Slot Machines and pop culture
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by: John Grochowski. Slots, Online slots stories.
Clint Eastwood was at the Global Gaming Expo at the Las Vegas Convention Center last fall, promoting WMS Gaming's new line of slot machines bearing his image. Pamela Anderson was there, and Ann-Margret, Pele, Drew Carey, Paul Rodriguez -- well, you get the idea.
Slot machine manufacturers have been mining pop culture for years, and the annual fall conference and trade show gives them their big chance to show off the slot games we'll be seeing in the coming year.

When I stopped to hobnob with a celeb, it was the biggest of them all -- standing 8 feet tall -- Bullwinkle J. Moose.

As I stepped up to one of Bally's two new "Rocky and Bullwinkle" video slots -- there are also two new reel-spinners featuring the moose and squirrel -- Bullwinkle waved with enthusiasm. He didn't speak at all -- must be laryngitis season in Frostbite Falls, Minnesota -- but showed keen interest as I entered the "Save Nell" bonus round. Nell was tied to the railroad tracks.
Would Snidely Whiplash do her in, or would Dudley Do-Right save her? Nell's fate was in my hands as I touched the screen to see who would advance up the track.

"What do you think, Bullwinkle? Can we save Nell?" I asked.

The muscular moose nodded in enthusiastic affirmation.

I needn't have feared. Just as it appeared Snidely would win, Dudley and his horse charged to the finish. Nell was safe, and I collected bonuses based on how far both Snidely and Dudley advanced up the track. Bullwinkle raised his
arms in triumph as I grinned.

June Foray, who voiced Rocky and many of the female characters in the original Jay Ward animated cartoon series, does the same here. It's a kick just hearing that voice announce, "Here's another of our special features"
before Bullwinkle tries to pull a rabbit out of the hat in another bonus round.

Alas, I soon had to take my leave. Bullwinkle had customers to greet, and I had other slot games to try out:

Pong (Bally): Beyond Bullwinkle, there were plenty of kicks at the Bally booth. Pong, with the Atari logo overhead, harkens back to the '70s and the release of the first video arcade game. In one bonus round, you actually play a game of Pong against the computer. The longer you last, the bigger the bonus. Skill counts.

Another bit of nostalgic fun comes from S&H Green Stamps. As you play, you collect stamps, just as we used to do in grocery stores oh so many years ago. The stamps accumulate separately from any wins or losses on the game.
When you leave, take a ticket for the amount of green stamps you have and feed it into a "Redemption Center" kiosk to either claim a prize or open an account to save for the prize you want.

A Fistful of Dollars (WMS Gaming): There are two themes to kick off WMS' new line of Clint Eastwood five-reel video progressives, and both have shoot-'em-up bonus rounds. In "A Fistful of Dollars: Wanted," on the second-screen bonus, players hunt the bad guys and Clint guns 'em down. And in "A Fistful of Dollars: Wild Shot," Clint puts a bullet through symbols on the reel, turning them into wild symbols that match anything on the payline. That leads to bigger payoffs and big fun for those in a spaghetti Western frame of mind.


© Copyright 2005 John Grochowski's material. It may not be published, broadcasted, rewritten, or redistributed.

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