Slots worthy of Hollywood fame
If you’re going to call your Facebook slots game Hollywood Slots, you’d better come correct with some high production values and entertaining play. Some homages to the silver screen would be nice, too. Does Product Madness deliver the goods? Will the inevitable Avengers sequel make a lot of money? (Spoiler for both: yes)
As you may gather from the name, Hollywood Slots is a movie-themed social slots game. Gameplay is very similar to the oodles of other slots titles out there, with five-reel machines that can be bet from one to 30 lines. A bonus coin pool builds up every three minutes, and more coins can be obtained by logging in daily or requesting them from friends. Watching short videos or signing up for third party offers can also pad your bankroll, and there’s the obligatory option to buy more coins for real money.
The machines are fun enough, with a pleasant variety of gimmicks to keep you spinning. The developers did their homework on different types of bonuses, including just about every kind you’ll find on real or online slots today. There’s even a daily spin on a special machine that is very reminiscent of what the Vegas Strip casinos used to do to draw people in.
But the real star of the show is the heavy theming, which extends from the symbols on each machine to the graphics on the borders to the music. Some are broad plays on whole genres of movies, others veer close to “I think George Lucas gonna sue somebody” territory. They’re pretty much all great, beginning with the Indiana Jones-meets-The Mummy mash-up on the first machine, Lost. Animated characters who encourage you during especially profitable bonus rounds are just the icing on the cake.
Taking a page from several Zynga games, Hollywood Slots uses a cumulative star system to unlock more slots. A total of five stars can be earned on each machine, giving you options on how you rack up the 11 stars to be able to play Madder Scientist. Finding the right pace for advancement in a slots game can be a tricky balance – too slow and players get frustrated, too fast and they get bored and stop playing – but Product Madness gets it just right here.
In fact, as head-scratching design decisions go, only one stands out. When you log in for the first time, you receive 300,000 coins to start. This sounds like a lot, but when the lowest number of coins you can play per line on any machine is 60, it really isn’t. Weimar Republic-style inflation is all in good fun when it’s not in real life, and I suppose everyone likes to feel like a high roller, but chopping two zeros off of everything would have simplified things.
There also aren’t tons of social extras. Other slots games have been doubling down in this area by cramming in leaderboards, trophies, achievements and the like wherever possible. That isn’t the case here, with the interactions pretty much limited to making and answering friend requests and the focus staying on the slots.
When the machines are fun to play and look and sound slick, that’s probably the right call. To paraphrase an interesting fellow I saw on TV, I don’t always play slots games when I’m on Facebook, but when I do, I’ll probably play Hollywood Slots.