BONUS DEVELOPMENT

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The past 25 years have experienced slot machine game bonus occasions evolve from wheel spins and cartoons that are funny four distinct styles of bonus

By Frank Legato

Happy Silver Anniversary to the slot bonus.

Bonus events in slot machines effectively began with the 1996 release of IGT’s Wheel of Fortune. The roulettestyle wheel spinning to audience that is canned of “Wheel… of… Fortune!” started an evolution which includes made the bonus occasion a total element slot machine game play.

The development has received stops that are many the way. For instance, in the early 2000s, the main style of bonus events on video slot machines was the so-called “second-screen bonus.” WMS Gaming’s Reel’Em In showed a cartoon that is funny of (and fisher-women) in a boat, making remarks in spot-on Chicago accents (WMS had been situated in Chicago in the past), and also the player would win bonus credits in accordance with what size the fish had been which were reeled in. It’s the granddaddy of contemporary games like Aruze’s Paradise Fishing.

Other funny cartoon bonuses might be had in games like IGT’s Lucky Larry’s Lobstermania and Bally’s Betty Boop show. One attempted and feature that is true the picking bonus—a second screen would display a field of icons—rocks, beach balls or whatever—and the player would select to reveal credit awards behind them.

While there is still a variety of bonuses that have survived from the days—ladder-style that is old where reel triggers send the ball player up a ladder of increasing bonus designs, “mystery” bonuses that just randomly award a credit bonus with no player needing to do just about anything, multipliers which multiply pays on winning combinations (any particular one began with IGT’s Double Diamond)—the slot machine game bonus has developed into four fundamental designs which can be principal in today’s world of slots.

The first two, I’ve mentioned previously, and they’re definite audience pleasers. First is bonus that is spinning that originated with Wheel of Fortune. IGT actually patented that bonus mechanism. In the early 2000s, if any slot-maker wanted to include a wheel bonus, a royalty payment went to IGT.

While patents normally remain valid for at least 17 years, IGT’s lock on the bonus wheel lasted 12 years, until 2008. That’s when a judge ruled in a patent lawsuit that a Bally slot with a wheel did not infringe on the IGT patent, opening the door for other slot-makers to include their own wheels.

And boy, did they ever. These days, one would be hard pressed to find a slot manufacturer that does not have at least one game featuring a bonus wheel.

As for IGT’s Wheel of Fortune, it’s hard to count the versions of that game that the slot-maker has brought forth, right up to its newest games, which include a version that is giant of of Fortune, among numerous others.

IGT yet others are making big money off a premise that is basic Players love to spin that wheel.

Another survivor from the old days is the picking bonus, which these days is more likely to be found in multiple slot that is progressive. The gamer shall be shown a field of icons, and prompted to pick to reveal symbols that each correspond to one of four or five jackpot levels. The player continues to pick until matching three of the symbols to win the jackpot that is corresponding

The other two stalwarts regarding the bonus that is modern appeared much more recently. The first, which has developed over the past decade to where it is ubiquitous on the modern slot floor, is the bonus that is free-game. The player lands bonus symbols on the reels to trigger five, 10, 20 or more free spins in its most basic form. The feature is retriggered for another five, 10, 20 or more free spins.

The if those same bonus symbols land during a free spin latest slots offer a twists that are few this formula. Some present a scenario in which you can win spins that are free in the hundreds. (Aruze offers a choice to trade dozens of spins set for a bonus that is single to save time.) Others offer any of a number of ways for the player to choose the volatility of the round that is free-spin. The one bonus that is definitely trending these days is the so-called “hold-and-spin” bonus (also known as “hold-and-respin”) for instance, the player will choose between a few free spins with lots of wild symbols and multipliers, or a lot of free spins with fewer extra symbols.

But. The player will be granted a number that is fixed of, three. Unique symbols that spend additional will secure and remain in position, as the number that is free-spin back to the original three spins. This goes on until three spins with no special symbols appearing, triggering a bonus equal to the accumulated symbols, or until the screen that is entire filled with those symbols, usually triggering a progressive jackpot.

It is famous into the trade as a “persistent” form of bonus, and in addition it includes games that provide the player an objective to quickly attain for a larger award—thereby maintaining them playing and glued towards the display screen.

This final type of bonus continues to be growing, and players are flocking to a number of hold-and-spin games. Needless to say, also flocking to free-spin bonanzas, modern choosing events, and the ones wheel that is ever-popular. Delighted anniversary towards the bonus occasion.

We can’t wait to see just what the following 25 years have actually in shop.(*)
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