Bally Technologies is gearing up to release an online version of its fantastic Titanic slot machine, a physical slot machine cabinet available in a number of land based casinos. This slot machine is a branded product, licensing the imagery from James Cameron’s 1997 massive hit film, Titanic.
The movie, based on a tragic shipwreck occurred in 1912, has become a cultural touchstone, easily recognizable by millions of people throughout the world. It was one of Leonardo DiCaprio’s most famous performances, and perhaps the beginning of his infamous (and recently broken) bad luck at the Academy Awards.
The real life tragedy that inspired the movie was a cultural landmark of its own, being the largest catastrophe at sea in its day. Fifteen hundred and three people met their untimely demise in the waters off Nova Scotia when the RMS Titanic struck an iceberg. A lot can be said about the tragedy, from claims of it being predicted few years prior in a novel, to the many flaws in construction and security procedures and design that have been claimed since that fateful April night. However, this is no lecture on maritime history.
Bally Technologies, the people behind this game, have a very interesting, if somewhat rocky, history. Founded in 1968 as a patent holding and research venture by the name of Advanced Patent Technology, it branched out into gambling in 1979.
This shift brought attention from the SEC and the Nevada Gambling Commission, initiating a the first of a series of rebranding events and company-wide shake ups that ended when Alliance (the then name of APT) purchase Bally Manufacturing, and eventually adopted the Bally moniker for itself, the parent company. Bally is still focusing mostly in creating physical consoles for land based casinos, but they have also made their presence felt in the online market.
What We Love
The thing we find most appealing about the land based casino version of this game is its visual design. The game incorporates cut scenes with real footage from the 1997 film, Celine Dion’s original soundtrack (even if you don’t like her, you have to admit it’s an amazing original score), and many design elements that easily transport the player into that fated liner from the tail-end of the Belle Époque. You will see several maritime-themed symbols, as well as the characters from the movie in the reel symbols.
The features that we can find in the slot are pretty good, making the game exciting enough to keep you wanting to play, again and again. Landing three Titanic symbols makes you enter U-Spin mode. In U-Spin, you are confronted with a roulette game, in the shape of an engine order telegraph (the round thing next to wheel on a ship’s bridge, used to change speed).
You can earn cash rewards, but the handsomest prizes are the different mini games and game modes available. The mini games include two pick games that grant you multipliers. The pick games are the “Safe” and “Pick-up” features. The third minigame is Jack’s Drawing bonus. You won’t be sketching nude ladies, but rather participating in an online scratch game that grants you multipliers on your line bet.
Two free spin modes are available through U-Spin: “Make it Count”, with 10 free spins and several sticky wilds, and “Heart of the Ocean”, where you must select a set number of spins and multipliers before starting (the more spins, the smaller the multiplier).
What We Do Not Like
Since we haven’t tried out the online version yet, there’s not much we can complain about here. However, we do fear that this slot, a thoroughly fantastic game, might end up dropping in quality once it is adapted to its online and mobile form(s).
We have seen this before in adaptations handled by different companies, where the visual design was decidedly poorer in the online adaptation. Since this is all handled in house, we really don’t think this will be an issue.
It’s hard to issue a verdict without having tried the online version first, but if the land based version is any indicator, this game is a must try, no doubt.