WMS’ Sweepstakes introduces its groundbreaking new Monopoly game
by Frank Legato
WMS Gaming has launched yet another slot game that is nothing like anything else in a casino. And, once again, the slot manufacturer is doing all it can to let players know.
Last year, WMS launched the “Powerball” multi-progressive video slot. Just as the video slot’s technology was brand-new, so was the way in which the slot-maker got the word out about the new game. Using its website, www.wms.com, WMS launched a sweepstakes that gave players the chance to win money while at the same time learning all about Powerball.
Early this year, the manufacturer did the same thing with “Monopoly Big Event,” the Monopoly game featuring a communal bonus event played by several players on a common overhead screen.
From now through mid-November, we get to do it all over again with yet another groundbreaking Monopoly game. This one’s called “Monopoly Super Money Grab.” It uses the manufacturer’s amazing new “Transmissive Reels” technology, which combines the reel-spinning and video slot genres in a way that’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen.
Transmissive Reels games have five mechanical reels, just like any of the multi-line penny reel-spinners. However, over the face of the entire machine front—including the reels themselves—is a thin film that creates a color video touch-screen.
In fact, the entire face of the game is a video screen, on which familiar WMS Monopoly animation plays, even as the reels are spinning. In remarkably crisp and clear animation, the “Mr. Monopoly” character walks his dog along a street just below the reels as they are spinning. When a winning combination lands, animated coins spill over the reels themselves. Bonus rounds use a combination of music, animated dancing characters and the spinning reels themselves, in a free-game mode. It’s something you’ve got to experience for yourself to get the full picture.
Future of Gaming
WMS is helping players get that full picture with a new sweepstakes on its website. On Aug. 15, the manufacturer launched the “Future of Gaming Sweepstakes” on www.wms.com. The contest gives players a chance to win an instant prize through a demonstration of the Monopoly Super Money Grab game.
The contest will award a total of 4,500 instant prizes of “e-certificates,” gift certificates ranging from $10 to $50 that can be redeemed online at outlets such as Circuit City, Amazon.com and Red Envelope.
But that’s only one aspect of the promo—there also are five grand prizes, thanks to the fact that WMS has four operators partnering with the slot-maker in the promotion. “This is a multi-phased promotion,” says Rob Bone, vice president of marketing for WMS. “We’ve partnered with four corporate entities—Harrah’s Entertainment, Station Casinos, Boyd Gaming and Isle of Capri.”
According to Bone, players can enter the contest on the websites of any of the four operators as well as on the “generic landing page” at wms.com. He says the operators will send out “e-blasts” to the e-mail addresses of player’s club members, inviting them to participate in the sweepstakes. “The operators are participating in the sweepstakes to promote this product on their casino floors,” Bone says. “But you don’t need to be a player’s club member of any of the operators; the contest is open to anyone.”
To participate, either visit the link provided by one of the operators’ player’s clubs or go to www.wms.com/smgsweeps. You will be presented with an instant game that mimics how Super Money Grab and the Transmissive Reels technology work—specifically, you will see an image of the main bonus screen, which places a cartoon character underneath each of the spinning reels, dancing to a swing tune (recorded, of course, by WMS Gaming’s live orchestra).
On the website game, the player is prompted to select one of the five characters, who grabs a symbol out of the corresponding reel. Fifty times per day, that symbol will translate into one of the instant-win e-certificates. Players can return to the site once per day. Each time you go to the site, you log an entry into the grand-prize sweepstakes.
At the end of the 90-day promotion period on Nov. 13, five drawings will be held—one from among the entries earned on the WMS site, and one at the website of each of the four participating operators. Each drawing will yield one grand prize winner. Each of the operators will offer first-class travel and accommodations to one of their properties, along with $1,000 in spending cash, show tickets and/or spa treatments.
The WMS prize will offer the winner a choice of a trip to one of the properties of any of the four participating operators.
“We encourage players to participate in this promotion to understand the key aspects of this revolutionary game, while at the same time earning prizes and a chance at a luxurious trip,” says Bone.
Super Money Grab
The chance at winning one of the prizes is just the gravy. The real purpose of the promotion is to introduce players to Monopoly Super Money Grab, a game that surely lives up to its billing as the “future of gaming.”
You will find the game in both stand-alone and progressive versions, in configurations with nine, 20 or 25 paylines. Bone says that although it will be available to casinos in several denominations, it will mainly be a penny game.
Normal game play provides a mechanical reel-spinning feel with distinct video features—for instance, aside from the animated video on the face of the main game panel, the video overlay on the reels shows the paylines on which winning combinations have landed. A payline combination leads to the top award of $10,000 in the stand-alone version, or to a multi-site progressive jackpot resetting at $100,000 in Nevada or the Native American jurisdictions.
There are three different bonus events, combining features typical to both video and traditional reel-spinning slots.
Three or more Chance Cards on an active payline trigger the Chance Bonus. Monopoly-style Chance cards appear as video overlays on the first thee reels. The player is prompted to select one the cards to reveal either a credit award or one of the other two bonus events, the Top Box Award Feature or the Money Grab Free Spin Feature.
The top-box feature is much like a mechanical top-box bonus you would find on a traditional reel-spinner. The video overlay on the main screen features an image of Mr. Monopoly telling the player to “look up.” Lights in the top box flash behind images of various multiplier amounts, from 20X to 3,000X, to be multiplied by the triggering wager. After the flashing stops at random on one bonus award, Mr. Monopoly holds his hands out and tells the player to pick one, which reveals either “Collect” or “Keep Going.” Collect ends the bonus; Keep Going awards the top-box amount and repeats the process for another award, to continue until Collect is revealed.
The main bonus feature is Money Grab Free Spin. When this is triggered, the sound system launches into a big-band swing number while comical Monopoly characters appear under the reels and dance to the music. Free spins rack up credits while dollar symbols cause each reel’s video “chamber” to fill with cash. When a hand symbol appears, the corresponding character jumps up and grabs some of the cash, which translates to a bonus on the credit meter.
The remaining reels continue to accumulate money in their chambers, and increment the bonus when another hand symbol lands.
In all, it is a thoroughly engaging and visually compelling style of video slot—and one that is completely unique. “This game style provides the future of gaming for players today,” Bone says. “It fuses the best of spinning reels with a 3D animated touch-screen that puts images not only around the reels but on top of the reels. It’s the best of mechanical beets the best of video reels, and it gives the player a lot of value for his dollar.”
Bone says WMS already has several other Transmissive Reels games in the works—the next one to be launched will be a John Wayne-themed game. New games are in the works for the company’s other groundbreaking game styles as well, including a new game in the “Sensory Immersion” series (which gave us last year’s Top Gun), the Wizard of Oz.
And, wherever possible, the company plans to use its website to introduce its latest games. “We see the Internet as a great means to educate players on big new products which we feel warrant their attention,” says Bone. “These education pieces will be rich, engaging and fun, and will help players understand how revolutionary these products are.” •
|Monopoly Super Money GrabSLOT TYPE:
Five-reel, multi-line, video/mechanical hybrid; second-screen and top-box bonus events; progressive jackpot; penny denominationPAYBACK % RANGE:
AVERAGE HIT FREQUENCY: