This is a guest contribution by David Newstead finds TV shows and films fascinating – they are the only other from of media entertainment that can pull him away from his beloved online slots – which he regularly reviews at www.slotschoice.com. If you would like to submit a contribution please contact Bill Beatty for submission details. Thank you.
Many online casinos now feature slots that are based on recent film releases. Just as Hollywood has often enshrined the events of Sin City on the silver screen, game developers are equally keen to take successful film and TV franchises and turn them into the spinning reels of online slot games. What films and TV shows would we most like to see features in new slots from today’s game production houses?
In recent times we have seen a number of slot games that are based on some of the biggest selling films and TV shows. If you look at Playtech, a popular online casino software provider, they’ve been producing games that tie in with the Marvel film range – such as X-Men, The Avengers and Iron Man that come complete with graphics straight from the cinematic productions. This developer has also produced games based on The Mummy, King Kong and even HBO’s hugely successful Sopranos series.
However, for every hit slot based on a film, there is also one that the industry would rather forget. Take for instance Microgaming’s short lived Lord of the Rings, a title based on the Peter Jackson blockbuster film series. This was an online slot machine that was pulled out of online casinos, due to an unfortunate lawsuit between Warner Bros and Harper Collins, the book publishers employed by the Tolkien estate.
Even though there are plenty of film licenses floating round the online slot world, we thought we’d take a look at the ones we would most like to see, and take a guess at what game-play mechanisms these titles could feature.
The Wolf of Wall Street
Show me the person who didn’t enjoy Di Caprio romping round the financial markets in The Wolf of Wall Street and I’ll show you a person with no sense of humour. This film seems like the perfect basis for a slot machine with its funny financial dealing and get-rich-quick schemes, many of which are none too dissimilar from gambling. At least spinning the reels of a slot machine won’t end with you indicted on a federal charge for insider trading, although the returns may be just a little bit less.
How it Might Work
You’d be forgiven for thinking that we might suggest that the Wolf of Wolf St should be in line with the famous Wolf Run series from IGT. Although this isn’t a bad angle we think that Scorsese’s romp should be given a game all of its own, unlike any other with a second screen bonus where instead of modelling the stock market, you get to throw a dwarf into a wheel of fortune to land a straight off cash prize. After all, it is the opening scene of the movie, and it would make for a comically charged online slot feature.
House of Cards
Political intrigue and all manner of double-dealing are rife in House of Cards, a Netflix original that’s modelled on the BBC series from the mid 1990s. In this nouveau classic Kevin Spacey plays the role of Francis Underwood, a corrupt politician who will stop at nothing to get what he wants. Is this a good model for an online slot machine? Would players be prepared to do anything they possibly could to land a big slot machine jackpot mirroring the manoeuvrings of Francis Underwood? We bet they would.
How it Might Work
We think that if House of Cards was handed over to the casino industry, they simply would not be able to help themselves. They’d have to drench the reels in poker symbols that come complete with characters from the TV series together with a gambling game where you have to guess the political affiliation of the next card off a deck. Of course, it’s in the bonus game where this slot would stand out – you would have to complete a multi stage free spin round where you collected various characters support by stopping in different tokens on the reels, before making a break for your own ruler-ship of the White House – a landslide win that would no doubt come with a golden jackpot.
Orange is the New Black
More Netflix fun from hit series Orange is the New Black. Who would have thought going to a woman’s prison on a drug smuggling charge could be so much fun? Obviously not Piper Kerman, author of the book that’s been turned into this overnight televisual success story, as we follow her difficult yet heart-warming tale of self-realisation and eventual redemption behind bars. This would make a great slot machine because it’s ultimately a fun show – there are lots of elements that could be woven into the fabric of the game-play to create startling and amusing mechanisms.
How it Might Work
An Orange is the New Black is a show that’s based around a huge array of characters; the online slot version should have a whole bunch of different bonus games. The free spin round could involve you trying to negotiate your way through a difficult period in the SHU and the second screen bonuses should see you chasing the fabled chicken through the yard and trying to survive through Red’s enforced starvation. There’s more than enough here to make an exciting and engaging slot machine.
Ultimately we are unlikely to see any of these films or TV shows made into slots anytime soon. Generally it is when these classic media spectacles get to the end of their lifespan – which is usually long after the first broadcast date, and usually entails them being exhausted through DVD sales – that the slot version is considered. Sometimes this is definitely a little late in the day, and the release lacks impact, but fans of a film or show will always find a little space and place in their gambling hearts to try out a license that’s based on their favourite characters.