The Lowdown on New Jackpot Party Progressive Slots - Wednesday 5th of April 2006

WMS Gaming's new Jackpot Party multi-tier mystery progressive video game has become one of the most popular slots at casinos around the country, including properties in the Chicago area.

The main attraction is the bonus game, which players enter when the familiar "Jackpot Party" symbol appears at any time during the course of play on the fifth reel. It begins an entertaining interactive playing feature whereby the player makes selections on the 6 X 5 touch screen grid to win credits and hopefully a "star" which takes them to the next progressive tier.

The intriguing aspect of the game is that players are in control of their own destiny. Winning and losing is based on what "present" symbols they select. Pick credit values and stars and you ascend through the four progressive tires. Pick a "collect" symbol and the bonus round ends.

There are some features about the game players should know about. This columnist contacted Rob Bone, vice-president of marketing for WMS Gaming, to get the lowdown:

"The number of stars on each grid goes up as players increase their bet, giving them a better chance to win one of the progressive awards," Bone revealed. "With max credits bet, the player is guaranteed to win the first screen progressive (Party Jackpot)."

There's another perk for betting max coins: In addition to having a better shot at the higher progressives, the incremental amounts you select are higher in value.

"Probably the biggest differentiator between Jackpot Party Progressive and other similar competitive products is the large bonus wins that players get while picking the bonus 'present' symbols, not to mention the possibility of winning one of the four progressive amounts," Bone observed.

"Arguably it's the most successful game in our portfolio right now. We have dedicated development that will be ongoing to support these games both near and long term. We are coming to market with another one the latter part of this year which will very much capitalize on the success of this game and we have plans to utilize this type of game play in a lot of other categories rather than just the video segment."

Whereas the competition's mystery progressives (IGT's Fort Knox, for example) utilize previously introduced slot themes, WMS chose to unveil four dedicated games for Jackpot Party Progressive: Lighthouse Loot, Treasures of the Acropolis, Dancing Dolphins and Riches of the Amazon. Additional new games will be available in the months ahead.

The games give players three dimensions of entertainment: 1) Winning credits with line pays in the base game. 2) Winning credits in each game's random bonus rounds. 3) Winning credits and possibly a progressive jackpot in the Jackpot Party Bonus.

Jackpot Party Progressive is available in penny, two-cent and nickel denominations in nine, 20 and 25-line formats. Nearly 1,500 units are in play at casinos around the country.

There are four progressive levels: Party Jackpot seeded at $8, Blowout Party Jackpot seeded at $25, Super Party Jackpot seeded at $200 and the top award, Mega Party Jackpot, seeded at $2,500 (in some instances $5,000).

"Giving players a sense of control and allowing them to determine what progressive they qualify for is a huge attribute of this game," Bone said. "Other competitive versions of this game are somewhat scripted. Ours is purely based upon what symbols and what presents the players pick to determine what progressive award that they achieve.

"Our belief is that it doesn't matter how large the award is if it's not attainable and somewhat frequent. That's where the execution of this game really comes in. These are lower level awards, but they are very attainable and very frequent."

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