WMS is riding high on the popularity of the new “Gamefield xD” format, which combines a horizontally situated portrait monitor with an upright monitor—the setup is not unlike a pinball machine, but the horizontal and vertical screens work together to present games like never before.
Last year, Gamefield xD spawned great new games in the “Monopoly” and “Wizard of Oz” franchises. This year, it’s
Iron Man, based on the series of films starring Robert Downey Jr. as the Marvel Comics hero. Footage from the movies is worked intricately into the mechanics of the game. Downey’s Iron Man character appears to manipulate various aspects of the base game.
The character (an engineer named Tony Stark who creates a powered suit of armor after kidnappers try to force him to create a weapon) appears in his laboratory to throw wild symbols onto the reels, or to expand the reels until they are 12 spaces high—a feat made possible by the tall game screen. Other raw footage from the films is cleverly manipulated into various bonus features of the game.
In Clue, the second WMS game to be based on the famous whodunnit board game, the player is again rewarded in bonus events for solving a mystery by guessing which character used which weapon for a murder in which room of a mansion, but each room of that mansion also appears as a separate reel set on the top Gamefield xD screen.
When a symbol representing one of the four mansion rooms lands on the main game screen, the corresponding reel set on the top box spins with from two to 15 wild symbols guaranteed. In the free game round, all five of the reel sets spin.
Beetlejuice uses the Gamefield xD format to bring to life all of the most memorable moments from the quirky 1988 Tim Burton film starring Michael Keaton, Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis, a whimsical look at what happens after death.
In a play on the film’s main character, a poltergeist who comes to life when you say his name three times, a picking bonus yields credit amounts until you pick his name three times, triggering the scene from the film in which Beetlejuice rises from his coffin in a grand gesture, only this time to award a prize. It’s a sequence that could only be done with the Gamefield xD format.
Other bonuses include a free-spin round based on the famous scene in which the mischievous spirit causes the snobby family to go into a dance to Harry Belafonte’s “Banana Boat Song.” (“DAY-o!”)
Also from WMS, don’t miss Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, in which scenes from the popular 1980s film merge seamlessly with the game features, and the comedy of the film—it was voted one of the 100 funniest movies of all time in one survey—comes through in a hilarious game.