Still awaiting the day when casino games gain sentience and take over the world.
Except for “Call Me Maybe” parody videos, few things have been as ubiquitous this summer as social and mobile slots games. You’ve got to stand out if you want to play in this space, and Blitzoo’s SlotSpot does it, obviously, with a rhyming name. Oh, and its lively gameplay, wide variety of bonus games and tournament options probably don’t hurt, either.
SlotSpot has been available on Facebook for a while, but it only recently took the plunge into the world of iOS devices as well. Both versions play essentially the same way, though the iOS app has a few exclusive bonus games and the browser edition has more bells and whistles overall. They’re completely independent of each other, though, so if you play both, you’ll have separate accounts and virtual bankrolls on each one.
Like the majority of the current crop of slots titles, this one features five reel, multi-line machines with a variety of familiar themes: Pirates, fairies, sea life, etc. Some of the pay lines are locked when you first start out, requiring you to complete goals on each machine (doing things like winning by three of a kind so many times or activating the different bonus rounds) before they all become available for wagering.
Every fake dollar wagered earns one experience point, with winning spins chipping in some bonus points as well. Leveling up eventually helps you unlock more machines. The key word in that sentence was “eventually,” as SlotSpot feels a bit stingier with its unlocking pace than some of its competitors. Fortunately, every machine has multiple bonus games, jackpots and side bets, so the lack of variety early on isn’t a deal breaker. The machines also share several additional bonus games, some of which can only be unlocked by adding a certain number of friends. Sorry, hermits.
On Facebook, you can also take some time away from the slots to play video poker or blackjack. These side games are perfectly acceptable and come complete with some snazzy lounge music, but they are pretty bare bones compared to what you’d find in more comprehensive casino sims. You also don’t earn XP very quickly playing them, so they’re really just a nice diversion.
A much more exciting addition is the inclusion of slots tournaments, allowing you to compete against other players for some big payouts. Every player buys in for a fixed amount of coins and is given a fixed amount of tournament credits on a specific machine. The pay tables are the same as in standard play, but any coins “won” during the tourney simply accumulate toward your score, and the three players with the highest scores after everyone has spun off their credits wins a certain percentage of the buy-ins. There’s no skill involved — though my grandmother may disagree — but tournaments are a fun, competitive way to shake things up.
The visuals in SlotSpot have a generic, cartoony feel, though each machine has its own distinct look. There are some animations, but not the elaborate kind you’ll find on some other slots games. Despite that, there’s apparently enough going on under the hood to make it technically demanding. The Facebook version doesn’t play well with Internet Explorer (the devs recommend Chrome or Firefox), and the iOS game won’t run on iPhones prior to the 3GS or any iPad except for the current generation. When Blitzoo says the graphics are optimized for the retina display, they apparently aren’t joking around.
On the plus side, Blitzoo is promoting the game enthusiastically, handing out plenty of free coins and spins on its Facebook page. The company feed is actually built into the bottom part of the game when played on browsers, so you can simply “Like” the game and click on links right there to claim bonuses. Naturally, you can also bug/beg your friends for gifts or purchase coins for real money if needed.
All that’s missing from SlotSpot is a catchy hook, like that song from the first paragraph I don’t want to mention again. But it does have that same subtly addictive quality as Carly Rae, and now that it’s available online and on the go, you just may be adding it to your rotation of free slots games.