In case you thought there was one industry that KISS hadn’t cornered, well, keep looking.
Last fall, the band’s new slot machines debuted at the Borgata in New Jersey and have now made their way into the Las Vegas casinos.
This isn’t the first time the quartet has been immortalized with their own row of reels, but the visuals and multimedia elements that accompany this latest incarnation are impressive – and no doubt the timing of their release was to coincide with the band’s robust new album, “Monster.”
Since I had zero luck when I first played the game in Jersey in November, never experiencing the all-important bonus round that truly shows a slot’s entertainment value, I was wary of feeding the beast more money at the Venetian in Las Vegas last week.
But, I’m glad I did, as this machine was much more accommodating, frequently rolling into bonus rounds where players pick a “Backstage Pass” bonus that awards free spins and other incentives. A breathy-voiced female might also bring you to an “encore” round if you’re (financially) lucky and you can only hope to get a row of Gene Simmons’ snaking tongues, which turn wild and can be lucrative.
What is most engaging about the slot – as it should be for something dedicated to KISS – is the music. An innovative feature is the cassette tape (ha) at the top of the screen that allows you to choose a background song while you play. If you get tired of “Detroit Rock City” after a few minutes, just touch it again and you might land on “Rock and Roll All Nite” or “Calling Dr. Love.”
Also cool? The characters showcase the original foursome with plenty of nods to classic album covers.
Also new on the slot floor in the musical realm is “American Idol Encore,” the second-generation “Idol”-themed slot.
When the first one came out a few years ago, it featured Ellen DeGeneres and Kara DioGuardi as well as Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson. The problem was that DeGeneres had already left the show and DioGuardi was on her way out by the time the machines arrived (they DO take some development time, which is why most themed machines focus on classic TV shows, such as the new “Cheers” slot, or movies, such as “Superman” and “Jaws”).
These “Encore” slots spotlight Season 10, when Scotty McCreery ruled and the judging panel consisted of Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez and Jackson.
See a trend here?
No doubt it’s fun to play, in particular the “Sing for Your Life” bonus round which has you choose one of Season 10’s finalists (Naima Adedapo, we hardly knew ye) and hope he or she gets eliminated late in the round, since the longer you remain, the more you win. Thanks, James Durbin, for hanging in until the top three for me.
What’s amusing about the slot is the monetary value associated with each character. Ryan Seacrest is wild, so he’s always a welcome sight, but the highest-paying judge is Tyler, followed by Lopez and then Jackson.
Think they’re trying to give him a hint?
And, as always, for all of your “Idol”-related news, check out Rodney Ho’s blog and his “Idol bits.”