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IT's innovation machine selection!27 September 2012
Both were games I played during a two-night, three-casino swing I took in July with my wife Marcy. On the third stop, the plan was just to stay for a couple of hours playing penny slots together, making minimum bets and just having a relaxed good time.
Since that was the plan, I wanted to look for slot games a little outside the ordinary, and didn’t have to look very hard. Almost immediately we found a bank of games from Incredible Technologies, and “different” is what IT does. A new kid on the block as far as slot manufacturers go, IT is a creative force in playing with what video slot machines can do.
This bank of games included King of Bling, Mahjong Mystery and All Mixed Up games. I settled in at All Mixed Up, betting 40 cents a spin on a penny game.
All Mixed Up is from IT’s Innovation Collection of non-traditional slot games. The company has a traditional collection, too, with games that don’t stray TOO far from the casino norms, but while putting IT’s own stamp on the video slot format. On this day, however, I was in a mood to try a game with a difference.
The biggest difference on All Mixed Up is that the reels rotate horizontally instead of vertically. You still wind up with five stacks, each three symbols deep, but here you’re trying to make the stacks align into people, with matched head, torso and lower body. The space alien’s head atop the football player’s middle atop the model’s high heels might give you a chuckle, but it’s not going to get you any credits.
However, there are LOTS of ways to win credits in this game -- 355 according to IT’s website. Matching up the full character is one way. If one stack brings the football player’s head, torso and cleats, you’re going to win. But there also are smaller wins for upper body match -- head and torso -- and lower body match -- torso and feet. There are color connect pays for matching background colors on symbols, even if they’re for different characters.
A couple of times I advanced to a Portrait Puzzler Bonus. A jigsaw puzzle of the alien appeared and I had to pick pieces to try to compete the picture. The best I got was five of the seven pieces, worth a nice payoff but not the big bonus that would have come with all seven.
I lost my $20, but I’d play it again. It was a fun game with a difference, and that’s what I look for in a penny slot.
MORE INCREDIBLE: Incredible Technologies, a big name in amusement games with its megahit Golden Tee Golf, made its first splash in casino games with its Magic Touch slots, which allow players to touch the screen to choose “win big,” “win steady” or “win often.” That indicates high, medium or low volatility. The graphics and game play are the same, but the frequency of big wins and small hits change to give the player a different experience.
The volatility choice is optional for casinos. As I travel, I’ve sometimes spotted games I’d first seen in their choose-your-volatility form with that option turned off. Nevertheless, the format has been influential, with slot machine giant IGT building a volatility choice into its Twilight Zone slots and other manufacturers including volatility choice into bonus events on some games.
[Look for John Grochowski on Facebook (http://tinyurl.com/7lzdt44); Twitter (@GrochowskiJ) and at casinoanswerman.com.]
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Best of John Grochowski