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Best of John Grochowski
I love skill-based games!13 November 2014
Race Ace has a Mario Kart feel. You pick a car and character, then press a button on the console to accelerate, and use a joystick to steer your car around the track. Along the way, you can collect speed boosts, weapons to derail opposing drivers and shields to protect you from malevolent foes.
When IGT core games product manager Nick Nistler asked if I wanted to give it a go, I was game.
“It’s very easy to understand,” he said as I took my seat. “When you get into the bonus, you pick a racer and then you race two laps around the track.”
My rust showed from the start. I was right on the joystick, but gave the field a head start when I was a split second slow in hitting the accelerator. And once I got going, I spent a lot of time scraping walls and sending sparks flying.
I never did get to No. 1, but I was better than middle of the pack, picked up good-sized bonus, and had a lot of fun.
“This is a very niche type of product, and we understand that,” Nistler said. “Ideally, this would be placed in a high-traffic spot near a center bar, where young people like to be, or maybe outside a nightclub.”
IGT had dozens of new games on display, including Ellen, featuring images, video, animation and sound from Ellen Degeneres. There are two versions in the initial release: Dance Party, a 432-ways-to-win game, and 12 Days of Giveaway, a five-reel video slot with traditional paylines.
In one Dance Party Bonus, a stack of Ellen symbols on the first reel sends an animated Ellen dancing across the screen, adding more Ellen symbols as she goes for potential big wins. And in 12 Days of Giveaway, fans of Degeneres’ talk show will know the Wheel of Riches bonus before they even play – and you get to spin the wheel by touching the screen, dragging and letting it fly.
Among the latest Wheel of Fortune innovations is Power Wedges, where the players can see exactly what they need to do to be eligible for a big wide-area progressive jackpot. If you bet 100 or 200 credits, the video bonus wheel has wedges for bonus credits, but none for the progressives. Bet 300, and there’s one progressive wedge, bet 400 and there are two progressive wedges, and a max bet of 500 credits brings four jackpot wedges to the wheel. The bigger the bet, the bigger the jackpot opportunity.
For reel-spinning fans, there’s the new S3000 cabinet, a big leap forward from the S2000 cabinet that dominates current mechanical reel games. Each machine has more than 600 LEDs that not only command attention when the machine is idle, but which can be integrated into gameplay. The top box has a touchscreen that can be used for bonus play, and the LEDs and screens at neighboring machines can be integrated into one big light and sound show.
IGT says there will be 24 new games along with 30 legacy games coming to the cabinet in the coming year.
Look for John Grochowski at www.casinoanswerman.com, on Facebook (http://tinyurl.com/7lzdt44) and Twitter (@GrochowskiJ).
This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at email@example.com.
Best of John Grochowski