Sunday, November 14, 2010

New Slots from WMS G+ DELUXE Review

So 2.5 years ago when I abandoned this blog, my last post was about the WMS G+ Series, and today I bring you my reactions to their brand new G+ Deluxe series.

In a word --- meah. I mean really WMS, in nearly 3 years this is all the improvement you can muster?

I strolled into my usual haunt Red Rock Casino, and decided to play the new "I Love Lucy" "Win it Again" WMS slots, and in their place were these G+ Deluxe machines. I say "in their place" but really, they are the same cabinets controlled by "Server Based" gaming . . . meaning the casino can change the games and the payouts (yes, the PAYOUTS) anytime they want with a push of a button.

That said, the cabinets do not limit the bells and whistles of the game too much, as the top screen can and often does have all sorts of action, although it is NOT interactive touch screen action. So if you like games where you can't pick the wrong thing, then you shouldn't notice much lacking from your experience.

All that considered, I sat down and tried my luck. There were four of these new games, including Kronos (think "Zeus"), Zanzibar, Dragon's Riches, and something jungle themed. I played "Dragon's Riches." The first thing I noticed was the larger symbols, and the weird line configurations. You can bet between 1 and 30 lines (this is a penny machine), but those lines may not pay off in ways you are used to. There is a bonus round triggered by three dragon symbols that give you 10 free spins, with up to 100 free spins if you get five bonus symbols. I never got more than 3 dragons. There are also stacked wilds, and a "Replicating Wilds" feature -- if a special dragon symbol lands in the center and you have winning lines, it can send out wilds to enhance your win. There is also a "minor" and a "major" progressive. The minor pays out before $50, and the major pays out before $500. Every time you have a significant win a little (very little) is added to the progressive amount. I sat down when my minor progressive was at $42 and after an hour or two (two beers anyways), the progressive inched up to $44 and change, and paid out for me. The payout happens randomly after a win. Over on the other side, a woman played her machine until her minor progressive was well over $49.70 -- then it FINALLY paid off for her.

Probably the most interesting feature of these machines is the "Game Stats" section, where you can see just what the payout history has been. I'm not sure these stats really say anything about what you might win, but they do reveal that Big Wins, and progressive payouts are few and far between (but we knew that already).

I did play for quite a while, and I did leave ahead, but I was generally bored with the games. As I've played so many slots, I do tend to figure them out quickly, and once you know what is happening a certain spark of interest is lost. After all, it is just a new way to take your money.

My major complaint is the graphics, which are a little crude by WMS standards, and I believe the "Server Based" gaming aspect has had all the slot companies churning out new games, but some have been of lesser quality.

So give these new games a spin, but don't expect too much. With the exception of the "Game Stats", you've basically seen all this stuff before.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


Wow! Where does the time go? Two and a half years ago, I abandoned this Slot Blog, and just today found it again, and guess what? People ACTUALLY read it, and commented! Now if I can only find the 5 or 6 other blogs I've abandoned -- one is called 'Abandoned Blogs' -- I might keep myself busy writing, and losing less money in the slots.

So the question is, do I still live in Vegas, and do I still play? Yes, and yes.

However, as the Great Recession has taken the wind out of nearly all of our sails, I do limit my time in the casinos to free play, and free buffets. Still, I do try out all the new slots that hit the floor, and I will be more than happy to tell y'all about them.

So, I apologize for falling off the face of the earth, let's just say that weird timeless environment casinos love to create sucked me out of the Bloggersphere for awhile.

I'm back, and looking for the cocktail waitress.

Monday, March 3, 2008

New G+ Series Slots from WMS

Well, I went searching for new slots last night at Red Rock Casino and I found some -- just not the ones I was hoping for.

I wanted to find the WMS' Money Burst and Rotating Wild machines, but instead stumbled upon some new versions of their G+ series.

Par for the course these days -- there is no information on these slots on WMS' website -- but there they are bold as day on the casino floor.

The machines are "Egypt," "Roman Something Or Other," "Fortune Seeker," and "Samarai Something Or Other."

Okay, they aren't really called "Something Or Other," I just can't remember their names exactly, and frankly do we really need more Roman or Asian themes machines? Apparently, we do.

But, I digress . . . the G+ series are simple in their offerings, usually one bonus round, sometimes featuring stacked wilds, and volatile.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Dean Martin's Wild Party Slots Hit the Floor

Sometimes you find new slots in the strangest places. Last night I was downtown to play my free $15 at Binion's and decided to park at the Vegas Club across the street.

Strolling through the casino to my car, I spied "Glitz" a new "Money Burst" game from WMS I saw next to the Dean Martin game I'd admired at the Global Gaming Expo. With giddy anticipation I checked the bank of machines opposite "Glitz" and there it was! "Dean Martin's Wild Party!"

Sometimes you just never know which casinos are going to feature the new games first. The Vegas Club, in conjuction with it's neighbor the Plaza (both run by Tamares Group -- which has a rather tenuous hold on it's holdings) have seen better days. Still, I've noticed that whoever is running the slot selection is not afraid to try new things, and keep the mix on the casino floor fresh.

Dean Martin's Wild Party is a volatile game, but worth the trouble if you can hit a bonus round. It is unusual in that it starts with only two lines that funnel into sixty.

You get sixty lines for thirty credits, and the bonus round of five free spins is triggered if you get four of the same symbols (wilds count) in the first four positions. These symbols hold for the remainder of the spins. If you get three bonus symbols you also get the free spins but have a choice to make (I didn't get there so I don't exactly know how this works) to determine the first symbols.

During the bonus round Dean-o and his background singers keep you entertained with a song I don't quite recall entitled "Go, Go, Go!" and "Ain't That a Kick in the Head" -- if you are lucky the bonus can be long as all the lines hit and tally up. I got two wild symbols that guaranteed a payoff with every spin. Of course you can speed things along by hitting a button, but as this was my first bonus on this machine I let it take it's time and savored the moment. My thirty cent bet turned into $25.00 in the bonus round.

"Glitz" works the same way, but I don't care for the graphics so I didn't try it out.

Once again I can't find any info on the machine on WMS' website, but consulting my catalog, I see they describe "Money Burst" as "new reel layout, 60 lines for 30 credits, and fast play drive hyper-volatile math model." I'm not so sure I like that "hyper-volatile math model" part. I would say if you are lucky enough to hit a bonus round to skee-daddle like I did.

I almost got out the door of the Vegas Club, but another new slot caught my eye -- this one from IGT. A new Wheel of Fortune machine I didn't notice at the Global Gaming Expo -- "Viva Las Vegas" featuring Elvis Presley as "Lucky" and Ann Margret as "Rusty."

The info I found on IGT's website is adobe stuff, and seems to be for a more traditional mechanical reel game -- word to IGT and WMS -- if the slots are on the floor they should be represented on your website. Oh, and while you are at it, why not have more slot player oriented promotional material?

But I digress -- I hit a couple of bonus rounds (8 free spins) that may or may not entitle you to spin the wheel (a wheel symbol has to pop up) but after a few minutes I was down $10 and decided to go. I enjoyed the Elvis and Ann Margaret singing symbols and the expanding wild, but all and all, I found the bonus round rather boring and unfulfilling, especially when I couldn't hit a wheel spin.

So Wheel of Fortune "Viva Las Vegas" didn't hold my attention as long as Dean Martin's Wild Party, but maybe it was just the kinda night I was having.

I'm glad to see new slots on the floor, and I'll check today to see if Red Rock has added any new slots to the mix.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Cash Back vs. Comps -- It's Not Always a Clear Choice

The other night I was at Rampart Casino, and it was steak night at the buffet. I knew I had $42 in cash or comps so I headed to the Player's club to get a buffet voucher. Well, it was much easier said than done.

The woman behind the counter told me they were not issueing food vouchers that day. I didn't really understand, but had a vague awareness of an offer where if you get 600 points in a day you will get a free buffet on your next visit.

I told her I wanted to use my regular points to pay for my meal. At Station Casinos this is a pretty simple system, merely swiping my card and entering my pin at the cashier.

She offered me the Rampart/Cannery newspaper and told me there was a coupon in there. I was still rather confused, and finally she told me I could get my cash back and pay cash at the buffet.

So I was issued a voucher for $20 -- roughly half my points, and went to the cashier to get $20 in cold hard cash. I then took my cash and coupon to the buffet.

Sometimes I'm tempted just to cash out all my points around town and be done with it. I'll go back to watching TV and movies at night and eating at In-n-Out burgers.

Friday, February 22, 2008

New Slots on the Floor - Hitchcock Theatre and Up, Up, and Away

I made the rounds at Suncoast and Rampart casino this week and was pleasantly surprised to see that Wizard of Oz and Monopoly Up, Up and Away are creeping onto the casino floors.

I was amazed to see a new slot WMS' "Hitchcock Theatre" similar (meaning it fits into the same cabinets and has surprise bonuses bases on an extra bet) to "Gold Fish" and "Mermaid's Gold." I went to WMS' website (as I always do to provide a link) but couldn't find anything on this machine.

That left me to my own devices to play the darn thing and figure it out for myself. This of course, was easier said than done, as slot players are geniuses at sniffing out the new machines and testing their luck -- suffice it to say, I had competition.

At Suncoast this was difficult, but I did get a little time and hit a couple of bonus rounds with Alfred Hitchcock as my guide.

Like "Gold Fish" and "Mermaid's Gold" an extra bet of 10 credits is needed to activate the famed director popping up with a "Bird's Bonus" where the reels spin and the birds add wilds to the mix, an intermission bonus where sodas add wilds to three free spins, the popcorn machine adds credits, or a candy bar bonus, which I haven't hit so I don't know what it does.

Already that is three different bonuses . . . but wait . . . there is more!

If you hit three scattered tickets you get 10 free spins with more bonus opportunities. During the free spins if you get three film reels you get to pick one of three classic Hitchcock films and see how the audience reacts. There is also a stacked wild with a multiplier available in the free spins.

Well, it sure does sound like there are many opportunities to win, the trouble of course, is that I lost $25 at the Suncoast on Hitchcock, and won $5 at Rampart, only to quickly escape with my winnings.

I'm not sure how volatile this machine is, but so far, I'm reluctant to spend much time with it. Many of the bonuses give small results, and if you don't get a bonus at all, then you will run through your money very quickly.

Monopoly Up, Up, and Away doesn't seem to fare much better -- it's problem is having lots of bonus possibilities once you hit the cannon shoot gateway, but getting to that point (with three consecutive cannons (sometimes stacked) left to right is very difficult.

All and all, I've learned my lesson and will play these machines very selectively and carefully. I always love a new slot machine, but I'm not going to invest much financially in the experience.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Boredom Gets the Better of Me, IGT's Dragonfly Slots

Last night I got pretty bored with the routine of the same ole slots, and the same ole casino, and decided to try a new (same ole boring) IGT slot -- Dragonfly.

As I've said over and over, IGT slots are gettting simpler instead of more interesting and Dragonfly is no exception. To prove my point, check out the IGT webpage -- no graphics, no nothing, just a bare bones description of the slot with the allusion that Dragonflies are good luck to Asians. I wonder what Mr. Lucky would have to say about that? You want some Dragon Fly Rice? But I digress . . .

Anyway, the slot is a 243 way, meaning it pays like a scatter (consecutively) left to right, not line pays. It is AVP (IGT's code for server-based ready) -- you know and come to think of it, that might be the reason the IGT slots are simplified, so that all the bells and whistles don't overload the server??? It's a thought . . .

The graphics on this machine aren't bad. The symbols are done in the style of Art Nouveau artists like Mucha, including lovely ladies and a wild symbol of a lady as a dragonfly.

Three consecutive dragonflies give you 15 free spins at 3X and I was lucky enough to win around $10 on my free spins and break even on the machine I chose.

I may try Dragonfly again, just as I've succomb to Super Happy Fortune Cat -- the Asian trend continues, but I still pine for an updated version of Mr. Lucky's Fortune Cookie -- I just might like Dragon Fly Rice.