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NEW GAME REVIEW

Dean Martin’s Wild Party
WMS Gaming

This is one of two games WMS has released in a new series called “Money Burst.” The payline configuration in this series is unique, in that there are 60 paylines, but only two symbols on each of the first two reels. All wins are funneled through those two reels. There are four symbols on each of the three remaining reels. All paylines begin with the same two symbols on those first two reels.
   
The symbols on the first two reels turn into wild symbols for the free-spin bonus rounds, resulting in multiple winning combinations—and a huge hit frequency, without giving up an excessive amount of the hold. Since all 60 paylines share two of the four symbols on the first two reels, any matches on those two reels are multiplied.
   
The player activates two lines per credit—30 credits activate all lines.
   
There are three different ways to trigger a free-spin round. If the four symbols on the first two reels match, those symbols freeze in place, and five free spins are awarded. That means only one more of that symbol on any reel is a win, and usually, the combinations apply on both of those reels.
   
If three scattered bonus symbols appear on the third, fourth and fifth reels, five free spins are awarded. The player is prompted to choose a microphone or a jewel box symbol, which replaces all four symbols on the first two reels. Those symbols are then held for the free spins.
   
If you get both combinations—matching symbols on the first two reels and scattered bonus symbols on the other three—you pick the microphone or jewel box symbol for 20 free spins.
   
While the free spins are playing out, the kitschy little Dean Martin image—a cutout of Dean’s head on a cartoon body—sings “Ain’t That A Kick In The Head,” while another group of cartoon female dancers sings backup. It is a hilarious sequence that’s bound to appeal to a broad range of players.
   
The other Money Burst game being released by WMS is called “Glitz,” and it features the same game play in a theme centered around fine jewels.

Manufacturer: WMS Gaming
Platform: CPU-NXT2
Format: Five-reel, 60-line video slot; “Money Burst” reel setup
Denominations: .01, .02, .05, .10, .20, .25, .50, 1, 2, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100
Max Bet: 300
Top Award: 20,000 credits
Hit Frequency: 83.27%
Theoretical Hold: 4%—14%

Wild Wolf
International Game Technology

This game is a modified version of IGT’s popular “Wolf Run” video slot. It is a 50-line penny game with maximum bets of 1,000 credits and medium volatility in the game program.
   
As with Wolf Run, the main features of Wild Wolf are the wild symbols—huge credit wins are available from what IGT calls “stacked wild symbols.” Multiple wild symbols typically land in a cluster in the pay window, resulting in multiple wins on different paylines. Wild symbols will often dominate the screen in this setup—covering two or more complete rows of symbols—which results in one or two winning payline symbols creating dozens of paying combinations.
   
Along with the heavy emphasis on wild symbols is a free-spin bonus round, to take advantage of the clustered wild symbols with big bonus payoffs. Three scattered bonus symbols on the primary reels trigger five free spins. The bonus symbols typically will appear repeatedly during the free spins, each time triggering an additional five free games.
   
This can continue up to a maximum of 255 free spins.
      
There is a wide range of theoretical hold configurations available on this game—it can be offered with holds as low as 2 percent or as high as 14 percent. This gives the operator lots of flexibility in offering a game that uses a math formula and wild-symbol setup that have already proven to be very popular with players.

Manufacturer: International Game Technology
Platform: Game King AVP
Format: Five-reel, 50-line video slot
Denominations: .01
Max Bet: 500
Top Award: 10,000 credits
Hit Frequency: 35%
Theoretical Hold: 2%—14.4%

Heart of Vegas
Aristocrat Technologies

This is one of the newest games in Aristocrat’s MKVI 100-line series. The theme is the glitz of Las Vegas, but with soft artwork—the reels are framed by the feathers of a showgirl’s costume, and the symbols depict elegant jewelry and the trappings of wealth, with only a few Vegas icons in the mix.
  
The 100-line game has two betting configurations from which operators can select. One is a more traditional setup in which one credit activates a single payline, with a top award of 1,000 times the per-line wager. A second configuration allows the player to activate two paylines with every credit wagered, with a top line jackpot of 500 credits times the bet.
   
The first option results in more volatility in the program; the second results in average volatility, according to the manufacturer. The heart symbol is wild.
   
There is a free-spin bonus that will have a lot of appeal to players. The “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign is a scatter symbol. Three of them trigger 10 free spins. With each free spin, a wild heart symbol is added to an adjacent reel. They remain for all subsequent spins once added. In other words, after five free spins, there is a wild symbol on each of the second, third, fourth and fifth reels, which remain for the subsequent five spins.
   
If the scatter symbols land again during a free spin, another five free spins is awarded at the end. These are the only extra free spins, and the wild symbols are added again as they were on the first five free games.
   
The game is being made available to operators in denominations ranging from pennies through dollars, although it is recommended for low denominations.

Manufacturer: Aristocrat Technologies
Platform: MKVI
Format: Five-reel, 100-line video slot
Denominations: .01, .02, .05, .10, .25, .50, $1
Max Bet: 1,000
Top Award: 100,000 credits
Hit Frequency: 33%
Theoretical Hold: 5.13%—12.13%

X-Win
Casino Technology

This new video slot from Bulgaria’s Casino Technology offers a novel multi-game concept within a single screen.
   
The main screen on the game is divided into five “mini-slots,” each one featuring three reels and five paylines. The player spins reels on all five games simultaneously, collecting the accumulated jackpots on all five games.
   
The setup makes for an extremely volatile game program. When the player wagers the maximum number of lines—one wager activates the lines on each of the mini-slots—it also activates two “cross-bonus diagonals.” These are essentially extra paylines, formed by the diagonal paylines on three mini-slot screens in each direction. If nine identical symbols appear on one of the bonus diagonals, the player wins 50,000 credits times the line bet. If there are identical symbols appearing on both diagonals—forming an “X” across the screens of all the mini-slots—it lands the top jackpot of 100,000 credits times the line bet.
   
Casino Technology is offering the game with progressive jackpots set up on each of the mini-screens, although only one progressive can be paid per spin.
   
There also is a free-spin bonus event, activated by five scatter-pay symbols spread across the five mini-slot screens. This triggers 12 free spins initially, with all wins multiplied by three—that includes diagonal bonus wins. If five scatters appear during the free games, an additional 12 free spins are triggered.
   
In all, it is a unique screen setup and what should be a compelling game for players.

Manufacturer: Casino Technology
Platform: Atlas
Format: Multi-screen video slot; five three-reel, five-line games
Denominations: All denominations available
Max Bet: 125
Top Award: 100,000 credits times line bet
Hit Frequency: Approximately 50%
Theoretical Hold: 5.1%—12.2%

Frank Legato is editor of Global Gaming Business magazine. He has been writing on gaming topics since 1984, when he launched and served as editor of Casino Gaming magazine. Legato, a nationally recognized expert on slot machines, has served as editor and reporter for a variety of gaming publications, including Public Gaming, IGWB, Casino Journal, Casino Player, Strictly Slots and Atlantic City Insider. He has an B.A. in journalism and an M.A. in communications from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA. He is the author of the books, How To Win Millions Playing Slot Machines... Or Lose Trying, and Atlantic City: In Living Color.  

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