2011 Global Gaming Expo, part 2

27 October 2011

In the last three years, Incredible Technologies has captured the casino industry's attention with its Magic Touch line of creative games with a difference. Now the Illinois-based slot machine manufacturer is working to show it's here for the long haul.

"We worked very hard to have a deep catalog, because that was the concern people had about us," CEO Elaine Hodgson said when I stopped by the IT booth at the Global Gaming Expo at the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas. "'Oh, yeah, you have a few games but are you in this to stay, can you keep supporting a unit on the floor?' So the last year was about deep catalog. We're showing that we can do it."

At the expo, IT was showcasing its take on traditional-type video slot games, as well as walking on the wild side with its Innovation Collection.

Among the more traditional five-reel video games are a matched set, Girls Day Out and Guys Night Out. Girls Night Out reel symbols are shopping icons such as dresses, purses and shoes, while Guys Night Out goes for cigars, steaks and Golden Tee Golf units — a nice little product placement for the non-casino video game that put Incredible on the map. Both games have free spin bonuses and scatter pays.

Goat Cheese is about as different as it gets. Designed for IT by the Chicago firm GCT, it features a cheese drop bonus where you roll wheels of cheese down a mountain, collecting credits whenever the wheel hits a goat instead of bouncing over, all with yodeling in the background. In a topsy-turvy feature, the play field is flipped around, rotated 180 degrees, some symbols become wild and you get a chance at extra wins.

"It's as quirky as they come," said Dan Schrementi, IT's director of gaming marketing and new media.

Then there's King of Bling, with a hip-hop soundtrack, drop-in characters and symbols sharing a diamond-encrusted look. On winners, paylines don't light up. Instead, winning symbols enlarge and pop out on the screen.

"Guys from all the other manufacturers are crawling over this game," Schrementi said. "I think they're shocked we made something like this."

Schrementi said IT is maturing as a slotmaker.

To which Hodgson added, "But not getting old."

ARUZE STILL FISHIN': In 2010, Aruze Gaming had one of the most talked-about games at the expo with Paradise Fishing. This time, the company moved to extend the product line with a new version, Amazon Fishing.

In the community bonus event, you're still trying to land the fish you see swimming on the three 60-inch monitors overhead. You're still using the Rod Controller, a joystick-like reel handle through which you can feel the fish strike, tug and fight. But the setting has been moved to the Amazon, with 30 new fish, including one so large it won't fit on just one monitor.

The bonus also has a choose-your-volatility feature. Touch your screen to choose to fish with a worm, and you'll catch lots of small fish. With a lure, you'll get a balance of small and large fish, and with a shrimp you're going for the big 'uns. So the worm gives you a low volatility experience, but the shrimp gives you a better chance at a big win, but also a chance to come up empty.

A highlight at the Aruze booth was the the Innovator line, a high-energy experience for stepper slots with mechanical reels. Reels that can spin at up to 200 rpm speed up, slow down, build anticipation, and get slot players' pulses racing, all backed with 240 LEDs in what Aruze calls "Radiant Reels." One Innovator game on display was 4 Chinese Beasts, a five-reel, 50-line stepper with a four-level progressive through an interactive top box.

"They really have a presentation that's similar to a video style, but it's in a reel stepper cabinet," said marketing vice president Steve Walther. "It also has an interaction between the top box and the player. So when you play 4 Chinese Beasts, for example, you're picking from the top box. You get an interaction determining how many free plays you get and the multiplier. It's a much more interactive experience than our parents' steppers from the past when you would get 7-bar-bar, blank-bar-blank. It's a much more interactive experience, with reels spinning backward and forward, and a lot of energy."

Related Links
Global Gaming Expo (G2E) 2011

This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at fscobe@optonline.net.