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New Game Review

New Game Review

Bigger Bang Big Event
WMS Gaming

This game is a long-awaited revival of a theme that was an absolute franchise for WMS in the 1990s. The theme first appeared in a reel-spinning slot called “Piggy Bankin’,” which had a “Dotmation” dot-matrix display of a piggy bank that incremented with a symbol on the reels. That was followed up with a video sequel called “Big Bang Piggy Bankin’.”

The theme was so popular that WMS didn’t even need to add “Piggy Bankin'” to the title of the new version-it’s just called “Bigger Bang.” It combines two groundbreaking WMS game styles. It is a “Big Event” game, which means that all games in each bank are linked to a computer server and players enter a common bonus round. It also is the newest game in the “Transmissive Reels” series, which incorporates mechanical reels and a video overlay for bonus events.

There will eventually be three base games in the Bigger Bang link. Two initial games are “Gem Hunter” and “Los Aztecas.” “Twice the Ice” will be added later. Each base game is available to casinos in 20-line or 25-line configuration, and each has its own game-specific bonus event.

As with other Big Event games, players earn multiplier levels through coin-in on individual games, and everyone on the bank goes into a common bonus round, played out on both the overhead video display and on individual game screens. In this case, there are five separate bonus events that randomly appear. Additionally, the games employ an artificial random intelligence algorithm, or ARIA, that ensures no two bonus rounds are exactly the same.

Among the animated bonus events are “Piggy Bank Bonus,” in which pigs cheer as a piggy bank fills with coins before exploding and awarding a bonus; “Pig Race Bonus,” in which players choose one of five pig characters for a race and is awarded according to where the pig finishes; “Bigger Bang Cash Bonus,” in which dice roll to move players around a circle of pig characters, collecting pigs and accumulating bonus awards until a bomb is chosen; “The Pigs Take Over,” in which pigs leap down from the top of the screen to award spins to each player with additional wild symbols; and “Pig-a-pult Bonus,” in which pigs are catapulted toward bonus signs.

(Yes, they are all hilarious.)

The game is available in wide-area progressive and stand-alone versions.

Manufacturer: WMS Gaming
Platform: CPU-NXT
Format: Five-reel, 20-line or 25-line mechanical slot;
video overlay; server-based
Denominations: All denominations available
Max Bet: 150 or 400
Top Award: Progressive-$500,000 reset
Hit Frequency: 43.04%-46.96% (20-line)
50.53%-56.115 (25-line)
Theoretical Hold: 13.74%-13.91% (Progressive)
5.82%-16.88% (Stand-alone)

Turtle Treasure

Aristocrat Technologies

This is something of a throwback game for Aristocrat, in that it uses the manufacturers’ sharp new video format to create a game in the classic nine-line format.

Turtle Treasure comes in versions with maximum bets of 45 coins (one to five coins wagered per line), 90 coins ( one, three, five or 10 coins per line), or 180 coins (one, two, five, 10 or 20 coins per line), which gives the operator the option to offer it in any of several denominations.

The turtle symbol is wild, and animates when it lands on the reels. The shell symbol also is wild, appearing on the middle three reels and substituting for all but the bonus trigger symbol.

That symbol is a treasure chest. When treasure chest symbols appear scattered on the first three reels, it triggers 10 free games. During the free spins, the ring, coin and starfish symbols transform into wild turtle symbols. This raises the hit frequency in the free-spin bonus to levels much higher than in the primary game.

If the three treasure chest symbols land again during a free spin, 10 more free spins are added to the end of the round. This can occur several times, leading to dozens of free spins with the additional wild symbols.

There is an optional “Gamble” feature that can be added to the game by the casino, and can be applied to any win. Other than that, this is a classic Aristocrat multi-line experience-simple, easy to understand, great graphics, and a potentially lucrative free-spin bonus. Aristocrat goes back to its roots with this game, offering the type of play experience that allowed it to practically create the multi-line genre.

Manufacturer: Aristocrat: Technologies
Platform: MKVI; Gen7
Format: Five-reel, nine-line video slot
Denominations: All denominations available
Max Bet: 45, 90 or 180
Top Award: 4,500 times line bet
Hit Frequency: Approximately 35%
Theoretical Hold: 5.03%-12.09%

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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