CasinoCityTimes.com

Gurus
News
Newsletter
Author Home Author Archives Author Books Send to a Friend Search Articles Subscribe
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Newsletter Signup
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Recent Articles
Best of John Grochowski

Gaming Guru

author's picture
 

Slot machine love

27 August 2015

Some of my favorite slot machines in the video era were the tests of knowledge and skill Mikohn Gaming rolled out in the early 2000s. They weren’t for everyone, but those who liked them REALLY liked them. There was Battleship, where you could use a strategy to zero in on ships in the bonus event; Ripley’s Believe It or Not, where those whose heads are filled with trivia could build their bonuses; Yahtzee, where choosing which dice to reroll made a real difference in your reward; and more.

Mikohn is gone, bought out by Progressive Gaming which later sold its assets to International Gaming Technology.

However, American Gaming Systems has picked up the ball for those of us who like our slots with a little quiz on the side. Last year, AGS introduced the It Pays to Know series, which has grown to three titles based on well-known franchises.

The newest is Family Feud, based on the long-running TV game show. The series started with Ripley’s Believe It or Not – and hooray for the new take on an old favorite – and Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? They were developed by Olaf Vancura – the same exec who developed the Mikohn games. AGS brought Vancura onboard as vice president of game development in 2010, and he stayed until May of 2014 through the development of AGS’ Roadrunner gaming platform and the launch of the It Pays to Know series.

All are five-reel games configurable for penny, 2-cent or 5-cent play. Casino operators can set the maximum bet for either 250 or 400 coins. Play formats on the base games differ. Ripley’s has 27 paylines, but the Feud and 5th Grader all go four symbols deep on each reel and use a 1,024-ways-to-win scatter format. There are no traditional paylines. If a three-symbol match brings a payoff, their position doesn’t matter as long as you have at least one on each of the first three reels.

The It Pays to Know games include multi-level progressive jackpots, but the fun really is in the bonus events.

In Family Feud, the Survey Says bonus plays like the larger portion of the TV show. You’re given a question and several possible answers. You need to guess which answers were given by participants in a survey. If you choose an answer that wasn’t given, you get a buzzer and a big red “X.” The object is to pick the answers that were given and collect bonus credits before you collect three Xes.

There’s also a Fast Money bonus, and that plays like the TV show’s final round. You’re given five questions and six possible answers for each. You want to collect the highest-paying answer to each question.

Family Feud is a game of judging how other people would answer a survey. Ripley and 5th Grader are tests of knowledge. In 5th Grader, multiple-choice questions from the actual TV show are used, and correct answers help you advance grade levels to bigger bonuses. Just as in the show, you can use helps such as eliminating a possible answer or peeking at a virtual classmate’s answer.

Trivia answers on the hundreds of questions on the Ripley game were verified by the Ripley’s Believe It or Not staff. During play, you can earn assists, such as a Re-Do feature that lets you guess again after a wrong answer.

It’s all good fun for the trivia inclined, and I, for one, am hoping It Pays to Know enjoys a strong run.

Look for John Grochowski on Facebook (http://tinyurl.com/7lzdt44) and Twitter (@GrochowskiJ).
Recent Articles
Best of John Grochowski
John Grochowski

John Grochowski is the best-selling author of The Craps Answer Book, The Slot Machine Answer Book and The Video Poker Answer Book. His weekly column is syndicated to newspapers and Web sites, and he contributes to many of the major magazines and newspapers in the gaming field, including Midwest Gaming and Travel, Slot Manager, Casino Journal, Strictly Slots and Casino Player.

Listen to John Grochowski's "Casino Answer Man" tips Tuesday through Friday at 5:18 p.m. on WLS-AM (890) in Chicago. Look for John Grochowski on Facebook and Twitter @GrochowskiJ.

John Grochowski Websites:

www.casinoanswerman.com

Books by John Grochowski:

> More Books By John Grochowski

John Grochowski
John Grochowski is the best-selling author of The Craps Answer Book, The Slot Machine Answer Book and The Video Poker Answer Book. His weekly column is syndicated to newspapers and Web sites, and he contributes to many of the major magazines and newspapers in the gaming field, including Midwest Gaming and Travel, Slot Manager, Casino Journal, Strictly Slots and Casino Player.

Listen to John Grochowski's "Casino Answer Man" tips Tuesday through Friday at 5:18 p.m. on WLS-AM (890) in Chicago. Look for John Grochowski on Facebook and Twitter @GrochowskiJ.

John Grochowski Websites:

www.casinoanswerman.com

Books by John Grochowski:

Winning Tips for Casino Games

> More Books By John Grochowski