Those slot games that we all know and love have many different names all over the world. The most familiar name however is a fruit machine. Now this might not sound a strange title when you spend most of your time nowadays the only fruit you’ll see is the banana and apple you might be eating while playing a slot game about Marvel Superheroes as in the Playtech game ‘Iron Man 2’.
But just like if you talk to anyone about wrestling they automatically say “Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks’, talk to someone about slot games and the words “fruit machines” will be uttered.
Back in the day the machines didn’t have a variety of themed symbols such as in the Ash Gaming slot ‘Jewels of Atlantis’ which takes us to that lost city under the sea.
The reels were full of fruits such as oranges, lemons and melons with cherries as the lowest value symbol and fulfilling the role that nine to Ace playing card symbols seem to play in games in the current day.
There were other symbols such as 7’s, bars, double bars and triple bars but it was the presence of all that fruit that gave the machine their name.
There was no need to spend time working out your stake, there was just one flat rate that you had to pay and then just spin those reels, cross your fingers and hope for a good win.
The hold feature is pretty self-explanatory. At the end of a spin you were allowed to hold one or two of the symbols in the hope that would give you the chance to get a win on your next spin.
Also available was a ‘bonus trail.’ As you continued to play the fruit machine this trail, basically just a ring of spots, would be activated and you’d progress from one bonus amount to the next one. Other versions had you having to press a button and hopefully stop the flashing lights on a high value cash or multiplier amount. It wasn’t just cash that was on the line here, but also specific numbers of holds or nudges that could help you get more valuable wins.
There was also a ‘cash ladder’ game where you worked your way up that ladder and had the choice of taking a win or trying to get higher up to win more cash.
A gamble feature is a common sight in most of the games we play now. Games such as Playtech’s ‘Frankie Dettori’s Magic 7’ see you having to try and choose cards that are higher than the one given to the dealer. With fruit machines there were also double or nothing opportunities involving correctly choosing the colour of the next card or the result of a toss of a coin.
Many of us have fond memories of the fruit machine, they were fast paced games and there was a bit of thinking to do too. It’s good to see that current game developers still want to recreate those games.