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."
Swish's Free Smart Play of the Day | Swish Analytics prides itself on a data-driven system, and unlike most handicappers, we try to give a detailed statistical breakdown of why and how picks are formulated.
A homecoming four years in the making takes place in Cleveland tonight when LeBron James and the new look Cavaliers play host to Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks.
Bob Christ’s Thursday NFL Football Breakdown | For the second time this season, and the 30th since 2008, a Thursday game will feature a home underdog when the Saints play the Panthers in Carolina in a Week 9 NFC South battle.
Las Vegas was good to Wynn Resorts Ltd. in the third quarter but not enough to make up for a stormy three months in Macau. Wynn reported that the company’s revenue dropped 1.4 percent to $1.37 billion in the quarter.
NBA Betting Capsules | Two teams expected to be in the thick of the Western Conference title chase square off in Portland where the Oklahoma City Thunder face the Portland Trailblazer. The Blazers are hefty -8 point favorites with the total at 201.5.
- Vegas sports books get ready for the NBA season
- Be part of the Breeders' Cup seminars
- GamingToday's Beat the Big Dog football contest
- GamingToday's Bookies Battle the Point Spreads
- GamingToday Play Free Video Poker
- Follow GamingToday on Twitter
- GamingToday Casino Games and Poker
- Ryan Newman biggest mover on Vegas odds boards
- Like GamingToday on Facebook