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Skee Ball Slot

Skee Ball is a 5 reel, 40-payline slot machine released by Las Vegas-based developer Bally Technologies, as part of the Scientific Games umbrella. You will not be surprised to find out that the game is based on the popular arcade game of the same name.

The game is credited as being one of the first redemption games introduced back in 1909 in Philadelphia by inventor Dickinson Este. These redemption games are arcade games of skill that reward players with tickets. Players can then take these tickets and exchange them for prizes that can be won.

It is a game that is simple to get to grips with and consists of an inclined lane with holes each worth different point values. Players must then try to roll balls roughly the size of a baseball up the lane and into these holes. The more points players accumulate, the more tickets they can win.

Bally Technologies releasing a slot game based on this arcade game is both brave and innovative in equal measure. Skee ball has earned its place in gaming history but transferring it into a slot machine game format is a risk.

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Skee Ball

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Theme

The theme here is obvious. It's skee ball with an arcade game feel. The symbols on the reels relate to the items you can win in an arcade using the tickets that can be earned when playing the skee ball arcade game.

Symbols include a spinning top, teddy bear, toy car, rubber duck, toy robot, and the regular Jack-through-to-Ace icons. OK, so the prizes might be a little archaic. I mean, when was the last time you saw some child playing with a spinning top! It can only be attributed as being a nod to the heritage of skee ball in the arcades.

The Wild is used in a unique manner for this slot machine. It is called a Flip Wild. This basically means then when a Wild appears it will flip into a random symbol. This might seem a cool thing but it actually waters down the power of the Wild. It reduces the Wild to just being the same as another symbol rather than substituting for all other symbols.

Features

Skee Ball is not rammed with bonus features but the game does still have a fair bit to offer. We did consider putting the Flip Wild in as a feature to cover but the fact it just lessens the power of the Wild made us feel it does not deserve its spot in this section.

Earn Your Tickets – To communicate the real feel of the skee ball arcade game, one awesome feature on this game is the opportunity to earn tickets. It is triggered by landing three or more skee balls across the reels. You will get the chance to actually play the skee ball game on a second screen. The higher your score, the more tickets you earn. You will then be taken to another screen where you can pick a prize based on the number of tickets you have won. The prize will then reveal a cash sum that you have won. Genius!

Summary

Skee Ball was undoubtedly a gamble by Bally Technologies to release onto the casino floors but it is a gamble that had paid off. This game is thoroughly enjoyable and it will also introduce a whole new audience to the arcade game. Other developers have tried to transfer an arcade game into a slot machine and failed so it was a high-risk strategy.

Fortunately, the critics and players have loved it. Bally proudly boasts that the game has won an array of awards in categories such as the 2012 Slot Floor Technology Awards and the Top 20 Most Innovative Gaming Technology Award 2011 Awards. So the title has been widely recognised throughout the industry as a success. It has received some criticism from players that the skill side of the game has been abandoned and replaced by luck. Is that just nit-picking? Quite possibly.

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