Hangover slot machine

Three Slots I Loved, and Three I Didn’t

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Every year, I try to keep tabs on what cool new slot machines have come out since the last time I was in Vegas, so on my next trip, I can give them a try. I love the new style video slot machines that have been rolled out in recent years. The ones that appeal to me the most are based on popular culture–especially favorite TV shows and movies, like Lord of the Rings. 2011-2012 introduced several new machines that appealed to me. On my most recent trip, I tried six new machines. Three I loved. . .and three I didn’t.

Three Slots I Loved. . .

Let’s face it, slot machines don’t exactly have the best odds in the casino. So if you’re going to have fun on a slot machine it better be fun even if you’re losing. The following three machines fit that criteria:

Dark Knight slot machine

Dark Knight slot machine

Dark Knight

This was my favorite new machine by far. It’s a bank of progressives with the overhead LCD screen and surround-sound chairs. Dark Knight is based on the 2nd (and arguably best) movie of the Batman trilogy starring Christian Bale, the one featuring Heath Ledger as the Joker.

I got more bonus rounds on this game than anything else I played, including twice making it to the Battle for Gotham City (see video below). But even without that, I loved the clips from the movie, the graphics, the sound quality, and the game quality itself.  The beauty of progressives in a bank of machines is that even if you’re not winning or hitting bonus rounds, someone else is bound to be, and you can enjoy what pops up on the LCD screen vicariously. This was a winner for me.


This is a standalone machine where you can play up to four games at a time: One is Doug, Two is Stu, Three is Phil, and Four is Alan. The first time I played, I just played one character (Doug) and to be honest, it wasn’t much fun. For maximum fun, it definitely pays to play all four games on this machine.

Hangover slot machine

Hangover slot machine

Even when you’re not hitting bonus rounds, you’re still treated to great video and audio clips from the movie, as well as the catchy theme music that plays almost constantly. However, I did hit almost every bonus round on this machine. Stu’s bonus involves multiple images of the bloody tooth Stu lost (yuck) and features the song Stu made up while they were trying to find Doug.  The one I hit most often was the “Pick a Photo” bonus. Best bonus of them all? Sadistically, it was the Stun Gun bonus. I really racked up the points by repeatedly zapping Alan with the stun gun. It felt cathartic, too. I hate that character.

Ghostbusters slot machine

Ghostbusters slot machine


This was one of my favorite movies growing up. Who doesn’t giggle at the idea of the Stay-Puft marshmallow man being a symbol of evil? I actually did not win on this game, nor did I get many bonus rounds. If you can say you had fun even without hitting bonus rounds, it’s a good game.

The game quality is solid. Even when you’re not hitting bonuses, you’ll be treated to images (like Slimer and the demon dog) and voiceovers of the film’s characters appearing on screen. The movie clips and audio had me laughing and remembering some of the best scenes from this classic film. . .like when Bill Murray tested Rick Moranis’s psychic abilities using “negative reinforcement” and zapped him even when he was right. This slot machine made me nostalgic for the movie. I may have to rent it soon.

. . .And Three I Didn’t

Michael Jackson

While I’m not a rabid Michael Jackson fan, I do like some of his music. I’ve seen videos of the bonus rounds on this machine, and I think it would be a really fun game–if you actually hit the bonus rounds. Which I didn’t. Not once. I’m sorry, but the game has very little going for it if you don’t reach a bonus round. It just wasn’t fun.

Michael Jackson slot machine

Michael Jackson slot machine


This was the biggest disappointment for me. I’m a huge fan of mysteries, I love trying to solve them, and I LOVED the game Clue when I was a kid. Who didn’t love figuring out that it was Col. Mustard in the Library with the Candlestick? I also loved the movie that came out back in the ’80s starring Tim Curry, Martin Mull, et al. So I totally expected to love this game.

I might as well have lit a $20 bill on fire. I didn’t even get any small hits to make my money last longer, let alone make it to a bonus round. It was like playing the board game and never having an opportunity to guess whodunnit! If the only way to enjoy the machine is to hit a bonus round, the game doesn’t succeed with me. I also think they made a mistake basing the machine on the game rather than the movie. Some classic movie clips would have gone a long way toward making this game more enjoyable.

CLUE slot machine

CLUE slot machine

Megabucks Progressive

Okay, so this one wasn’t new. But I don’t make it a habit to play progressives at $3 a spin. Too rich for my blood. Still, with a jackpot at almost $15 million, I couldn’t pass on trying my luck.

Apparently, the Fates do not want me to be a multimillionaire. I sort of expected that. What made me not love this game was that I didn’t even get any small hits to keep me playing. My $20 bill was gone in a minute or less. No wonder it was at almost $15 million. It sure didn’t get there because people were winning.

Overall, after I subtracted my wins from my losses, I only lost $79 gambling for the entire trip, which was very good for me. (Normally I spend/lose about $300.) Even though I walked away with less money than I arrived with, I felt pretty good about the amount of time I got on the machines, and the overall entertainment value.

What machines am I looking forward to trying on my next trip? Lord of the Rings 3 – Return of the King (how the HELL did I miss the release of the Two Towers???), KISS (one of my favorite rock bands growing up), CSI, Star Wars Trilogy, and Spiderman. Looks like it’s going to be a good year for us slot machine lovin’ geeks.

What are your favorite new slot machines from the past year, and which ones are you looking forward to in the coming year?


12 thoughts on “Three Slots I Loved, and Three I Didn’t

  1. Josef-Konrad

    While I agree with you about Clue’s penchant for burning through bills, I found that it plays a whole lot better if you use your player ID at http://playerslife.com, which is operated by the game’s manufacturer, WMS Gaming, and unlocks some of the game’s bonus levels.

    I was able to unlock the Library by playing the Clue puzzles on this free site, which later allowed me to select it as an option when playing the actual slot machine game at New York New York. That win alone recouped all my historic losses on Clue, as I scored a number of bonuses-within-bonuses, as many of the bonus rooms and games are available as one of the multiple prizes you can win in the Library bonus round. A nice $400 later, I was definitely a fan.

    What’s more, the Players Life site allows you to advance levels on other WMS games, like Lord of the Rings, where you can collect miles and unlock bonuses that are only otherwise available through lots and lots of play.

    1. Gray

      Wow. As a casual slot player, I had no idea you could do this! Is there a time limit for when you can use (in person, in a casino) whatever miles or bonuses you’ve collected online? In any case, I’ll be sure to check that out. Thanks, Josef-Konrad!

  2. Nate

    Normally I just stick to the boring 3-reel machines, but my absolute favorite of all time is the Star Trek Battlestations slots. Partly because it keeps throwing credits at me even when I don’t hit anything, but mostly because I like the high-backed chairs. Why more machines don’t have those is something I will never figure out.

    I also want to try out the Skeeball slots next time I make it to Vegas. I’m assuming there’s an option during the bonus round where you cheat and just drop balls into the holes until the manager comes over and yells at you. That’s how you’re supposed to play Skeeball, right?

    1. Gray

      It throws credits at you even when you haven’t hit anything, Nate? Sheesh, I’ve got to try that one! I hear ya on the high-back chairs. You’d think the casino folks would’ve figured out a long time ago that if you want people to sit and play longer, make the chair as comfortable as possible. LOL, I can’t answer you on the Skeeball, I’ve never played it in my life.

  3. Josef-Konrad

    There are limits on the Player’s Life bonuses.

    I believe the Clue one is good for about 14 days after you win them online, while the ones for another new game, Super Team, depend on your high score, and awards you an extra 30 days every time you beat your high score.

    Meanwhile, the Lord of the Rings games are permanent but very tied into your slot play. Any block of miles and new bonus levels you earn are added to your account forever, BUT you can only unlock new bonuses after a casino visit.

  4. Hetz

    I enjoy the “butt rumble” (credit to Five Hundy) slots like the Dark Knight and Ghost Busters. I will throw a few bucks into Megabucks when I see one in a casino cause If you ain’t dreaming you ain’t alive!

    1. Gray

      LOL, “butt rumble”. Funny how I couldn’t care less about surround sound when I’m watching a movie, but I love it when I’m playing the slots. I’m right there with you on the dreaming, Hetz!

  5. HundleyFan

    I had the opposite experience as you did, Gray, with the Michael Jackson slot machines on my visit during the Labor Day weekend. I don’t particularly care for MJ’s music and had no burning desire to try the machines, but *every time* I passed by them in any casino, people were in the bonus rounds. I played the machine twice during the trip—once downtown (Binion’s) and once on the Strip—and walked away a winner both times, hitting multiple bonus rounds.

    1. Gray

      Interesting, HundleyFan! So did winning influence how you felt about the machine, given that you didn’t care for MJ’s music to begin with? Did it make you more likely to play it in the future even if you didn’t win?

  6. Dave

    I’m mainly a table games player, but I do enjoy playing themed slots with interesting bonus rounds as a diversion. The Lord of the Rings slots are by far my favorite, so I was ecstatic to read that the Return of the King slots are on their way.

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