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Archive for October, 2011

The Curse of Frankenstein slot review

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

Today I’m thrilled to see that I can get back into the demo play site for Skyvegas Casino.  Despite the “vegas” in the name, is actually a UK site and doesn’t accept US players, at least for real money. In the past, I’d been able to visit the site and play games in the demo mode and I love doing so because some of the British slot games are just so different from the games I see on US facing online casinos.  For a while there, I wasn’t able to play on Skyvegas, even in a purely demo game/no money mode, but today it let me back in so I had to check out a Halloween slot game.

I chose The Curse of Frankenstein which is a slot game based on the movie from Hammer Films. I know this because one of the symbols in the game is the Hammer Films logo, which is an obvious bit of advertising placement that I usually don’t see in slot games. But the Hammer Films logo is the symbol that awards free spins — just to make sure players are looking for it.  You can check Google News for more info on the film, but I found a movie poster to share.

There aren’t any bonus games other than the free spins but if you win with any of the character symbols – Dr. Frankenstein, the woman or the monster, the game plays a clip from the movie that features that character.  Just a bit of Frankenstein trivia. The book Frankenstein was written by Mary Shelley in the 1800s and is actually considered an early example of science fiction since the focus was on man’s (Dr. Frankenstein) ability to create life. The monster itself was not named Frankenstein but known as Dr. Frankenstein’s monster. Frankenstein was actually the doctor himself.  But it’s the monster who resonated with the reader over the ages.

Now, as for the slot game – The Curse of Frankenstein, well, I think the curse might be that this game is a bit on the ugly side and I can’t see it having much appeal beyond a Halloween audience. The background is a blood red cityscape of some sort that doesn’t really offer me enough details to connect with a place and time, and there’s a disconnect when it comes to the symbols.  Some of the symbols are screenshots of characters from the film, so these are “real life” images. Then there are the Wild symbol and the Curse of Frankenstein Symbol which are screen shots with green text overlaid on them. But then we slip into the Q, K, A symbols which are cartoonish symbols of letters stitched up like Frankenstein’s monster himself.  The overall appearance makes the slot game look like it was also created out of mis-matched parts from different bodies. Perhaps that’s part of the theme.

Haunted Reels slot review

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

Today I’m taking a look at a simple three reel slot game with a Halloween theme. Now, you may wonder why I’d play a simple slot game instead of a fancier game. Well, there are a couple of reasons. The first is that though I often play the fancier games for free, I love to play simple three reel games when I’m playing with a few dollars, or even a few pennies, of bonus money at an online casino.  Online casinos sometimes give a new player a little bonus money to try out the casino. If I get $5 to play on, it’s not like I can sit down to a long game of blackjack online.  But I’ve discovered through a little experimentation that a three reel game will let me play for a longer period of time and often I end up with more money than I started with.

Now, Haunted Reels starts with the simple basics of an old fashioned three reel slot game with one, two and three bars as symbols. But to that it adds some of the usual “Trick or treat” fare.  Candy in the game is a treat in that even landing one of the candy symbols on the reels will give you a small payout. The witch is the jackpot symbol as well as a wild symbol. And the Jack-o-lantern will trigger the bonus game.

Yep, this is a three reel game with a bonus game. Now, you have to bet 3 coins to trigger the bonus game, but that can be as little as 3 pennies.  If the Jack-o-lantern shows up in the third reel on the payline, a bonus screen opens that lets you choose from a selection of jack-o-lanterns to reveal a cash prize. You can then trade or keep that prize.  The bonus games are where I usually have manage to boost my winnings. I’ve turned three pennies into nearly $2 this way. Yeah, not a big jackpot, but enough to let me play some more.

Haunted Reels is a simple three reel games but for some reason these are the games I find most addicting!  It’s good think I only play for pennies.

House of Fun Slots

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

Since it’s October, it’s time for some spooky, Halloween themed slots. I started my search on the Yahoo Gambling Directory, looking for Halloween slots and eventually stumbled across House of Fun. In this case the House of Fun is a big scary mansion that our scared-of-everything heroes, Paul and Jane, have to seek help at when their car breaks down on a foggy night. Cue all the expected clichés.  But, hey, it’s slot game not the next bestselling novel.

Paul and Jane are welcomed to the house by a Jack in the Box and introduced to the various characters we’ll encounter in the game.  Be prepared, this is a noisy game from the background music to the characters leaping out and trying to scare you.  And Paul and Jane don’t help. They jump, leap and scream whenever I hit for a win. They’re sort of annoying me.  I want them to take charge of the situation. Look, take the shovel from the grave digger, conk Jack in the Box over the head and bury his box in the garden. Then get out of there. I do get to help them try to escape in the bonus game, but we’ll get to that in a minute.

First let’s take a look at the symbols that include a candelabrum, a mirror, a spooky portrait, and a cast of creepy characters. There are actually a couple of nodes to Lewis Carroll tucked in here in the form of the Cheshire Cat and the character dressed in purple who seems to be a Mad Hatter.  Now people are familiar with these characters from Alice in Wonderland and don’t know where Carroll’s inspirations came from.  The cat may date back to a 16th century carving of a grinning in a church in Cheshire, England or a grinning cat gargoyle in Guildford.  As for the Hatter, mercury was once used in the process of making hats and many hat makers suffered mercury poisoning, which made the appear somewhat mad.

But back to the House of fun.  The game is set on crypt-style reels in front of the Mansion and if you’re looking for a game with spooky music and symbols that noisily jump at you, this is the game you want. It also offers a selection of bonus games to keep the player amused.

The Jack in the Box is the scatter symbol and will trigger free spins if land three on the reels. Jack, if I may call him by his first name, will stay on the center reel, making it wild which does boost your winnings.  And our Mad Hatter triggers a Mad Click Me feature when you land three of him on the reels. The Hatter symbols become click me symbols that you get to click until you win.

The main bonus game is triggered by landing three of the door knocker symbols. This opens the Escape Bonus Round where we help Paul and Jane escape from the house by choosing doors until we find the escape door.  But, umm, I win money every time they don’t escape, so I think my goal is really should be to keep them in the mansion.  This bonus round falls a little short of what it could be. When I open the doors, I either get “Jack” or a black space, indicating the escape route.  I’d find it more interesting if the doors opened to different rooms in the mansion and let the artists show off their skills.

I’m torn on rating this game. The graphics are great and it really is an interesting Halloween-themed game. But I’m not as interested in continuing to play it as I was with Viking Age.  But I think we’d have to get into percentages of points here. And I do have to give extra points for whoever managed that subtle Lewis Carroll reference. That can’t have been accidental. Check the game out and let me know what you think.