Whole lotta Elvis slot play going on
BY JOHN GROCHOWSKI casinoanswerman@ casinoanswerman.com January 11, 2012 3:06PM
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Updated: February 14, 2012 8:10AM
Pop culture has been a fertile field for slot machine designers for a couple of decades now. In any trip to a casino, we expect to see games based on games and game shows (Monopoly, “Wheel of Fortune”), TV shows (“Star Trek,” “The Beverly Hillbillies”) and movies (“The Hangover,” “The Lord of the Rings.”)
Music is part of the mix, of course, and Elvis lovers have had a burnin’ love for International Game Technology’s games featuring the King of Rock ’n’ Roll for more than a decade. The latest is a video slot with four progressive jackpot levels and a collection of bonus events that make it the most Elvis-y of Elvis slots.
“This is the first time we’ve really done justice to the Elvis music,” Boris Hallerbach, IGT’s Mega-jackpots product manager, told me. “We have four Elvis songs in the base game that will loop during play, so it’s very immersive. The combination with the sound chair makes for a great sound experience while you’re playing.”
There are four progressive jackpot levels, all named for Elvis hits — “Hound Dog,” “Jailhouse Rock,” “Heartbreak Hotel” and “Viva Las Vegas.” Each is tied to a bonus event. In the “Heartbreak Hotel” bonus, for instance, an onscreen hotel has seven stories and a penthouse. You choose hotel room doors to find bonus credits, and if you find Elvis, he awards you all the credits on that level. You don’t want to find broken hearts. They keep you from advancing to the next level.
Reel symbols depict Elvis at different stages of his career. And there’s Elvis music. Lots of Elvis music.
When I tested the game, I really liked the Juke Box Bonus, though it doesn’t lead to a progressive jackpot. You choose among Elvis songs. In my test, I picked “That’s All Right Mama.” The song blared out the speakers in the machine and in the special sound chair, and credits rolled up on the screen, which also flashed Elvis video and trivia. And I advanced a level, so I got to rock out to “Blue Suede Shoes” for more credits.
When it was over, a voice announced, “Elvis has left the building.”
John Grochowski is a local freelance writer. Look for him on Facebook (http://tinyurl.com/7lzdt44); Twitter (@GrochowskiJ) and at casinoanswerman.com.