Our annual sneak peek at the coming year’s crop of new slot machines
By Frank Legato
Every year, hundreds of exciting new slot games are unveiled by the major slot manufacturers, games that will soon be making their way to a casino near you.
While not all will have the pizzazz or staying powered of perennial favorites like Wheel Of Fortune, some of these games may be destined for slot greatness, becoming a hit with casinos and players alike and eventually spawning sequels for years to come. Only time will tell which of this year’s crop has that perfect combination to make it a legend.
On the following pages, divided by manufacturer, is a first look at many of the major slot games that are to be released in 2015. This year, there is a typically mind-boggling array of new games, new ways to play, multiple progressives, stacked symbols, mystery wilds… the list goes on. As you comb through these pages— the only place you can get this advance information—take note of the games that catch your eye and look for them during your next casino visit.
American Gaming Systems
AGS is sporting a new look these days. In addition to more games in the “It Pays To Know” series—games with trivia-quiz bonuses where knowledge gets you more money—the slot-maker is launching quirky slots from Colossal Games, a giant-game specialist the company acquired earlier this year.
In the It Pays To Know series, launched last year with Ripley’s Believe It Or Not!, AGS will have three games officially launched by the time you read this, adding Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader? And Family Feud. Just as 5th Grader uses actual questions from that show’s database of grade school quizzes, Family Feud uses “audience survey” questions from that famous show. The main bonus has the player pick what the most common responses to common-knowledge questions were in a real audience survey, just like the competing families on the show.
From the new Colossal division comes Colossal Diamonds. The cabinet measures eight feet across, with three separate 42-inch LCD monitors each serving as an independent super-sized reel. The game itself is a classic volatile high-denomination, single-line, three-reel slot, available in dollars only, with a max bet of $15.
New video slots coming your way from AGS/Colossal include Birds of Orion and Ancient Embers. Both employ what is known as the “Uni-Reel” play mechanism. Instead of five spinning reels, the screen’s paylines or ways-to-win con-figurations are built around a single reel that snakes around the screen, similar to what one would see in an arcade game. Players see symbols enter at the top left-hand corner and travel through the play field, stopping to form winning combinations. It’s quite an interesting visual compared to hum-drum reel-spinning.
Aristocrat will feature a new family of cabinets called Helix, featuring two floating LED HD displays with frameless, infinity edges and 1080p resolution. Heading the game list is a new group of licensed titles, including Britney Spears, featuring the pop diva’s greatest hits in an immersive game with booming sound. The new Buffalo game uses the super-sized format to bring home the sights and sounds of stampeding buffalo in one of the game’s signature bonus events.
Other new branded slots include Sons of Anarchy, Ted and Superman the Movie.
Sons of Anarchy, based on the hit FX series about the lives of a close-knit outlaw motorcycle club in California, reprises the VERVE hd cabinet, which was used to great effect on last year’s “The Walking Dead” slot game.
Ted, based on Seth McFarlane’s raunchy 2012 comedy about a living adult teddy bear, and Superman the Movie, based on the first installment of the film series featuring Christopher Reeve as the Man of Steel, are both on the “Wonder Wheels” format, the giant setup featuring multiple spinning bonus wheels created for last year’s Batman game.
The “Legends” series continues this fall, with more classic Aristocrat games presented as two games in a machine—one in the unchanged classic version and a “Deluxe” version with modern, enhanced features. Wicked Winnings Legends gives the Deluxe treatment to the classic Aristocrat game.
Other notables include a new version of Aristocrat’s popular multi-game product, Wonder 4 Jackpot. Wonder 4, which has been one of Aristocrat’s hottest products, gives the customer a menu of four games for four different reel sets, and players can mix or match the games any way they like, spinning all four reel sets simultaneously.
Aruze Gaming America
Aruze is launching new titles utilizing the popular “Ultra Stack” feature, which feeds stacked winning symbols and stacked wild symbols to the reels during spins. Ultra Stack Poseidon, Ultra Stack Egypt and Ultra Stack Savanna Rush will be among 15 new Ultra Stack titles debuting at G2E.
Also from Aruze is Captain’s Treasure500G. A clone of last year’s hit “Dragon 500G,”the central feature is a maximum possible 500 free games. Each free-game bonus symbol randomly awards from three to 30 free games. The symbols can cover the entire screen, which, with a bonus number of free spins, gives you 500.
As with other games in the 500G series, the player has the option of picking a credit award in a range comparable to the free-spin prize if he wants to dispense with all that spinning. In the G-Deluxe video series, new games will be displayed that add sculpted toppers to the typically elaborate top boxes. The cabinet for Dark Samurai is actually a sculpture of a samurai warrior holding two swords. Mermaid Fantasy is topped by a sculpted mermaid. Both games feature multiple bonus events and a main bonus event on a mechanical spinning wheel in the middle of the top box.
The company will expand its mechanical reel-spinning library this year with launches both the Innovator and Innovator Deluxe game groups. In the standard Innovator five-reel series, the company will feature the new Rapid Shot series of games, with three initial releases—Rapid Shot Ruby, Rapid Shot Diamond and Rapid Shot Sapphire.
The three games are linked to a five-level progressive, with jackpots displayed on a 60-inch overhead LCD monitor.
In the Innovator Deluxe group, watch for Crazy Stars and Hot Hearts. Both games include a “Prize Selection” feature that gives players multipliers for free games based on a roulette wheel spin—the wheel lands on a credit amount, and the first bonus symbol landing in the free spin event returns that prize. The second bonus symbol in a free spin gets two times the amount, and so on in multiples of two, up to 10 bonus symbols for 10 times the roulette prize.
Aruze has augmented its traditional slots with an impressive lineup of multi-player products, in the form of the G-Station series of electronic table games and the G-Link line of community-style slots. This year’s launch is Virtual Craps.
Virtual Craps uses a 3D holographic display. The dice appear to bounce from the shooter and roll around in a central chamber.
Finally, third generation of “G-Link,” the community-style games including “Paradise Fishing” and “Amazon Fishing,” kicks off with Player’s Party, a six-game setup packed with bonus features, video wheels, and a five-level progressive jackpot feature on the big video display. A button replaces the Paradise Fishing joystick.
When a bonus trigger hits for any player on the bank, the game launches into a communal bonus for the entire bank—instead of fishing with the other players, the bonus events are games of craps, blackjack, roulette or bingo.
Bally is rolling out new games on the “Pro Wave” cabinet, the setup with the concave-curved video monitor. The most high-profile new Wave title is Wonder Woman. Based on the campy 1970sTV series with Lynda Carter as the Marvel Comics Amazonian superhero, Wonder Woman, the slot machine, uses the Pro Wave to mine the classic TV series for everything from video clips to the cheesy, mock-serious theme song, which repeats at various points in the game.
The initial base games are Wonder Woman Gold and Wonder Woman Wild. Each of the games features free-game bonuses, expanding wild symbols and a three-level progressive jackpot, available at any bet level.
Bally is launching a new two-machine theater-style presentation called the Alpha 2 Pro Series Theatre. The individual machines are on the Pro Wave, but the configuration conveys a cinema feeling to envelop players in the game.
The new two-game cabinet setup will host heavyweight titles, in games based on the hit 1990s sitcom Friends and the current cable reality hit Duck Dynasty.
Friends is a progressive video slot featuring all the characters of the popular sitcom, which TV Guide rated one of the 50 greatest shows of all time. The bonus events are packed with video clips from the show’s funniest moments, and a wheel event awards credits or one of four free-game features. Duck Dynasty features six different bonuses based on the A&E reality show centered around the lives of Louisiana’s Robertson family and its bearded men, who struck it rich building a company based on patriarch Phil Robertson’s invention of the Duck Commander duck call.
Bonus features like “Miss Kay’s Turtle,” the “Duck Commander Wheel” and others draw from what is the most-watched reality cable TV show in history.
Also in video are two new entries in the long-popular series based on 1930s cartoon vixen Betty Boop. On the V22/32 cabinet, with its tall vertical top box and 1080p-resolution 32-inch monitor, is Betty Boop’s Firehouse with, appropriately, a ladder-style bonus. The top of nine progressives on the ladder is a wide-area progressive on Bally’s Cash Connection link. Betty Boop’s 5th Avenue features a cash wheel with seven triggers for the spinning, and the Betty character shopping in swank Manhattan stores with her pooch Pudgy.
Also on the V22/32—and on the Cash Connection wide-area link—is Zoltan’s Fortune, which uses several unique Bally game mechanics to transform the slot into a replica of an old-time fortune-teller machine. (Think the “Zoltar Speaks” fortune-telling machine in the Tom Hanks film Big.)
The main bonus events create clever sequences based on Zoltan telling the player’s fortune, such as looking into his crystal ball for the player’s award. The “Look Into My Eyes” bonus has the player place hands on the interactive I Deck panel and pick one of six cards. Zoltan pays a credit award after he ascertains the player’s card with an impressive bit of electronic sleight-of-hand. (You’ve got to see this one.)
The core V22/22 cabinet—in the unique “Hammerhead” configuration—is host to another new Bally licensed video slot, The Blob. Based on the 1950s sci-fi film, the game features campy bonus features with townspeople running to escape the growing alien blob. The “Growing Blob” feature awards higher bonuses the larger the alien becomes.
Bally also is launching new games in its traditional high-denomination reel-spinner genre in a multi-game unit on the Pro Curve cabinet, the format that includes curved video reels to mimic traditional spinning reels.
Playboy Club is a two-game setup on the Curve, topped by a spinning wheel for bonuses. The two games are classic reel-spinners (with animation spicing up the spinning, thanks to the Curve video monitor) available in single-line or five-line setups. Denominations start at quarters and go up to $20,000.
Both games in the Playboy Club machine have progressive jackpots, hit by lining up three “Quick Hit” symbols on the center payline.
The popular Quick Hit scatter-pay progressive series also gets several new entries this year, with Quick Hit Cash Wizard and Quick Hit Cash Spin combining the Quick Hit symbol-based progressive feature with two of Bally’s most popular titles.
Also from Bally, watch for a circular carousel of five slot machines with a dedicated dragon-themed game. Around the top of the carousel are five adjacent curved video monitors, on which animation related to the games travels around, stopping to award credits, wilds, multipliers and free games to individual games on the bank.
In the launch game, called Dragon Spin, an animated dragon travels around the circular monitor dropping mystery awards to the individual games, and stopping to display numbers of free spins when they are triggered by individual games.
Last year, Cadillac Jack introduced its “Power X Stream” series of slots, with games like “Legend of the White Buffalo” and “Fire Wolf.” The series has been a hit.
This year, the company is expanding the game library of the Power X Stream series with several new games taking advantage of a variety of innovative play mechanics.
New Power X Stream games include Great Griffin, Dark Romance and Release the Kraken. For the X Static Wilds brand of Power X Stream, launch games include Monarch Sun and Thunder Bear. In this game series, the unique 4-4-3-4-4 reel setup is used, which returns 720 ways to win for each spin. The right-to-left/left-to-right pays add to the frequency of big wins.
GTECH’s Spielo brand reached a new zenith with the hit game “Sphinx 3D.” That game introduced what the company calls “True 3D,” a technology that enables 3D graphics as authentic as any film at which you are distributed 3D glasses—maybe more so.
There are four new True 3D games being launched this month. Dragon’s Temple 3D is based on one of GTECH’s top three core games. The 3D technology in this game is used to great effect in the basic presentation of the reels as three scrolls, with expanding wild symbols and free spins contributing to a volatile math program. Dreams of Asia 3Dis based on a volatile math model designed for the Asian gambler.
Players who like more entertainment-based games are served by the first game in the PopCap series (based on the internet games) to be given the True 3D treatment, Bejeweled 3D. All base-game objects are in3D, with a four-by-five field of cascading reels, and a 3D bonus in which the technology is used to masterful effect—the player travels through a “Warp Tunnel” collecting bonus credits, and at certain junctures can choose to go left or right by moving his head.
Another bonus sequence takes the player into the “Bejeweled Castle,” which, in the internet PopCap game, is simply background art. GTECH has used the True 3D technology to take the player inside the castle rooms, created in intricate 3D detail, to pick credit prizes hidden behind objects.
Other True 3D titles to be launched at the show include Aladdin’s Fortune 3D and another being kept under wraps until show time.
GTECH also is launching several new community-style games, including the first two PopCap games to receive the community treatment, Bejeweled Community and Zuma Adventures.
Bejeweled Community features two entertaining base games as well as a variety of randomly triggered Bejeweled Bonuses, including a two-tiered community bonus with a “Take or Risk” feature in the second level. A mystery bonus allows the player to pick “Chance” for a normal free-spin round or “Skill,” which triggers an actual skill-based game of Bejeweled.
As has been the case for the better part of a decade, GTECH is adding to its series of games based on producer Endemol’s Deal Or No Deal TV game show.
Deal Or No Deal Las Vegas! is the first in the game series to be presented on GTECH’s MaXVusion cabinet, the large-top-box presentation originally launched with “Zuma” and other PopCap titles.
This year, the Deal game is accompanied by a new branded slot based on another Endemol game show, The Money Drop. The game involves a series of player’s choice and risk propositions, in which each player can use strategy and risk assessment to target prizes and progressives.
GTECH will evolve some current popular core game families in new themes. There’s a new “Wild Stays Until It Pays” title, Queen of Olympus, where stacks of wilds remain on-screen until they contribute to a win. And the company’s current top game family, Trigger Tiles, will be featured in two new game themes, Wild Nymph and Uncovering Egypt. (Uncovering Egypt features a very entertaining “Excavation Bonus.”)
Incredible Technologies, the big amusement game company (“Golden Tee Golf”) that began building slot machines a few years ago, is launching a new state-of-the-art cabinet called Infiniti U23, featuring two horizontal 23-inch touch-screen monitors in a sleek, ergonomic setup. Highlights to game visuals are provide by “Intelligent Bank Lighting” that provides in-game, multi-colored lighting displays, synchronized and sequenced according to game events.
Top games include Lion’s Roar, the first “ways to win” game from IT. A four-by-five screen pays for adjacent symbols in the non-payline game, for a total of 1,024 possible ways to win on each spin.
A free-spin bonus round occurs in one of three different “bonus worlds”—Kenya, Siberia or the Amazon. Each environment includes different bonus features like mystery wilds and multipliers. Free spins can retrigger up to a maximum 100 free games.
The Quest of Perseus recreates the mythical Greek story of Medusa and Perseus, who battles the dreaded monster in a Free Spin Battle with stacked “Perseus” symbols providing extra wins.
Lady of the Dead is a 25-line video slot tailored for Latin American markets, celebrating Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead). The graphics feature authentic imagery associated with Day of the Dead celebrations, along with game features like a three-level progressive, random “Popping Wilds” a full-reel Lady of the Dead top-paying symbols. If the player collects 25 Lady of the Dead symbols, it triggers a spin on a bonus wheel that can lead to one of the progressives.
Fortuno the Great is a 25-line game recreating the experience of old-time carnival magic, with a three-level progressive, Popping Wilds and full symbol reels, similar to Lady of the Dead.
Cash Fairies is a 30-line video slot built around mischievous pixies that meet on the reels to trigger one of two second-screen picking games. Behind each pick are instant credits, additional picks and doors to additional bonus rounds. A free-spin round can be retriggered up to 100 free games.
Fired Up features a specialty top box holding the “Power Tower Wheel,” a combination wheel-spin and ladder-style bonus.
Money Inferno is a sequel to it’s popular “Crazy Money,” including a “Money Catch” bonus in which players must tap the screen to “catch” flying dollar bills.
International Game Technology
IGT is recommitting to the classic reel-spinner this year, with the release of S3000, its first new mechanical reel series in decades. The vastly improved and modernized version of the classic IGT reel-spinner was carefully created with lots of input from stalwart reel-spinning players.
IGT is releasing a collection of new reel-spinners along with new versions of all of its favorites. The company also is using S3000 to reprise an iconic brand, the Quartermania big-money three-reel quarter progressive slots.
IGT’s first 50 new S3000 games will include classic three-reel games; new three-reel, single-line games; and first-to-market five-reel multi-line games.
The lineup includes classics Double Diamond, Double Gold, Wild Cherry, Super Times Pay and others. New games include Red Hot Tamales and Triple Gold.
On the video side, IGT is launching new versions of IGT classic core video slots including Wolf Run and Enchanted Unicorn. The classic games are beefed up with new bonus features and play styles. In the “Dynasty Edition,” new versions Wolf Run, Siberian Storm and Treasure of Troy merge original game features with enhanced characteristics, such as amplified bonus content.
Wolf Run and Enchanted Unicorn are also used as the first base games in the new series Hot Roulette, which combines the themes with bonus content that gives players a touch-screen game of roulette in the top box. It’s a follow-up to the successful “Hot Roll” feature offering a bonus dice game for core video base games.
Hot 21 applies the same bonus concept to a game of blackjack, which plays out in that entry of the Dynasty Series.
“King Reels” is an innovative reel configuration displaying a total of90 paylines—30 in the base game and 60 on the top box. The two themes launching the series are Turquoise Princess and Farmer’s Daughter, the latter featuring classic comical farmer’s-daughter gags in funny animation with goofy cartoon music.
Tokidoki brings the famous Japanese lifestyle brand to the slot floor with a game featuring the brand’s most beloved characters, including Moofia, Donutella & Her Sweet Friends, UnicornO, Cactus Friends and Punkstar. The slot features a 1,024-ways-to-win setup.
In addition to individual core games, IGT will launch several new game series, each featuring an innovative play mechanic. The “Mega Free Games” series features bonus triggers yielding up to a maximum of 450 free games, with a twist—the player is given a volatility choice from several free-spin/multiplier combinations.
Titles like Panda Park and Fortune Trader offer free-spin sets with2X, 4X, 8X or 16X multipliers. Players can choose a straight credit award instead of sitting through hundreds of free games, but unlike other games of this nature, the player can change his mind mid-course—at any time during the spins, the player can stop and take a credit award that approximates the likely range of awards in the remaining spins.
IGT is introducing the Ellen series of games, based on comedian Ellen DeGeneres’ wildly popular daytime talk show.
The two base games—The Ellen DeGeneres Show Featuring Ellen’s Dance Party and The Ellen DeGeneres Show Featuring 12 Days of Giveaways—use the impressive Crystal Core 42 cabinet to mine the most popular features of the hit daytime show.
The Crystal Core, used to great effect on last year’s “Avatar” games, features a 42-inch vertical touch-screen LCD monitor that provides a good canvass to recreate the audience frenzy that always happens on DeGeneres’ show, including a funny sequence in which Ellen does her famous audience dance through a cheering studio crowd, collecting bonus awards for the player along the way.
Another branded slot on the Crystal Core cabinet represents the first dedicated theme for IGT’s Power bucks multi-state commercial wide-area progressive link. Called Powerhits, the game provides compelling visuals, and a top jackpot fueled by slots in three states (to date)—Nevada, New Jersey and South Dakota.
Other big branded games to be launched at G2E include Harley-Davidson: The Open Road and Ghostbusters: Back in Business.
Finally, skill games in IGT’s Reel Edge series get a boost, as does IGT’s collection of industry-standard video poker. This year, IGT adds to Reel Edge with Race Ace, featuring a skill-based virtual car race, with the player using the joystick and spin button (the accelerator) to navigate his car around the others on the screen.
Heading up the lineup of video poker games is All Star Poker III, the evolution of top-performing All Star II, as well as Game Star, a new bundle game set with unique game mechanics available in six new single-hand poker games and a multi-hand stud poker theme.
Heading up Konami’s new game list is Dungeons & Dragons, based on the board game that launched a genre of role-playing games that gained wide popularity in the 1980s. Players of Dungeons & Dragons each take on the role of a warrior, and under the regulation of the “Dungeon Master” referee, embark on adventures and battles within the fantasy world created by the game.
Dungeons & Dragons created a whole subculture of players, a fact not lost on Konami game designers as they sought to recreate the experience.
By any measure, Dungeons & Dragons is a striking slot game. The game’s cabinet—the Podium Monument, with its oversized top box and 32-inch vertical monitor—is encased in faux stone to represent the castle housing the dungeon.
On the side of the cabinet are glowing runes—an actual message in Draconic, which is the official language of Dungeons & Dragons (really), translated as, “The path to wealth is through the red dragon.” Topping off the game is a sculpted red dragon with glowing red eyes, and there is an optional larger dragon, complete with wings, that rotates to be seen by just about everybody in the casino.
The game features Konami’s trademark “Action Stacked Symbols,” obscured on initial spins but revealed to increase wins. It also features a giant virtual wheel in the top-box monitor, which is spun to reveal one of four sets of free spins or the Dungeons & Dragons feature, a picking bonus with the number of picks controlled by the 20-sided “gem dice” that will be familiar to D&D aficionados.
Dungeons & Dragons is only one of several new releases on the Podium Monument cabinet to be launched at G2E. Another standout is Hammer Festival, a mystery progressive slot that features a hammer-wielding Amazonian monkey that knocks cash prizes out of a stack of coins. The monkey will swing the hammer knocking the amounts out until he runs out of energy, when you’re awarded the amount closest to you on the display. The progressive jackpot is on top of the stack—the monkey keeps knocking the progressive closer to you.
There’s even a feature that gets the monkey another “life,” if you will. Some blocks might reveal bananas, in which case the monkey will stop, eat a banana and get more energy, and start swinging again
Multimedia Games is on a mission to launch as many new games in the coming year as it has in the past three. There are new cabinets such as the Texas HDX cabinet—Multimedia’s version of the Big Bertha, eight feet tall, with two 42-inch LCD displays. There is seating for two, and play buttons for two.
One of the highlights of this year’s game launches for Multimedia will be a mix of new and encore games that showoff the company’s ability to produce clever entertainment-style video slots that appeal to a broad range of players.
For instance, two of Multimedia’s most popular video slots get new treatments this year, with Invasion 2: The Return and Haunted House After Dark.
Invasion 2 is a follow-up to the hilarious “Invasion from Outer Space,” using the same campy 1950s sci-fi film images(with MGAM employees again providing the screams).
The new Haunted House game is an elaborate extension of the creepy, masterful 3D animation in the first game, as the player searches through the rooms of a haunted mansion searching for bonus credits behind various objects.
Many new games from Multimedia this year are designed to make you laugh. Take Full Service, a theme that resurrects the gas station of old, with spiffy, uniformed attendants—called “Gas Jockeys” here—performing all manner of “super service” like checking tires, wiping wind-shields and of course, pumping your gas.
The Gas Jockeys sing an old-time commercial jingle at the start of one bonus, in perfect, hilarious harmony.
Kitty Riches is another funny game. The player picks a kitty at the beginning to serve as a wild symbol. In the “Black Cat Bonus,” a black catwalks across the screen and awards multipliers. But the funny part is the “meows” that come out of the sound system every time a kitty appears, from the “Catnip Wilds” to the free-spin bonus(“meow, meow, meow… free spins!”) to the “Pick’n Kitten Bonus,” in which you pick from a field of kittens until four match for a prize—the “meows” get louder as you approach the payoff.
In the High Rise tall-top series, the company is launching Super Jackpot Wheel, a five-reel video slot featuring Second Chance Wilds and four wheels in the progressive bonus—a slice on each wheel corresponds to a progressive jack-pot, and the player can win more than one of four jackpot levels.
One of the game design trends at Multimedia Games this year was the creation of a range of slots designed for higher denominations, both in video and reel-spinning games.
Among the high-denom highlights on the video side is Starry Night, a high-denomination—quarters through $5—version of the ode to the earliest days of motion pictures released in low-denomination versions two years ago.
A new game called Cash Boom Bang will be featured on the Tourn-Event tournament system.
The game features a random “Turbo Mode,” in which a contestant’s screen goes from one to four sets of reels for a period of super-charged spins. With each game at around 1,500 percent payback, the player’s score can jump a lot with four reel sets per spin.
WMS is launching new slot cabinet called Blades23, featuring dual superior-quality 23-inch HD displays, with two themes, Hot 8andDragons Over Nanjing.
WMS also will churn out new games on its most popular cabinet of the past two years, the Gamefield xD. A new generation of the cabinet will launch with the newest WMS brand, The Flintstones. Based on the iconic prime-time animated comedy series from the 1960s, the Flintstones slot machine mines the long-running show for all the funniest moments of Fred and Barney, the Stone-Age suburban working men. Don’t miss the “Bowling Bonus.” The player gets three balls to roll for Fred and Barney in one of the famous bowling scenes from the show—according to WMS officials, there were literally hundreds from which to choose, most of them hilarious.
Another highlight in the branded games is Elton John, a video slot featuring the famous rocker packed with mystery bonuses, multipliers, wheel spins and audio clips booming the legendary entertainer’s biggest hits through the WMS BOSE Surround Sound Chair.
The Elton John game features a clever adaptation of the Blade video cabinet—a giant pair of glasses is positioned over the top screen, with wheel spins and other bonuses inside the lenses. Bonuses include “I’m Still Standing,” in which blank spots in the reels are filled by wild symbols as that song plays; the “Saturday Night” wheel-spin bonus, and a random “Rocket Man” bonus.
Other highlights among the WMS branded video offerings are two licensed games in specialty formats, Mad Men and Battleship!
Mad Men, based on the popular AMC period show about Madison Avenue advertising executives in the 1960s, features a cabinet with a huge reel in the center, formed by a curved LCD monitor. Bonuses and animated video appear on the big reel. Battleship! is a take on the famous board game that is different than any of the several previous slot incarnations of the theme. It is the first time WMS has used a licensed brand in its Colossal Reels format, which adds an oversized, 12-symbol reel set to the standard reels with stacked symbols and wilds over the entire field.
WMS has themed this Battleship! game around the famous pinup girls whose images typically graced World War II bombers. Free-spin and other bonus events are set to boogie-woogie swing music to complete a nostalgic effect.
Rounding out the new brands being launched by WMS are Austin Powers, another Gamefield xD game (WMS is keeping the details on that one under wraps until the show) and Gremlins, a funny game based on the quirky1984 horror/sci-fi film.
Of course, the new brands will be accompanied at the show by new versions of some of the legendary WMS brands. Reel ‘Em In Super-cast is the classic fishing game like you’ve never seen it before. The bank of games is linked in what WMS calls the “Community Immersion” package, with players at the bank participating in a common fishing game on the large LCD monitor. A game mechanic known as “Sixth Sense” and joystick devices let players actually “cast” their reels to different areas of the video pond, and feel tugs on their line as the reel in a bonus fish.
WMS has re-committed to the mechanical reel-spinning genre this year, thanks mainly to the introduction of the Blade reel-spinning format. Perhaps the most prominent is another licensed brand the company recently picked up, Elvis.
The first WMS slot to celebrate the King of Rock and Roll is a classic three-reel stepper in high denominations, featuring a mechanical wheel bonus in which you pick the Elvis Presley you want to be featured in the clips: “Memphis Elvis” from the 1950s Sun Records days; “Hollywood Elvis” from Presley’s string of 1960s movies; or “Vegas Elvis,” from the days the more mature, jump-suited Elvis did his legendary concerts at the International Hotel.
Finally, WMS reprises an old favorite in the reel-spinning genre, resurrecting the “High Speed” game, one of the most popular titles in the slot-maker’s original group of stepper slots in the mid-1990s. High Speed Turbo is a five-reel stepper in a nine-line, 40-credit configuration.
The new-game lineup from WMS is rounded out by a remarkable collection of core video slots on the standard Blade and Blades23 cabinets. The cuteness factor rears its head again with two follow-ups to last year’s “OMG! Kittens”—OMG! Puppies and OMG! Kittens Safari. With slots already out there honoring Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, WMS finally pays tribute to the other main Rat Pack member with the Sammy Davis Jr. game. This one has a wild reel feature featuring Sammy dancing as the reel moves across the game screen.