Group play a new spin on slot machinesDecember 01, 2009 5:03 PM by GT Staff
Perhaps it’s a reflection of society itself, but the notion of social networking is finding its way onto the casino’s slot floor in the form of group play machines.
Technology has fueled social networking, whether it’s used in smart phones, texting, tweeting or Facebook. And technology has advanced group slot play.
Grouped slots create interaction and a shared experience for the players. More than one player participates in the base game or bonus game.
For some events, players may even work together to achieve a common goal or award, and for others they may compete against each other.
IGT introduced the group play concept with its Wheel of Fortune Super Spin, and was first to market with a competitive group play featured in Star Wars Multi-Level Progressives.
"Group play changes the game dynamic," IGT Product Manager Will Foster said. "It’s no longer one-on-one, player-versus-game. There’s a shared feeling of the experience. The entire bank can be competing for one goal, or players can be in competition with each other. In a group, you all share in a win. It’s kind of like a football game."
IGT unveiled its latest group play series, The Amazing Race, at the recent G2E gaming expo in Las Vegas. The 5-reel, 50 payline game has a 300 credit maximum bet, and features IGT’s most advanced technology. Reel symbols animate in eye-popping 3-D on multiple LCD layers, and the four-slot bank of machines features IGT’s new "sound chair," which has a built-in stereo, surround-sound audio system.
Foster said adventure is the key ingredient in The Amazing Race’s slot experience. The bonuses are modeled after the challenges on the show. Voiceover and video of the show’s host, Phil Keoghan, help guide players through the game.
"IGT has taken the group play experience to the next level with The Amazing Race multi-level progressives Challenge Video Slots," Foster said. "Just like in the Emmy Award-winning reality TV show, players compete in a Ticket Challenge and continental race from destination to destination."
In the Ticket Challenge group play bonus, players "dig" through the pile of sand searching for the tickets. As the timer counts down, the ticket value decreases but accumulated credits increase until the ticket is discovered.
In the game’s group play bonus round, each player is awarded five free games in which players accumulate miles and credits, advancing them in their continental race.
Players reaching each destination win its corresponding progressive and five additional free games toward the next leg of the race.
And for added entertainment value, there is the Around the World Instant Bonus, which occurs randomly during base game play. A plane flies around the spinning earth, rewarding a multiplier and bonus credit value, which is applied to any line wins from the current base game spin.
At G2E, IGT introduced two other group play games, House of 9 Dragons and Super Nova Blast.
House of 9 Dragons is a 5-reel, 50 payline game with a 200-credit maximum bet, and offers nine progressive levels represented by a multi-colored dragon.
Super Nova Blast includes three, 5-reel, 30 payline games with a 100-credit maximum bet, and features five in-house progressives.
The common thread among all the games is that players enter the bonus rounds together, and win together.
"Players are more diverse than ever," Foster said. "We’ve got all demographics coming into casinos – young, old, male, female, Gen X, Gen Y. Not all players are the same anymore, and IGT has … the best games to match and reach every demographic out there."
The Florida State Seminoles dropped from 5/1 to win this season’s college football championship to 7/1 Monday morning at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook. Despite a 31-27 come-from-behind victory over the fifth-ranked Notre Dame.
GamingToday's Bookies Battle the Point Spreads Week 8 | Las Vegas' top casino bookmakers pick the point spread winner of every NFL game. The Bookies Battle will be featured weekly throughout the 17-week pro football season.
Pokin' Around | One final bit of unfinished business from the recent Global Gaming Expo involves a blackjack table game called Lucky 13s.
A well-known Chicago anti-crime fighter has warned that if Illinois doesn’t move quickly to eliminate the unregulated so-called “Sweepstakes Cafes,” Illinois could become known as “the sucker state.”
A Florida developer who lost a bankruptcy court auction for the former Revel Casino Hotel in Atlantic City is now challenging the decision.
- GamingToday's Beat the Big Dog football contest
- GamingToday Casino Games and Poker
- We're on point with Notre Dame this week
- Blackhawks still the choice to win NHL Stanley Cup
- GamingToday's Bookies Battle the Point Spreads
- GamingToday Play Free Video Poker
- Follow GamingToday on Twitter
- Hopes run high at the NASCAR Geico 500
- Like GamingToday on Facebook