Scientific Games has been a company that’s been in some ways a bit uneven until recent years. Some of their subbrands, like Shuffle Master, succeeded in keeping their popular brands out there and doing brand extensions (think 88 Fortunes). Others, like WMS, didn’t see their games being updated for new cabinets, and so as casinos removed the old machines from the floors, the games were disappearing.
That’s been an issue that has been remedied in recent years, with both remakes and reinventions a big part of what’s been driving Scientific Games forward. Combine that with brand extensions of popular properties like Monopoly and Reel ‘Em In, and sequels to popular series like Ultimate Fire Link, and you’ve got a line-up full of familiarity.
Here’s a look at some of the games I saw at G2E in Las Vegas for 2021, along with some videos from channels who filmed at the booth.
Huff n’ More Puff
The Lock it Link series has been a popular one on the casino floor, so it’s not surprising that the games are seeing sequels this year. Huff n’ Puff has probably got among the most attention of any game I can think of in recent years in terms of fervent demand to play it, so this sequel will probably draw a lot of attention.
The bet panel looked to be the same bet levels, which was nice to see for a sequel.
The biggest change is around the bonuses. Instead of collecting six hats in the base game to trigger a bonus, three or more buzzsaws instead trigger a wheel spin.
The wheel that can award:
- A progressive
- A Mega Hat feature, which kicks things off before the traditional six free spins with more hats for a trigger
- The Mansions feature, which places brick borders where the bonus symbols landed as well as where any hats land during the free spins
- The Buzzsaw feature, where each triggering symbol adds or upgrades the borders on its starting space and every space it rolls over as it leaves the reels, before the free spins begin.
One change to the standard bonus is if a hat lands where a brick border already exists, it will now send that hat to another space to upgrade another space instead.
Otherwise, the game is clearly building upon what made it successful, with new chances to upgrade the bonus with some better running starts.
Huff n’ More Puff is covered in both The Slot Cats and Diana Evoni’s videos at the end of the game.
Eureka Treasure Blast
This is another Lock it Link sequel, this time an upgrade to Eureka Reel Blast. Golden dynamite is the addition, with a feature enhancement if you land one of those, while still needing six dynamite overall to trigger the feature.
The feature enhancement for a single gold dynamite widens the screen, giving you more room to collect dynamite and build bigger connected sets of dynamite to get a larger cart colors/ore (silver, gold, gems) with bigger potential prizes and longer trains as the cart type increases. The carts pay out similar to the Cash Express Luxury Line where the carts roll by with prizes and can potentially award a jackpot.
The feature enhancement for a double gold dynamite opens up both screens to spin for dynamite, allowing for more prizes and potentially more carts with ore.
The bet increments are upped to 60 credits from 50 credits, likely to make room for the features added by the golden dynamite.
Eureka Treasure Blast Video
RandomSlots got a tour of the game at the Scientific Games booth:
Ultimate Fire Link Explosion
This direct sequel to Ultimate Fire Link adds the Super Fire Link feature, but also changes what happens when you get three bonus symbols.
When you get the bonus, instead of triggering free games outright, you now trigger a wheel, which can award free games, a jackpot, the Fire Link bonus, or the Super Fire Link bonus.
Super Fire Link is differentiated by having a taller grid, 12 high vs. 8 high, for more chances to unlock rows and fill spaces. This works very similarly to the Power 4 version with an Unlock Row symbol, but also adds fireballs being shot onto the reels from above, as well as landing naturally on their own as the reels stop.
The Fantini Research video at the end showcases a Super Fire Link bonus in action.
Golden Fire Link
Another sequel to the Ultimate Fire Link series, Golden Fire Link adds some new elements to the Fire Link bonus, such as the Golden Fire Link ball (which appears to house progressives) and a full reel spinner at the top if you unlock enough spaces to unlock it. There’s also fireballs with prizes spinning which adds some additional volatility.
The basic idea is still the same though: Four or more fire balls initiate the Golden Fire Link feature, and you get three spins to collect more, with success in collecting more resetting things back to three spins.
In the recap videos at the end of this article, you can see the game in action with The Slot Cats.
Monopoly Lunar New Year
The Monopoly series of slots has leveraged some of the brand extensions Hasbro has done with Monopoly in recent years to draw inspiration for the new versions of Monopoly hitting the floor this year.
Once such example is Monopoly Lunar New Year, whose theme is based on the board game of the same name. Many of the premium symbols are drawn from the game as well.
This is another three pot game, which clearly is drawing from the Fu Dai Lian Lian model of things (as well as their own Coin Combo series), where a coin on the reels can trigger a bonus. Their three pots are:
- Green Pot: Wild multiplier bonus – purple dragons appear on reel 3 with either 2x or 3x multipliers.
- Blue Pot: Expanding reels bonus – the reels expand from the 3×5 base spin, up to three spaces per reel (although not all reels have to expand every spin).
- Red Pot: Jackpot bonus – you aim collect the various property cards for a given side of the board (four to a side, per the board game edition) to win a progressive. Coins appear and they can award the cards, or other elements such as credits or extra spins.
Like the other three pot games, you can potentially mix and match if you get multiple coins in a spin, with a triple bonus being possible if all three land and trigger.
The game is an all ways pays game, so the expanding reels does open up the number of ways to win during the bonus. Add to that the chance for multiple multipliers can surface, and this looks like a pretty volatile game in its own right.
Monopoly Lunar New Year Video
Here’s a video from RandomSlots with the game’s designer:
Monopoly Cheaters Edition
Another Monopoly game with a board game inspiring it is the Monopoly Cheaters Edition slot machine, which plays with the same concepts as the board game that inspired it.
This version has a playful Mr. Monopoly who can bring in various “cheats” to help a player out not unlike the way Hot Stuff upgrades the Wicked Wheel games.
The cheats are triggered when Mr. Monopoly appears on the entirety of reel 1. Aside from that reel acting as a fully wild reel, one of the following scenarios are among those that can happen:
- Wild feature: Mr. Monopoly spins the reels around to reveal more wild reels.
- Cloned reel: Mr. Monopoly will clone a reel to make it easier to get paid out.
- Symbol removal: Mr. Monopoly removes the lower paying train symbols, making way for more higher paying symbols.
- Symbol upgrade: Mr. Monopoly replaces all the lower playing train symbols with a higher paying one.
At the end of any of the cheats, he can also throw money down to up the final payout for that spin.
The game also features both a free spins bonus and a board bonus. The free spins work just like the base game, but with an increased chance for Mr. Monopoly to land on reel 1 and offer a cheat.
The board bonus is triggered by three community chest bonus symbols. You pick a community chest, which awards dice rolls, and the amount awarded can be upgraded by Mr. Monopoly. Hotels are then placed on the board to yield a chance to multiply awards on some of the properties.
Some of the non-property spaces also become features of their own:
- Go and Free Parking offer a wheel spin
- Just Visiting and Go to Jail offer a coin flip
- The railroad spaces offer an extra roll
- Community Chest and Chance offer a cheat pick
- Passing Go gives you money, just like in the board game
As traditional for Monopoly, rolling doubles awards an extra roll. Mr. Monopoly can cheat the counts to move you farther along the board, moving you to higher paying properties. The board itself is a bit truncated from the regular board to help you get to the higher paying spaces a bit faster.
The playfulness of this game will surely get players’ attention.
Monopoly Cheaters Edition Video
Here’s another video from RandomSlots featuring the game:
Scientific Games seems to be developing a pattern of games that look like an IGT persistent state game, but play slightly differently. Ocean Magic awards wilds when the bubble lands on the symbol; Cash Burst awards credits. And again, Zodiac Lion awards wilds; Sumo Kitty awards credits.
When the coins land on an unbordered frame, they become bordered. When a coin lands in a bordered frame, each bordered frame touching it, along with the coin itself, awards the prize on the coin. Land more than one coin concurrently in an interconnected set of frames, the coin values add up, and fill every interconnected space with a frame with the total amount added up.
As it happens, you also win any line hits under the coins, so you can get both coin values and line hits from the same spaces in the same spin.
When you get three Sumo symbols, you get a wheel that can award a jackpot or free games with a certain number of frames added each spin. So there is a volatility aspect to the bonus, depending on what you spin.
The Slot500Club video below has video of the game in action.
Gold Fish Feeding Time
Gold Fish is a classic brand, and Gold Fish Feeding Time, with two new versions, Castle and Treasure. This game features an unusual 5×6 reel set, double the normal number of symbols on video slot machines. The game features 60 credit bet increments.
Compared to the original Gold Fish, the designer states that the game is harder to bonus, but pays should be better.
Each have three gold fish bowls (the Gold Fish and two others; the five fish are therefore spread out across the two themes). Shakers, color coded to the fish, will feed the fish, and they can grow. You can be awarded one, two or all three bonuses in a single spin (sound familiar)?
The fish upgrade spins during the free spins bonuses. Each fish has its own unique upgrade, and shakers can award more spins.
- Blue fish: Can mirror reels to increase the chances of a win
- Purple fish: Adds wilds to the reels
- Green fish: Adds fish symbols to the reels
- Red fish: Adds spinners to the reels with wilds, some of which can award multipliers that multiple wins for a given spin, and others which can lock
- Gold fish: Awards prizes in the bubbles at the top when the shaker lands fully on the reels, including the potential for a wheel
Gold Fish Feeding Time Video
Hot Hot Super Shot
Land two Hot Hot symbols, reels 3-5 can expand, and you can win the credit prizes or jackpots that connect to it. Hot symbols are wild. Sound familiar? This is Scientific Games’ take on the Wild Wild mechanic.
The other change is the bank can go into a frenzy mode, but you’re only playing for the Hot Hot feature during this frenzy mode. Multiple Hots on reels one and two will offer a multiplier. If frenzy mode sounds familiar, that’s because that’s something Everi has been making a signature for the last couple of years, and noted in my G2E write-up of Everi recently.
Slot500Club has video of that game below as well.
Scientific Games at G2E 2021 Videos
Here’s a recap of some of the games at the booth with The Slot Cats:
This was Diana Evoni‘s recap from G2E at the Scientific Games booth:
Slotaholic featured Super Reel ‘Em In, a game I didn’t review above, in this video starting at 8:05:
He also covered Water Works, another Monopoly game, in this video starting at 10:15:
Here is a recap of games reviewed by Slot500Club at their booth:
Fantini Research has their round-up of a few of the games and other SG developments here:
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