Pushes,” which extends the bonus; and “free spin rings,” which award eight free games (the free-spin round also can be triggered by scatter symbols on the reels).
The player is given four “pushes” to nudge as many prizes oﬀ the virtual ledge as possible. With each push, the tree overhead shakes to drop coins, jackpots and progressive icons to be nudged toward the ledge. Each push sends a giant “broom” at the back of the screen pushing against the pile. At the conclusion of all Power Pushes, all credits are tallied and awarded. What really makes the bonus sequence work is math—physics, to be precise. The actual physics of what would happen when coins and objects disturb the pile are simulated in the bonus round using real physics, as developed by IT’s programming and math departments.
“The way it plays out, it looks like the pearl will slide over the top of ﬂat coins as it would in real life,” says Cassatt. “Everything moves as it would because it’s based on physics. That gives it a much more real feel.
“And of course, as you’re pushing every coin, the whole screen is physically moving as well. You have the screen physically moving all of the tokens, and they move as they would in real life.”
He adds that this game carries a higher volatility, meaning that with a little luck, the payoﬀs can be huge.
One added attraction of the game: The pile of coins and tokens, marked to represent the prizes, remains as-is when you leave the game. That means you can scout the bank of games before you play to see where the largest prizes and largest coin piles are, giving yourself the best chance at big payoﬀs.
According to Cassatt, at press time, Power Push was available at around 50 locations, and that number is growing fast. Players are ﬂocking to the game.
Coming up next will be a game that uses the Prism VXP to refresh one of the company’s most popular all-time game themes.
As long as Incredible Technologies has been producing slot machines—only a little more than a decade since the company was solely an amusement-game supplier, producer of the famous Golden Tee Golf tavern machine—one of its core principles has been that when a game theme or game feature has proven to be popular with players, it should be repeated in new games.
One of the company’s ﬁrst slot games was Crazy Money, which became the company’s most popular oﬀering in the early 2010s. Its main feature was a “Money Catch” bonus, in which players would touch the screen to “grab” money from a hurricane of bills on the screen. It inspired several sequences in what is now known as the “Money family” of games.
This summer, the family grows as IT applies the Prism VXP treatment to that popular feature. Mega Money Catch is a 15-line video slot on a ﬁve-reel grid, all symbols cash bills, with money-bag symbols added that correspond to three money bags above the reels. When playing at the $1 denomination, the VIP Pays mode results in combinations of like bills pay oﬀ in a “what-you-see-is- what-you-get” setup—$5 bills pay $5 for each symbol on a winning line, $20 bills pay $20, $100 bills pay $100, and so on.
Here’s a good tip: It is a multiple-denomination machine, allowing the player to choose between penny, 2-cent, 5-cent and dollar denominations. The higher the denomination, the greater the chance at the two top progressive jackpots. Picking the dollar denomination also boosts a feature called “AnglePay”—a bill will land positioned diagonally on the reel spot, and will align with higher- value symbols like $100 and $500 bills.
When a bag lands on the reels, it can randomly trigger one of three Money Catch bonus events. Bags that land on the reels without triggering the event ﬂoat up to the corresponding bag on top, which grows to bulging.
The bigger the bag, the closer the bonus is to being triggered, and the VXP monitor rises as one of the bags draws nearer to triggering the bonuses. Players can see that as they pass the machine— another incentive to pick one game over another in a bank.
“If you walk up to a bank of three of these games and they’re being played, and you look at them, the screens will actually be at diﬀerent positions based on how much money has accumulated in the bags,” says Cassatt. “How full those three bags of money are is represented in the height of the screen.”
When one or more of the bags burst, the bills swirl around the screen, along with extras according to the color of the bag. The player gets 30 picks to tap as many bills as possible to nab the credit awards.
The red bag awards the Jackpot Money Catch bonus, in which jackpot icons can fall with the bills. The blue bag holds Extra Picks Money Catch, which gives the player extra chances to grab the bills as they fall, and the orange bag awards the Multiplier Money Catch, adding multipliers to bills as they are caught.
If a player catches six or more red bills in the Jackpot Money Catch Bonus, a giant wheel lowers onto the screen, with presidential portraits representing the four available jackpots. The static Mini ($24) and Minor ($60) each have two slices on the wheel, and each of the top progressives—the Major, resetting at $1,200; and the Grand, resetting at $10,000—each get one slice. The player spins to a guaranteed prize.
As is the norm with IT, expect each of these game families to grow. When IT sees a good thing, it will repeat it.
And these are both good things.
SLOT TYPE: Five-reel, 243-ways-to-win video slot; graphic interactive bonus event; free-spin bonus event; .01, .02, .05 and .10 denominations
PAYBACK % RANGE: 85.04%-94.14%
AVERAGE HIT FREQUENCY: Approximately 40%
TOP JACKPOT: Progressive; $12,000 reset
MEGA MONEY CATCH
SLOT TYPE: Five-reel, 15-line video slot; interactive bonus event; free-spin bonus event; jackpot wheel event; .01, .02, .05 and 1.00 denominations (player-selectable)
PAYBACK % RANGE: 86.12%-94.26%
AVERAGE HIT FREQUENCY: Approximately 30%
TOP JACKPOT: Progressive; $10,000 reset