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Who Dunnit? WMS Gaming!8 December 1999
Ever since Reel 'Em In hooked a growing segment of slot players on multiline, multicoin video slot machines, some players have struggled with the idea of maximum bets of 45 coins or more.
After all, if you bet nine coins on each of five paylines, you're wagering $2.25 per pull on a nickel machine. If you're betting quarters, that's $11.25 per pull. Bet dollars, and . . . well, let's not even think about that.
At the annual World Gaming Congress and Expo at the Las Vegas Convention Center, Chicago-based Williams showed it has been thinking ahead, as usual.
With a new video game called Who Dunnit?, Williams introduced an option for casinos to offer multiline games with smaller maximum bets. Who Dunnit? has nine paylines, and Williams showed a model for quarter or dollar play that accepts a maximum of two coins per payline.
That cuts the maximum bet down from 45 coins at five per line to 18 coins on the new models. At $4.50 per pull on a quarter machine or $18 on a dollar machine, that's still higher than on the old two- or three-coin reel spinners, but keep in mind that multiline video games offer no bonus for maximum-coin play. Until that changes, you don't reduce your payback percentage by betting less than the maximum.
Who Dunnit? was one of the highlights at Williams' booth at the expo, where casino suppliers gather each year to show off their new wares, from the latest in casino furniture and security systems to new slot machines and table games.
The game is a 1940s-style detective story. Hitting three detective symbols on the reels launches the second screen. Eight 3-D characters sit around a table that has a valuable item in the center. With a clap of thunder, the room blacks out. When the lights come back on, the item has been stolen. Now the player must find the thief - and the faster the player can find who dunnit, the bigger the bonus.
When the player finds the thief by touching the character on the screen, there is the potential for a bonus within a bonus. Sometimes, the culprit will go on the lam, and another screen will appear with potential hiding places. There's a further bonus for finding the thief's hideout.
Who Dunnit? looks like a worthy addition to the Williams video line that includes Reel 'Em In, Filthy Rich, Boom!, Instant Winner, Jackpot Party and Monopoly.
Also coming from Williams is an enhanced version of Reel 'Em In that features two video screens. Called Reel 'Em In Cast for Cash, this multiline, multicoin video game gives you the second-screen fishing bonus both from the perspective of the fisherman and the fish.
Just as in Reel 'Em In, the second screen is launched when you hit three fishing lures on consecutive reels, regardless of whether they're on the same payline. You still choose from among five fishermen to reel in your bonus. But this time, the fishermen are on the top video screen. The bottom screen shows fish swimming in the water. When you choose your fisherman to cast for cash, you see him drop a worm above, and the fish swim to the bait as the worm sinks below.
A small fish on the hook still means a small bonus, but in the new game, there's a chance a larger fish will gobble up the smaller one and get hooked himself, increasing the bonus.
Sometimes, you'll reel in a bottle instead of the fish. The bottles have messages - sometimes you'll find an invitation to a fishing derby, and sometimes you'll get a certificate for a fishing vacation.
In the derby, your fisherman competes with the other four in a timed event to see who can reel in the most, and biggest, fish. A bonus is awarded according to what place your fisherman finishes.
If you get the fishing vacation, you choose a site, and the scenery changes. Choose Lake Mead, near Las Vegas, and on the top screen the fishermen find Hoover Dam in the background, while on the bottom fish swim around an old slot machine wreck that's leaking coins.
Get really lucky on the fishing vacation, and you'll find one of the legendary creatures that swim at each site. In Scotland, you're after the Loch Ness Monster, while in Lake Mead, you'll go for the legendary Elvis fish.
That's Williams' way of giving you a little more fun for your money at the slots.
For more information about slot machines, we recommend:The Slot Machine Answer Book by John Grochowski
Break the One Armed Bandits: How to Come Out Ahead When You Play the Slots! by Frank Scoblete
Slot Conquest Audio Cassette Tape (60 minutes) with Frank Scoblete
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Best of John Grochowski